Archive for October, 2009

The Torch Has Arrived In Canada

October 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Before it begins its 45,000 kilometer journey, the longest route in just one country, the torch must first spend some time in Victoria, its first host. The relay is not off to a good start, however, as the plane carrying it arrived around an hour late.

Many protest groups are expected along the trail. Support for the games has dropped to around 50% in the host province of British Columbia. Protest groups are expected to protest, among other things, poverty, the environment, and aboriginal rights.

Categories: Winter Tags:

Penguins Captain Crosby To Carry The Torch

October 27, 2009 2 comments

Sidney Crosby, who captained the Pittsburgh Penguins to the 2009 Stanley Cup, will be a torchbearer in the Vancouver 2010 relay. He will be carrying on November 18th in Halifax, Nova Scotia. According to Bell, a sponsor of the torch relay, Crosby was selected “because of his outstanding achievements in hockey and his unbridled passion for his home city, province and country.”

Crosby is originally a native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Plushenko Wins After 3 Year Absence

October 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Even though he took some time off from competitive skating, Russia’s Yevgeny Plushenko proved that he still is the gold standard in men’s figure skating. The Russian won his home country’s Moscow Grand Prix in impressive fashion, showing off the most powerful jumps in the world, the same ones that helped him win the 2006 Gold medal in Torino. Athletically, Plushenko still has his A game, and at his best is unparalleled in that faced. While others, such as American Johnny Weir, who finished 4th in Moscow, will benefit from an increased emphasis on the sport’s elegance, Plushenko is still the man everyone is chasing.

Being that the tournament was in Moscow, how much of a hometown advantage was there in the scoring? It’s likely there was some inflating, but it is certain that come Vancouver, Plushenko will be gunning to be just the 2nd man ever to win 3 medals in men’s singles at the Olympics.

Categories: Winter Tags:

Could The Loss Of The Olympics Be The Death Knell For International Baseball?

October 26, 2009 1 comment

In August, the International Olympic Committee recommended squash and golf be added to the 2016 Olympic program, effectively killing baseball’s chances at ever returning, and killing the expansion of baseball worldwide along with it. Jacques Rogge, the current IOC president, is a very “old school” European and is a huge rugby fan. Not to mention his wife used to head up the Belgian golf team, and it was almost a foregone conclusion as to which two sports would be added. In addition, the IOC is dominated by Europeans, many of whom do not understand baseball, and baseball is only big in the Netherlands and Italy, although it is growing in Germany and the United Kingdom. Five of the current top 10 rugby teams in the world are in Europe, although Wales and Scotland won’t be allowed to compete independently. And it is almost a given that at least one European would medal in golf, if not multiple Europeans.

If baseball can’t get on the 2016 program – where two of the favorites for host city are Chicago and Tokyo, and one other (Madrid) has hosted an Olympic baseball tournament before – it doesn’t seem likely it will happen, at least until Rogge is done as head of the IOC.

If baseball won’t be back to the Olympics, baseball won’t be expanding any more than it has already, and in fact it will probably contract. Many countries get funding from their national governments or governmental sporting bodies based on whether they are Olympic sports or not. A country like South Africa has no incentive to invest heavily in baseball when they are the only country from Africa that is going to play in the WBC, and don’t have to qualify for the Olympics anymore. Sure they’ll still qualify for the WBC, but they won’t get any truly talented kids to play the sport.

Now that baseball isn’t in the Olympics, China won’t be mandating that its people play the sport. Kids won’t want to play the sport either when they see Yao Ming making millions of dollars. Kobe Bryant is far more popular in China than Albert Pujols ever will be.

Lastly, baseball is an expensive sport. In order to play it properly you need wooden bats (or aluminum), balls, gloves and a field. The cost of building a field for the Olympics is tremendous, and if it is never used again (such as Greece in 2004) the cost only rises. Without the Olympic carrot dangling, international baseball could be on its way out.

Categories: Summer Tags:

The Torch Is Lit

October 24, 2009 Leave a comment

The Olympic torch has been lit! Lit in Ancient Olympia, the torch will now follow a path in Greece before making its way across the Atlantic for a long trek throughout Canada. Vancouver officials were worried that there would be protesters protesting the clubbing of baby seals, especially after the protesters that marred the 2008 torch relay, but they were pleasantly surprised.

Greek giant slalom skier Vassilis Dimitriadis was the first person to carry the torch. The torch will reach Canada on October 30th for the largest ever national relay.  It will involve around 12,000 torchbearers. The torch will be flown as far North as the Alert Forestry Station in Nunavut, which is just 500 miles from the North Pole and the northernmost inhabited place on Earth.

Categories: Winter

2010 Medals Revealed

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Yeah, I’m way late on this, but the 2010 medal designs have been revealed. A lot of people aren’t a fan, but I like them. Also, the paralympic medals will be pyramid shaped, so that’s cool.

Categories: Winter Tags:

October 17, 2009 1 comment

Reuters: Drug traffickers shoot down police helicopter, set fire to five buses and a school in Rio de Janeiro, two weeks after Olympic win.

via @BreakingNews

Categories: Uncategorized