Patterico's Pontifications


London Olympics

Filed under: General — JD @ 11:51 am

[Guest post by JD]

What has been the highlight for you so far?

In no particular order, for me …

Vinokourov winning the bicycle road race.

Lochte shutting up the media about the 400 IM. I mean seriously, he has dominated the event for over a year, yet they still go on about Phelps, who didn’t even want to do this race.

Women’s bicycle road race in a downpour.

Not the underwater camera shots in the Turkish hair shirt water polo match.

I will readily admit that I cannot stand gymnastics, and turn it off. The created melodramatic nonsense and subjective scoring is not my cup of tea.

Speaking of cups of tea, compare and contrast Obama’s history of gaffes and snubs of England to Romney’s.


50 Responses to “London Olympics”

  1. The 4×100 freestyle relay tonight, featuring the US, Australia, and France should be awesome.

    JD (318f81)

  2. If you think you are in good shape, try water polo.

    JD (318f81)

  3. JD- while we are back on the Olympics and athletics, a question for you. I’ve read where cyclists often use very high doses of caffeine, and it is legal to a large degree, with the amount of caffeine needed to give too high of a concentration in the urine almost physically impossible to take because of toxicity. Is this true? Still true? If so, do triathalon competitors do it too?

    Of interest to me is looking at the makeup of the US fencing team, especially some of the people who are not there, like many of the women’s foil from 2008. I think it is virtually impossible to be in top shape for fencing unless one is doing national events nearly full time, so if people actually want to go to college, begin a career, start a family, they essentially remove themselves from top competition. On the other hand, to be at top competition it usually means dropping whatever else you are doing, for example going to college and being an NCAA fencing champ is actually inadequate competition for the world stage and a college student aiming for the Olympics might need to suspend school and suspend college competition. I’m not going to take the time myself, but it would be interesting to know where some of the top women foil from 04 and 08 are now and if they will be back.

    The US has a 19 yo phenom in men’s foil, and it is unusual for a top ranked fencer to be so young, since there is a significant amount of experience and thinking of strategy that goes into it. I haven’t watched him fence yet, but from what i’ve read he has an untraditional style. It is my understanding that in times past there have been other fencers that “come out of nowhere” and dominate their sport for a year or two in large part to having something “different” in addition to being good, and that after a year or two enough other people have learned to counter and the person “slips back into the pack of the excellent”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  4. If I was a youngster whose mother coerced me into taking gymnastics (and I have met such, poor things) I would announce my retirement by showing up for a competition in a Ninja uniform.

    I like watching the gymnastics, not for the competition (which is about as bogus as the scoring in Ice Dance) but for the athleticism.

    C. S. P. Schofield (4feea2)

  5. Water polo. In high school gym we did that. The rule was that as long as you wanted to hold onto the ball you could be held underwater, down if you want to…
    We had one fellow in our class who was built like a football linebacker and was a state ranked swimmer. He could almost take the ball, swim under everybody, and come up and score when he wanted to.
    I preferred team handball. No risk of drowning.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  6. MD – absolutely for the pro cyclists. It is reported that Bradley Wiggins will drink 4-6 large cups of coffee the morning of a race. Not so much in triathlons, given the endurance component vs short burst of power. High doses of caffeine are not really compatible with swimming at distance and tempo, nor running.

    JD (318f81)

  7. JD, recall the stunned expression on Obama’s face when Chicago lost its Olympic bid?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. That was back when they thought just by Teh Lightworker showing up, he could make it happen.

    JD (318f81)

  9. When he was winning Nobel Peace Prizes based on what he might do in the future.

    JD (318f81)

  10. Thanks for the info, JD.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  11. MD – you tend to try to keep your heart rate as low as possible for your level of effort in the water, and control it running. Large doses of caffeine would be counter-productive. In my experience.

    JD (318f81)

  12. Watching nbc give the final results before they show the events.
    Failure worth cheering for!!

    mg (44de53)

  13. Finally, something JD and I can disagree about with civility:

    Cyclists avoid coffee because the body absorbs liquids more quickly than solids. They prefer — as do most athletes — spiked gels or protein bars. The protein’s irrelevant, since it’ll just be converted to carbohydrates mid-event, but the caffeine’s essential. They want to absorb it slowly. An Olympic water-related athlete that a journalism student of mine interviewed/seduced — I didn’t condone that, but 19 year old kids will be what they are — revealed that he’d spent two years with his Japanese friend’s grandparents trying to figure out how to brew the perfect cup of green tea, with just the right amount of caffeine to have that slow release required for endurance. In the end, though, he just went with the bars to avoid dehydration.

    SEK (74bb56)

  14. Wiggins won Le Tour in dominating fashion, and drinks 4-6 cups of coffee every morning of a race. So you can disagree civilly all you wish, but it won’t make you any less wrong.

    JD (318f81)

  15. Walsh, Kessy,and Ross are highlights too. 😉

    JD (318f81)

  16. I also agree (but in my case it’s alcohol not caffeine ;)). The best route of absorption is the small intestine and liquids go directly to it but solids in the stomach cause the pyloric valve to close.

    nk (875f57)

  17. hence, teh coffee enema…

    Colonel Haiku (6a2396)

  18. Speaking of cups of tea, compare and contrast Obama’s history of gaffes and snubs of England to Romney’s.

    Funny… I was just having a Turkish comparing the two.

    Colonel Haiku (6a2396)

  19. Wiggins won Le Tour in dominating fashion, and drinks 4-6 cups of coffee every morning of a race.

    Bah, that’s disinformation to throw off his competitors. I don’t know whether Wiggins is a sprinter or not, but I do know that the majority of athletes I’ve been/been around/had students who’ve been around have favored the slow absorption of bars and gels over the quick fix of liquids. Caffeine’s absolutely a part of the regimen, but only in the right doses. Four to six cups of coffee prior to a race is akin to begging the universe to make his physical crash manifest.

    SEK (74bb56)

  20. Cavendish is the sprinter on Sky. Wiggins is the team leader and the best rider on the planet. During the race, it would obviously be a horrible idea. He switched to gluten-free diet, and changed from coffee with sugar to black coffee. Disinformation? Not sure how that would work, since every athlete’s body has different requirements, likes, dislikes, etc …. When it comes to nutrition, there is no one size fits all answer. Gels, supplement, Gu, chews, and chomps are ubiquitous, just like granola bars and protein bars used to be.

    JD (318f81)

  21. _____________________________________________

    What has been the highlight for you so far?

    Mainly because this is a politically oriented blog and forum, what so far has been the “highlight” to me is when I saw a link to a New York Times article about the Olympics’ opening ceremony reflecting “left-leaning” sentiments. I cringed and thought, oh, sheesh, here we go again! Liberals having to blatantly insert their damn biases and spin into one more part of modern society.

    However, when the Olympic’s producer in an interview tried to sound innocent about the charge of his using a ceremony to display his political biases (eg, a salute to nationalized healthcare), I sort of shrugged off the whole thing as his probably feeling localized and provincial about everything around him. But at the time I didn’t think that dope would flip off certain peoples or nations (or definitely the US) in other ways that were less readily apparent during and right after the occasion: People who tuned in to the 2012 London Summer Olympics opening ceremony last night might have noticed, just before the Danny Boyle-produced extravaganza began, a montage of posters from past games. Apparently Los Angeles, the 1984 Olympics host city, and Atlanta, which, as we all know, hosted the festivities in 1996, weren’t included.

    Writes “waltermitty1270″ on the Atlanta subreddit: Check your DVR’s… At the beginning of the Opening Ceremonies, Right at the end of the Thames River flyover sequence, they show Posters from every summer Olympics since 1896 except the one for Atlanta 1996. WTF?

    Here’s his rough cell-phone footage of the segment. One can see posters from Moscow (1980), Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992), Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), and Beijing (2008). But no Los Angeles and Atlanta. He wasn’t the only person who noticed the oversight.

    suj on 07/28/2012 at 7:57 PM: The 1936 Berlin games were left out as well. This one is at least understandable, in that they are known as the “Nazi Olympics,” and the Germans bombed the heck out of London in WWII…. Point is: London felt it necessary to leave out 1936 in Berlin, 1984 in L.A., and 1996 in ATL. Yep — we’re lumped in with the Nazis. Not cool, London. Not cool.

    Posted by Voxpopuli on 07/29/2012 at 10:48 AM: Another theory can be that it was payback for Romney’s diss of the London being unprepared. I can see Atlanta being left out due to the bombing and commercialization, but that doesn’t explain L.A.

    Mark (7b2cc7)

  22. I have never heard of a protein being converted to a carbohydrate.

    JD (318f81)

  23. I have never heard of a protein being converted to a carbohydrate.

    I was taught, and I could be wrong, that about 40 percent of the protein you ate prior aerobic activity — I played soccer and baseball, so I suppose it only applied to the former — was converted into carbohydrates. The internet seems to think it’s a higher percentage, and I’m not an expert, so I won’t claim to know better. I’m just working on the “common wisdom” of my coaches in Louisiana in the mid-90s … which may make you believe what I’m saying more or less, depending.

    SEK (74bb56)

  24. So far the highlight of the Olympics has been this chick getting kicked out.

    Steve57 (d382ec)

  25. I have heard of some glucose production from excess protein availability, but it takes time, and would be counter-productive to have to eat that Much protein, would be silly in a race environment. All of this is sport dependent, and even within sports there are big variations. Hell,, ask the 10 best athletes in the world and they probably have 10 different approaches to diet.

    JD (318f81)

  26. Watching Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke do her warm-up dance at the IAAF World Junior Championship in Barcelona has been another highlight of the London Olympics.

    Steve57 (d382ec)

  27. Women’s Rowing, coxed 8s.

    ropelight (a0804f)

  28. However, when the Olympic’s producer in an interview tried to sound innocent about the charge of his using a ceremony to display his political biases (eg, a salute to nationalized healthcare)…

    In case it’s not clear, I’m not a fan of the Olympics. Mostly because of the sanctimony. The Olympics are nothing if not political. Yet while being blatantly political, the people behind the “Olympic movement” deny being political while displaying their biases.

    I think the controversy behind the failure of the Olympics to acknowledge the 40th anniversary of the murder of Israeli athletes encapsulates the sheer spinelessness of the self-unaware people putting on this show. They claim they couldn’t acknowledge this anniversary because that would be “political.” Yet everyone knows why they couldn’t do it; they didn’t want to anger the muslim membership of the movement. So while screaming their biases out loud, they claim not to have those biases.

    Hence I’ve become a great fan of some of the women athletes who aren’t there.

    Steve57 (d382ec)

  29. Hats off to the Italian Olympic Team for standing in silence outside the Israeli living quarters. The ioc has yet to acknowledge the Munich murders.

    mg (44de53)

  30. What has been the highlight for you so far?

    The Olmypics have started?

    When did that happen?

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Gold Lining Detection Specialist (8e2a3d)

  31. I have never heard of a protein being converted to a carbohydrate.

    I thought excess proteins were converted to FAT.

    You have to do aerobic activity for >15-odd minutes because that’s how long it takes for you to burn off your body’s sugar storage and cause the fat-back-to-sugar conversion to kick in, after which it will provide energy for an amount of time based on your fitness level (which, btw, you lose annoyingly fast if you don’t keep at it… if you get sick you’ll lose pretty much a year’s worth of aerobic ability in 3-odd months in my experience.

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Gold Lining Detection Specialist (8e2a3d)

  32. Hats off to the Italian Olympic Team…

    The past few years the Italians have been defying stereotypes and showing quite a bit of spine. It used to be that the Spaniards had the reputation as the only tough Latin nation. I recall how the Brits openly speculated about how tough the Falklands war was going to be depending upon who showed up; the tough Spaniards or the Italian hairdressers and waiters. But AQ set off some bombs on the Madrid subway and the nation tucked tail and fled Iraq. The Italians suffered their largest combat loss since WWII when the terrorists blew up one of their bases and they didn’t run; they dug in for the long haul and said they refused to be intimidated.

    Actually, the Italians never deserved that “hairdressers and waiters” comment and a Brit should have known better than to utter it. Like other Italian units in North Africa, the parachute regiment Folgore eventually surrendered when their German allies bugged out with all the transport and supplies. But only after they had expended every round they had. And they only agreed to quit fighting at Fuka when the British conceded that they didn’t have to raise a white flag and could keep their weapons.

    The British general who went up against them and agreed to the terms of their surrender said these Italian paratroopers were the finest soldiers he had ever seen.

    Nice to see these Italian athletes are demonstrating a bit of the same kind of nerve.

    Steve57 (d382ec)

  33. parachute regiment Folgore

    Brigade; the Folgore is a brigade, not a regiment.

    Steve57 (d382ec)

  34. Top three for me:

    1. The bike race
    2. The bike race
    3. The bike race

    glenn (877ee1)

  35. Glenn – good stuff, huh?

    JD (318f81)

  36. “Vinokourov”

    Who’s blood was he using this time?

    Shouldn’t he have to share his medal with whomever’s blood he has flowing in his veins?

    Aarradin (bab74a)

  37. They kept saying that the Argentinian beach volleyball gals were undersized. I had to agree.

    Also, I didn’t see as much of the Americans as expected.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  38. _____________________________________________

    Given the earlier controversy about questions regarding security at the games — although I think that outsiders like Romney need to remember about how guests should treat hosts — this makes me LOL. India have protested to London Olympic organisers after a mysterious woman gatecrashed their squad at the opening ceremony, media reports said on Sunday. The unidentified woman, dressed in a red top and blue pants, was seen walking alongside India’s flag-bearer Sushil Kumar at Friday’s ceremony even though she was not part of the contingent.

    India’s acting chef-de-mission Muralidharan Raja slammed the intrusion, but stopped short of calling it a security breach even though the woman was not wearing the customary identification badge.

    “We don’t know who she is and why she was allowed to walk in. It is a shame that she was walking with our athletes. I can’t say that (if it was a security breach) as she was in a sanitised zone, but this was bizarre. We will ask for an apology.

    “She embarrassed us in front of the world. The Indian contingent was shown (on television) for just 10 seconds, and to think this lady hogged all the limelight.”

    Raja, asked if he believed the woman was an Indian, said: “She could be Asian, Latin American, I don’t know.”

    Mark (7b2cc7)

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  40. I’m loving all the pics of empty seats at the venues. Romney is proven prophetic. :)

    Favorite actual moment was when the gymnastics narrative of the year was blown up when Jooooooordan choked and got beat out by fellow Americans who did more, one of whom had just beaten her in the most recent competition. The announcers were sooooo muted when they realized he narrative fail. They didn’t even mention that the girl who had just finished, Aly, had just earned the highest score of the entire competition on floor exercise!

    Ed from SFV (1c1abc)

  41. I can’t imagine Danny Boyle would purposefully snub LA (or Atlanta). Hollywood and the US have been very welcoming to him. The US Athletes have been treated very well in all the BBC coverage.

    My favorite Olympic moment so far is anything that puts shirtless men in front of me.

    MayBee (fb7121)

  42. I have yet to watch any of the events.. due to having a 6 year monopolize the tv most of the time..ha ha.. I would like to see the equestrian events and maybe rowing

    Alissa Dirks (a95d6f)

  43. MayBee is hanging out at the Natatorium.

    JD (dfa70c)

  44. I’m fascinated by the nose on British swimmer Rebecca Adlington.

    Joe Miller (00407a)

  45. These male divers’ bodies are insane. I vote yes!

    MayBee (fb7121)

  46. The only thing i’ve watched so far was the archery quarterfinals/semifinals/finals on saturday.

    The nailbiting finish was, well, exciting. :)

    aphrael (24797a)

  47. Alissa, if you have cable, you can use your cable username/password to log in to nbc’s website, and then you can watch everything live there, and a lot of things on recorded delay.

    aphrael (24797a)

  48. USA women’s water polo swimsuits are disconcerting. They aren’t small women, and those suits ride like g-strings.

    BradnSA (980254)

  49. @aphrael .. I live in canada.. I have tried before to access american content via the net.. not allowed..
    Thanks though for the idea!

    Alissa Dirks (a95d6f)

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