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Olympic Coolness (not the usual)

  1. Jul 29, 2012 #1

    Danger

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    I don't like sports, but even I have to pay some attention to the Games. I do love to watch gymnastics, though, which is what brought this thread to mind.
    It's a place to post about extraordinary things that you might find during the Games, rather than just the expected athletic excellence. It's not restricted to athletes. If there's something special about a coach, or a competitor's parents, or whatever... this is the place.
    I'll start with the 2 that really blew me away and prompted this. (Please forgive my lack of remembering names.)
    An Irish lad who was told just a couple of years ago that he would never walk again competed in the floor gymnastics yesterday. It didn't go as well as he'd hoped, but as he said in the post-performance interview, "At least I'm not in a wheelchair like they said I'd be." (That's not an exact quote, but as close to it as I can remember.)
    The other is a young Chinese archer. He's legally blind, and still managed to set a world record. I'm missing some details on that, having heard it just in passing on the news, but I think that it has something to do with the number of arrows on target.
    If anything extra special like that comes to your attention, please share.
    And no, Arildno! Bad Arildno! Sit! Balancing a frozen halibut on your nose doesn't count.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2012 #2
    Thats the Irish gymanst: http://london2012.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/28/irish-gymnast-fails-to-qualify-for-finals/

    I believe that the archer is legally blind in his left eye so he can still sight his shots with his right.
     
  4. Jul 29, 2012 #3

    Danger

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    Yes! Kieran! That's the lad that I meant. Thank you for the link, Rollcast.
    As for the archer, though... to be legally blind has to involve both eyes. To be totally lacking vision in one eye, for instance, doesn't affect your ability to get a driver's license or allow you to collect AISH. That's considered partial blindness. In the case of this lad, he stated (which I assume is backed by medical records) that all he can see is a "fuzzy yellow spot".
     
  5. Jul 29, 2012 #4

    Astronuc

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  6. Jul 29, 2012 #5
    Korean archer link

    Although I swear the BBC commentators said he was only blind in one eye???
     
  7. Jul 29, 2012 #6

    Danger

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    Astro, that is exactly the sort of thing that I had in mind. Thanks, and best wishes to John (until he competes against a Canuck, of course :biggrin:).
    Rollcast, I thank you again for a link. My utmost apologies to South Koreans for having mistakenly referred to Im Dong Hyn as Chinese. There is no excuse for that other than laziness on my part.
    Also, Rollcast, your information source can definitely make a difference. Sometimes there are commercial considerations, sometimes political ones... but most often just a matter of perspective due to both the availability of background information and where and when a particular person is approached for a comment or interview. Your source is BBC; mine is CTV. While both are capable of errors, they are both above reproach when it comes to integrity.
     
  8. Jul 30, 2012 #7
    Here you go, Danger, this one looks like it’s pretty much what you had in mind. Did you see the story of Oksana Chusovitina? As a Soviet gymnast, she won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Very impressive, but what does that have to do with your thread which is about the current Olympic Games? Well, at the age of 37, nearly two decades older than most of her competitors, she competed in the women’s gymnastics at London, yesterday, competing for Germany.

    Remarkable enough. But there is a story behind it. Her son contracted lukeamia and she had not enough money to pay for his treatment. That is why she came to Germany to earn enough money, as a gymnastic coach, to pay for her son’s treatment. At 37, she just happens to still be so good as to find herself in the German team.

    At an event packed with stories of remarkable human achievement, I thought that one stood out as something special.
     
  9. Jul 30, 2012 #8

    Astronuc

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    From Physics Today - Stacie Powell (shown here) is representing Britain at the Olympics in the 10-meter platform diving event. She's also a PhD student at Cambridge University's Institute of Astronomy.
     
  10. Jul 31, 2012 #9

    turbo

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    Watching men's C2. Very tough sport.
     
  11. Jul 31, 2012 #10

    Danger

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    You confuse me, Sir. Given the admittedly sparse amount that I know about you, I would normally assume that you are referring to the SAW that our Canuck soldiers used to carry. The other thing that comes to mind is the race car.
    Is there an actual Olympic event that goes by that name? As I said, I'm not into sports, so I really don't know.
    Ken, you are absolutely correct that what you posted is what the thread is about. Your explanation of the situation impresses the hell out of me. I'll Google her to see what other accounts are available.
    Astro, I will also have to Google Stacie Powell. It's always nice to see when a brainiac can also have a physical life. Our only Canuck medal so far is in women's diving, though, so you know that I have to treat her as the enemy. :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  12. Jul 31, 2012 #11

    Monique

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  13. Jul 31, 2012 #12

    turbo

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    C2 is two person canoe competition. The water is fast and heavy. The gates are hung from overhead cables, and some have to be taken upstream and some downstream. Strength, speed, and coordination (above all) are required.
     
  14. Jul 31, 2012 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    Cool? Meet the Press was cancelled this week due to the Olympics! :mad: You would think those athletes would show a little more consideration for normally scheduled programming. Couldn't they have put off the events for one more hour? Jeeeeez!!!!
     
  15. Jul 31, 2012 #14

    AlephZero

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    Athletes should be kept in their proper place in society, as in the 1908 London Olympics. The reason why the marathon has such a strange length is because Queen Alexandra wanted her kids to see it, and decreed that the start line should be outside their nursery window at Windsor Castle. And the finish line had to be alongside the Royal Box at the White City Stadium so she could see that as well.

    The distance wasn't actually standardized till 1921, but they based it on the 1908 London distance.

    The story of the 1908 race is worth a read - Google for Dorando Pietri.
     
  16. Jul 31, 2012 #15
    On the Olympics topic, it appears Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen, is getting bit too much attention. Watching her game, I also have to be skeptical about her.
     
  17. Jul 31, 2012 #16

    Danger

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    I've never heard of that dude, Monique, but it was a hell of an entertaining read. It reminds me of Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican bobsled team.
    Turbo, thanks for the explanation. I've watched the rowing, but had no idea that there are also canoes.
    Rootx, I saw Ye Shiwen's first couple of events. Holy cats, can that girl move! Maybe beans should be a banned substance, because she appears to be jet propelled.
     
  18. Jul 31, 2012 #17

    turbo

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    Not just canoes. There are Kx competitions that feature kayaks.
     
  19. Aug 1, 2012 #18

    Danger

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    Cool. Perhaps because of my nationality, I tend to think of kayaks only in terms of whaling and seal hunting. (Not that there's much of either going on any more.)
     
  20. Aug 2, 2012 #19

    Danger

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    Damn those Germans! Never mind steroids; I want to have them tested for a pulse. I'm sure that those buggers are cybernetically grafted to their boats.

    We just found out something else inspiring today, especially since it's one of ours. Clara Hughes, who is our most-decorated Olympian from years past, came in 5th in the bike race, which is impressive enough. What really makes it special is what she revealed after the race: she trained and competed with a broken back that resulted from an accident earlier in the year.

    I'm going to steal a joke here. Greg, I believe that this will fall under "fair usage" regarding copyright. I put it here just because it's sports-related. The funniest thing that I've heard from Jimmy Carr (a great English stand-up comic):
    Q: Do you know why boxers don't have sex before a fight?
    A: They don't fancy each other.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  21. Aug 3, 2012 #20

    mathwonk

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    7th place at the 50 and he wins the 100? give it up!!! for phelps!!!
     
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