<![CDATA[The NBC Olympics site is really trying some pretty cool things this Olympics. They have Facebook pages and Twitter feeds (both of which allow you to submit questions to the on-air announcers), but one of the newer items is a real time Twitter visualization so you can see what the Tweeting masses are talking about as they watch the games. This is a pretty neat capture of what folks are talking about in real time, and I can’t wait to see it tonight when some announcer says something dumb. Will be interesting to watch.
<![CDATA[One thing that always amuses me during the Olympics is the nationalistic jingoism that is often displayed, mainly in an anti-USA manner by fans from other parts of the world. It can be silly, like saying ‘Chanting USA-USA is Nazi-like’ but Greek fans in Athens chanting ‘Hellas-Hellas’ is part of the Olympic spirit.” One other way it manifests itself is in the endless debate about the medal table.
I’ve spoken about this before during the medal debate in Beijing. There are two ways of counting medals by country at the Olympics. By the number of golds, then silvers, then bronze, or by the overall number of medals. The United States media generally reports on the overall number of medals, whereas most of the rest of the world reports on who has the highest number of gold medals. Thus a country with 1 gold would appear higher than a country with 6 silvers and 10 bronze medals in some tables. This has led to some countries like Russia criticizing the Gold First standard saying ‘how can a country with 12 medalists be said to have a ‘poorer’ Olympics than a country with just one medal?’ Some commentators have suggested a ‘points system‘ whereby a bronze is worth 1/5 of a Gold or something like that. Sounds very silly (it’s a British idea so yeah, it is very silly).
Officially–there is no ranking. The Olympic charter forbids it:
The IOC and the OCOG shall not draw up any global ranking per country. A roll of honour bearing the names of medal winners and those awarded diplomas in each event shall be established by the OCOG and the names of the medal winners shall be featured prominently and be on permanent display in the main stadium.
However, there is an unofficial ‘media alert’ that the IOC puts out that has the medal table in the order of Golds first. This started back around the 2000 Olympics and the IOC won’t comment on the debate because “officially, we don’t publish a table”. How bureaucratically convenient. UPDATE: It appears that the Vancouver 2010 committee has decided to publish their list in a ‘total medals’ format, but the European media continues to follow a Gold first standard.
Which is better? Who really cares. In the end it is about athletes and their own personal quests and sacrifices to become the best in the world. Some of them have help from nations, some do not. If you see someone arguing the point that one counting system is inherently better or worse than the other, than you have found someone worth ignoring for the rest of the Olympics.]]>
The only thing bigger than the USA logo on the US Olympic Team’s Opening Ceremony outfits is the Polo Ralph Lauren horse that appears on the front of each jacket. I remember when some folks were upset to see the Nike swoosh. They’re going to have a field day with this. At least the hat is relatively logo free.
UPDATE: The “Moose” hat which was worn in the opening ceremony is already a very hot seller. Ebay is sold out, but I’ve got one (L/XL) that I’ll be auctioning off shortly. Check back for the link or goto Ebay to find it. Here is the link to my EBAY sale. 24 hours only. Ends Monday NightThe Polo collection mirrors the 1920s look that the US Olympic teamwore in Beijing. Sort of a throwback to the roaring 20s look, but at a definite 2010 price tag.
The wool hat is a top seller. You can’t find them in stores and the only place I’ve heard that has them in stock is the USA store in Vancouver. You can find them on ebay, but you will spend nearly $400-$500 to get one (yes, seriously).
If you have $400 you might like this sweater a bit more. It’s quite nice and was worn by most of the team during the opening ceremony.