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Olympic Recap – Day Four

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Why NBC is taking heat for their coverage, who played the stunt Queen Elizabeth, how much Paul McCartney got paid for the opening ceremonies, who’s the latest to get the boot, who were those independent athletes, how many medals did the U.S. men’s swimming and gymnastics teams win yesterday and what’s the medal count.

NBC is taking heat for their coverage of the London 2012 Olympics, mainly because they’re playing most of the popular events on tape delay. The City of London is six hours ahead of our time zone, so when the swimming or gymnastics finals are going on live, it’s the middle of the night here, so if viewers want to see the event live, they’d have to get up at like 3am, so they’re airing it on tape delay. Problem is, NBC aired a promo for The Today Show saying something along the lines of Missy Franklin being reunited with her parents following her gold medal performance and her event, the 100 meter backstroke hadn’t even aired yet, so it was not just a promo, but it was also a spoiler for everyone who wanted to watch her swim. Now that we know she won the gold medal, what’s the point in staying up past your bedtime to see what happens?

Did you watch the Opening Ceremony? Most people say that their favorite part was when James Bond, Daniel Craig met Her Majesty, The Queen and they boarded her helicopter and later you see it over the stadium and Queen Elizabeth jumped out. It was hilarious, but it wasn’t Her Royal Highness jumping. She’s a little…ahem…advanced to be a Bond Girl. Instead, the pink frocked figure you see parachuting out was a 42 year old gentleman named Gary Connery. He’s a professional stuntman and was hired because he’s done a thousand jumps over his career and is known for his particularly dangerous and rather extreme jumping style.

Sir Paul McCartney closed out the Opening Ceremony with a rousing singalong rendition of Hey Jude. Now, I don’t know how much Paul commands per performance, but he and the other musicians who participated were paid $1.57 for their work. The reason? They volunteered to be part of the hooplah and donated their time. As a token of appreciation, they received one British Pound which equates to $1.57 in American dollars. Rumor has it that Brit boy band sensation One Direction will play the Closing Ceremony on August 12. Stay tuned.

Bad news. The U.S. men’s swim team and the U.S. men’s gymnastics team both walked away empty handed yesterday. Swimmer Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps over the weekend, but yesterday Ryan fell short finishing fourth in the 200 meter freestyle. The U.S. has won 11 medals in that event in the last 11 Olympics, but this year just isn’t our year. Ryan had just swam in another event shortly before the 200 free, so that may have something to do with it. The showing from the men’s gymastics team was less than spectacular yesterday as well. We won silver in 2004 and bronze in 2008, but failed to medal this time around. They finished fifth yesterday after falling three times.

Dear Olympic Athletes, STOP SAYING STUPID STUFF ON TWITTER! Another athlete got the boot yesterday for something he said on Twitter. This is the third athlete to get into trouble for something they’ve said on the social networking site in less than a week. The latest offensive tweet came after the Switzerland soccer team lost two to one to South Korea. Michel Morganella said that the South Koreans should, “all burn” and he called them, “a bunch of [an offensive name related to the mentally challenged].” Officials sent him home. He has since said he was sorry and deleted his Twitter account. It started with a Greek track and field star who made a racist tweet against African immigrants. She wasn’t even allowed to come to London and U.S. hurdler Lolo Jones got into trouble for saying that the U.S. should be good at, “da gun shooting competition”. Lolo, however will not be sent home.

Did you see the “independent athletes” running around and acting like idiots at the Opening Ceremony? Where do they come from, you ask? Three of them are from the Nation of Curacao in the Caribbean which was once part of the Netherland Antillies, but the Netherland Antillies are not an independent country from the Netherlands, but they don’t say they’re Dutch and petitioned to say that they were independent athletes, and they were allowed to do so. There was actually a fourth independent athlete that didn’t make it to London in time for the Opening Ceremony. He’s from South Sudan, which is the world’s newest country and they don’t have an Olympic committee, so he identified himself as “independent”.

The U.S. is now tied with China for 17 medals. Missy Franklin won gold yesterday in the 100 meter backstroke, Matt Grevers won gold and Nick Thoman won silver in the men’s 100 meter backstroke. Marti Malloy took home a bronze in women’s judo and David Boudia and Nick McCrory won bronze in men’s synchronized diving.

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