Monday, November 30, 2009
I have a couple of points to make:
I am pretty much not better than an Olympian at anything, except maybe snark.
That push up thing? I could maybe do that with lady push ups. Maybe.*
Olympians are good at sports. This is the profession of an Olympian. I am unable to challenge a professional athlete at athletics.
At whom is this targeted? I mean, the hula-hoop makes it seem like it's a kids' thing, but then again it's not specified. And it doesn't say there's an age limit.
Wait, I think I've got it! There's one person who can give that snowboarder a run for her money...
*Okay, so I tried it. I did one lady-push-up-hand-clap and stuck the landing. Then I collapsed into giggles, which doesn't seem like the Olympian did. A second attempt was a mistake; there was nowhere to land but my elbows. In conclusion, I am not better at upper body strength than an Olympian. *Surprised face!*
Friday, November 27, 2009
The mascots for the first! ever! Youth Olympics in Singapore. (It's like the real Olympics, only smaller. Think... Little League.) And what does every modern international sporting event need?
Spirit Animals. Or something...
Ah, Wikipedia has informed me that Merly is a merlion. Like a mermaid, only in lion form. Maybe her hair can act as gills? Or something?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The torch is already on the move here, people! We have been remiss! For those who are wondering, tomorrow it will be traveling by "large fishing boat" in Shippagen, New Brunswick. According to the relay site, it will loop the harbor before "returning to the starting point." Also, it will continue via ATV. CANADA!
Do you see what we have been missing? Entire loops of New Brunswickian harbors! Well, no more.
From now on, we will be all Vancouver 2010, all the time.* It makes Quatchi so happy!
*Please note that this may not actually be the case. For instance, new mascots have just been announced, mascots I must tell you about! Their names are Lyo and Merly and I will tell you about them tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
No, really, Madrid. Put your hand down.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
New news: World makes up for it by awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize.*
Okay, so even the new news is a week old. But still! We here at Mount Olympics find it pretty darn exciting. Also, the ChicagoNow blog, a major proponent of Chicago's bid, calls it a "consolation prize." Ha.
Also, all this talk of Presidents and Olympics got us at Mount Olympics pretty darn excited. Piped straight to you from Emily, our trampoline loving co-blogger, here is a possible outline of what would happen if we invented both a time-machine and won the bid for the Trans-Temporal Heads of State Olympics (our bid only barely eked out the Martian one):
George Washington v. Teddy Roosevelt in track and field, or possibly marital arts! Abe Lincoln v. every other pioneer western president in an epic rail-splitting contest! Henry Clay and William Jennings Bryan pouting in the corner because they didn't make the team! Ronald Reagan on a teflon skeleton! Abe Lincoln cleaning up everything in the marksmanship tournament! Thomas Jefferson turning out to be an amazing gymnast on top of everything else!** William Henry Harrison's ridiculous fangirls with TIPPECANOE tshirts! FDR playing murder-parapalegic-whatever-the-heck that was!*** Abe Lincoln's Great Emancipators vs. Barack Obama's Fired Up Death Panelists For Change in the most anticipated basketball championship tournament of EPIC and WIN in Olympics history!!!!
And while THEY'RE doing THAT, you have Jackie O. over on the sidelines being all, WHAT SAY YOU LADIES and Eleanor Roosevelt being like ALL OVER THAT and Abigail Adams like GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO REMEMBER YALL and Dolly Madison busting out her figure skates and Michelle Obama being like THESE BICEPS SENT CARLA BRUNI RUNNING IN TERROR, POINT ME AT THE SHOT PUT.
So there's automatic sequel territory there.
And it could branch out, I can see some of the crowned heads of Europe getting in on this action. Or Enlightenment scientists. Romantic poets. Tyrants, Despots and Dictators for the politically incorrect.
Although to be very honest I don't think anything could possibly beat the whole idea of trash-talking first ladies, I'm just saying there is potential here. Do you think Kate Beaton would illustrate it? We could do a Canadian Explorers edition.
*Original typo: Nobel Peach Prize. Most delicious international award EVER.
**Of COURSE he would. You know this to be true.
***Murderball. And FDR would RULE it.
Friday, October 2, 2009
PARTY IN RIO. News at 11.
Chicago NOO! Even Barack Obama couldn't convince the IOC that Chicago wants, no, DESERVES the 2016 Olympics. Americans are making grabby hands, and the IOC said not yet.
Chicago was seen as a leader in the field-- America is good at hosting the Olympics, the last Summer Games in the US took place in Atlanta in 1996, and Chicago spent 4 years and $50 million to woo the IOC. But the IOC would not be wooed.
Chicago lost out in the first round of voting. The USOC was apparently stunned and had no comment. STUNNED. Like with phasers.
Okay, everybody, today's the big day! In a day that recalls the incredible power of the human will to triumph over all odds in the spirit of peace, good sportsmanship, and healthy international competition, the International Olympic Committee will decide the city for the 2016 Olympic Games!!!
Will it be Chicago, City of Dreams and Architecture?! (Answer: No.)
Or perhaps Tokyo, City of Bright Lights and Bullet Trains?! (Answer: No.)
Or maybe Rio de Janeiro, City of Carnival and the Samba?! (Answer: Yes.)
Or possibly Madrid, City of Spanish Gold and Bull Fights?! (Answer: No.)
The BBC is running an up-to-the-minute live blog of the hearings. As they say:
An International Olympic Committee ceremony in Copenhagen, due to conclude some time after 1730 BST, will select the hosts of the 2016 Olympic Games and it has come down to that quartet. Bed down now for a day of twists, turns, votes and vol-au-vents as I bring you all the gossip and news from Denmark, where experts have already been describing this as the closest bid process in history. It could be a bumpy ride.I want to go on that ride! As such, look for up-to-date updates (hmmm, I think I'm being redundant) on the proceedings. I will be honest, I am not in Copenhagen. I also have a job. So it might be largely copy-pasted from the BBC site. BUT STILL.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama made the case for Chicago. Apparently the president was a little jet lagged, and, as such, only won the figurative silver medal in Pitching Your City To The IOC, which is actually a little known event in the decathlon (hahaha, jokes). According to CNN:
First Lady Michelle Obama, who's been here a couple of days, cleary took the gold with an emotional speech focused on her family's roots in the the South Side of Chicago and her late father's battle with multiple sclerosis.Mrs. O gets extra points: first, for mentioning BOTH the Olympics and the Paralympics. Second, for this statement about her father: "He taught me how to throw a ball and a mean right hook better than any boy in our neighborhood," she said. FLOTUS FTW.
"Sports were a gift I shared with my dad — especially the Olympic Games," Mrs. Obama said in her portion of the U.S. delegation's final presentation to the International Olympic Committee here. "Some of my best memories are sitting on my dad's lap, cheering on Olga and Nadia, Carl Lewis, and others for their brilliance and perfection."
Oh man, amazing. Let's see how the others stack up. Check back in shortly.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Instead, here's an only slightly offensive story comparing Usain Bolt's treatment to Caster Semenya's.
And, callooh callay, the officials' behavior is being investigated. What should really be investigated is our collective behavior, however. We are the monsters.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
There is actually a bit of news here. It seems fortuitous for Chicago 2016 that the President of the United States is a hometown boy. Throwing the White House's weight behind an Olympics bid whose fate is in the hands of the ever-fickle IOC, however, may not be the best use of political capital. In early September, Obama informed the committee that he would not be flying to Denmark to lobby for his hometown. Do you know who is going, though? His wife.
We here at Mount Olympics will of course keep you up to date with any Chicago 2012-related news. In the meantime, however, I leave you with this:
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Right, I'm totally posting this because the kid's shirt has the Chicago 2016 logo.
That's the ONLY REASON.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Part 1: Bucket o' links!
John Green is amazing.
Lauren McMillan is similarly amazing.
IAAF urges caution, which would be great, except that somebody kind of leaked the results.
"Results of the gender investigation aside, Caster Semenya’s humanity has already been sacrificed to Western culture’s desperate, frightened effort to maintain the fiction of binary, fixed gender."
Semayana gets a makeover for You magazine. Gah.
Time offers an incredible slideshow showcasing Semayana's triumphs and strength.
The science behind the scandal.
Idiocy of sex testing!
Semayana withdraws from race in South Africa.
God, it's just so monstrous.
This is not the first time that an athlete's gender has come into question. Here's the thing: sometimes people do try and cheat. I'll have to try to have more GoogleFu later, but I'm pretty sure there were a couple of instances of men entering women's competitions just to win. I'm also pretty sure they don't always win.
Here's the story of another athlete who had to deal with this gender testing: Santhi Soundarajan. And her advice? Don't let them win. You already won.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
And what better to spend it on than Olympics paraphernalia? I ask you, what better? Rent, you say? Well, you're right. But still, I can look, right?
[I went to go look up Olympics related items on eBay. I returned to this blog post 30 minutes later with only this to show for it.]
Oh man, never ever search "izzy atlanta" on ebay. I say this for a few reasons.
- There lies only madness.
- They can barely give this stuff away.
- You could buy an Izzy pin, an Izzy plush, AND an Izzy holographic equestrian postcard with a five dollar bill and get change back. (Okay, so purchasing things online requires a credit card, and that's not counting shipping. But still.)
- I can't LOOK AWAY.
- I do not need any items with Izzy on them, let alone three at once.
- I will never get those 30 minutes back.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Quick quiz: does that kind of Olympic-sized awesome diminish over time?
Quick Answer: No.
Long Answer: A teenage boy came to Dawn Fraser's daughter's house one night this week. He grabbed her by the throat (clearly not realizing that this is DAWN fucking FRASER and you Do. Not. Mess. with her) and threatened to kill her.
Dawn Fraser would not be having with any of that nonsense.
As she told Australian television, "I grabbed him by the ear and I kicked him in the groin."
Fraser continued, "I have got a titanium knee so it must have hurt him."
A male friend came to help (though she was clearly doing just fine on her own) and they made the man lie on his stomach in the driveway until the police arrived.
This woman is an Official Australian Living Treasure for a reason, my friends.
Citius, Altius, Fortius, my friends. Swifter, Higher, Stronger. Also, taking names.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Athlon: Not a sporting event, but apparently a sporting goods company. And now you know.
Of course, it is also a term derived from athalon, from the Latin for "competition." It's the same word from which we get "athlete" today. (One Wikipedia page (aquathlon, for future reference) seems to think that it really means "wrestling," but Wikipedia spelled Latin "latten," so, you know.)
Biathlon: Usually refers to a winter sport combining cross country skiing and shooting. Apparently, the sport can trace its roots to exercises that promoted Norwegian national defense. Of course it does. The summer version is cross country running and shooting, and the "modern biathlon" refers to running and swimming.
Triathlon: Swimming, running, biking. Not necessarily in that order. (I actually don't know. Maybe you do have to do it in that order?) Apparently we have only the French to blame, or maybe San Diego. Wikipedia does not give me a solid answer. The Ironman is specifically a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike course, and then, uh, if you're not tired yet, a marathon. Holy crap.
Quadrathlon: Swimming, kayaking, cycling, running. Uh. What? Apparently, sometimes roller skating is also involved. I'm dubious. Here's a quote, straight from Wikipedia: "Quadrathlon adds flatwater kayaking to the sport of triathlon to create a balanced test of fitness." Right. Not to be confused with the Tetrathlon, which involves riding a mount over a course of obstacles, shooting an air pistol, cross country running, and swimming.
Pentathlon: MYTHOLOGY ALERT! The pentathlon was an ancient Greek sport, featured in the Ancient Olympics (man I love those). The mythical hero Perseus accidentally killed a dude (though not the Gorgon, that was a different time) with a discus while competing in the pentathlon, fulfilling an oracle's prophesy.
Mouth guards, people! They matter.
Originally (as in "Ancient Greece" originally), the pentathlon was part of military training. Aristotle once wrote "a body capable of enduring all efforts, either of the racecourse or of bodily strength...This is why the athletes in the pentathlon are most beautiful." (Right, Aristotle.)In 1906, the pentathlon made its modern Olympic debut as a conglomeration of five track and field events, but it was discontinued in 1984 and replaced by the heptathlon because it kept getting confused with the "modern pentathlon."
The modern pentathlon was introduced in the 1912 Olympics. Returning to the -athlon's military training roots, the sport was invented by Pierre de Coubertin, founder and first president of the IOC. He wanted to test skills required by a soldier (so this was sort of like the Norwegians, but with less snow). According to Wikipeda, he was "working from the template of a 19th century soldier fighting behind enemy lines," and came up with epee fencing, pistol shooting, freestyle swimming, show jumping on horseback, and a cross country run. It basically has all the elements of an amazing action flick. The sport was male dominated until Sydney 2000, female athletes got a chance to show off their James Bond meets The Great Escape skills. Sexy awesome!
Sextathlon: Either a dirty joke or a Frenchman named Ygor swimming, biking, running (in scandalous shorts), then skiing (in the middle of a city?), golfing, and playing a game of hockey. Perhaps the proper term is Hexathlon, which is referred to in this exerpt from a blog about the game of bridge: "The Modern Hexathlon combines traditional disciplines of track and field (javelin throw, long jump and marathon) with aquatics (200-meter backstroke, 400-meter freestyle and high diving)... The Modern Hexathlon also relates well to bridge, as these six problems illustrate." Then there are six bridge problems, like those things that show up near Dear Abby in the paper. The internet really is killing the newspaper! In the most boring way possible!
Heptathlon: Seven events! One day! Here's what's in store: 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 m race, long jump, javelin throw, 800 m race. Wow. It also involves the academic decathlon, because scoring has an equation that looks like you might need better than basic math skills. Seriously, there are variables and constants.
Octathlon: Occasionally, in Tahiti, you try to host a decathlon. But the pole vault equipment doesn't arrive on time, and you have to abandon the high jump and the pole vault entirely. So you have to change the name of the event entirely, because you can't call it a decathlon with only eight events. The Tahition Olympic Committee isn't happy about it, but then they realize that they're in Tahiti and pretty okay with life, all things told.
Nonathlon: Something involving an indoor rowing machine. We're getting farther away from international athletic competition here, people.
Decathlon: Finally! Ten events! Amazing! They are spread over two days and encompass the 100 m, the long jump, the shot put, the high jump, the 400 m, 110 m hurdles, the discus, the pole vault, the javelin, and the 1500 m. Basically, if you can run it or chuck it, you do.
There we have it, one through ten. Only four of these events are in the Olympics and a couple aren't really, you know, real. But hey! Any Athlon is a good Athlon, right? Speaking of which, if you absolutely want more...
Other athlons (also known as "I forgot how to count in Greek and so did much extraneous googling"):
Duathlon: Woah, confusing! Though it sounds like it should be back down there with biathlon in the 2 slot, actually has three (or maybe two?) events. Most commonly, the term refers to running, then biking, then running again. Duathlon is also used for the winter sport of skiing cross country (traditionally) and then changing your skis to ski cross country some more, only this time with the skate skis! Exciting times on those nordic tracks.
Aquathlon: Underwater wrestling. Maybe could also mean swimming followed by running, but that wouldn't involve (supposedly sexy) underwater wrestling, now would it? But wait, now I am plagued by questions! How does that even work? Do the athletes float? Are they weighted down? Do they have oxygen? Are they allowed to go up for breaths? Is Wikipedia lying to me again?
Quintathlon: The best definition I can find comes from a website touting the wonders of Alaska. They advertise the "Barefoot in the Park Quintathlon: Swim, bike, shoot, kayak and run, then picnic in the park." Picnic makes it six events, though. I wonder if the organizers thought about THAT.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I've been curious for a long time about where funding comes from and where it goes-- what sort of sponsorship deals exist, what being the "Official Soft Drink of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics" means. (Note: Coca-Cola. Of course.) Do Olympians drink it? (Wild guess here: No.) Does anyone actually care? What, for all that is holy, could this sentence possibly mean: "Coca-Cola's Olympic Games Sustainability Plan is designed to outline the holistic methods Coca-Cola is using to minimize its environmental impact while demonstrating to Canadians how their own small changes create an opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame"?
But first, let's talk about the proposed US Olympic Committee's proposed cable station. Basically, the USOC and Comcast decided that it would be great if they started up an "All Olympics, all the time" channel. For those of you thinking, "Wait, I thought we already had that," congratulations for putting more thought into it than anyone over at Comcast!
NBC is one of the IOC's biggest partners. It has billions of dollars invested in being the only American station that consistently covers the Olympics. It also has and a great relationship with the IOC. And the USOC is not the IOC's best friend.
I'm not an expert on this little venture, but this sentence from the LATimes blog intrigues me: "It seems clear that Comcast miscalculated the level of bad blood between the IOC and USOC and didn't realize what the blow-back would be from NBC and its sports chief Dick Ebersol, who has a lot of juice with the IOC."
What kind of juice? I'm guessing mango. But that's not a Coca-cola product.
End result: the network is "on hold." Right. That's Dick Ebersol's code for "never again to see the light of day."
*Please note: This is a ridiculous joke about conspiracy theories. The IOC of course wants you to know. For once something cost less than predicted. In fact, they have probably post it on their website, and now nobody will ever be able to figure out anything ever.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
We already gave some brief mention to the Paralympics, but they really deserve more love. Unfortunately, most folks don't mention the Paralympics in discussions about the Olympics, when really, these athletes are at least as deserving of heaps of glory. (Not just because the International Paralympics Committee's website is better designed than the IOC's flashy, unnavigable mess.)
I mean, have you SEEN the movie Murderball?? Holy shit, those athletes are AWESOME.
Since the Winter Games are coming upon us, we'll focus on the four Winter Paralympic Sports.
In both the Paralympics and the Olympics, Alpine Skiing means skiing down a hill that would certainly make me wet myself. Athletes in the Paralympics compete in Downhill, Super-G, Super Combined, the Giant Slalom, and the Slalom (the normal, everyday Slalom, apparently). These events all take place in the Olympics as well, and in both cases there are competitions for men and women. In the Paralympics there are also specific categories for standing skiers, sitting skiers, and visually impaired skiers.
Visually impaired skiers "must wear blacked-out goggles during the competition." They use the same equipment as Olympic skiers (other than the blacked out goggles, of course), and have guides who can communicate only by voice and radio communication.
Oh man. Hard core.
Paralympic Nordic Skiing has two categories: Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing. Again, it's broken down into standing, sitting, and visually impaired. In contrast with the Paralympic Downhill Skiers, standing Nordic Skiers use the same equipment as able-bodied skiers-- no nifty mini ski-sticks for them! (Nifty mini ski-sticks is not what they are called, but I believe deeply that by coming up with that phrase I have begun my career as a Paralympic Equipment Marketing Consultant. Look for the ad campaign.) Sit skiers use a sit-ski-- really. It's a ski... where you sit. Visually impaired skiiers again have a guide that can guide them through voice or radio.
The Biathlon is made up of two events: skiing and shooting. In the Paralympics, all shooters must fire their guns from a prone position. Also? This little exciting nugget from the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics web page: "Visually impaired skiers use an acoustic system for shooting that uses differing tones as the rifle is aimed toward the bull’s eye." OH MAN acoustic aiming!
Someday soon we will have a post about Curling, affectionately known as Chess on Ice (no really), because I love it so. Who doesn't love Chess on Ice? You must have a heart made from a stone (and not granite, for that is what a curling stone is made of) to not love Chess on Ice. For now, this is all you need to know: Wheelchair Curling differs in two ways from Non-Wheelchair Curling. First, the athletes are in wheelchairs (I KNOW CRAZY RIGHT?). Second, no sweeping. In the case of Wheelchair Curling, delivering the stone is where the magic happens.
Ice Sledge Hockey:
This is actually one of the first sports adapted such that folks without full use of their legs could continue playing it. It predates wheelchair basketball and murderball. The international rules are essentially the same as Ice Skate Hockey and modeled specifically from the Canadian rules. The equipment is slightly different, of course. The skates have been replaced with a sledge and athletes use two hockey sticks. One is used mainly for propelling along the ice, and the puck handling stick is shorter, straight, and has picks on the end for even more propelling action.
You'd better believe they exist.
I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for a story about overcoming adversity with the Olympic Spirit (TM). And that's how it's done, folks. Paralympians deserve nothing more and nothing less than our respect as serious athletes and competitors. We'll be keeping an eye on the Paralympics as well as the Olympics here on Mount Olympics. I hope you'll do the same.
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic website
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
By "mount," I assumed you meant "get up on" and not "mountainous pun in the title of this blog." And by "olympic rings" I assume you meant "still rings" and not "the five interlocking rings on the official flag of the Olympic Games."
Basically, you want to figure out how to do this:
Please note: this image comes to us courtesy of my new favorite website, the Oldtime Strongman Blog. Find this and so many other exciting photos of oldtime strongmen at http://www.oldtimestrongman.com.
I cannot tell you how to be an oldtime strongman. I do not know any real oldtime strongmen. But I do know a real gymnast! Here is what our Special Gymnastics Correspondent tells us "how to mount olympic rings," Google friends!
well..... the real question is what do you mean by mount? if you mean how they get up to the rings... they get lifted by a coach. if by mount you mean what skill they do first.... there are about 300 different possibilities. or you could possibly mean how do they hold. in which case 98% of Olympians where grips on rings. so they would simply position their dowel over the ring. Basically i dont really know what you mean... Also might be beneficial to know that the rings look deceptively tall. I believe FIG rings are only about 8 feet tall. So mounting them really isnt much of an issue. hope this might kinda help.
It does kinda help, Special Gymnastics Correspondent! Or, I assume it does, at least. Let me know if you need any more help, Intrepid Googlers!**
*Don't Be Evil, Google!
**Please be sure and note that Google has also informed me that you can buy special gymnast insurance, tailored specifically to the needs of gymnasts! Google, you always know exactly what I need, even if I never knew it existed!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
You come here to have pertinent questions answered. You wish to know important facts about pertinent thoughts concerning the Olympics, and I am here to deliver them to you. And this is what you are wondering right now:
Does Quatchi, the Sasquatch mascot of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, have a twitter feed?
PS-- Quatchi thinks you should follow him, he knows the way!!! Also, he awkwardly abbreviates Vancouver to "Van." Dear Canada, is this normal?
Monday, July 27, 2009
Wow, it's been a while. Almost an entire year, in fact, since last we updated the blog, and a year to the day since the Opening Ceremonies (08/08/08!).
And there's been a year of international sports and excitement that we here at Mount Olympics have allowed to pass un-blogged. So much has happened, in fact, that it merits a bucket o' links! These are the stories we would have been following, had we, you know, been blogging.
Don't worry, China, not having the Olympics won't be terrible for your economy!
Don't worry, world, a terrible economy won't hurt the Olympics!
Sorry, Russia, the economy might hurt the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
Sorry, London Olympics, the economy might hurt you, too.
WAIT, by "hurt" we meant "the Olympics will save the British economy," right?
Poison + Milk = Scandal, but Olympics + Scandal = Chinese cover up...
OPRAH wants the 2016 Olympics in Chicago. OPRAH. WE MUST DO AS SHE SAYS.
OBAMA wants the 2016 Olympics in Chicago. OBAMA. (Remember: Bigger than Oprah.)
A BILLION DOLLARS wants the 2016 Olympics in Chicago.
Olympics has opened China to foreign media? WaPo says it is so.
Beijing brings back Olympic pollution control! Olympics make things greener, and not just in Canada!
Also, Olympics maybe helped China's human rights record!
Rugby is trying to get to the Olympics. BADASS.
As a final sendoff to the summer games, FINA bans technical racing suits!
Phew, I feel refreshed, don't you?
In conclusion, look for this blog to be updated more often! Up next we have a shout-out to all you google searchers out there.