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Posts posted by Mercator

  1. There's one other thing that really harasses me: that temperatures below 35°C are just not a summer. I work with people from all over Europe, including Italians, Spaniards, Greeks and Portuguese people and many of them keep moaning about the Luxembourgish summer, that 22-26°C is faaaar too cold, brrrrrrr. Well then why did they choose to leave their so-called "idyllic" homelands? Surely they should have stayed back in their respective towns, if all that they consider important is the weather. For me, I find anything above 30°C as torture. I spent a month in Malaga and it was like living in a hair dryer. Give me a wonderful English summer's day picnicking in the park or by the river, or a walk through a sunlit Polish forest.

    There's no such thing as bad weather - just inappropriate clothing :ph34r::lol::P

    I prefer northern European summers and food, and I have no opinion on anyone who likes alternatives, but I really get upset at negative or subjective opinions based upon the fact that anything other than their preferences is wrong or uncool.

    OK, just needed to get that off my chest!!!! :-)

    • Like 1
  2. 378302_351601888253333_2047328653_n.jpg

    The view from the top of the stands at Greenwich Park :wub:


    This is how they put the stuff away after the triathlon :o


    The view to the hospitality area in Greenwich Park - it was crammed later, this was only a couple of minutes after the first afternoon session of the Modern Pentathlon!


    The BBC did have a few screens around the city - one of the best-kept secrets was the one at Greenwich Park outside the venue. I loved it there.

  3. I can imagine that someone might view London's Games as "cold" just like they might view Japan's as "boring." I'm sure the Games weren't cold by British standards. Just like Nagano wasn't boring by Japanese standards. These are cultural differences. Athens was wonderfully friendly and open and joyful. It probably did appeal to my friend due to his culture. It also appealed to me.

    My friend did highlight positive aspects of London -- especially the technical and logistical excellence, which I took as a given from the day London won the Games.

    To say London was "cold" but not "by British standards" is like saying Athens' infrastructure was "built on time, by Greek methods".

    I was there in London, and I have travelled quite a lot, but nothing I have ever come face-to-face with could prepare me for the tremendous atmosphere or explain the sheer joy of that place. If chaos (a Greek word), traffic delays and torturously hot weather is what he wanted out of an Olympic Games, then we should have held it in Athens again to give the place some visitors once more...

    I have a LOT of Italian friends who were in London, and their views were completely different to yours. They even went to the TeamGB and ParalympicsGB victory parade because they wanted to stand with the home crowd one last time.

    I think you and your Italian friend are just jealous and are trying to find ways of making Athens look better. Sad really.

    • Like 2
  4. While I don't doubt the ability of Coe to be a fantastic IOC President/Member, does anybody else find him cold? I know Samaranch and Rogge are not exactly vibrant people, but do we really need another melanchloly European male to lead the IOC? That organisation thrives off hegemony and I'd love to see it shaken up.

    Funny you should say that about Coe. I thought the same. But since the Games finished, he's been pretty ubiquitous on TV, and he's a lot less catty. Actually, quite funny and down-to-earth. I think he was just stressed with that role, maybe tired. Now it's all over, he seems to be a different person. Give him a chance in his BOA role, then judge him after a year or two ;)

  5. Thanks for pointing that out, Mercator. That was the opening episode which was broadcast right on my first evening in London. Ah, memories! ;)

    But how do you get to view UK channels on your TV in Germany? Do you have a special subscription? Because for me, UK channels (besides BBC World and Sky News) are listed in my satellite receiver, but they are blocked.

    I watch it on Astra 1N - it's free! Got to have your satellite dish pointing here - get your local TV guy to come round and fix you up B)

  6. That's one thing I'm very glad not to see any longer - that bloody Sainsbury's ident!!!!!!!

    Yep, shame there's not much in YouTube with The Last Leg.

    Found another one though!

    It doesn't work outside of the UK because of the greedy reptiles who work for TV rights, but it'll work in countries where rapacious, humourless gold-digging multimedia mafiosi and their bloodsucking lawyers have been outdone, outflanked and outperformed by geeky heroes who know how to fiddle with these things:


  7. I made a rather detailed summary a few weeks ago about my Olympic experience. But my Paralympic experience, viewed not from the Thames or Greenwich, but from my sofa, raises some interesting observations:

    London 2012 Paralympic Games Summary:

    Q: Better or worse than the Olympics?

    A: Unquestionably better.

    Q: Why?

    A: With all the different categories, there's a 100 metres final every night! But mainly because the paralympians sum up the best about sport: the Olympics are highly technical. The Paralympics are waaaay beyond technical, and approaching the realms of "how the *@§! did they do that?!"

    Q: Anything annoying?

    A: The ad breaks on Channel 4. I don't mind ads, but not the same ones every 15 minutes, please. The BBC's coverage was so much more thorough, but Channel 4's presenting style and features were quite imaginative.

    Q: Favourite presenter?

    A: Clare Balding by a very long way. Pure class.

    Q: Favourite pundit?

    A: Iwan Thomas - passionate, enthusiastic and quite a chummy interviewer himself!

    Q: Favourite part of the day?

    A: The Last Leg with Adam Hills every evening after the close of play. It was so good, so entertaining, that several squads broke curfew to go and see it on the TV. With a section called "Is It OK..." it made me howl most evenings! "Is it OK to hit a guy in a wheelchair if he's being a nob?" - "Is it OK to ask an athlete with no arms who wipes his backside?" - it broke through PC boundaries and made disability cool -_-

    Q: Favourite event ...

    A: Too many to name, but the T44 100m with Jonnie Peacock and Oscar Pistorius and the middle-distance wheelchair races will take some beating.

    Q: Favourite competitor(s)?

    A: David Weir,, Alex Zanardi, Jonnie Peacock, Jochen Wollmert, Ellie Simmonds and Sarah Storie.

    Q: Thing you'll miss the most on Monday morning?

    A: Apart from The Last Leg with Adam Hills, just having no TV on making cheering noises!

    Q: Biggest disappointment?

    A: That although it is the second biggest multisport event and so many other countries are showing it, the Paralympics remain largely forgotten outside certain countries that should be putting it on prime time television. I know the Olympians of many nations got rousing receptions when they arrived home, I hope it was the same for the Paralympians...

    Q: The future?

    A: Considering the Brazilians' excellent showing here, in fact better than their Olympic counterparts, the Paralympics will be in safe hands in 4 years.

    Q: Best moments?

    A1: Irish T37 1500m winner Michael McKillop's own mother presenting him with his gold medal and Eddie Izzard presenting David Weir with his.

    A2: Wheelchair Rugby collisions.

    A3: Seeing the Australian Sports Minister rowing the length of Eton Dorney in a TeamGB outfit, after losing a bet.

    A4: Listening to 80,000 spectators sing the national anthem as if it were a rugby international.

    A5: Being in tears more than in the Olympics.

    Q: Predictions for the future?

    A1: I don't think we'll be waiting 60 years for the next Olympics and Paralympics in the UK. I give it 30 maximum - the draw is too good.

    A2: Rio's Paralympics will be great because they have a better team than their Olympic one!

    A3: Boris Johnson, Seb Coe and the like will turn the stadium over to the Paralympic movement, and it'll be to the Paralympics what Wembley is to football.

    A4: When people look back in 10 or 50 years from now, their one abiding memory will be the people of the United Kingdom, who are the finest sports spectators in the world!

    Q: Going to Rio in 2014?

    A: You'd better believe it!

    • Like 1
  8. London really set the bar high... In both Olympics and Paralympics. This is not disputable.

    In other hand, I do think it's too early to claim anything about Rio, right - and this is valid for Brazilian organizers too.

    I think the Paralympic Games are in safe hands with Brazil - considering the Brazilian Para team did better than their Olympic team, I think there will be some good moments for the future host country. And considering Rio is known as party town, I just think what Seb Coe said to his Rio counterpart is true: look after the competitors and the rest will follow.

    Sport was first and foremost in London, and considering the Brazilian view of sport, I don't see much changing. Just relax, remember that Rio has an easily recognisable cityscape and especially backdrop, just like London, and think how bloody good those TV images are going to look!!!

    I'll be going, just to compare! B):P:D

  9. Well the whole of the last seven weeks has been so inspirational, and I am so glad it has made kids all over the UK turn up at sports facilities to get involved. Having so many joining in sports will reduce boredom, and in these times of hardness, that can only be a good thing. Sport costs little (except golf, polo and hockey!!) and makes everyone fitter.

    But coming back to the topic: I wrote an email to Boris Johnson today, because I felt I wanted to share my thoughts on the Paralympics: my email to him was to say that the stadium should be used once every year or two for a huge paralympic tournament; they could even make use of the velodrome and pool while there, as well as the Copper Box. The stadium should be renamed the London International Paralympic Stadium (LiPS) and in the same manner as the newly-created London cycling event will be set up as a spinoff of the Games, a similar one could be done for athletics in the stadium, and to pay its way, big concerts could be held in it, taking over the mantle of Wembley, where the days of ruining the pitch for huge sellout concerts are over. This is not the case in Stratford, and having a permanent Paralympic event in London where the likes of Jonnie Peacock, Alan de Oliveira and David Weir would be seen would be a true and fitting way to deal with that most ubiquitous of words, legacy.

  10. Here's hoping.

    On a similar note, I wonder how many Americans now realise Stephen Hawking is in fact British. ;)


    Ha yeah! I once read a reply to an American blog who said Stephen Hawking couldn't be British because his accent was too American-sounding. Of course about 40 replies pointed out in varying degrees of sarcasm that it was his speech machine that had that accent, not him!!!!

  11. Personally, I think Rio's font fits well for Rio - it has the wavy look of a seaside city and the colours are very Brazilian, giving off feelings of the youthfulness and vitality of the city. It would look odd in London, because it is a historical, northern European capital city but nevertheless its colours and font match the youthfulness and vitality of that city too. I think both concepts, therefore, perfectly match the cities they are meant for, yet are totally different in concept. I mean, if you put either of those designs anywhere else (Paris, L.A., Tokyo, for example), they would not fit either :lol:

    It goes beyond matters of taste, and enters into the sphere of appropriateness. And both do their cities well.

    • Like 4
  12. Yes it is, which is why I took nearly 500 photos in the space of 6 days :lol:

    Even my extremely austere Belgian Mrs, who is from a town near where Jacques Rogge was born, loosened her normally tight-fisted attitude to overspending :o I wondered if she was suffering from sunstroke when she said I could buy both of those framed sketches of the Union Flag from an artist in Greenwich Park...

  13. Yeah but I recall he had to rush it because the local authority wouldn't permit Wimbledon to stay open after 11! Can you imagine that happening at the US or Australian Opens?

    Sorry to post something after so many others have come and gone, but I had to do something very important which is called "sleep".

    Anyhow, I actually thought about it this year, and to be honest, I preferred it before when they stopped at twilight, because I got to see other TV and do other things like cooking without having to rush in from the kitchen each time I heard a cheer.

    But if you have someone to cook for you or you just eat crisps, then that's never going to be an issue :P:lol:

    (By the way Mainad, concerning my post of yesterday at about half past seven, I knew faster was a Paris supporter - my wording was supposed to reflect a conspiratorial innocence in humour rather than a naïve comment which requires clarification afterwards, but nonetheless thanks for taking the time to explain it to me!)

  14. Funnily enough, I might agree with you. I love the atmosphere of the night matches at the United States and Australian Opens. Lack of night matches is something I've always felt is missing at Wimbledon.


    For the last couple of years since they installed the roof and the lights, they've had it. Andy Murray's semi-final finished at 3 minutes past 11 this year.

    But yes, it used to finish once the sun went down too far.

  15. Its the same with Wimbledon compared to the Australian Open. Wimbledon has amazing crowds and is a model of a well-run event, but I still prefer the Australian Open.

    And no, I enjoyed Torino very much, but would place it in the lower decks of the games I have experienced. I loved the design of Torino, but design doesn't make the games. Overall London did have a better package. Just nothing that truly grabbed me.

    Funny you say that about London. I lived in Paris for six months, and it had the same underwhelming effect on me as London had on you, and I'm not just saying that to spite you; I really didn't like it. So I think if Paris had won the 2005 bid, and not London I would probably have had the same reaction and thoughts as you. It's only natural.

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