Tag Archives: great britain

Ai WeiWei reviews London’s opening ceremony for 2012 Olympics – criticizes Beijing’s

Brilliant. It was very, very well done. This was about Great Britain; it didn’t pretend it was trying to have global appeal. Because Great Britain has self-confidence, it doesn’t need a monumental Olympics. But for China that was the only imaginable kind of international event. Beijing’s Olympics were very grand – they were trying to throw a party for the world, but the hosts didn’t enjoy it. The government didn’t care about people’s feelings because it was trying to create an image.

In London, they really turned the ceremony into a party – they are proud of themselves and respect where they come from, from the industrial revolution to now. I never saw an event before that had such a density of information about events and stories and literature and music; about folktales and movies.

At the beginning it dealt with historical events – about the land and machinery and women’s rights – epically and poetically. The director really did a superb job in moving between those periods of history and today, and between reality and the movies. The section on the welfare state showed an achievement to be truly proud of. It clearly told you what the nation is about: children, nurses and a dream. A nation that has no music and no fairytales is a tragedy.

 

Keep reading: The Guardian - Olympic opening ceremony: Ai Weiwei’s review

 

 

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The most amazing, moving commercial of the Olympics – Meet the Superhumans of the Paralympics

 

This multi-sport training montage reveals that the Paralympics aren’t just a wheelchair affair. As Public Enemy’s “Harder Than You Think” blares in the background, we see Great Britain’s best: the visually impaired soccer team practicing with blindfolds (a way to ensure that those who see more than others don’t gain an unfair advantage), the fierce-looking four-foot tall champion swimmer Ellie Simmonds, amputee runners, and, yes, the wheelchair basketball team.*

Halfway through the clip, there’s a jarring cut to a bomb exploding in a war zone. Then there’s a pregnant mother at the hospital, awaiting word of her unborn child’s condition. That’s followed by a road accident that sends a car flipping on the highway. A second later, we’re back in the gym, where a legless man is doing pull-ups. Then we see a man—presumably the victim of that horrific car wreck—next to his crumpled vehicle.

 

Keep reading: Slate - This Trailer for the Paralympic Games is the Most Amazing Olympic Video You’ll Ever See

Orange County has become a dominant location for Olympic athletes to live/train

There seems to be a competition between San Diego (who is sending 80 athletes) and Orange County, for the king of the Olympics:

 

If Orange County was a nation it would have ranked among the top 10 in gold medals at each of the past two Summer Olympics. At the 2004 Games in Athens, Orange County athletes won as many golds (nine) as Great Britain, or one more than Brazil and Spain combined. Four years later, O.C. athletes brought home 19 medals, as many as Ethiopia, the Czech Republic and Argentina combined.

Athletes with O.C. ties also produced two of the most iconic moments of the 2008 Beijing Games. Irvine’s Jason Lezak kept Michael Phelps’ bid for a record eight gold medals alive in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with what has been called as the greatest anchor ever. Phelps later edged Serbia’s Milorad Cavic, a Tustin High grad, by a mere hundredth of a second to win the 100-meter butterfly to equal Mark Spitz’s then-Olympic record of seven golds.

In London, Orange County athletes could put up even bigger numbers.

A record 79 O.C. athletes will compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, more than double the 31 who participated in the Athens Games just eight years ago. And unlike some other Olympic hotbeds like Kenya’s Rift Valley or Australia’s Gold Coast, Orange County’s Olympic success is not limited to just one sport. In London, O.C. athletes could win gold medals in as many as nine sports.

 

Source: OC Register - For Olympics, Orange County has become a powerhouse

 

 

If you add in the athletes from Los Angeles then 1 out of 3, or even half, of all Olympic athletes hail from Southern California.  Continue reading