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A gallimaufry of London 2012 bits


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Very summery for a Christmas card. How come? ;)

It's a very interesting choice. Four years ago, I wrote my master thesis about how Chancellor Angela Merkel and then-Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble exploited the 2006 World Cup for political purposes. It's very common for politicians to present also themselves (and not only the host country they are leading) prominently at those major sports events - hoping that some of the positive image of that event and of sports rubs off on their personal image.

So it's quite telling that David Cameron didn't only choose an Olympic picture but also one which shows him and his wife in the Olympic surroundings, on a very happy and (for himself) flattering occasion, namely when the torch arrived at Downing Street. A smiling and waving Prime Minister, with the Olympic Flame and many cheering bystanders by his side - a great picture also for election campaigns. Oh, so predictable...

EDIT: I've read the Guardian article about that picture only now. The Guardian picks exactly on the things I mentioned:

Apart from its refusal to bow to the seasonal, the picture ticks every box on the PR sheet. Strong leader on the eve of a momentous international event? Check. Devoted and well-dressed wife? Check. Military heroine in the form of torchbearer Kate Nesbitt, whose treatment of wounded troops while under fire won her the first Military Cross to be awarded to a woman in the Royal Navy? Check. Happy children? Check. There's even a wrinkled union flag that seems minded to attach itself to the prime minister.

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London Olympics' emissions 28% lower than forecast

This summer's Olympics games in Britain's capital generated 28 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than was forecast as energy use at venues was cut.

The organisers had promised the London Olympics and Paralympic Games, held over around four weeks from July to September, would be "the greenest Games ever" and provide a blueprint of sustainability for future Olympics to follow.

The Olympic Park, located in a once derelict and contaminated area of East London, was transformed into a green haven for wildlife and the organisers have provided regular updates on their progress towards cutting waste, carbon and improving energy efficiency.

But they also came under fire for cancelling plans for a large wind turbine to help supply renewable energy to the park.

LOCOG activities directly associated with the games, such as energy use at venues, transport services and the supply and use of materials, generated 311,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), compared to 434,000 tonnes estimated earlier this year, the committee said in a report.

Energy use at Olympics' venues in particular was 31,000 tonnes of CO2e lower than expected. One way this was achieved was by renting temporary seating and other infrastructure rather than buying new and reducing floor space at venues.

Carbon emissions cuts were also made in transport as many officials, media and teams used existing public services and the Olympic Torch relay was kept in the country, avoiding the long international flights of previous relays, LOCOG said.

The overall carbon footprint of the games, from all construction work, new transport infrastructure, staging the events and spectators, was 3.3 million tonnes of CO2e, slightly lower than the 3.4 million tonnes estimated in 2009.

More than 11 million spectators attended the games, along with a workforce of around 200,000 people, and tens of thousands of athletes, officials and dignitaries.

LOCOG said due to the sheer popularity of events, spectator-related emissions were much higher than expected at 913,000 tonnes of CO2e compared to the 670,000 tonnes forecast.

"There is little that London 2012 could have done to impact directly on the majority of the spectator travel footprint as it was largely made up of air travel by overseas visitors," it said.

The Olympic Park, which will be fully open to the public by the Spring of 2014 and renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, should continue the green legacy of the games, it said.

A large amount of materials used in construction and redevelopment will be reused and recycled, a zero-carbon neighbourhood developed and low-carbon energy supply created, the report added.



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Carbon emissions from the Olympic Games? :blink: Is that code-talk for more human and equine farts because a lot more behinds showed up at the 2012 venues? Yes, it must've been the Samaranch Fart Index of 632.788 farts per Olympic competition minute within 50 miles of Olympic Stadium -- due to all those fish & chips, nachos and tortillas. It grew higher as the radius was extended to Torquay and the football venues. The SFI does not include fart statistics from the Torch Relay or the free road events like the marathons.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Jacques Rogge: "2012 Achievements Reflect a Decade of Change"


"As we look back on the past year and ahead to 2013, it is also a good time to take a broader view of where the Olympic Movement has been and where it is going.

Because our Movement is rooted in ancient traditions, change tends to be an evolutionary process. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it is sometimes easy to miss. But I have no doubt that the modern Olympic Movement is stronger than ever as we near the end of its 118th year of existence.

The 2012 London Games embodied many of the changes that have brought us to this point. I have always been reluctant to declare that any Games were “the best ever”, since that is a very subjective judgment; but there is no question that the London Games successfully incorporated the policy priorities that have improved and strengthened our Movement over the past decade.

The London Games raised the bar for legacy planning; advanced the cause of environmental sustainability; set new records for participation by women; and embraced new forms of communication to connect with a global audience in new ways.

The Games were definitely an Athlete’s Games by putting the athletes at the heart of the event, showing us outstanding performances which will inspire the next generation.

The Games reflected the IOC’s determination to reach out to young people, through creative use of social media, exciting new additions to the Olympic programme and the Youth Olympic Games. The competitors in London included 156 veterans of the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010. And I have no doubt that Sochi 2014 will include competitors from the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck earlier this year.

In keeping with the IOC’s zero tolerance policy, the London Games featured the most extensive anti-doping testing programme in Olympic history. In another initiative to protect the integrity of sport, we expanded our cooperation with law enforcement agencies and other partners to guard against illegal and irregular betting.

Although most of the work on the London Games occurred during the worst global recession in more than 60 years, the IOC’s financial foundation is stronger than at any time in the history of the Olympic Movement.

The past year also saw new initiatives in other priority areas. We continued to build on our partnership with the United Nations. We moved ahead with a new Youth Olympic Development Centre in Haiti, incorporating lessons learned from a similar successful project in Zambia. We hosted global conferences on women and sport, as well as on sport, education and culture.

All of these milestones and events are a testament to the values and priorities of the modern Olympic Movement in this young millennium. We have accomplished a lot together, but we have much more to do in the year ahead — and I am looking forward to the task."

Jacques Rogge


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Queen's Christmas message hails Olympic stars

The Queen is to pay tribute to the nation's Olympic and Paralympic athletes in her Christmas broadcast.

She will hail the "splendid summer of sport" and highlight how the sportsmen and women allowed spectators to feel part of the "excitement and drama".

For the first time the address will be broadcast in 3D.

On Sunday, the Queen missed church as she was recovering from a cold, Buckingham Palace said. But she is expected to attend on Christmas Day.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the speech, which will be broadcast in full on Christmas Day, would focus on "service, achievement and the spirit of togetherness".

During the address the Queen will say: "As London hosted a splendid summer of sport, all those who saw the achievement and courage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games were further inspired by the skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes.

"In pursuing their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us the opportunity to share something of the excitement and drama."

The Queen had her own starring role in the London Olympics, declaring them officially open after appearing to parachute into the stadium with James Bond.

'Absolutely lovely'

It has been an eventful year for the royal family, with the Queen celebrating her Diamond Jubilee in June, marked with UK-wide celebrations.

She also became the first British monarch to reach a 65th wedding anniversary.

But there were health scares, with Prince Philip, 91, forced to miss some key events during the Jubilee celebrations after being taken to hospital with a bladder infection.

Earlier this month, her grandson Prince William announced that his wife the Duchess of Cambridge was expecting a baby.

Behind-the-scenes footage of the Christmas message, made on 7 December, has been released, showing the Queen meeting senior staff from Sky News which produced the broadcast this year.

In other footage she wears 3D glasses as she watches part of the broadcast.

The message will be transmitted on both television and radio at 15:00 GMT on Christmas Day

The message was recorded in Buckingham Palace's white drawing room with the Queen wearing a fine silk tulle gown by Angela Kelly.

The Christmas address is written by the Queen and usually has a strong religious framework, reflects current issues and draws on her own experiences over the past year.

Her use of 3D technology comes 80 years after George V first broadcast a Christmas speech on the radio and started the 25 December tradition.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the monarch thought the broadcast was "absolutely lovely".

She added: "We wanted to do something a bit different and special in this Jubilee year, so doing it for the first time in 3D seemed a good thing, technology-wise, to do."

The message will be transmitted on both television and radio at 15:00 GMT on Christmas Day.

It will be available on the Royal Channel on the YouTube website and will also be shown in Commonwealth countries.

The broadcast will also be screened in standard and high definition.


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Olympic heroes head New Year Honours

Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour de France and an Olympic gold, has been knighted in a New Year Honours list dominated by London 2012 medallists.

The cyclist appears on a special list drawn up to recognise 78 Games heroes.

Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey becomes a dame after taking four golds while the most decorated sailor in Olympic history, Ben Ainslie, is knighted.

Katherine Grainger, Victoria Pendleton, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and David Weir become CBEs, and Andy Murray is an OBE.

And the men behind cycling and rowing success, performance directors Dave Brailsford and David Tanner, also become sirs.

Olympics and Paralympics


  • Ben Ainslie (sailing)
  • Sarah Storey (cycling)
  • Bradley Wiggins (cycling)
  • Dave Brailsford (cycling)
  • David Tanner (rowing)


  • Jessica Ennis (athletics)
  • Mo Farah (athletics)
  • Katherine Grainger (rowing)
  • Victoria Pendleton (cycling)
  • David Weir (athletics)


  • Jason Kenny (cycling)
  • Andy Murray (tennis)
  • Ellie Simmonds (swimming)
  • Laura Trott (cycling)


  • Nicola Adams (boxing)
  • Alistair Brownlee (triathlon)
  • Jonny Peacock (athletics)
  • Greg Rutherford (athletics)
  • Louis Smith (gymnastics)

Away from the Games, there are OBEs for actor Ewan McGregor and fashion designer Stella McCartney, while illustrator Quentin Blake was knighted on the main list for those not involved in London 2012.

There is also a knighthood for the industrial designer, Kenneth Grange, the man behind the UK's first parking meter, the InterCity 125 train and the Kodak Instamatic camera.

Singer Kate Bush and artist Tracey Emin are made CBEs, an honour also bestowed on former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips, for her services to dance and to charity. Comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd, 82, who co-wrote TV shows including the BBC's 'Allo 'Allo and Are You Being Served is among the OBEs.

There is also a CBE for Cherie Blair, the wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, in recognition of her service to women's issues and to charity in the UK and overseas. The first female foreign secretary Margaret Beckett becomes a dame.



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^^ Also, less exciting, but worth a mention:

New Year Honours 2013: gongs galore for suits behind London 2012

Honours for service to London 2012 are not restricted to athletes, with a remarkable 39 officials, executives and civil servants from the various agencies involved in delivering the Olympics receiving awards.

They range from Lord Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organising committee (Locog), who becomes a Companion of Honour, to a recruitment consultant at the Department of Work and Pensions, honoured for “services to inclusivity and diversity at London 2012”.

While the suits recognised for their service outnumber Paralympic athletes honoured on the main sports list, many of the leading figures in delivering the games are recognised.

Coe’s deputy Sir Keith Mills, already honoured for his role in the London 2012 bid, receives the Knights Grand Cross, and Paul Deighton, Locog chief executive, receives a knighthood.

Also knighted is Peter Hendy, the commissioner of Transport for London, who is recognised for his efforts in ensuring that the transport network surpassed all expectations during the summer.

Neale Coleman, Boris Johnson’s key Olympic adviser and director of 2012 for the Greater London Authority, is appointed a CBE for his work in delivering the games, which began during the bid under Ken Livingstone. Johnson said that he was “delighted” for Coleman and the honour for Hendy was “richly deserved”.

Several other key members of the Locog team are recognised, including a CBE for Debbie Jevans, the director of sport who is now chief executive of Rugby World Cup 2015.

There are OBEs for James Bulley, the director of venues and infrastructure, Jackie Brock-Doyle, the director of communications, and Therese Miller, Locog’s general counsel who was Deighton’s key aide.

Ruth Mackenzie, the director of the Cultural Olympiad, is appointed a CBE, while the producer of the torch relay which presaged the games, Deborah Hales, is made an MBE.

More controversially there is an OBE for David Peacop, the head of logistics at CLM, the private company paid £650 million after being retained as “delivery partner” on the construction project.

There are also a raft of awards for civil servants in the Government Olympic Executive, the agency that monitored the Olympic project from Whitehall. Jeremy Beeton, director general of the GOE, receives the Order of the Bath and finance director David Goldstone is appointed a CBE.

There are also honours for civil servants at departments involved in delivering the Games, including a CBE for the director of the UK Border Agency Olympic programme, and the official responsible for accreditation at the office for security and counter terrorism at the Home Office.


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  • 1 month later...
Olympic 100m final bottle thrower Ashley Gill-Webb sentenced

A man who threw a plastic beer bottle on to the track at the start of the men's 100m final at the London Olympics has been given a community order.

Ashley Gill-Webb, 34 of South Milford, North Yorkshire, who has bipolar disorder, was given an eight-week sentence at Thames Magistrates' Court.

Gill-Webb, who also shouted at athletes including Usain Bolt, was earlier found guilty of two public order offences.

District Judge William Ashworth said he had tarnished the spirit of the Games.

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-21321002

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gosh they (the Americans) really do think the world is all about them...They, by far, have the worst news service in the world, ignoramuses.

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Wise words Olympian. But still cringeworthy to watch.

Only 2 out 100 people surveyed recognised a photo of Michael Jordan on a Family-Feud-style quiz show here in the UK a few days ago. We're on different planets when it comes to sport sometimes. Still, even if she didn't know who he was, you'd think she might've been briefed properly!!

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Wise words Olympian. But still cringeworthy to watch.

Only 2 out 100 people surveyed recognised a photo of Michael Jordan on a Family-Feud-style quiz show here in the UK a few days ago. We're on different planets when it comes to sport sometimes. Still, even if she didn't know who he was, you'd think she might've been briefed properly!!

I agree wholeheardetly, Olympian and RobH.

For all the massive and seemingly wall-to-wall coverage we Americans get of the Olympics (both kinds), many of us are just not conscious of other nations' athletes and their stars, even when there are magazine and newspaper articles and the Internet to learn about them. All the promotion focuses largely on the US ones, partly for business reasons to attract more eyeballs and root for them. But that's true in a lot of places in terms of Olympic coverage. Even when we are--in this case the US and UK--on different planets at least when it comes to sports we heavily watch and cover.

But for us Americans, it seems to go deeper: we collectively lack the cultural literacy and long-lasting curiousity in learning about other nations, their histories, and their cultures extensively. It starts at the schools early on, when it should serve as the primary place to learn and develop that curiousity about those things and should progress into high school and beyond, outside of the family. But the current education system we have is ossiffying, I strongly feel. Geography here took a serious hit following WWII when it got lumped into social studies.Yes there are reference materials in stores like almanacs, globes, atlases, and encyclopedias. But the info isn't properly harnessed by us as individuals.

She should've been briefed about Mo prior to airing, I agree. As an American, I too cringed.

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