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2012 London Olympic Games

81282 Views 445 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  Yellow Fever

Time to create a 2012 Olympic Games thread to track Olympic news, Chinese athlete preparation and game performance.
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on hotels, retail and accommodations:

Retailers aim to woo China's big spenders
(China Daily, June 27)

London's retailers have long been wooing big-spending Chinese tourists, but this year's Olympics has made them ever keener to introduce innovative offerings, to capitalize upon so rare an opportunity.

The Grosvenor, a four-star hotel near London's Victoria Railway Station, is introducing a selection of Chinese breakfast items from early July, said Operations Manager Dean Culpan.

The new menu will include congee, pickled vegetables, century eggs, salted duck eggs, and youtiao (fried dough sticks), as well as an assortment of dim sum, buns and dumplings.

The hotel will also add Chinese newspapers and TV channels in guest rooms, and provide Mandarin information booklets, as the hotel has "received above average bookings from Chinese-based businesses for the Olympic period", said Culpan.

Harrods, the iconic department store in Knightsbridge, has launched an Android app in Mandarin to help Chinese shoppers better navigate its large store space. Functions of the app include a GPS guide, news and events updates and restaurant menus.

As a part of the promotion, the store invited a group of Chinese celebrities to try the app, and write about it on a micro blog. The celebrities included Happy Camp presenters Li Weijia and He Jiong of Hunan Satellite TV.

One reason that Chinese tourists have become a focus for many London retailers is that they "particularly like to shop", said Mary Rance, chief executive of Britain's tourism industry association UKinbound.

Rance said that retailers are increasingly opening new outlets in hotels, to make shopping easier for Chinese tourists.

Not only do Chinese tourists like shopping, they also have the financial means to do so, despite the current world economic downturn.

In the financial year ending in November, Chinese shoppers spent $2.15 trillion on tax-free products, a 56 percent increase year-on-year, according to the tax refund services provider Global Blue.

Luxury stores like Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty are already well aware of the benefits of employing Mandarin-speaking staff, but this trend is now spreading to other venues.

This includes Leaderboard Golf, a club with courses in several locations in southern England.

"The Chinese have developed a love for golf and we felt it is logical to reach out to this new tourist group and make it clear that they are welcome at our courses," said Paul Gibbons, chairman of Leaderboard.

Overseas subsidiaries of Chinese companies are also engaged in the competition to capture tourism income from the Chinese market.

China Telecom, the nation's largest fixed-line operator by customer numbers, launched a UK SIM card earlier this year.

With a 24-hour Chinese language customer service line providing information on transport routes and tourism services, the new product is expected to make Chinese tourists' holidays more convenient.

Ou Yan, managing director of China Telecom Europe, told China Daily that the launch was linked to the Olympics, and that the SIM card will be available for purchase in China, so that visitors can use it upon arriving in the UK.

While all these initiatives should give the UK's tourism industry a boost during the Olympics, Rance believes the real challenge lies in the longer term to attract Chinese tourists.

"Chinese tourists are important all of the time, not just for the Olympics, because they're incredibly important as a source market for the UK," she said.

"Providing bespoke services to Chinese tourists is important, as well as doing more to understand their needs."

She added that other issues UKinbound was lobbying the government on include speeding up the visa process for tourists, and reducing air passenger duty, which can cost between 85 pounds ($132) and 92 pounds per passenger for long-haul flights of more than 6,400 kilometers.

"So I don't think an increase in tourist numbers is going to just happen, I think it'll be done with a bit of help from the government," she said.
Spreading the global message: VisitBritain
(China Daily, June 27)

Forecasts suggest 30.7m visitors will spend 17.6b pounds this summer

The UK government's tourism agency VisitBritain has come up with a number of novel approaches to attract Chinese tourists during and after the London Olympics.

Within the past few months, a special tourism route was launched, billboard adverts were placed in major Shanghai and Beijing subway stations, and special television programs and newspaper columns introduced aspects of life in the United Kingdom and its culture.

"China is regarded as one of the most important markets for attracting visitors to the UK," said Bonnie Hua, who works in VisitBritain's China office alongside five other colleagues.

Globally, VisitBritain forecasts that the UK will attract 30.7 million visitors this year, spending 17.6 billion pounds ($27 billion) in the process.

Although this amount is less than the 17.9 billion pounds visitors spent in the UK last year, VisitBritain Chief Executive Sandie Dawe said it is still a "good outcome" given the current global economic climate.

A survey VisitBritain conducted in 2006-07 showed that 22 percent of people globally would be more likely to visit the UK because of the Olympics.

China ranked fifth-highest with 39 percent, after Mexico, Indonesia, India and Malaysia, making the work of Hua's team crucially important.

"This year is special for the UK, because we have the Olympics, the London 2012 Festival, and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. But we're also marketing them in a way that would appeal to a Chinese audience," she said.

Hua's team has launched a micro blog on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese micro-blogging website, with a competition related to VisitBritain's poster campaign promoting Britain's heritage.

Hua's team asked commuters to take photos of these adverts in subway stations and upload them to the micro blog along with a slogan to match the advertisements.

"We received some very creative submissions, and the campaign has got the Chinese public thinking about what tourism in Britain really means," she said.

Hundreds of people took part in the competitions, with the winners receiving gifts made in Britain, including the Olympics mascot, souvenirs of the Diamond Jubilee and items from Shakespeare's birthplace museum's shop.

"For the Chinese tourists, the obvious British attraction is culture," said Hua.

As a result, her team used the culture, heritage and countryside versions of the campaign's poster collection most frequently in magazine, online and subway station advertisements.

Other key visuals in the campaign are shopping, sport, music and food.
To highlight aspects of Britain's royal and sporting culture among Chinese tourists, VisitBritain and the Chinese travel agency Lvmama together launched a special 11-day tour, which costs 21,500 yuan ($3,379).

To promote the initiative, VisitBritain has also chosen two Chinese goodwill ambassadors - Chinese Olympic rider Hua Tian and actress Li Bingbing.

Since May, Hua Tian has been writing weekly columns for the Shanghai Morning Post, introducing his life in the UK.

Li hosted five episodes of London Action, a cultural program on China Central Television, between February and March, introducing Britain's Olympic culture, heritage and music.

Just before the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, VisitBritain hosted a tea party where an actress looking like Queen Elizabeth shared afternoon tea with more than 100 Chinese guests at the Daning International Plaza in Shanghai.

The surprise visit brought Britain's festive spirit to China, with the regal look-alike followed on the streets of Shanghai by thousands of Chinese fans who thought she was the real thing.

VisitBritain plans to work with Chinese news portal to offer Chinese visitors tax return advice in partnership with tax refund provider Global Blue, and publish blog posts on British culture written by a dedicated team of Chinese celebrity bloggers.

In August, the Shanghai Arts Channel will also broadcast a weekly television program focusing on the Cultural Olympiad - a series of arts programs inspired by the Olympics including films, exhibitions, live performances, music, and outdoor events.

"We hope the Chinese tourists will continue to visit Britain after the Olympics, so we will continue to introduce new surprises to the market to facilitate that," said Bonnie Hua.

[email protected]
^^ Do you have the complete set list of events for the upcoming Olympic Games? Who'll gonna perform on the opening and closing events?
1-month countdown marked by Olympic rings above Thames and opening of media center
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, June 28)

LONDON, June 27 (Xinhua) -- A set of giant Olympic rings were lowered over River Thames, the media center welcomed its first batch of users and an official song was released on Wednesday, one month prior to the London Olympic Games.


The rings were lowered from the iconic Tower Bridge in London Wednesday morning. Passers-by stopped to take photos and wave, as their mayor Boris Johnson and Games chief Sebastian Coe stood on a barge, sailing past the site.

The rings, 25 meters wide and 11.5 meters tall, weighed three tonnes.

"With one month to go to the Olympic Games opening ceremony, these spectacular rings on one of London's most famous landmarks will excite and inspire residents and visitors in the capital," said Coe.

Johnson, clasping hands with Coe, gave the order to lower the rings. Talking about the last month before the sports gala, Johnson said, "we are making our final preparations and want to ensure each and every person in the capital gets a flavor of the celebrations and feels part of the Games."


The main press center (MPC) in east London opened on Wednesday.

It offers 31,000 square meters of office space for 6,000 journalists, photographers and accredited non-rights holding broadcasters, as well as staff from the International Olympic Committee and the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). During the Games, it will be open for 52 days. Outside the four-floor building, a 200-meter-long wooden corridor was flanked by shops, post office, dry cleaners, pharmacy and hair salon.

Next to the main MPC building, a "wooden box" was used as canteen to provide food. It was estimated that 480,000 meals and 1.6 million cups of tea will be consumed over 24 hours a day.

The Press Workroom and Main Press Center bar are named after two British Olympic sports writers, John Rodda for the Guardian and Steve Parry, sports editor at Reuters, who died on the eve of the Beijing Olympics.

"Like the athletes competing at London 2012, the world's writers and photographers who will be based in the MPC are at the top of their profession," said Coe. "This is our first venue on the venue on the Olympic Park to open for business and we are ready to welcome the world's media."

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport, hoped that the venue could facilitate journalists, so that they will be able to "take the Games beyond London to the world", and "help take the Games to the future generation".

The press conference room in the MPC was used for the first time to launch a official song of the London 2012 Olympics. Namely "Survival", the song by Muse was said to be inspired by the "strength and determination" of athletes on the Olympic arena.

It will be available to download from Thursday, and will be played throughout sports sessions in all London 2012 venues.

Four other official songs are to be released next month.


According to LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton, some seven million, or more than 80 percent of the Olympic tickets have been sold.

"We have finished training of volunteers and are waiting for arrival of athletes," he said.

Apart from a volleyball venue which is still being built, other Olympic venues are ready, he added.

It was not until June 18 that the construction of the 15,000-seat beach volleyball arena started, a report from local media the Telegraph said. "Owing to the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, and the Trooping the Color ceremony, the schedule of the build allows only 36 days to undertake a project that would ordinarily take 14 months," it said.

Traffic is another problem. Sebastian Coe was late Wednesday morning, which aroused concern against for the rankling traffic condition. Tens of thousands of visitors will flock to London this year. With bus drivers threatening to go on strike over bonus dispute, the city needs to take some measure so as to prevent the traffic from paralyzing.

Deighton said frankly that preparation for the Olympics was far from cakewalk, concerning the "enormous size of the venues, complexity of the event and number of people involved". "When you see a gliding swan on the surface, its legs were struggling beneath the water," he said.

London started preparation for the Olympics seven years ago. "During the seven-year journey, time is passing fast," he said. "We will make sure that we have done everything we can, so as to hold a successful Olympics."
China unveils 396-strong Olympic Team
(CRI English, July 11)

China will send 396 athletes in 23 sports to the upcoming London Olympic Games, it was announced on Tuesday.The team, consisting of 171 men and 225 women athletes, will also be accompanied by 225 officials for the Games which start on July 27.

According to the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC), China will be represented in 23 of 26 sports at the Summer Games after it has failed to qualify for soccer, equestrian and handball. A total of 29 Beijing Olympic titlists, including badminton star Lin Dan, swimming ace Liu Zige and sharpshooter Du Li, will lead the team at the quadrennial games.

Li Changchun, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, on Tuesday encouraged the athletes to do their best at the London Games and make the country proud again. At Beijing 2008, host China sent its biggest-ever Olympic team of 639 athletes who finally won 51 gold medals, and stunned the world by standing on top of the medal table on home soil.

Olympic Gymnastics champ suffers knee injury
(CRI English, July 15)

Chinese gymnastics Olympic champion Chen Yibing suffered an injury to his knee on Saturday while training with the Chinese men's team in Northern Ireland.

The 27-year-old Chen, who won gold medals in the team and rings events during Beijing Olympics, sustained the injury while trying a jump during the vaulting training. He was later sent to a local hospital and team doctor believed it was meniscus damage.

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"Made in China" for London Olympics
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 21)

DALIAN, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Workers are busy working in front of sewing machines in a manufacturing workshop in the northeastern coastal city of Dalian as the 2012 London Olympics approaches.

Making uniforms for this year's U.S. Olympic athletes, Dayang Group Co., Ltd. has encountered controversy following complaints from a group of U.S. lawmakers, led by Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who chided the U.S. Olympic Committee for not providing U.S. Olympians with domestically produced uniforms last week.

"I think they should take all the outfits, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over," Reid said. Li Guilian, president of the Dayang Group, said the group had actually produced more than 3,000 formal outfits for the U.S. delegation to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ralph Lauren, a renowned U.S. fashion designer, spoke highly of the quality of clothes made by the Dayang Group, adding that their quality persuaded him to work with the company again this year.

UK border guards to strike on eve of Olympics
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 21)

BORDER guards at British airports will walk off the job July 26, the day before the London Olympics begin, creating an Olympic-sized logistical headache for British officials. Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union voted for the 24-hour strike in a dispute over pay and job losses.

Even without the strike, London's Heathrow Airport has been beset for months by sporadic long lines at passport control, which the union blames on government spending cuts. The problem had eased in the last week as thousands of Olympic VIPs arrived for the games, but a walkout threatens a return of the endless waits at the worst possible moment for Britain's international image.

Home Secretary Theresa May, Britain's interior minister, called the decision to stage a strike on the eve of the games "shameful." She said the government would "put contingency arrangements in place to ensure we can deal with people coming through the border as smoothly as possible."

First contingent of Algerian athletes depart to London
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 21)

ALGIERS, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The first contingent of Algerian athletes for the Olympic Games (July 27-August 12) left here for London on Friday, the local APS news agency reported.

Three athletes departed from the International Airport of Houari Boumedien in Algiers, while female fencer Moutoussami Melissa Lea should have reached London directly from Paris where she lives, the source noted.

The Algerian athletes of the first contingent represent three disciplines, including fencing, rowing and cycling. Two other contingents are due to join London on July 24 and July 31 respectively, while the last group will be there on Aug. 6.
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Brazilian basketball star Iziane to miss Olympics
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 21)

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Iziane Castro Marques, a mainstay of the Brazilian basketball team, was cut from the Olympic squad on Friday for disciplinary reasons just eight days before the tournament.

Marques, a starting small forward on the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA, allegedly broke rules by taking her boyfriend back to the hotel in the French city of Lille, where Brazil is competing in a pre-Games warm-up tournament.

Brazil's delegation chief Hortencia Marcari did not confirm nor deny the allegations but said the decision to cut Marques was final. "I'm not going to say what the reason was. The team has rules and they were broken," Marcari noted.


Brazil give reality check to Team GB medal hope
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 21)

LONDON, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The hope of the British football team of taking medal from the 2012 London Olympics was given a shock when they were beaten 2-0 at home by Brazil on Friday.

The Brazilians showed why they are among the favorites to win a medal with an assured performance in which they showed their technical superiority to the side coached by Stuart Pearce.

Brazil midfielder, Sandro, who plays for Tottenham Hotspurs, opened the scoring with a far post header after 12 minutes when the GB defense failed to deal with a cross from the right wing.

Orange tents encircle British isles calling for peace during Olympics
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 21)

NORTHUMBERLAND, Britain, July 20 (Xinhua) -- When dusk falls, the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle became a mere black silhouette, in front of which more than 450 camps turned bright, warming up the bleak seaside with orange light.

The installation artworks, namely Peace Camp, popped up in eight coastal sites across the UK. A total of 2,000 glowing tents appear from dusk until dawn from Thursday to Sunday calling for peace as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad celebrations.

"Primarily this is a celebration of coastal astonishing landscape right around the British isles including Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland," said Deborah Warner, director of the Peace Camp.
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Lord Coe promises "safe and secure" Games
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 21)

LONDON, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The Chairman of the London 2012 Olympic Games, Lord Coe, this Friday promised the Games will be 'safe and secure.'

Speaking on BBC radio, Lord Coe responded to questions regarding the failure of private security company G4S to provide the required number of security staff, which had led to a further 3,500 troops being called in last week. Around 17,000 troops are now involved in helping keep the Olympics safe.

Meanwhile a further 1,200 military personnel are on standby should G4S employees fail to provide the expected cover at venues for the Olympics, which begins on July 27.

Team Russia expect 16 medals in Olympic athletics
(Russia Today, July 20)

Athletics has long provided a stream of success for both the USSR and Russia at the Olympics and there’s every chance for the tradition to be preserved in London 2012, with the women’s team being especially strong.

*With 47 sets of medals on offer in athletics, it’s no wonder Russia is counting heavily on their athletics team for success. They will be heading to London with a 109-strong squad, three more than in Beijing four years ago and they’ll be accompanied by 49 coaches and staff.

“We have chances in 16 athletic events; it’s especially women’s events, 13 women events and 3 men events,” Valentin Balakhnichev, Russian Athletics Federation's president, told RT. Rising starlet Ekaterina Poistogova will be heading to London after some truly surprising results earlier this year.

Putin to see Team Russia off to London 2012
(Russia Today, July 19)

President, Vladimir Putin, will say some inspiring words to the Russian Olympians before their departure for London 2012. The athletes are awaited the in Kremlin for the official send-off ceremony on Saturday, July 21.

In addition to meeting with the head of the state, the Olympians, coaches and sporting officials will lay flowers on the grave of the Unknown Soldier and hold a photo-shoot on the Red Square.
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"You have to sacrifice everyone for the Olympics"
(Russia Today, July 11)

Beijing 2008 silver medalist Nikita Lobintsev has given up on all of his girlfriends in order to help the Russian swimming team battle for relay gold in London 2012.

*Nikita Lobintsev made a name for himself when he was part of the 4x200 meter relay team that won silver at the Beijing Olympics.

Since then, he’s racked up a bunch of medals at both the European and World Championships, making him one of Russia’s bright stars in swimming.
But Nikita admits the upcoming games in London are a far different prospect than those in Beijing in 2008.

Diving for Olympic silverware
(Russia Today, July 12)

Despite Chinese total domination in the sport, Russian divers still hope for medals at the upcoming London Olympics. The last decade in diving saw Chinese athletes go from strength to strength, both in the men's and women's competition.

At their home Olympic Games in Beijing four years ago, they clinched gold in seven categories out of the possible eight. The rest of the world, led by Russian divers, was left to wonder just how they could break the monopoly.


Russian synchronized swimmers hope to continue Olympic dominance
(Russia Today, July 18)

Total dominance in any given sport is a rare thing today, but Russia has done just that in synchronized swimming. Since 2000, Russians have had a stranglehold on the Olympic gold. RT caught up with the hopefuls on the eve of the London Games.

Russia’s synchronized swimming team and duet have won all six possible gold medals in the last three Olympic Games. In addition, they have also contributed heavily to Russia’s overall gold medal tally in both the World and European Aquatics Championships.

But whether or not their challengers have dropped their standards in recent times, it’s clear the current batch of Russian athletes are training hard.


Russian shooters won't miss out on medals in London
(Russia Today, July 14)

Russia is aiming for a plethora of medals in shooting at the upcoming Olympics, as the country has a worthy set of competitors in all 15 events in London.

*Shooting is one of the oldest modern Olympic disciplines. And while there were just three shooting events at the inaugural modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens, there will be 15 disciplines in London 2012, with 390 athletes taking part.

The USSR quickly established themselves as one of the heavyweights in the sport alongside the US and China.
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^^ Awesome pics from the London Eye...
Olympic Stadium nominated for top UK architecture prize
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 23)

LONDON, July 22 (Xinhua) -- The Olympic Stadium where the London Olympic Games will be opened on July 27 has been shortlisted for the Britain's top architecture award, the Royal Institute of British Architects announced Sunday.

The bowl shaped Olympic Stadium, located in east London, will be competing with five other new buildings for the 20,000 pound (some 31,240 US dollars) Stirling Prize.

The 80,000-seater stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games as well as the athletics competitions.

Mayor upbeat as nervy London gets ready
(Shanghai Daily/AFP, July 23)

LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson insisted yesterday the city was ready to host the 2012 Olympic Games despite a national plunge into nervous self-depression before the excitement begins.

Johnson said Britain was feeling the necessary tension before a big performance, as the clock ticks down to Friday's opening ceremony at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.

He said the venues were safe and the transport system was bearing up despite a week dominated in Britain by fears over travel chaos and gaps in security.

"Whiff whaff" hometown welcomes Olympic paddlers
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 23)

LONDON, July 22 (Xinhua) -- When Beijing handed the Olympic baton over to London in 2008, Mayor Boris Johnson proudly told the world that "Ping pong is coming home." With less than a week to go, the hometown of "whiff whaff" is making last-minute efforts to create a competition venue up to the Olympic standards.

The London 2012 table tennis competition will be played at the ExCeL Center, the largest competition venue at the London 2012 Games. The gigantic exhibition mall-turned venue will also host fencing, weightlifting, taekwondo and judo competitions during the Games.

Getting lost is possible for first-time visitors, as the center is made up of five different arenas, each of which will be hosting different sports during the Games and will have its own unique spectators zone.

Chinese pianist Lang Lang carriers Olympic torch in London
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 23)

LONDON, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Celebrated Chinese pianist Lang Lang carried the torch in London Sunday afternoon, five days before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

Temperature rose on Sunday when the sky of London was cleared up. But it seemed even warmer in Hornchurch, Havering in northeast London, where people cheered with joy as Lang took over the dazzling golden torch and started his 300-meter leg at about 14:30.

While he passed the Queen's Theater, he mounted an al-fresco stage and waved to the fanatic crowd. "Thank you everyone, Olympic London," shouted the excited music prodigy.
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Mexicans confident of synchronised dive success
(Shanghai Daily, July 23)

LONDON, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Mexican diver Ivan Garcia believes he and dive partner German Sanchez can beat the challenge of the Chinese to take the gold medal in the 10-meter platform synchronized dive in the London Olympics.

Garcia and Sanchez will be up against home pair of Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield as well as the powerful Chinese duo of Huo Liang and Qu Bo, who are favorites to take the gold medal.

However, far from being intimidated, 18-year-old Garcia is relishing the challenge. "We are in good form: German (Suarez) and I are at best form we have ever been in," he told Xinhua.

London Mayor: London as well prepared as anywhere has been for Games
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 23)

LONDON, July 22 (Xinhua) -- London is as well prepared to host the Olympic Games as any city has ever been, according to the city's mayor Boris Johnson.

Speaking to the BBC the day after International Olympic Committee President Jaques Rogge had delivered a positive appraisal of the city's state of preparation less than a week before next Friday's opening ceremony, Johnson continued the upbeat message.

"If you look at what Jacques Rogge had to say last night, he's been in London for a few days, he thinks that our city is as well-prepared as any city in the history of the Games," said Johnson, who brushed off recent predictions of transport chaos and security problems during the event.

Federer expects Olympics to be something special
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 23)

LONDON, July 22 (Xinhua) -- World number one Roger Federer on Sunday said he is expecting "something special" at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Olympic tennis tournament will take place at Wimbledon, where Federer won his record-equalling seventh Championships earlier this month. He is competing in the men's singles and doubles evnets at the Games.

London 2012 will be the Swiss player's fourth Games, and he has twice carried his nation's flag at the Opening Ceremony -- at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. Federer won the men's doubles title in Beijing with Stanislas Wawrinka and the two will team up again for the defending campaign.
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Olympics: South Korea to talk Olympic TV broadcast with North
(Channel News Asia/AFP, July 23)

SEOUL: A South Korean official will visit North Korea this week to discuss the possible broadcast of the London Olympics there, Seoul's unification ministry said on Monday.

Kim In-Kyu, president of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), will visit Pyongyang from Tuesday to Thursday for talks with the North's radio and television broadcasting committee, said an official. The ministry, which handles cross-border affairs, authorised Kim's visit after Pyongyang invited him to discuss such broadcasts, said spokeswoman Park Soo-Jin.

Kim, who also runs the South's state Korea Broadcasting System (KBS), will be the first South Korean civilian to pay an authorised visit to the communist state since the funeral of leader Kim Jong-Il in December.

Chongqing elements at London Olympic games
(CQNews, July 23)

The 2012 London Olympic Games to open on July 27 contains certain Chongqing elements.

In addition to the participation of Li Xuerui, a Chongqing badminton athlete and Wang Tao, a Chongqing shooting athlete in the competition fields in London, Rao Lang, a female Chongqing diving judge will also be present at the judge seating during diving competitions.

Besides, Zhao Yongsheng, the heel-to-toe walking coach and also a Chongqing native will lead the heel-to-toe team to London Olympic Games.
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Parker ready to celebrate Olympics with daughter
(Shanghai Daily/Agencies, July 24)

CANDACE Parker can't wait to get to London. It's not just because she'll be playing in her second Olympics or that she'll get to see the city for the first time. She's just really excited to be reunited with her 3-year-old daughter Lailaa.

"This Olympics is really for her. It will be a great experience for her to look back at this when she's old enough," Parker said. "This time four years ago she wasn't even a thought and now she'll be at the Olympics with me. It means a lot for her to be here with me."

Parker hasn't seen her daughter since the U.S. women's basketball team left Washington, D.C., on July 16. It's the longest the two have been apart since Lailaa was born on May 13, 2009. The two have traveled around the world as Lailaa is always by her side. When Parker plays in Russia in the winter, Lailaa is there. When she goes on the road during the WNBA season, her daughter is around.

Olympic opener will be spectacular but not secret
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 24)

THE London Olympics opening ceremony will be a grand spectacle - but will it be a surprise? In a word, no.

Director Danny Boyle wants the details to stay secret and games chief Sebastian Coe has pleaded for insiders to stop leaking details of the extravaganza. But in the age of camera phones and social media, with 10,000 performers in the ceremony, thousands of Olympic security and staff and more than 10,000 journalists already at the Olympic Park, not much can be kept out of the public domain.

"Part of the modern world means you can't really do that," Boyle acknowledged about keeping secrets as he showed journalists a mock-up of the set for the opening scene of the ceremony, weeks before the event.

Australian long jumpers eye medal at London Olympics
(Shanghai Daily, Xinhua, July 24)

LONDON, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Australian jumpers Mitchell Watt and Henry Frayne both are tuned up to charge for a medal at the upcoming London Olympic Games.

"I definitely think I can win the gold but, being on the podium, I wouldn't be disappointed with a silver or a bronze. I want to be on the podium, and the higher the better," said Watt, 2011 world long jump silver medallist, during a press conference at the Australia athletics training camp in Tonbridge on Monday.

The 24-year-old Watt, who won in both the New York leg and London leg of 2012 IAAF Diamond League in the build-up for the Games, expected a close competition in London.

London's one-eyed mascots creeping some people out ...
(Shanghai Daily, July 24)

SINISTER. Disturbing. Creepy. Frightening.

The official mascots of London's Olympic and Paralympic Games - Wenlock and Mandeville - have been called all of those things. The futuristic-looking pair have popped up all over London, casting their one-eyed gaze at tourists and locals alike from posters, statues and a slew of Olympic merchandise ranging from key chains to cutlery.

Commentators, however, have been skewering the duo for scaring children and projecting a creepy surveillance-state image of the Olympic Games.
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3 days to go!

Too bad the opening ceremony is at mid-night China time. More non-sleeping nights to come :nuts:
Unless there's a delayed telecast... :lol:
Commentary: To be part of it: the Olympics in a British way
(Shanghai Daily/Xinhua, July 26)

LONDON, July 25 (Xinhua) -- In a purple and red uniform, the gray-haired Alan Farmer as an Olympic volunteer was warm-hearted and helpful.

"How can I help?" he would ask the journalists smilingly when they stopped at his desk in the lobby of a hotel. Farmer retired from a telecom company. After knowing that the Olympic Committee were looking for volunteers, he applied.

It has been reported that London has a total of 70,000 volunteers. During the games, many of them will be working 10 to 12 hours a day without salary. But Farmer didn't seem to care much. "It (the Olympics) is once in a life time, and I want to be part of it," he said.
complete story:
Yes he's a Young Son :D Yang Sun!
That rhymes.... :lol:

@big-dog on top of the 6 golds the Chinese Olympians garnered, they also bagged 4 silvers in the following sports:

- women's archery team
- Wei Ning, women's shooting skeet
- Wu Jingbiao, men's weightlifting (56 kg.)
- Lu Ying, women's swimming (100-m butterfly)

And today we are witnessing the finals for the following sports:

- Men's synchronized 10-meter platform (diving)
- Women's épée (fencing)
- Men's artistic team all-around (gymnastics)
- Judo (2 events)
- Shooting (1 event)
- Swimming (4 events)
- Weightlifting (2 events)
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...and the finals for badminton and table tennis are still to come :lol:
Wait until Wednesday (table tennis) and Friday (badminton)... :lol:

@big-dog: I thought Park Tae-hwan was disqualified from the men's 400-meter freestyle?
He was but later on after IOC discussion he was allowed to attend this event eventually.
Is that something to do with "doping"? I thought doping is just limited to athletics (track and field, triathlon, biathlon, cycling, long jump, javelin/discuss throw) events?

back to the news...

Wu and He take first gold in diving competition
(China Daily, July 29)

LONDON -- They went into the women's 3m synchronized springboard competition as overwhelming favorites and they didn't disappoint: Wun Minxia and He Zi opened the diving competition in the Aquatics center with a stunning performance that hints that the Chinese diving team might be able to complete the clean sweep of gold medals many predict for them.

Wu and He's display decides the first of eight medal events in diving. China won seven out of eight in Beijing four years ago and this time they are aiming go one better. While a thunderstorm raged outside, the reigning world champions showed their total dominance of the event with a display of grace, talent and concentration.
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