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Everything posted by Olympian2004

  1. No, that wasn't what I meant. But so far, it has still been in doubt whether the European Games will survive or a "one time only" event. The EOC originally didn't even want to choose the 2019 host before the end of the Baku Games, because of that. What I meant was that if we get well-organised and maybe even exciting European Games now, the chances that the event will survive are a lot higher, because good organisation and excitement creates a positive image and media attention for the event. I referred to Filipe Golias with that comment.
  2. And Mr. "I wanted a two-thirds majority, but those stupid voters just didn't give it to me" Erdogan is attending, too.
  3. I must say that despite the recycling of some elements, this ceremony has quite an Olympic feel. Now I'm curious whether the Games themselves can keep that level, too. But Azerbaijan seems to pull all the stops here. Maybe that's good for a change, even if Azerbaijan is an autocratic country longing for prestige and attention, but it could bring the European Games on track right from the start, as opposed to a lukewarm and cheapish "Oh, well, yet another edition of multisports events - again" event.
  4. Oh, thanks! I didn't expect the YouTube stream to run in my country, I expected geo-blocking. But it works! Nice!
  5. I can't judge it - Sport 1 has cut to yet another commercial break, just a few minutes after the last one. This isn't America, folks!
  6. They are under the EOC, the European Olympic Committees. Did the audience boo? Sadly, sports channel Sport 1 which is broadcasting the European Games here in Germany has cut away to a looooooong commercial break soon after the parade started.
  7. And there's the Azerbaijani version of the Cycladic head, with the same kind of stirring classical music. Only that this time it's pink and balloons are released from the pieces.
  8. Those mythological and historical scenes, the way the performers move: It really looks as if they have recycled all the floats from Athens with just minor changes in the props and costumes
  9. One can see that the Athens 2004 production staff has choreographed this ceremony. The parade on floats looks very, very Athens-ish. Gosh, can't they invent something new?
  10. And it seems as if the fire beneath the performers and the marching athletes will burn throughout the ceremony and come up again at the end. Clever move! I was at first surprised why they let the torch enter the stadium so early in the ceremony, but that way it makes sense.
  11. I'm surprised that you guys defend your entry - I thought that you didn't like it either? And compared to this year's entry, Boom Bang A Bang at least showed that the UK wanted to win the ESC (that was what I meant by "serious performance"), and it was a song more in line with the tastes of the era than this year's song was. Block voting is still a problem, but I think it has been substantially curtailed by the re-introduction of the jury vote. Just see where the ESC goes these days: Next year, we will have the sixth ESC in a Western/Northern European country since 2010, with only one ESC t
  12. Ann Sophie's 0 points were undeserved - even if I expected her to finish on a 20-ish rank due to the blandness of the song in a fairly strong field of contenders, her performance was very good. So it was a surprise that even the utter tripe the BBC sent to the ESC this year (sorry, guys, but you at the BBC should really think about quitting the ESC altogether if you don't want to put up a serious performance anymore) got some points. But on the other hand, it has no benefit either to rank 25th with only a few votes. So it's actually okay that we really got nil points - and hopefully, next year
  13. Nigel Farage has failed to win the seat in South Thanet. Well, at least something to rejoice in.
  14. Well, the previous Cameron government hasn't been technically hindered by UKIP either (who weren't even represented at the House of Commons at that time), and the Tories decided to promise a EU referendum nevertheless. If any, UKIP was only a virtual hindrance - and it might remain to be. The EU will continue to be demonised by them and the strong Eurosceptic wing within the Conservative Party in the years to come, thus creating a Europhobic climate within the UK. And regardless of the economical success the previous Cameron government might have had, I think that they are now on a kamikaze co
  15. What a strange - and even disturbing - election indeed. Needless to say that this result is a complete surprise for me, and not a good one. I'm reminded of a famous Sun headline before the 1992 general election - another election that was surprisingly won by the Conservatives: "If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights?" I would switch this headline to "Now that Cameron has won and gained an overall majority, will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights?" I get a bad feeling in the guts that under Cameron, Britain is about to com
  16. Give it some slack. There's an old principle in jurisdiction, namely "in dubio pro reo" or the presumption of innocence until it's proven otherwise. While I agree that the evidence is pointing strongly towards a completely deliberate act by the co-pilot (and I'm 95 % certain that he did it deliberately in an attempt of murder-suicide or with other criminal intentions), I also have difficulties adopting all the allegations the state prosecutor of Marseille made. I asked myself how one can acoustically distinguish the breathing of an unconscious person from the breathing of a conscious person, f
  17. Thank you for your sympathy, guys. I've just read that NY Times article, and after my awful discovery last night, it seems as if the horror of this crash doesn't end. I had somewhat a suspicion that due to that very controlled descent without the plane ever leaving its course could have been a loss of cabin pressure or an incident during which engine fuel exhaust gases entered the cockpit and the pilots lost their conscience - or a suicide. The latter would explain even more why there never was an emergency call. Of course that is all speculative until we get official confirmation, but if th
  18. I just found out that someone I knew personally is among the victims of the crash. She shared a flat with a friend of mine when we all studied in Muenster, Germany. She became a teacher and apparently got a job at a school in Haltern am See in Western Germany. She and a colleague of hers accompanied a group of pupils from Haltern to Spain, for a visit at a partner school and its pupils. Yesterday, they were on their way back from that visit when their plane went down above the French Alps. I'm shocked and disturbed that I've known someone personally whose life ended so tragically and so early.
  19. Meanwhile, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, in which particularly many victims of the crash lived, will observe a minute of silence tomorrow at 10:53 a.m., the moment when the plane vanished from the radar screens yesterday. Also my company will probably take part in that minute of silence. This is extraordinary, the last minute of silence of that proportion in Germany were the ones after 9/11.
  20. The investigators were able to retrieve an audio file from the cockpit voice recorder and have started to examine it today. So far, they can only exclude an explosion on board and they say that everything seemed normal at the start of the tape, so the examination is still at an early stage.
  21. Bad weather can be ruled out already now - the plane flew in very good weather conditions, according to all reports. We will have to wait and see for the results from the examination of the black boxes which apparently have both been found now. I read somewhere that the black boxes will be examined tomorrow (Wednesday).
  22. I am very worried about the high amount of severe plane crashes since last year - and after the shoot-down of MH17, this is yet another plane crash that is particularly devastating for me. For most of the flights in my lifetime, I flew from and to Düsseldorf Airport (it's the one that is nearest to my home town), and many times, I also flew above that region in the French Alps, especially on my flights to Palma de Mallorca. In May, I will fly again to Mallorca and will probably have to cross that area of the Alps yet again, and with the same airplane type, the A320. So you can probably imagine
  23. Hamburg does have most venues in place already now, too. All that still would need to be constructed are the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatic Centre, a basketball arena and the whitewater venue. If I'm not mistaken, they might be even better off in terms of existing venues than Barcelona when it was awarded the 1992 Games.
  24. If you mean by "had a lot in place" that Barcelona had built up the structures and the know how of an Olympic bid before the 1992 bid: No, not really. Its last Olympic bid before the 1992 bid was for the 1940 Games, a wholly different period in modern Olympic history. So Barcelona had actually no previous experience in a modern, complex Olympic bid race by the time the 1992 bidding process came about. Hamburg, on the other hand, does actually have quite a bit of experience in a modern Olympic bid race: It was a candidate on the national level for the 2012 Games, losing to Leipzig's bid.
  25. Neither Paris nor Durban appear unbeatable to me. Parisians might ask whether the city and the nation should pay for yet another possible debacle, and Paris would also be a bad sign that the IOC wouldn't care much about Agenda 2020 and opening Olympic bid races again also for slightly smaller cities. Regarding Durban, I'm still clueless why there's always so much fuss about that city around here. It's internationally hardly known and always raises the question why South Africa doesn't go for Cape Town again. Furthermore, the IOC would have a lot of explaining to do towards its American and Eur
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