Posts Tagged With: London

Live from the women’s gymnastics all-around final

Here we go, the women’s gymnastics all-around final is beginning now. I will update posts here.

FIRST ROTATION
Gabby Douglas breaks in the vault with a solid performance with just a small hop and a big cheer afterward. She and teammate Aly Raisman are wearing sparkly magenta outfits. Gabby might have gotten an even bigger cheer than the British girl on the beam. She also scored 15.966.

Raisman is up next on vault. Much more height, but a big bounce afterward. she gets a 15.900.

Those are the two highest scores recorded so far in any event.

The camera that zips alongside the vaulters is really crazy. It shows you that they really are running fast, but reminds me of an old-school typewriter.

Japan’s Tanaka has a really crazy and kind of cool zebra striped red, black and white unitard on, while dancing to the Pink Panther theme on floor exercise. Very animalistic.

We’re on to the second rotation with Douglas still leading. Raisman is in second and Komova of Russia sits in third with 15.466 points after also competing in vault. Aliya Mustafina of Russia, 15.233, is in fourth.

SECOND ROTATION
Raisman’s about to go up on the uneven bars. Lots of cheers of Go Aly! and American flags in that corner, so that’s good for the USA girls.

Superb. It looked just about perfect to me. Lots of height, some difficult moves and she nailed the landing. She scored a 14.333 for a total of 30.233

Here comes Komova. She leapfrogs Raisman for a total of 31.432 to lead all competitors. Douglas hasn’t gone yet. She’s last on UB.
Deng Lin of China just put up a nice uneven bars routine.

Here comes Gabby …
Beautiful, that’s not going to hurt her chances. Yep, 15.733. That puts her first in that event and first overall with 31.699 points. Komova second, Mustafina third and Raisman in fourth.

THIRD ROTATION
Komova up second on beam. Fairly major loss of balance, but she recovers beautifully. I have to give it to these girls for now graceful they are and focused. Perfect landing by Kosmova. She gets a 15.441.

Douglas needs a 15.174 to regain the lead. Raisman needs 16+.

Mustafina scores 13.633 … she’s not happy.
Gabby’s up next She’s had to wait quite a while for Mustafina’s score, but her coach keeps her company and is smiling. She’s beautiful up there. A few wobbles, but solid overall.
She lands to cheers with nothing else happening at the same time. her score ….15.500, but no smile from the usually bubbly girl.

Raisman follows immediately. A less than perfect routine. It starts with her losing balance on a backflip and leaning over to nearly touch the bar as she balances on one leg. That started a chain of wobbles and a step to the left on her landing. Not good for her chances. She’s being comforted by her coach. She moves to fifth with 44.433.

Douglas leads with 47.199, the Komova 46.873, Mustafina with 44.966 and Deng Linlin with 44.466.

FOURTH AND FINAL ROTATION
This is it. If Gabby Douglas can nail this, she’s the all-around champion.
Barely stayed int he lines there for a second, but she managed to do it. In fact, that seemed to energize her. She completed it to a huge roar and unless Komova does something out of this world, she’ll be the third straight USA All around champion. How crazy is that?
Douglas’ score …15.033, giving her 62.232.

Raisman’s fighting for a medal with this floor routine. She nails a 15.133, putting her in third ahead of Izbasa of Romania. But there area couple more girls to go, including Komova, who is up next.

I guess Komova didn’t like getting 28th in this event in qualification. She’ll likely knock Raisman out of the medals, but will that bump off Douglas?

NO! Douglas wins! 62.232 points. Komova second with 61.973. Mustafin ais third and Raisman fourth.
Raisman actually tied for fourth, but she lost on a tiebreaker. Heartbreaking.

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Categories: Athletes, Events, Gymnastics, Olympics | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The crowds in London

Julie emailed me tonight to let me know that I might be able to steal a shot of the Opening Ceremonies final dress rehearsal, but it was pretty lae already and I had settled in. But, not one to miss a dramatic night shot, I sprang into action (slowly rolled off the bed). When I got to the Olympic Park I was shocked for two reasons: first, I missed the rehearsal so I wouldn’t get any shots. Second, the crowds were huge. I mean really huge. I somehow made my way up alongside the massive crowd being held back by security to ease the load on the public transit system. This was a section of the crowd on a bridge, shoulder-to-shoulder two dozen people wide and 100-150 meters deep. I made my way to the back when I had a thought … hey, I’m a photographer and this seems like an interesting story. So out the camera came and I shot away.

People were getting frustrated and no one liked being in that crowd for so long, but to be fair to the Olympic staff and security, they kind of had to hold people back. That many people all trying to catch trains, buses and subways all at once would cause even more problems. But I really felt bad for the people in the crowd. Especially since I now was one.

I slipped past one group and made my way to another behind them being held back for their turn to descend upon the bridge, only to be held back again before they could enter the station. I waited for them to move, got my shots and looked around for my own exit. I found it in the mall. Yes, thank God for the mall.

You enter the mall on the second story and can go downstairs near the entrance. So down I went and sure enough I was able to walk right into the station to get on my train with no problem at all. I’m a sneaky little guy.

Anyway, here are the four photos I sent off to the paper. I hope they find a way to use them because I didn’t see any other photographers there. SCOOP!!!

Categories: Behind the Scenes, Olympic Preparation, Olympics, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Light on the Olympics today

We visited the Tower of London today and I thought there would be more of an Olympic presence there. We missed yesterday’s River of Music Festival there, so maybe that had something to do with it.

The other thing we missed was a major snag in the transit system. The evening paper said the Tube line that we usually take was out of service from 6am until 10am. Good thing that we didn’t get moving until 10 this morning. Every train is warning passengers to avoid lines that go to The Games’ various venues around the city unless they are attending the games themselves. Things have still worked out pretty well for us though.

So here’s the only Olympics-related shot I got today. I already showed you a shot of this, but this one is from dry land and not a rocking boat. Plus, the light is better. In fact, comment on this blog your favorite moment from a previous Olympics and I’ll pick my favorite comment and send you a copy of this photo when the games are done.

Tower Bridge with Olympic Rings

Categories: Contest, Olympics, Photos, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kerri Walsh and Misty May kick off beach volleyball at night

The information below comes straight from the USA Volleyball website. Kerri Walsh, who grew up in Scotts Valley, and Misty May-Treanor will hold down Centre Court late Saturday here, but early Saturday at home in Santa Cruz. Their match will be immediately preceded by a men’s match featuring the USA’s Sean Rosenthal and Jake Gibbs vs. Chiya/Goldschmit of Russia:

Two-time Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh will begin their quest for a third straight championship on July 28 at 11 p.m. local time (3 p.m. PT) at Horse Guards Parade against Nathalie Cook of Australia and Tamsin Hinchley of Australia.

The schedule for the beach volleyball competition at the 2012 Olympic Games in London was confirmed by the FIVB, LOCOG and the Olympic Broadcasting Services on Friday following the drawing of lots on Thursday in Klagenfurt, Austria.

On the men’s side, 2008 Olympic gold medalists Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) will start the defense of their title on Sunday (July 29) when they play Japan‘s Kentaro Asahi and Katsuhiro Shiratori at 10 p.m. local time (2 p.m. PT).

Women‘s and men’s matches will be mixed throughout the preliminary phase of the beach volleyball competition, which will run over six days with three sessions per day (09:00-12:50, 14:30-18:20, 20:00-23:50), and four matches per session except for the final day of pool play on Thursday, Aug. 2 when there will be six matches in session two.

The preliminary phase will then be followed by the knock out final phase, starting with two days of round of 16 matches followed by the quarterfinals and then the semifinals on August 7 and the medal matches on Aug. 8 and 9 for women and men respectively.

Categories: Beach Volleyball, Kerri Walsh, Olympics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beach volleyball the No. 2 spectator sport in 2012 Olympics?

There is a lot of history in London. It’s amazing the way it’s around every corner and on every lamp post. Even the Starbucks and Subway chains are in stone monoliths of buildings.

If you can’t tell, Tony and I went to the city center today and it is awe-inspiring. As soon as we came out from the underground we were at the base of Big Ben — which, we learned, refers to the bell and not the tower or its four clocks. Pretty crazy. We also saw the parliament buildings, of course, and did a great tour of Westminster Abby, perhaps the most beautiful church I have ever visited. Before we headed over to Buckingham Palace and eventually Picadilly Circus for a pint and dinner, we walked by Horse Guard Park, where the beach volleyball will be held (nice that it is in the city center). We chatted with the guards watching over the entrance to the construction (we didn’t see any sand by the stands, so they have a little ways to go before that venue is finished — like me, they must live for deadlines). They said they expect beach volleyball to draw the second biggest crowd of the Games, right behind the men’s 100 meters. Not sure I believe it, but that’s pretty exciting for the sport if it can outdraw gymnastics and swimming. Might have something to do with girls in bikinis ….

Anyway, people here seem to be getting ramped up for the Olympics, and we are too. We shared a train with the the Belgium field hockey team on the way under the Chunnell — a fairly anticlimactic experience considering we were flying along at the bottom of the English Channell — and we saw someone waiting for the Togo table tennis team when we arrived. I hoped to see the men’s basketball team, which is training here, but they have that gym locked down tight. Guess I’ll have to wait until the actual Games to see Lebron and Co. in action.

I’m trying to enjoy a couple more days of peace before really delving in head first, but I am also eager to dive in, so to speak. Wish me luck, and send us ideas of what you’d like to see covered. Some of the events I’m considering, in addition to full coverage of our local Olympians, include: the first Olympic women’s boxing match ever, a match by one of the first women ever sent to the Olympics by Saudi Arabia and the showdown between US swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. Like those ideas? Hate them? I’m here to write for you, so let me know what tickles your fancy. Hey, I’ll even park myself in a boozer all day, get slaughtered and scapa through Leicester Square.

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VIP treatment

If I didn’t before, I now know what it’s like to truly be a VIP. We made it London without a hitch. No sooner had we stepped off the plane in Heathrow and walked a couple blocks then we were getting our Olympic accreditations. That pass was like a golden ticket. Every couple of steps, someone would ask us if we needed anything. We got a VIP line through customs (and so almost did the unknowing couple and their toddlers who were ahead of us when we reached the line, since the volunteers thought they were with us.) We were even told we could get free transport into the city and a cab would be waiting to take us to our lodging. We headed to Amsterdam instead. And since internet is scarce and my time is running out, I’ll wrap it up there. We’ll post more in a few hours.

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We are in london

We made it with no problems. Right now we’re waiting for our flight to Amsterdam. Over the next few days this blog may resemble a travel blog more than and Olympics blog. Just hang in there, we’ll get to the Olympics soon enough.
Speaking of the games, we ran a story in the paper about all the problems the Olympics are causing and one of the main issues was long lines at the airports and untrained staff. This could not be further from the truth. Friendly and efficient was the way of things. It might have had something to do with the fact Julie got the VIP treatment with her press pass (so did I simply for being with her. I sure married the right person).
London, you’ve been good to us so far, can’t wait to come back in a few days.
But for now, Amsterdam, here we come.

Categories: Olympic Preparation | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

We are on our way

image

This is my wonderful sister taking us to the airport. It’s real now. We really doing this. Next stop, London. Then Amsterdam.

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Three Sheepdogs and two mosh pits

Three Old English Sheepdogs, like these two, will be among the menagerie used in the Opening Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympics.


I just heard a report in BBC radio that noted that’s what we are to expect to see during the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics in London. Apparently the presentation, directed by Danny Boyle, is to cost $27 million pounds and created clouds to provide rain in case Mother Nature is a no-show.

Here is the BBC’s complete report.

Categories: Olympic Preparation, Olympics, Photos, Press Release | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Olympic Trivia: The First Opening Ceremonies

The first opening ceremonies were held during the 1908 Olympic Games in London.

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