Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Even More Tuesday Links (Sports Edition)

Now that the Olympics are over, it should be fairly easy to determine which country was the ultimate winner. Well, hold on for just a second. US television channels decided the US had won because they had the most medals. The Chinese (and the rest of the world) believed that China was top dog because they got the most golds. And if you are inclined to think like the Swiss, you could establish an arbitrary points system (3 points for gold, 2 for silver and 1 for bronze) and it would be a tie between the US and the Chinese. But French President Nicolas Sarkozy has a different take on the whole matter:

The 27 member states of the EU when counted together won 87 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, dwarfing the individual tallies of China on 51 and the US on 36, as the games closed on Sunday (24 August)…“The European Union therefore takes the leading position. It's a victory for sport and for the fundamental and common values of the people of the union," French president Nicolas Sarkozy - currently chairing the EU - said.

If you are being even more nitpicky, you could do what this website has done, and adjust the medals table to account for population and GDP. Australia (who everyone knows are the undisputed kings of sport), some Caribbean nations and Iceland lead the way.

For those who bemoaned the fake fireworks, fake ethnic performers and fake singers of the Chinese Olympics, rest assured that the London Olympics in 2012 will be keeping it ‘real’ thanks to its bumbling mayor Boris Johnson:

The eyes of the world were on Boris Johnson yesterday, and what they saw was a moon-faced fat man who kept putting his hands in his pockets. Was Boris trying to look relaxed? Or checking on the prawn toasts he'd snaffled from the previous day's 10-course Imperial banquet?…And then came Bojo, the entire stadium bathed in the glow of his custardy bonce, to formally take possession of the Olympic flag, symbolising the passage of the Games to London. His outlandish presence spoke of a change of tone and style. The next Games, it seemed to be saying, will be a complete shambles, but, probably, much more fun. To give the 1.6 billion people watching on television a taste of modern Britain's cutting-edge sophistication, a double-decker bus lumbered unsteadily into the stadium, eventually disgorging a multi-ethic troupe of dancers waving umbrellas…Then David Beckham booted a football, which was meant to land in the crowd, but missed and floored a Chinese acrobat.
At least Boris didn't have to make a speech. The day before he had bewildered much of the world's press with scathing references to "Olymposceptics".
Then he answered a question about whether he might become prime minister with an allusion to a long-forgotten politician in ancient Rome. "Were I to be called, like Cincinnatus from my plough," he proclaimed, "obviously it would be a huge privilege to serve."

Is applying mint-induced saliva to facilitate reverse swing cheating? I don’t know, but it’s certainly an ethical grey line.

Rafa Nadal does a risqué photoshoot for New York magazine. Federer can retake the number one spot in sexiness by doing a full-frontal shoot for Playgirl.

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