London’s Big Sporty Thing (part 7)

Empty seats at the Olympic Stadium, pictured yesterday. Almost all of these seats are now dead, with a few on the run. Picture via the Daily Mirror.

Why badminton is different to both cycling and soccer, the problem with London’s stock of novelty Olympic hats and a Telegraph columnist who wishes that women would stay barefoot but away from Judo.

Team GB took a gold medal in the Team Sprint cycling event at the Roundy Wheelz  Arena yesterday (Thursday August 2), featuring a rousing performance by 91-year-old Chris Hoy, who brought his total tally of gold medals to five. He first won an Olympic medal in the 1k time trial event in 1936, where he failed only to deck Herr Hitler with a stiff cut to the lip. There was some controversy after the event, when teammate Philip Hindes admitted that he fell off the track on purpose so that they could get a restart: “We were saying if we have a bad start we need to crash to get a restart. I just crashed, I did it on purpose to get a restart, just to have the fastest ride. I did it. So it was all planned, really.” (no, this is what he actually said, just before his teammates probably started kicking him in the ankles)

British Cycling later clarified the comments, saying that in Hindes’ native language of German, “on purpose” means “accidentally” and “planned” means “total mess”. “Hindes speaks only eleven words of English as he began learning the language last Friday,” said the head of British Cycling. “When he wants someone to get him some fish-fingers from the shops, he’s stuck with asking: ‘Fastest ride to the planned crash, just restart purpose.’ Plenty of things get lost in translation”. The explanation was accepted by sporting authorities and the IOC.

The Japanese women’s soccer team have revealed that they also made no effort to win their final group game against South Africa. Intent on staying in Cardiff to play Brazil in their quarter final, Japan fielded a weakened side and decided not to score a goal. The game finished in a 0-0 draw in favour of Japan. A spokesperson from the International Olympic Committee pointed out that several reasons why this should be distinguished from the controversial badminton matches between China and South Korea and between South Korea and Indonesia, which resulted in eight players being disqualified for not trying hard enough. He highlighted that soccer is played with eleven players and a large ball while a badminton team has only two players and is played with a shuttlecock.

UK Prime Rib David Cameron has appealed for people to visit the centre of London and to buy as much as they can carry. “London’s working well, it’s open for business, come back into the capital, come and shop, come and eat in London’s restaurants and let’s make sure that all of London’s economy benefits from this.” While concerns over the past four years were that London’s transport system would be unable to cope with the large influx of tourists visiting the city for the running, jumping and bouncing events, London shopkeepers are concerned that their stocks of commemorative Olympic mugs and teatowels are not selling. Mr Cameron is spending today at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, as he hopes that Jessica Ennis will be awarded with her gold medal for the heptathlon a day early. He is also hoping to “get seen on the telly”.

Supreme Lord Seb Coe sent hundreds of soldiers into the Olympic Stadium last night when he discovered that empty seats have been occupying the entire stadium throughout the week, in full view of the Olympic Flame. Thousands of seats were herded into the central area, after which the soldiers opened fire. Opposition leader Ed Milliband has called for an enquiry into the shootings, which he called “a smidgin over the top”. There were no empty seats in sight this morning as the track and field events began in the stadium, though some may have escaped on the Olympic Javelin train service, reportedly intent on reaching Cardiff.

Meanwhile, in Olympic commentary…

Andrew M Brown of the London Telegraph is intent on ensuring that women return to the kitchen so that his dinner can be ready by 6pm every evening. You can read his attack on Slapdown in Dressing Gowns (otherwise known as Judo) here, though reading it might just encourage him. Mr Brown will later be giving his views on female wrestling, universal suffrage and women wearing shoes. He is expected to be against all three.

18-year-old Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith took some time away from breaking British weightlifting records to reveal a second talent: slapping Internet trolls (the blog entry was July 23 but I saw it only last night when it was linked on thinkprogress.org). Tickets will be on sale later in the week for Ms Smith’s first meeting with Mr Brown of The Telegraph. It is not known whether Mr Brown weighs less than 267 pounds.

The Mx (also known as the Brisbane Metro), an Australian daily newspaper, got in some hot water on twitter when they published a medals table on Wednesday that listed North Korea as “Naughty Korea” and South Korea as “Nice Korea”. Twitter users are split on whether the listing was hilarious or potentially diplomatic incident. Obviously it’s both. It’s worth noting that children in North Korea go to bed without their suppers every night because they have the world’s nastiest government. Thanks to Barry Kennedy (@bazkennnedy) for the link. Here, have a picture:

Naughty Korea and Nice Korea.

Naughty Korea and Nice Korea. One of the two is filled with people who are sent to bed by Kim Jong-Un every night without any supper.

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