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Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

In May, I posted an item about predictions being made about the medal count for the Summer Olympics being held in London.

The first prediction I wrote about came courtesy of Nick Zaccardi of Sports Illustrated. Zaccardi makes ten guesses about what will happen once the Olympic Cauldron is lit. You can find out how he did with his ten by jumping to his article. For this post, I am only interested in his first prediction where he states that The United States will not lead the medal table in London.

Oops.

The US garnered the most medals as they picked up 104 to the 88 earned by second-place China.

In my research for this post, I also found an article that predicted the medal count by taking into account the country’s size, wealth, and culture.

Meghan Busse from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University predicted that the States would earn 51 medals (and was off by 103%). Dan Johnson of Colorado College thought that the stars-and-stripes would pick up 99 (and was only off by 5%).

As for me, I would be nowhere near the medal podium for my guesses.

Two months before the Games, I surmised that the United States would win 112 (and overshot by 7%). France, according to my crystal ball, would pick up 43 (the tri-color only garnered 34, so I was over by 26%). I only expected Japan to win 27 medals and they achieved 38 (a miss of 28%). South African athletes, my final prediction went, would come home with 4 medals (they brought back 6, an under-guess of 33%).

Based on the above, I give the gold medal to Dan Johnson.

I, apparently, have more training to do before Sochi and Rio de Janeiro.

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As I may have mentioned in passing once or twice last week (such as here and here), the Summer Olympic Games are coming to London this summer.

One of the links I posted was a collection of predictions made by Sports Illustrated writer Nick Zaccardi. Once the Games are over, I’ll unwrap one of my veridiction (my name for the practice of verifying predictions) posts and see how Mr. Zaccardi did.

Now, I didn’t want to be left out of the prediction fun, so here is one of my own concerning the Olympics.

Here is my prediction for the number of gold medals and total medals that will be won by the following quarter of countries.

France: 5 gold / 43 total
Japan: 10 gold / 27 total
South Africa: 1 gold / 4 total
United States of America: 36 gold / 112 total

We’ll see, once the Olympic Torch is extinguished at the Closing Ceremonies, whether I belong on the medal podium at all for my prediction.

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July 27 will see the start of the 30th Summer Olympic Games in London, England.

The official start of the Games occurs during the Opening Ceremonies when the cauldron is lit with the Olympic Flame.

Next week, the Olympic Torch relay will begin its run throughout the United Kingdom before it is used to light the Olympic Cauldron in Olympic Stadium.

In that light (ugh!), here are some interesting tidbits about the Torch:

one) This is what the Olympic Torch for the London Games looks like.

two) The flame for the torch is lit by the rays of the sun in a ceremony near Olympia, Greece, the site of the ancient Olympic Games.

three) Oddsmakers have already laid down propositions as to who they think will light the Cauldron come July 27. As of this writing, the clear favorite is Sir Steve Redgrave, an Olympic rower and only one of four men to win a gold medal in five consecutive Olympic Games.

four) In the UK, the relay will take the Torch through 1,019 (there’s your number for the day) communities and the organizers say the Torch will come within 10 miles of 95% of the population.

five) The Torch Relay first began in the 1936 Games held in Berlin, Germany. In the modern era of the Olympics, the concept of the Olympic Flame originated in the 1928 Games in Amsterdam.

six) Emma Fox will be carrying the Torch through her hometown of Newquay on May 19.

seven) The last time the Olympics were held in London, 1948, the Cauldron in Wembley Stadium was lit by athlete John Mark.

eight) The design of the Torch, created by London studio Barber Osgerby, took top honors at the UK Design of the Year 2012 Award show.

nine) A cigarette lighter was once used to relight the Olympic Cauldron at the 1976 Games in Montreal, Canada, after a rainstorm doused the flame.

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As I write, there are 81 days to go until the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Because I can (courtesy of my scads of free time), this posting will be a collection of links all related about the event that has the motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (Faster, Higher, Stronger).

a) The 2012 Games in London haven’t even started, but bookies have already posted odds about which of the candidate cities (Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid, Tokyo) will win the right to host the 2020 Summer Games.

b) The musical acts for a concert in Hyde Park to coincide with the July 27 Opening Ceremonies have been announced. Everybody sing-a-long, “Her name is Rio, and she dances like the sand…”

c) A British Cabinet official has announced that the Olympics are not immune from a cyber-attack. However, the same official says any attack would not disrupt the Games.

d) Speaking of security. A flat (that’s Brit-speak for “apartment”) has had anti-aircraft high velocity missiles placed on its roof to help with security for the Games. When the Games are over, the weaponry can also be used to take care of the neighbor’s pesky dog.

e) French fencer Laura Flessel-Colovic (five-time Olympic medal winner) qualified for the London 2012 Games.

f) Nick Zaccardi of Sports Illustrated has his predictions for the Games.

g) Turkey’s women volleyball team qualifies for the Games by defeating Poland in the European Olympic Qualification Tournament.

h) Argentina’s “Golden Generation” takes one more shot.

i) Religious symbols have been banned on the logo for the badges to be used by chaplains at the Games lest they cause offense.

j) Want to see what the medals for the London Games look like? Click here.

k) Newser has an article about the upcoming competition in the decathlon.

l) For those who care about soccer, here is the opening draw for the American women’s team: France, Colombia, North Korea.

m) This, Wenlock, is the mascot for the 2012 Summer Olympics. I’m not kidding.

And on that bombshell, I end this post-o’-links.

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For United Nations Day

Last week, the trivial news came out that the organizers of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London had managed to secure a truce from all the nations that are members of the United Nations. This means that everyone agrees not to engage in hostilities while the Games are underway.

Now, while I would love to show off my cynical side and rant how this agreement isn’t even worth the piece of paper it is written on, I instead wanted to know how many countries comprise the United Nations and who was not a member of the club based in New York.

As the linked-to story above mentions, there are 193 (there’s your number for the day) members of the United Nations. This even includes the newest member, South Sudan.

So what countries exist in the world that are not part of this august body?

Turns out, there are three.

First on the list of no-shows is the Holy See, also known as Vatican City. This entity does have the status of Permanent Observer at the United Nations.

Next up is Kosovo, the former republic of Yugoslavia.

Last on the list of non-members is Taiwan.

Hmmm…I wonder if they would have signed the truce also.

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At the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver short-track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno won a silver medal at the 1500m length.

Congratulations to him (and to fellow American JR Celski for winning the bronze medal and a big huzzah to Lee Jung-su of South Korea for taking the gold) as this medal now gives him a total of six in his Olympic career, tying him as the most decorated American Winter Olympian.

I was glad to see Ohno tie this record as it meant that the news would be filled with references to speed skater Bonnie Blair, who also has six Winter Olympics medals.

I can’t explain it, but ever since her first gold medal in Calgary, I always had quite the crush on Bonnie Blair (and there’s an admission that has to be a first on the Internet). If I delve deep into my psyche, I believe it’s the sweet, innocent Wisconsin accent that drives me wild.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Bonnie, wherever you are.

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