Category Archives: Olympics

Her name was Rio

Yes, I started the Olympics with one of the blatantly obvious videos, so lets end it with the other!

I’ll be honest, I havent seen a lot of it. To a great degree because a lot of the main events have happened in the middle of the night, our time, but also, because for once, it wasnt relevant to my work, unlike 4 years ago! About the only thing I’ve seen much of, live, was the mens golf, and in truth, that was because I’m involved in a golf tipping competition, and that was part of the challenge.

There have been a few highlights, the most medals won by any GB team, though I assume thats strictly got some cut off point in history, given we won 146 medals in 1908, and its nowhere near that number! But its given the BBC something to talk about, even if by all reports, their coverage has tended to verge between bad, and embarrassing!

Also, I do wonder if the absence of most of the Russian teams has played a part in that, but lets not go down that road. I’m cynical as to how many athletes are genuinely clean, its just that some have been caught, and others havent? Yes, thats a big reason for my lack of interest, in all honesty.

We’ve also had the robbery that never was. How those US swimmers, in these days of social media, and CCTV expected to get away with that, I will never know? Lastly, and saddest for me, is the carving up of events for the Paralympics, due to what the Brazilians are calling budget issues. Nothing to do with the fact that tickets sales for that are very slow in Brazil, a country with a record of lack of concern for disabled people, anyway.

But fine, thats it, until Tokyo has its second time, in 2020, part of an Asian domination, given the next 2 winter Olympics (2018 South Korea, 2022 China) are there as well. Where will we all be then, who knows?

Yes, as I said, the obvious closing video, after Mike Nesmith started it.

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There’s nothing I know of, in Rio

Well, apart from a forthcoming Olympics, I guess? But fine, that should give you a clue to tonights video at least. That really was a two way choice, but hey, this is the preferred choice. I wouldnt be surprised if you dont get the other later this month, anyway.

So, given it starts next Friday, and apart from tomorrow, this is the last posting before then, I thought I’d better give it a quick mention. No, in truth, I wont go out of my way to see much of it, especially given that the evening entertainment, which tends to be the highlights, will be overnight here in the UK.

In truth, so far at least, its beginning to look a slight non event. A vast majority of the Russian competitors are banned, due to past, and present drug enhancements of their talents, their weightlifters even being pulled, because their Federation pretty much admitted they are cheating the system. Not that I suspect that all the competitors from other countries are innocent, much the opposite in fact, but anyway…! Its fair to say that one or two sports are so tainted, it would be the ones not cheating who would be the exception, rather than the other way around!

No, I’ve never actually been to an Olympic event, which is probably something I will regret someday, especially when they were held in London, but it was my choice. Funnily enough, I’ve been to a few cities where relatively recent Olympics were held, and seen a few locations used, but thats about it.

In that sense, the obvious place to start is London, where the last Olympics were held. In fact Stratford wasnt very far from where I lived between 2003, and 2005, but given I left just after the announcement, I havent seen the stadia in person. Yes, it might have been fun to have gone back, and seen the area in 2012, but given the prices of most tickets, the travel, and accommodation costs I would have incurred, I passed on that. As I say, give me a few years, I might regret it, but for now… As I say, 1908, and 1948 really arent relevant now.

The other city with special Olympic memories for me, is Athens. Not from when it actually happened in 2004, but from when it didnt happen, but they assumed it would, in 1996. There seemed to be some confident assumption in Greece that they would get said Olympics, as the centenary of the first one held there. Thing is, for whatever reason, they didnt, Atlanta beat them, and lots of recriminations ensued. My amusing memory of all this, going out there at the end of September 1990, on holiday, and seeing numerous shirts, and tops, proudly proclaiming Athens Olympics 1996, and of course, it wasnt going to happen. Surprisingly, not, they were being sold off cheap! Yes, I got one, though of course I dont still have it now. I did actually get to see 1 historic stadium from 1896 in Athens, but that was it.

The one city where I have seen Olympic venues, is the obvious one, Los Angeles. In fact, some of the venues from both 1932, and 1984 survive, and I saw them last year, on both trips. There is talk that they are going to try to again hold them in 2024 (the reason why Metro trains are going to be connected to the Airport), but we will see. In truth, unless I’m living in the area (I only wish!) by then, I’ll probably pass, for a ‘quieter’ time in the city, a merely relative term. Its why I’m amused by the fact I love the city so much, as it, especially Hollywood, is so unlike me, but hey, it happened anyway!

I have also been to Amsterdam, but as it was held there only in 1928, there wasnt much to see!

The video, as I say, was a 2 way choice. Given my love of the eclectic humor of Mike Nesmith, my love of The Monkees as a group, and the feel of the video, this was the obvious choice.

The end of the Winter Olympics, and Gibraltar issues

Well, pre Sochi, all the fuss was about Russia’s new ‘anti gay’ laws, and how they would effect the Olympic events. In all honesty, its been a bit of a damp squib really, despite certain countries (deliberately) sending diplomatic groups determined to say that, we are sending out all our LGBT celebrities, just to annoy you, Russia.

To be honest, what I’ve seen of the laws, the main thing Russia seemed to be concerned about, was grooming of youngsters, which I personally think is wrong, that everyone should be allowed to make their own choice, and not to make ‘anything’ homosexual illegal!

The irony I find in all this, was the British stance on the matter, because if they looked a little closer to home, they might decide to stay quiet about things. Gibraltar, so very British that you would assume their LGBT rules would match the UK. Wrong!

In fact, it took until 2011 before equality of the age of consent for gay males happened there. Work discrimination rules have been brought in, but for anything else, its under consideration, and will probably stay that way, as long as they can! As for transgender rights, oh please, dont go down that road. Putting it simply, it doesnt matter what you do, you cant change gender out there! So full sex change op, totally a true woman, but in the eyes of Gibraltar, sorry, you’re still a man!

How do I know all this? Well, a few years back, at work, the opportunity arose to move out to Gibraltar to work, when they decided to reshuffle (for want of a better word) the whole telebetting side of the firm. I wasnt really interested, but took a cursory glance, because if things were highly favourable, it might have been tempting to make a clean break, and start again. But, given it was just the opposite, I didnt take it any further. Of course the British government conveniently overlook this, and focus on Russia!

Of course, some folk have taken a look at the whole LGBT thing in Russia, and came up with a wonderful Canadian video, included in this next piece

As noted, some lugers werent impressed lol!

Oh, and one last amusing piece on Gibraltar. Today was the draw for the qualifying groups for Euro 2016 (Football), and for the first time, in the draw, Gibraltar. Firstly, the top seeds were drawn into groups, and Spain were drawn into Group C. Next to be drawn were the minnows, also known as the 6th seeded group, including Gibraltar. Guess which group they came out for, that they should have gone into? Yes, Group C! After a few, err, diplomatic words, they went into Group D instead. For anyone who doesnt understand why, try looking up Spain, and Gibraltar together on Google lol!

Added footnote, which I’ve just found. The first openly gay athlete to play in the ‘Big 4’ US sports.

http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24454370/report-jason-collins-expected-to-be-in-uniform-for-the-nets-tonight

he has played in the NBA for years, as the report says, but this is his first match since coming out. Good luck, Jason

Last word (honestly) on the Olympics

Well alright, I thought I’d finished on this subject, but this morning someone pointed out this article on one of the forums I visit, and hey, its an LGBT issue, so lets roll with it.

http://www.sbnation.com/london-olympics-2012/2012/8/12/3237963/nine-gay-olympians-win-medals-in-london-tying-jamaica-and-iran-for

No, its not that I object to this in the slightest, just the opposite in fact, I’m proud of their stance. But what I am sad about, is that this is news! Please, does it matter if the best Olympians in the world are gay, lesbian or even hetro? Hey, they can be asexual like me for all I care! But no disrespect, do we in all honesty think only 23 competitors at this Olympics were lesbian or gay? I dont, but anyway…thats all that are prepared to out (awful term) themselves to the world. Clearly there are no transgender people there, the gender test would find them out nowadays, though you do have to wonder about some of the East German, and Soviet female participants in the past lol! I suppose in theory an ftm transitioner could take part, but lets face it, its not going to happen. I suppose transgender people could take part in the equestrian events (where both genders compete in one event), but as its generally a rich person’s event…probably not!

Not that other sports are any better, I know of 1 professional male cricketer who has said he is gay, no current soccer players that I know of. One in the past did come out, but received so much hatred, he eventually commited suicide. I suspect the ‘Big 4’ American Sports have hardly anyone between them, if any at all.

Lesbians, yes, I’m sure there are a number, if I only knew. Tennis players, a safe bet there are some, one is even on the list of medallists here. Not as many as there are, thats for sure, or to the same extent as some years ago, but… Besides, Lesbians face a slightly less challenging situation in that position than gay men do. Not perfect, just easier.

I only know of one leading transgender sports person, and calling her leading might be kind. Yes, Renee Richards, female tennis player, and thats it.

Hopefully one day in the future, sexuality of whatever style will be a matter of irrelevance, though I suspect not in the next few years at least. And yes, alright, equality in so many issues for Trans people would be nice too, but again, I wont be holding my breath for it to happen.

So, to the video. What you have to remember with this, is that it comes from the late 70’s, when things were far worse than now. Not that now is perfect, but far, far better than they were back then. Hopefully in 30 years from now, people will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, but for now…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lR3ffBsMTc

They think its all over, well the first one is at least!

Yes, I know, some would say the Olympics are over, and I suppose in a strict sense, they are. The ones that are to follow are the Paralympics (or however they deign to spell it), but its the same venues, the same amount of BBC hype, so…

Thankfully I’ve managed to avoid most of it, though I was guilty of watching a bit of the athletics Saturday evening, but that was really the main bit I saw. My excuse for that, things finally did calm down Ssturday night, so while tidying up a few things, I switched it on. At least it enabled me to settle a few athletics bets at work while doing so. But that really pretty much has been it. I’ve seen the odd bits on TV, but follow it closely, no chance! And the soccer has naturally been avoided like the plague lol!

At least one thing seems to have come out of it, Britannia still rules the waves, at least when it comes to rowing and sailing! One thing I avoided totally (apart from news highlights) was the hulabaloo of the 2 ceremonies topping and tailing the sporting party, I’m sure I’m glad about that. In the sense of the medal table, no great shocks, with USA top, and China next. GB third, but after last time (and with home support) I think that was pretty expected too.

So next, in about 2 weeks (so they tell me), we get the Paralympics. I have no idea if my firm plans to have several thousand betting options on this, but nothing would surprise me. Worse for me, in the interim, the overpaid hype that is the Premier League starts on Saturday, letting those massive egos, and small brain cell counts, known as footballers loose. Even worse are the people who think everyone is interested in the game, some of us couldnt care less! I dont know, or care who “Fred Bloggs” plays for, neither do I know exactly what league teams are in, and nor do I want to. But people just assume I do, because they do!

Yes, rant of a middle aged woman lol! But 5 weeks from now, for a while at least, I’ll forget them completely, thank goodness. How long for, lets wait and see!

Right, the video! I did consider something by the Animals in tribute to football fans, but lets be a good girl for once. So lets have a classic Kinks moment, one that came totally out of the blue at the time. Lets face it, there was plenty of this at the closing ceremony last night, though sadly without the mops!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs2kFrGluKs

Just the way it is

Its funny, isnt it, only a few weeks ago, Andy Murray was getting beaten by Roger Federer at Wimbledon in the yearly grand slam event there. Guess what, the Olympic tennis final, and guess who was in it again? Yes, those same 2 people. The one thing that wasnt the same today though, was the result. Seriously, Murray in 3 straight sets, unbelievable stuff.

To be honest, I’d loved to have seen him get a second gold, for Laura Robson’s sake but it wasnt to be. But seriously, was it just over a week ago when people were saying that Team GB werent living up to expectations? My, havent things turned around now! No, we arent going to catch the US, or China in the medal table, but suddenly we’re up to 3rd, and hey ho…!

No, I havent really caught on to Olympic fever, but I suspect thats a ‘work related’ issue with sport in general, beyond a few very special ones. Tomorrow, 9 hour day, so dont expect a blog lol!

Thought this a rather apt sentiment for Andy Murray today though, no grand slam yet, maybe, but an Olympic Gold Medal is pretty good. Congrats, Andy, if you, or anyone that knows you (yes, pigs might fly) see this, it was well deserved,  proud of you. Oh, the video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlRQjzltaMQ

The Wonderful British Summer

Well, ideally I’d be writing this at the halfway point of the Ireland v Afghanistan 4 day match, but unsurprisingly this summer, that hasnt happened. In fact, due to the ‘wonderful’ summer that we’ve had over here, not a ball has been bowled in the first 2 days. And ironically now, we are both better off points wise with a ball not being bowled, unless a result could be forced in 2 days, a highly unlikely event.

I know, British summers arent renowned for wonderful weather (with a few humble exceptions, I vaguely remember), but this one has been absolutely dismal. At this rate they’ll be able to hold the Olympic swimming events at the main athletics arena! We’ve had a few warm (but wet) days, and an awful lot of cold/chilly (and wet) ones in all honesty. At the present moment all I can hope for is some decent weather when I get to the US in September, though knowing my luck, I’ll take this lousy weather with me, and that will be the only decent week over here!

Apologies for the moaning post btw, but this weather is really getting to me, sorry. No, never, nothing to do with it affecting Irish cricket, and if you believe that… And alright, another early start in the morning does nothing to cheer me either.

Good news, yes, there is some. Had a good massage today, and the back is happier for it. Legs arent complaining now either! Also had a nice meal out tonight, with good company, so…not all is bad lol.

The song tonight, pretty apt for this dismal summer, I guess?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwh3FmpZ7kg

An Eternal Flame

Well alright, this wasnt the original plan for todays blog, but I suspect the weather has got in the way of the most important event of the weekend, so lets go to plan B.

Yes, for those who know, you’re right, this was going to be about a cricket match in Belfast tomorrow, between Ireland and Australia, but I suspect the chances of that happening are limited, judging by the weather here, and reports from Ireland.

A great shame, as it was our big game of the season, despite many other important ones coming up against Afghanistan, and others. Fingers crossed the game can happen, but no breaths being held on that.

So alright, second prize. As everyone probably knows, at the end of next month, the Olympics start in London. Currently the Olympic flame is touring the country, though I’m sure its enjoying the weather as much as we are lol. On Sunday, it comes to Huddersfield, the highlight of its journey? 😉 I wont be hear to see it, I’m working Sunday, and will be gone to work long before it arrives here. Funnily enough, its in Leeds on Monday, and I wont be there either, as I’m not working lol!

Would I have gone to see it anyway, probably not, I’m not one for big crowds in all honesty. Quite likely that you wouldnt see much anyway, and thats assuming all this rain simply doesnt put the flame out! And no, the forecast for the whole weekend isnt good!

But given the cricket situation, its an idea for the blog.

The music, well the title, as often gives a hint. An 80’s classic from the Bangles, more featured in wedding videos nowadays, but seems rather apt for the Olympic torch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_iISmExEGo

Here comes the sun

Yes, shock horror, summer may finally have arrived, though probably only for a few days, knowing our luck! But something went wrong, the weather has been lovely here today, and its supposed to last for at least a few days more.

I can see me heading for work tomorrow in just a t-shirt and trousers, though given I’ll be fairly late home, I suspect I might take a light coat with me all the same, suspect 10 pm might not be quite that warm lol! But hopefully…

As many will know, summer up to this point has been pretty much a wash out, quite literally in many places. I couldnt believe the number of waterlogged race meetings while I was away in Seattle, though that problem has been gone for a short while now. But today, today was lovely, it has to be said, and the weathermen are even threatening its going to last until at least, ooh, Friday. I might even have to discard my summer boots if it stays like this! Yes, I might wear shoes, though definitely not ones with killer heels lol!

My main regret this summer, is going to be the lack of a trip to Ireland to watch the team play cricket, the logistical planning of the sporting summer makes such a trip nigh imnpossible, so it will have to pass me by. The ‘ghastly’ Euro 2012 Football will be followed shortly after by the Olympics, so all in all, makes for a lively summer at work. I could say other things about work at present, but with discretion being the better part of valour, I wont!

I will say, roll on September, and New England though, really looking forward to that, and hopefully some nice weather while there. Good company is already ensured while there, I might add. I’m such a forward planner that both venues for 2013 are already settled in my mind, and April 2014 as well. Not sure if that makes me wise, or sad, but… Oh, and September 2014 is down to one of three places already as well lol!

And given we will probably be back to weather suitable for ducks by next week, I’d better slip this video in while I can. You’ve worked out the song, I’m sure, just need to know which version, dont you? Well, you can either click the link, or look at the categories, or both to find out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dckdQHuDdcw

And no, I have no plans to buy a bikini lol!

Happy New Year

Well alright, it isnt quite here yet for me, but 2012 is fast approaching by now. The irony being that Samoa has gone from being the last place to welcome in the New Year, to one of the first, though I do feel sorry for anyone living there born on the 30th December, as that day never happened over there due to jumping across the International dateline for business reasons, most of their trade now being that side of the dateline.

So what does 2012 hold? Well, if you believe the Mayans, to quote REM, its the end of the world as we know it (but no, thats not the video lol), but I’m not showing too much concern on that front at present!

In a sporting sense over here, the big event for most will be the 2012 Olympics, though the football (Soccer) fans might say that the Euro 2012 means more to them, but given I’m not a fan of their sport, nope! For me, the 20/20 cricket World Cup is more important, even more so if Ireland qualify of course! Hopefully I can complete my set of the ‘big 4’ US sports this autumn with an NFL game, though apart from baseball, no sport has a count greater than one! Buffalo @ New England is the aim, though that will depend on the schedule when released in April.

Travel wise, I dont expect much change from frustration with a lousy train company, but I can hope! Job wise, I’m not expecting much change either, despite talking inwardly at times about it lol! Further afield, its Seattle in April, New England in September.

Personally, at least I know where I stand this year, having given up on Leeds GIC, I’ll have to settle for my own physical changes, rather than any hormonal ones. My body does seem to be raising to the challenge, so…not expecting miracles all the same!

So all in all, I’m not expecting much more from next year than this, but if you set your ambitions low, you are only likely to get delight, not disappointment in life. But short of a lottery win, I cant see any dramatic changes to this body. Fingers crossed, just maybe? 😉

So thats it, the end of the musings for 2011 at least. Yes, they will continue in 2012, thats definite. So lets close for now by wishing all my readers a happy 2012, and hope all goes well for you then as well. The video, yes, its my musical tastes, so its an oldie with the right sentiment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uo0JAUWijM&ob=av3e