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dancingbrogues

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Posts posted by dancingbrogues

  1. I don't feel very patriotic about Austria these days having lived outside for a long time, but really pleased for Fenninger and Hosp as we were having a bit of a poor games, but I don't like the fact that one of the Austrian coaches designed the super g course, seems a bit of an advantage.

    Amazing come back from the Swede in the women's x country, watching her reel them in and take out the German has been my favourite moment of the games so far!

  2. 1cm inside the line is harsh, but she should have made contact. I know there are now pictures of skaters who skated even more inside in other races and qualified, but that's a referee issue and doesn't make her infringement less. There was no appeal, Team GB did the right thing.

    I hope she can keep concentration next week for her best event and not let the weight of expectations get to her.

    Short track is a rollercoaster - look at Hamelin crashing out in the 1000m - several disqualifications, penalties and advances all round. It's pretty thrilling.

  3. I love the fact that the luge has uphill sections, but the look is rather rough compared to the Whistler slides for Vancouver. Lots of unfinished wood, and random debris in the sight lines as the camera followers the competitor round the track. One might argue it doesn't matter if the course is great ...

  4. I liked the use of the visual space, where vast 'floats' were drawn across the air, reminding me of the May Day Parades in the Soviet era. Wonderful to showcase the depth of the repertoire in Russian classical music - particularly good in the 'elegant' sections - like the voyna-i-mir Ballroom and the constellations. Less sure about the kitsch elements. I didn't mind the simplicity of the lighting of the flame, but yep, surrounded by a sea of people would have made a more lasting impression than 2 Olympian Putinistas navigating an empty plaza. .

    My favourite bit was the oath - we had the athlete who sped through the thing, then the official who ponderously incanted his memorisation, and then the coach who managed to croak it out through the botox - most human thing of the night.

  5. A dream is all it is going to be unless Blanco starts getting his act together.

    Expecting the Olympics to help with youth unemployment or the economy shouldn't be part of the narrative.

    Isn't it only relatively later in the cycle that the kind of service/hospitality jobs that young people often fill become available anyway?

  6. I'm not at all sure a meteoric rise should be championed either. Coe's quite hard to like - just ask the voters of Falmouth and Cambourne who voted him out as an MP after one term. He hasn't suggested anything about the IOC in public - it's all typical British press fizz, although I wouldn't be surprised if his pr people are whispering to journos whilst they ply them with free booze and pies. There's obviously enough eurochatter to wind up Rogge though.

    And it seems he's sold his private consultancy business to a key olympic advertising contractor for 12 million pounds right after the games - raising eyebrows as it would contravene public sector guidelines. But hey ho, it's alright, because LOCOG was a private enterprise, just kept afloat with taxpayers' sweaty cash.

    At least Gianna and Mitt Romney were already billionaires before they took the gig ... sigh

  7. I've just got back from Japan. I'm afraid I'm less excited by this bid than I was, although I'm sure it's robust enough. Every single one of my friends and colleagues do not want it. There is a strong feeling in the regions that Tokyo gets enough government subsidy and corporate dosh at a time when the Northeast is still sifting through the ruins and a third of a prefecture really rather close to Tokyo is still in nuclear lockdown. They are trying hard to shift public perceptions in Tokyo itself, and maybe that will work. One problem is that the bid team is stacked full of failed, troubled or extremist politicians, not least the chairman himself, who is more Lyndon Larouche/Jean Marie Le Pen than Boris Johnson. Tokyo really could do with a Seb as its CEO, Mizuno is no doubt a very good operator, and his company makes sports equipment, but it's hardly an inspirational choice, and that's what Japan needs. The Turks and the Spaniards have got bids that seem to be going tits up for various reasons, but they've certainly got quite a lot of never-give-up support amongst the locals, sometimes to the point of absurdity.

  8. I got back today after 5 days at the paras - one of the best times of my life. To be honest I was a little underwhelmed by the venues (mostly because tarp and sticky tape can only partially camouflage temporary structures) , but such a wonderful mix of people, both able and disabled. Lovely weather in the last few days, strangers on trains having impassioned conversations about running blades with other strangers, so many in my train carriage tonight hurrying home to watch the closing ceremony. I managed to meet a few of the Austrian team. Rio people were everywhere, taking pictures, learning from everything, wanting to make things even better in 4 years' time, I hope they do!

  9. Oh fiddlesticks, the 24 hour relay has become a 23 hour one - they've put the flame on a bus, saving themselves a good 45 minutes. Whilst I quite agree that walking from Poplar to Hackney isn't like strolling through Chelsea or even Greenwich, I hope this means they haven't robbed anyone of the chance to carry the flame.

  10. I have a friend who works with adults with learning disabilities and they were busing them down to the route in the middle of the night, and a local church opened for soup, bread and cups of tea. At first I thought why are they doing this in the dead of night, but it has allowed people to carefully plan where they will be. I realise that many people with disabilities despise sentimentality hence 'piss on pity' activism, but there was something very moving at seeing vast crowds (a lot of them seemed to have stepped drunk out of pubs) roaring on people who face very steep challenges in life.

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  11. Someone took this photo on Instagram with the caption: "Wow. Rehearsal for the Paralympic ceremony outside @wmc."

    http://instagram.com/p/OzexD4pDR8/

    Is that outside the Olympic stadium? (and I'm not even sure that's the stadium). Can someone weigh in?

    Yep Millennium Centre is right. it's not in London, but a wonderful building nevertheless. It's in Cardiff Bay. Each of the UK capitals has a ceremony/festival to welcome the paralympic flames. The lettering on the building reads Creu Gwir Fel Gwydr O Ffwrnais Awen / In These Stones Horizons Sing.

    Unfortunately it was tipping down when the flame arrived:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-19391153

    Hopefully better weather when the 24 hour relay starts. I'm hoping torchcam will make another appearance, although I think that was a BBC thing (intellectually stolen from Vancouver 2010/ CBC? of course)

  12. As well the agitos being lowered under Tower Bridge, a cauldron has been lit in Trafalgar Square to mark the Paralympics Torch Relay.

    http://http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19359123

    A1C_LtPCcAAW_jv.jpg

    It's surprising and disappointing to me that the paralympics will receive such little coverage in the US, especially because in so many other ways, disability activism and awareness probably see their greatest achievements there.

    http://www.benningtonbanner.com/sports/ci_21387949/paralympics-get-london-boost-but-not-u-s

    I have tickets for the Aquatics Centre and athletics too. Also Wheelchair Basketball and Rugby. I'm actually getting really excited! I couldn't get near the Velodrome, I think they were the first tickets to sell out. The Brits feel they 'own' track cycling!

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