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Everything posted by dancingbrogues

  1. The BBC are rebroadcasting the Opening Ceremony right now on BBC1, I think they've cleaned up the audio. I'm sure they've fiddled with the balance for annoying female announcer - she sounds almost bearable. I'm Tivo'ing this one as well, so I shall compare.
  2. I don't usually believe the Daily Mail, but I can certainly see that the BBC will be regretting not caring enough about paralympic sport to put in a serious bid for the games. Ch4 must be laughing. There is so much interest. They've nabbed Clare Balding and they've promised 160 hours of coverage. I'm hoping we'll still be able to access the IPC webstreaming in the UK because I dislike commercial interruptions. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2189570/Clare-Baldings-got-Channel-4-jumping-joy-gets-marks-Paralympic-broadcast.html
  3. Considering the months of begging Dublin had to do with the IOC to get a couple of hours with the flame in ROI Ireland, I think the best the Rio relay can hope for internationally is some border ceremonies - Brazil has enough of them after all. Perhaps a visit to the Chile and Ecuador embassies as well, so symbolically the flame acknowledges South America. The success of the 2010 and 2012 relays have only persuaded the IOC that their decision to ban international legs was the right one.
  4. It had gravitas, but I had a moment of 'but that's American'. I suppose a good score is a good score - Wimbledon sometimes uses the 'Gattaca' soundtrack from Michael Nyman in waiting periods, but I suppose that's much more of an obscure film to begin with, even if, it too is American with a British composer. Interesting that Gavin has had much less acclaim than Boyle in the British press, lots of sniping on twitter that he favoured people he works with in a non-olympics capacity etc, feathering his own nest etc.
  5. I've got paralympic tickets and I'm really pleased I get to see the park and some of the venues - I think a lot of talk about Britain being the spiritual home of the paralympic movement is fanciful, a nice fairy tale. The tickets are being snapped up because a lot of people couldn't get olympic tickets, or suddenly have caught olympic fever, and want to say they went to the park in 2012. I'm really looking forward to the ceremonies too.
  6. For both athletes and tourists the dry, proud heat of Madrid will be more bearable than the 'mushiatsui' humidity of the Tokyo summer, and Istanbul can almost be as bad, although the breeze can help. I've visited all three a few times and all have great things about them. Tokyo thrills me the most, for many reasons, but I hate the Japanese summer, at least anywhere south of Iwate Prefecture.
  7. Coe's eccentric father Percy would tell anyone who would listen (and even those who were trying not to) that his son was the greatest middle distance runner the world had ever seen. I think Coe still believe believes it... He's always been hard to like, a tactician, who often sounds arrogant about his days as a competitor. Many people preferred the battler, Steve Ovett, who learnt to love running speeding his way to the corner shop to get cigarettes and booze for his dad. I've only seen recordings and docudramas, but I can how the streak of narcissism served him well for being LOCOG chair. You need to be something of an egomaniac to butt heads with government departments. Kudos to the often maligned Barbara Cassani, who persuaded the then Labour government to take on a Tory as her replacement. I think he approached Singapore like one of his races, and the calculation worked.
  8. Two things: It depends whether the disc manufacturer decides to encode for regions or not. A lot don't, I have quite a lot of Japanese and US stuff that I can play on my British player but the occasional one that I can't, so have to use the lappie for those. A lot of BBC stuff is region free if you want to take the risk, but even then your system might not be able to cope with the difference in frames per second (50hz is European standard) (60hz is US). Sorry can't be of more help.
  9. I shall be in Tokyo and then Sendai for a few days in September. I know Miyagi Stadium wasn't damaged, although nearby Port Sendai and Tagajo were inundated. I've read the rumours about the possible move north of the sailing. If Tokyo were to win the bid, having the sailing regatta in Sendai Bay/Shiogama/Matsushima would be a very potent marker of hope for Tohoku's pacific coastline, and a more stunning backdrop than Tokyo Bay in my opinion. I shall investigate.
  10. Coe is going to be the 'legacy ambassador' which should keep him busy with sport in schools and arguing with Football Clubs and Boris Johnson for a couple of years, but as the Conservative-Libdem Coalition seems to be going to hell in a handcart, the government might fall before that, and what comes after may not want to keep him on. I'd love to know what happened to Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, my favourite organising committee honcho. With that ego, that big hair and those big feet it was like Heraklion meets Fort Worth.
  11. I think the Eric Idle segment should have been at the end or just before the protocol driven elements as it seemed to bring the house down, and was very clever, sending up the mainstays of british ceremonial - pipe bands and multiculti dross - whilst never quite dismissing them, or morris dancers for that matter. There were some nice touches - letting the athletes stream through the crowds, the 'rio' handover ceremony dancers moshing with their 'london' counterparts to The Who, quite different from the London handover, which, confined to a small part of the Bird's Nest, seemed to show Beijing saying take your 8 minutes, take your scruffy mayor and p off thank you very much, The cauldron looked better going out than it did being ignited. Not sure that's praise for its primary function, but it did look a little funky floating like an inverted bowl on the track. The rest was the kind of middle of the road rock marathon that has endured since the charity concerts of the 80s, multi generational safe choices, nothing that would upset your grandmother.
  12. My favourite London olympic moment will forever be the tremendous booing of that old crook Sepp Blatter, who has hung onto FIFA like a bloated corpse, propped up by banana republics and ex-soviet ogliarchs. Switzerland is a lovely country in so many ways, but the Swiss set-up has always put money over morals.
  13. In my dreams I would love NZ to host a summer Olympics, but can't see it happening. There are few places in the world where the prime minister is guarded by a low fence and a lone policeman. I love this clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsuU_fLoFA4
  14. Yep, after the embarrassment of 1 gold medal in Atlanta the UK didn't just copy you, it nicked coaching staff where it could from the two countries it was most envious of - Germany and Australia. The system of talent spotting in schools and moving children rapidly into elite programmes, rather than relying on the old county sports systems, was completely lifted from Australian methods. The UK abandoned the old 'sport for all' mantra that I grew up with. My 6 year old nephew has just been put on a gifted and talented register for sport, and that's through a sports science team coming and doing tests at his village primary school in the middle of nowhere. It's odd from what I've read that Australia is pushing the money into mass participation rather than elite performance just as Britain moves in the opposite direction.
  15. I would prefer not to see a third European, but at least Bach can't be ennobled into a Marquis or a Count, thanks to the Weimar constitution.
  16. Heatherwick is a genius, but so much of his work rests on representations of almost aching fragility - he wanted the torch to be scorched, for the metal to represent what athletes go through. He wanted the copper to be hand-beaten, again to represent human endeavour. The trouble is neither this board or indeed the general public are especially representative of the type of person who gets enthused by contemporary art. It would have been cheaper to go for something like Atlanta, but they wanted to send a message, but I don't think it really has worked, not least because our appetite for the grand gesture has increased, not diminished. A bit like going to the Louvre, seeing the (tiny) Mona Lisa, and saying 'I stood in line for this'?
  17. Ouch, Austria has no medals, we haven't done this badly since no medals in Tokyo, and realistically there aren't many more chances, perhaps in shooting. Although winter sports get most of the funding it is a disappointment, not least because the Swiss and the old Donaumonarchie countries are all on the table.
  18. I'm usually with Noam Chomsky when it comes to the USA, but I'm crossing my fingers they beat China in the medal table!
  19. The crowd were fantastic, although the disco was like some awful school dance where the Geography teacher fancies himself as a 'deejay'.
  20. Auntie Beeb has had Huw Edwards and the Horsey woman walking over a lot of the set at ground level and I'm still none the wiser about the torch. Hats off to the designers on this one. Moshpit crowd seem a bit rough!
  21. http://www.elcorreo.com/agencias/20120602/deportes/mas-deportes/alejandro-blanco-supedita-exito-madrid_201206021537.html Hmm. Alejandro Blanco is beginning to change the narrative from the economy won't affect Madrid 2020 to saying that it will make things very complicated if the economic problems persist. Whilst I still think there is a great deal of misunderstanding about Spain's economic woes (like muddling up liquidity with national debt), there is certainly a change from the tone in May, which ridiculed any suggestion that there would be economic issues around the bid. I can't decide whether he is preparing the ground for an early exit, or whether he is trying to demonstrate that he doesn't have his head in the sand.
  22. Your point about perception rather than reality is never more true. Spain has a lower national debt than the UK, the US, Germany and Japan (which has the world's largest). No-one is talking about Tokyo not having the money. Economics is tricky and subtle, rather like an IOC vote.
  23. Indeed, but the size of Spain's problems eclipse those of Ireland, Iceland and Greece. The government is struggling to borrow money at prices it can afford, has shockingly low foreign exchange reserves for the size of its banking sector and the Deputy Prime Minister has to go begging to the IMF because Merkel isn't listening. But, if we look at Iceland and Ireland, we see that bail-outs can work, and runs on banks do eventually end. The markets hate indecision, and unfortunately the Spanish are locked into the eurozone where no one has really made any decisions for months. If we can still hope, rather than despair for Spain, Madrid could be an 'austerity' games and do things well with the bid you have (which is strong). It will all be in the timing - if Spain's liquidity problems rumble on, or worsen, then I'm not sure the IOC will want to take the risk of a national government unable to cope with cost over-runs. If things become stable then Madrid could become a model for a lean but effective games.
  24. I'm sure no matter what is planned there will be a vociferous chorus of disagreement about what the show represents/represented. Often it will come down to personal taste. I would for instance be appalled if there was anything smacking of west end musical theatre, as it's not something I like, but many people would no doubt be delighted. All I can hope is that they give a key person some kind of artistic control, rather than construct a ceremony by committee, which would probably try so hard to be inclusive the disparate elements would end up making no sense.
  25. I think this is a problem; Bisley, being a historic olympic venue and with beautiful grounds and facilities was a perfectly sensible option, and the IOC nixed it. LOCOG, or I suspect, one or two key individuals climbing the greasy pole, then decided they would have an iconic backdrop, forgetting the amount of space needed for safety concerns. The barracks are stunning it is true, but impractical. The Dartford shooting club has raised a petition to move the shooting venue there, and they can prove it will provide 'legacy' and they have the space needed for an 'exclusion' zone. It has been discussed in Parliament and Tessa Jowell still hasn't provided an answer on the safety concerns. It's a bit like the beach volleyball in Horseguards - it'll look great on TV but neither great for the athletes or for the taxpayer.
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