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A gallimaufry of London 2012 bits


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Somebody needs to explain to Visa that you become an Olympic sponsor to get people to feel all warm and fuzzy about your company. This <crap> just pissed people off.

This really made me chuckle this morning on the way home from the Closing Ceremony... it may have been the fact that I'd been up for 24 hours but I don't think so! New wayfarer signs at Stratford sta

The wrap idea has not been dropped.

some more airplanes liveries

Qantas B747-400

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The iconic 'flying kangaroo' on the 747's tail sports boxing gloves, while the 'Spirit of Australia' slogan has been tweaked to read 'Spirit of the Australian team'

South African Airways A340-300

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South African Airways revealed the fully branded aircraft that will fly Team South Africa and officials to the London 2012 Olympic Games. The spectacular design painted on the aircraft was created by Adri le Roux, a first year design student at Stellenbosch University.

JAL B777-200

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The Olympic Team aircraft features the image of Kōhei Uchimura, a two-time Olympic silver-winning gymnastThe Olympic Team aircraft features the image of Kōhei Uchimura, a two-time Olympic silver-winning gymnast

ANA B767-300

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There are four olympic player in this aircraft, Ai Fukuhara, who is table tennis player and others are swimmer. They are Ryosuke Irie, Takeshi Matsuda and Aya Terakawa.

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Michelle Obama heads to London for Olympic Games

By Katherine Skiba Tribune reporter

3:38 p.m. CDT, July 23, 2012

WASHINGTON--First lady Michelle Obama begins a four-day trip to London on Thursday to take in the 2012 Olympic Games, meet with Queen Elizabeth and inspire kids to get fit.

The first lady is leading the presidential delegation to Friday’s Olympic opening ceremony.

Obama, speaking Monday in a conference call with reporters, said heading the delegation was “truly a dream come true” since some of her fondest memories were watching the Olympics on television. “I am beyond proud,” she said.

Her public events begin Friday with a breakfast to honor Team USA athletes at their training facility at the University of East London. Next, she’ll host a large-scale event as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign to end childhood obesity.

The event, at the U.S. ambassador’s residence, is expected to draw about 1,000 U.S. and British children who will test their athletic skills, eat healthy snacks and rub shoulders with sports greats including soccer’s David Beckham.

“That is going to be a ball,” she said.

She’ll move on to Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth will host a reception for the heads of Olympic delegations, and afterward, the first lady will attend the games’ opening ceremony.

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For first time, women from every nation ready to rock Olympics

July 24, 2012

By Scott Stump

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When Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin spearheaded the first modern Olympics in 1896, he excluded include female competitors, saying it would be “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect.’’

It may have taken 116 years, but every nation participating in this year’s Olympics has offered a direct rebuttal to that antiquated opinion. “The Year of the Women’’ may be upon us in London.

For the first time in Olympic history, all 205 countries participating will send at least one female competitor. Brunei, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are sending women for the first time, while the United States will have more women (269) than men (261) for the first time in history. That’s a far cry from 1900, when women first competed in the Olympics in Paris and comprised all of 22 athletes out of the 997 overall competitors.

While sprinter Allyson Felix, swimmer Missy “The Missile” Franklin and a star-studded U.S. gymnastics team may grab the spotlight in London, Afghan sprinter Tahmina Kohistani is one of the athletes most emblematic of the strides made by female Olympians. The 22-year-old is only the third woman in the history of her war-torn nation to compete in the Olympics, and the only female on its team this year.

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Coe delivers last report before games to IOC

By STEPHEN WILSON, AP Sports Writer

LONDON (AP) — Sebastian Coe delivered his final report to the IOC on Tuesday before the start of the London Olympics, declaring that organizers have lived up to the promises they made when they secured the games seven years ago.

The International Olympic Committee offered high praise for Coe and his team and said it expects the games to be a major success, despite continuing challenges with security and transportation ahead of Friday's opening ceremony.

"The preparation phase was definitely a great success — now comes the crucial delivery phase," IOC President Jacques Rogge said. "I remain very optimistic."

Coe, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500 meters, led London's winning bid for the games in Singapore in 2005 and heads the organizing committee for the games.

"For me it's very simple," Coe said. "If the athletes are happy, I'm happy."

Coe was accompanied Tuesday by a delegation of 20 young people who had traveled to Singapore for the bid presentation. The group included Siphiwe Mbatha of Soweto, South Africa, who starred in the 2005 bid video as a young barefoot runner representing the hopes of the future. He's now 19 and an aspiring actor.

Coe said his organizing committee had delivered on promises of promoting youth, revitalizing east London, using a mix of existing, new and temporary venues, and providing the best conditions for the more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries.

The project centered on the transformation of a derelict industrial site in east London into the Olympic Park featuring the Olympic Stadium, velodrome, aquatics center and other venues.

"We have built a new city inside an old city," Coe said.

While the opening ceremony takes place Friday, the competition begins Wednesday with a women's football match between Britain and New Zealand in Cardiff, Wales.

After seven years of preparations, Coe compared the final countdown to the experience of an athlete.

"We're probably not in the first of the call rooms, we're now in the last of the call rooms," he said. "We've gone from the training track to the warmup track to the stadium.

"The volunteers are in place," he added. "The city is dressed. The torch is on its way. Tomorrow the games of the 30th Olympiad begin in Cardiff."

Coe received a warm ovation from the delegates.

"This is not a report, this is a fantastic ode to Olympism," Rogge said.

Prince Albert of Monaco asked Coe whether the games could be hit by strikes. Britain's Home Office said Tuesday it would seek an injunction to halt a strike on the eve of the Olympics by immigration staff at U.K. airports.

"If there is a strike we have it covered," Coe said.

Albert and others also referred to the weather, noting that the sun was out after the wettest summer on record.

"On the weather I don't have a hotline," Coe said. "Sometimes I do wish we could have built a roof on the whole country. But the sun is shining today. Hopefully that's enough."

Denis Oswald, the Swiss official who headed the IOC's coordination commission for London, said the city had done more than other previous hosts to deliver on its bid pledges.

"The London Games remain an example of the vision not being changed," he said. "It wasn't just a sales pitch. It's a spectacular illustration of the power of the games to change peoples lives and change the face of a city.

"Of all recent host cites, London can claim to be the one that has done the most to ensure its venues and facilities do not turn into white elephants after the games."

Gilbert Felli, the IOC's executive director for the Olympics, said getting through the opening ceremony and first full day of competition are the big tests.

"Those are the two days that are tense," he told reporters. "We believe everything has been done and things will go smoothly. We trust they will deliver."

AP

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USAToday article

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/brennan/story/2012-07-24/Brennan-London-Olympics/56455656/1

LONDON - The traffic jams are likely to be terrible. Protesters are expected to be plentiful. Rain is likely to come back with a vengeance later this week, just in time for the Opening Ceremony. There will either be too few tickets for too many people or too many seats for too few people. There will be complaints from Londoners and visitors alike about everything, especially the traffic, protests and rain. Many of their negative comments will immediately appear in the pages and websites of a multitude of London newspapers and tabloids.

Isn't it wonderful?

After the International Olympic Committee sold its soul to give the Games to Beijing and the authoritarian and repressive Chinese regime in 2008, the Summer Olympics are coming back to an open, free and democratic society. They are coming back to a place where they belong, to a country and city that is encouraging its citizens to celebrate with it rather than keeping them away from venues with police crime-scene tape or detaining or arresting them — things Chinese authorities repeatedly did to their people before and during their precise but sterile Olympics.

In Beijing, people crowded the downtown train station the night of the Opening Ceremony to watch on a big-screen TV, but authorities came along moments before the event began, unplugged the television and told everyone to go home. In London, however, people are being encouraged to turn the Games into a neighborhood celebration.

Everything good and bad will be on display for all to see in London, which is exactly as it should be. That begins with Friday's Opening Ceremony, which is bound to be compared (perhaps unfavorably) with Beijing's overwhelming, $100-million-plus homage to itself on that stifling August evening in 2008.

Sebastian Coe, the man in charge of the London Olympics, was flying from England to Beijing when the ceremony was taking place. "When I came through the airport, anybody I saw greeting people was talking about the Opening Ceremony," he said in an interview several months ago. "'Oh my god, it was unbelievable, it was massive, it was grandiose, we've never seen anything like this.' "

Coe said he was expecting his staff to have been "a little cowed by what they'd seen." But he couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. "They were all sitting there, saying, 'It was really good, and we just can't wait to get ours done.'"

We can only hope that it's the show we're talking about come Saturday morning. The joys of an open society can dissipate quickly when security becomes a great concern - and we can safely report that security is an omnipresent issue as the Games near. To say London is an armed camp is to vastly overstate the issue; there are many sections of this huge city that exhibit absolutely no signs of added security. But around the Olympic Park and other venues, it's a different story, with the British government deploying 1,200 more soldiers to add to the 3,500 it enlisted earlier this month to help the beleaguered and understaffed security company it hired.

On the bright side, at least they inform us about this. Beijing officials barely told anyone anything.

The threat of terrorism has hovered ominously over every Olympic Games since the tragedy of the 1972 Munich Games, when 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by Black September terrorists. The day after London won the right to host the Olympics in July 2005, 52 people were killed in suicide bombings on the London transit system. Although no connection was made between the bid and the bombings, it's human nature to wonder, even now.

Disruptions of a lesser magnitude loom as well. Public-service workers from passport inspectors to train drivers are threatening to strike Thursday, which would create havoc in the city 24 hours before the Games begin. Ah, the joys of a free society.

That said, let the Games begin, and let the complaining begin too. Thank goodness.

Edited by Lee
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Huh. Quite the mixed bag there. Strong opinions abound. Not sure they're all properly tempered. I guess we can all agree that it is a good thing the UK is a free and open democratic society, while China has some distance yet to travel. "Precise and sterile" sounds a tad like sour grapes to me.

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Romney compliments Olympic preparation after tizzy in British press

By NBC's Garrett Haake

LONDON -- Mitt Romney found that all politics are, in fact, local after being forced Thursday to clarify remarks about London's preparation for the Olympics, which prompted a minor uproar in the British press.

In his interview last night with NBC’s Brian Williams, Romney called several logistical issues at the 2012 Olympic games here “disconcerting” -- including a contracted security firm’s failure to provide enough personnel -- and said that a possible planned strike by customs and immigration officials was “not something which is encouraging.”

Local press seized on the comments, which generated buzz on British television today and which one newspaper columnist called “derisory." Even Prime Minister David Cameron reacted, pointing out that the London games were being held in a major metropolitan area, not in “the middle of nowhere,” a comment interpreted as a reference to the games Romney headed in Salt Lake City in 2002.

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Romney backtracked somewhat in comments to reporters outside the prime minister's residence, offering effusive praise for the London games, and calling the city's preparation for the event "really quite an accomplishment."

“I don’t know of any Olympics that’s ever been able to run without any mistakes whatsoever, but they’re small, and I was encouraged, for instance to see, things that could have represented a real challenge—such as immigration and customs officers on duty, that is something which was resolved and the people are all pulling together,” Romney said in a short availability with both American and British reporters.

“I’m very delighted with the prospects of a highly successful Olympic games,” Romney responded to a follow-up question. “What I’ve seen shows imagination and forethought and a lot of organization and I expect the games to be highly successful."

The press availability capped a busy afternoon for the presumptive GOP nominee, who also met with an array of other current and former British leaders, including the deputy prime minister, foreign minister and leader of the opposition Labour Party -- along with former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Romney also tipped his hand at having met with the director of MI6, the British intelligence agency; the meeting wasn't on Romney's official itinerary, but Romney made reference to the meeting in his remarks.

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I went up to Buckingham Palace after work today and it was packed too. Did get a great spot though just as they admitted defeat and allowed some of the spectators to block the road... had a tear in my eye (was very dusty... clears throat) as I realised that years of dreams and hard work comes to fruition tomorrow!

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I went up to Buckingham Palace after work today and it was packed too. Did get a great spot though just as they admitted defeat and allowed some of the spectators to block the road... had a tear in my eye (was very dusty... clears throat) as I realised that years of dreams and hard work comes to fruition tomorrow!

I went to traf sq after work too and lots of people, mostly tourists mucking around there, dancing singing, and queuing to take pics with the clock. Good fun atmosphere! Walked up the mall, looks great with the flags but couldn't get far as the whole stretch is blocked.

FD, I'm so excited for you, how do you sleep tonight? I have been avoiding news today and was about to pick up a copy of Standard in train station and immediately backed away the moment I saw a picture of the stadium with fireworks on the front page! The day is finally upon us, it feels like the biggest and most anticipated day of my life so far! Looking forward to the show tomorrow, will leave work at 3. Adrian and FD, all the best n have fun!! :)

Edited by kevzz
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I am all the way up in Manchester but even I could feel the excitement as the tram approached Old Trafford and the hoardes of people were all talking about how excited they were. Olympic fever have well and truly hit the country.

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I am all the way up in Manchester but even I could feel the excitement as the tram approached Old Trafford and the hoardes of people were all talking about how excited they were. Olympic fever have well and truly hit the country.

How will you be watching the ceremony tomorrow Lee? We have been chatting a lot about the Olympics at work today too. My boss went to the dress rehearsal last night and luckily I didn't hear any spoilers from him! Tomorrow will be electrifying, this is really the single most important event in our country for a long long time. And it's not just us celebrating, it's the whole world coming together. Amazing feeling.

Edited by kevzz
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