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
Here is a new exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art:
Children of the Plumed Serpent: the Legacy of Quetzalcoatl
You may remember the name Quetzalcoatl as the so-called white-bearded God in Atzec lore. Which Hernán Cortés was supposed to represent and then use to his advantage when he conquered the greatest empire of the Americas.
That understanding is in some dispute but what is not are the enemies of the Aztecs. The Nahua, Mixtec, and Zapotec kingdoms were resisting the Aztecs when the Spaniards arrived. They quickly allied with Spain and established a thriving culture, language, and trade that survives to this day.
These cultures have a strong history and a powerful modern presence in Mexico and the United States. This exhibit presents artifacts from their ancient and colonial history. A fascinating look at Native Americans who somewhat escaped the ravages of colonialism.
The exhibition examines the art and material objects of late pre-Columbian and early colonial societies across Mexico to explore Quetzalcoatl’s role as founder and benefactor of the Nahua-, Mixtec-, and Zapotec-dominated kingdoms of southern Mexico. These socially and culturally complex communities successfully resisted both Aztec and Spanish subjugation, flourishing during an era of unprecedented international entrepreneurship and cultural innovation. On view are painted manuscripts (codices), polychrome ceramics, textiles, and exquisite works of gold, turquoise, and shell that reflect the achievements of the Children of the Plumed Serpent.
Learn more about the exhibit - LACMA: Children of the Plumed Serpent
#1: Cristiano Ronaldo, POR
Considering his sustained brilliance for Real Madrid — 84 goals and 22 assists in 67 games over the past two seasons — it’s a wonder that the world isn’t running out of adjectives to describe the Portuguese forward’s play. Whether deployed on the flanks or through the middle, exhibiting his lethal skills and swagger from set pieces or close range, Ronaldo is the best there is in the European game today. (And the richest, too; $17.06 million in reported salary, as of 2010.)
#2: Andres Iniesta, SPA
There is little more to add on Andres Iniesta that has not already been reeled out on numerous occasions during Barcelona’s recent period of dominance. The Spaniard is one of the finest midfield technicians of modern times and his abilities have been showcased at the highest levels of the game for the past five years.
It is truly a thing of beauty as they slowly dismantle their opponents’ defensive structures by playing continuous short passes in the midfield until at some point a helpless defender is dragged out of position. Then, with a gap emerging, both Xavi and Iniesta are charged with supplying the defense-splitting pass that will seize upon the fault-line they have opened up with their earlier play. The strategy has led both Barcelona and Spain to unprecedented success.
#3: Xavi, SPA
His style is cerebral and full of intent; with the ball at his feet, Xavi thinks several moves ahead of the one that starts at his instep, forever looking for space in which to thread a pass and decimate a well-organized defense. (In a 2011 interview, Xavi outlined his thought process: “Think quickly, look for space … I’m always looking.”) With Iniesta at his side and their on-field telepathy in full effect, the rampant, all-conquering Barcelona side of the late 2000s will never be forgotten.
see the rest of the list – Top 40 Players of the Euro 2012
The schedule for Euro 2012.
- France – 77 million
- United States – 61 million
- China – 56 million
- Spain – 53 million
- Italy – 43 million
- United Kingdom – 28 million
- Turkey – 27 million
- Germany – 27 million
- Malaysia – 25 million
- Mexico – 22 million
Interesting to note that both France and Spain receive more visitors than their entire population:
- France – population 65 million – with 77 million annual visitors
- Spain – population 46 million – with 53 million visitors.
That’s quite a tourism business for them.
Not to worry as the world seems ready to travel more than ever. Sometime this year we will set a record with 1 billion international tourists, and the graph below shows that at least half of them are heading to Europe!
Among the usual questions about attitudes to the euro and the European Union, people in eight nations (Britain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain) were asked which country in the European Union is the hardest-working.
The Greeks ignored the obvious answer (Germany) and instead nominated themselves. (The other seven nations all plumped for Germany, as the table shows.) Yet Greek perception is not quite as misaligned with reality as it seems. Greece does actually work the longest hours in Europe…However, as any economist will tell you, working longer does not equate with higher productivity, and Greece’s productivity is relatively low.
via Economist Daily Chart
Also, very interesting to look at the “most corrupt” column where Italy dominates, but four countries consider themselves the most corrupt (even the Italians).