Monday, July 30, 2012 at 8:21 PM
It’s not as if the London organizers were not aware that this might be the case. It boggles the mind, therefore, that they did not enlist tens of thousands of volunteers (from pensioners to school kids) to show up at a moment’s notice to fill seats if ticket holders do not show up. They could have warned in print on all tickets that the holder forfeits the seat if it is not occupied by 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the event.
(“London Olympics: Day 1,” The iPINIONS Journal, July 28, 2012)
This in part is how I vented outrage over the eyesore of empty seats that is reinforcing the logistical farce besetting these Games. Well, London organizers only compounded matters by redeploying thousands of soldiers they drafted to provide security outside Olympic venues to fill empty seats inside – affirming my claim that they are acting like characters in a series of Benny Hill skits.
On a more encouraging note, perhaps after reading my commentary, they provided some consolation by announcing plans to enforce the following rule:
Spectators who fail to take their seats within 30 minutes of the start of an Olympic event could lose them under plans being considered by Games organisers.
(Daily Mail, July 30, 2012)
The Mexicans rekindled my childhood fascination with the cliff divers of Acapulco by winning silver; and the Americans, David Boudia and Nicholas McCrory, added to Britons’ dashed hopes by edging out their favored son, Tim Daley, and his partner, Pete Waterfield, to win bronze.
There were four finals today but I found only two of them worthy of comment:
The men’s 200m freestyle featured Ryan Lochte demonstrating just how much his victory in the 400 IM on Day 1 took out of him. For after surrendering certain gold to France by practically dying in his anchor leg of the men’s 4x100m relay last night, he followed up today by languishing almost two seconds behind the winner of this race. This means that Lochte might be even more psyched out than pooped out, which does not bode well for him in his final head-to-head match-up with Phelps in the Men’s 200m IM on Thursday.
Meanwhile, we in America are being treated to swimming ads competing with political ads touting Lochte as the man of these Olympics, as well as profile pieces giving the impression that he is as much Hercules as Aquaman. Talk about counting your chickens before they’re hatched….
The women’s 100m backstroke featured 17-year-old Missy Franklin beginning her quest to win gold in all of her individual events — given that her hope of becoming the female (Beijing) Phelps of these games by winning gold in all of her events drowned on Day 1 when the USA had to settle for bronze in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.
She’s off to a good start in this individual quest, winning gold, ironically enough, in Phelpsian fashion … by a fingertip. What’s more, she showed remarkable poise and strength by swimming this race less than 15 minutes after qualifying for the final in the women’s 200m freestyle. Emily Seebohm of Australia won silver; and Aya Terakawa of Japan, bronze.
The Chinese proved that home-court advantage had nothing to do with the way they dominated at the Beijing Games in 2008. They defended their Olympic title by winning gold in the men’s team competition in equally dominant fashion with a score of 275.997.
Far more interesting was the razor-thin competition among all of the other teams for silver and bronze: the Japanese edged out the Britons for silver with 271.952; and the Britons edged out the Ukrainians for bronze with 271.711.
Remarkably, the top-qualifying Americans were not even in contention, finishing fifth. They can only hope to redeem themselves in the individual all-around and individual events competitions. More important, though, I hope this result does not spook the top-qualifying American women into a similar result in their team competition tomorrow.
NOTE: Many of you took umbrage at my blithely dismissing Equestrian Eventing at these Olympics. But, truth be told, because success depends almost as much on the nature of the equipment/horse as it does on the skill of the competitor/rider, I don’t even think Equestrian should be an Olympic sport. The mere fact that one has to be either rich or sponsored by a rich person just to participate makes a mockery of the egalitarian spirit of the Olympics. And, while even rowing is enjoying some racial diversity, equestrian performers are almost exclusively White men and women of European descent.
MEDAL COUNT: China: 17; USA 17, Japan 11