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Gavin Chipper
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Olympics

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:30 pm

Have you been watching the Olympics? What are your thoughts?

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Re: Olympics

Post by JimBentley » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:28 pm

Yes. I am channelling my thoughts about them to you now.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Mark James » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:38 pm

I've flicked on to the channels covering it but none of the events featured so far have made me stay on the channel for too long. Watched about ten minutes of the Irish hockey team. Never been too into the Olympics really.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:37 pm

I haven't watched that much. I tend to mainly watch the athletics but I'm off on holiday now so I'll probably miss it all.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:13 pm

Something I find amusing is the whole beach volleyball thing. Every Olympics people say how it's such a good/bad thing that the female players play in bikinis because they are just wearing the most suitable clothing / the sport is overly sexualised.

But what no-one ever seems to notice is that the female track and field athletes wear pretty much the same thing, but in that case everyone just seems to get on with it without comment. Compare:

Image

with:

Image

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Re: Olympics

Post by Steven M. McCann » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:11 pm

A quick preview of tomorrow's tabloid Olympic Headlines "Two of Tom Daley's fellow Team GB Divers strike Gold!"

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Re: Olympics

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:41 am

Yes I am. I'm enjoying what I've managed to see, but the lack of a decent spoiler-free video round up to watch is pretty frustrating. I'm notstaying up until 4 for anyone, so I just have to hear about swimming (and next week, athletics) via headlines and spoilers :(
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Re: Olympics

Post by Mark Deeks » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:24 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Something I find amusing is the whole beach volleyball thing. Every Olympics people say how it's such a good/bad thing that the female players play in bikinis because they are just wearing the most suitable clothing / the sport is overly sexualised.

But what no-one ever seems to notice is that the female track and field athletes wear pretty much the same thing, but in that case everyone just seems to get on with it without comment. Compare:
It's not the outfits. It's the curvature that the outfits enhances. The track and field athletes don't have said curvature, thus, no comments. Don't worry, I'll be your guide.
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Re: Olympics

Post by JimBentley » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:48 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mark Deeks wrote:The track and field athletes don't have said curvature, thus, no comments. Don't worry, I'll be your guide.
I just had the most amazingly vivid flashback reading this of watching the Moscow 1980 Olympics at my grandma's house. Inevitably before every women's athletic event she would say "but they all just look like men!" For some reason, it was really funny at the time (and I suspect she cottoned onto this and played it up for the laffs).

It sounded like a funny reactionary old-person thing at the time, but In hindsight it's very difficult to find fault. This was the era of Jarmila Kratotchvilova, Marita Koch, Silke Gladische (Silky Gladys), Marlies Goer, et al, all of whom did look...let's say "androgynous".

But then, they were taking so many steroids that physiologically, they probably were technically male. I'd love to read a proper tell-all account of that period; there's some fascinating (but pretty general) stuff out there already (i.e. Eastern Bloc athletes were routinely doped with or without their knowledge for many, many years) but that's not the whole story. There's much more to be told.

For instance, some athletes were entirely duped, but more were not only aware, but complicit in the regime. There's a (possibly apocryphal) story about Marita Koch lodging a formal complaint with the GDR federation because she found out that her main domestic sprint rival at the time, Marlies Gohr, was on an even more intense steroid regime than she was herself, for instance. True or not, there's got to be loads more stories like that to be told.

And for the sake of balance I'd also like to know the extent of the BALCO scandal (the American equivalent regime that ran through the 1990s); the Wikipedia article gives a good overview but as with all these things, the devil's in the detail.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:39 am

Mark Deeks wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Something I find amusing is the whole beach volleyball thing. Every Olympics people say how it's such a good/bad thing that the female players play in bikinis because they are just wearing the most suitable clothing / the sport is overly sexualised.

But what no-one ever seems to notice is that the female track and field athletes wear pretty much the same thing, but in that case everyone just seems to get on with it without comment. Compare:
It's not the outfits. It's the curvature that the outfits enhances. The track and field athletes don't have said curvature, thus, no comments. Don't worry, I'll be your guide.
There's a range of curvatures among the track and field athletes. And indeed among the beach volleyball athletes. I do not accept this explanation.
Last edited by Gavin Chipper on Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Olympics

Post by JimBentley » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:05 pm

Anway, that aside, there's been some amazing performances in the athletics already but the problem is, unless you can find a place to watch it live, all you get are endless round-ups and no detail.

I've completely given up on the TV now, not because the coverage is bad - it isn't, it's generally excellent - but they piss about with it so much that if your attention wanders for a couple of seconds, the heptathletes you were previously watching have apparently now turned into men and got onto bicycles. Next minute, that coverage will be interrupted to bring us ten-minute conversation between Helen Skelton and Mike Foster talking about things that happened days ago.

The BBC red button coverage is equally bad as it doesn't seem to offer a choice; it's like guesswork what's going to be on there. So I'm just watching on the website now, there's about ten times as much that you can watch live on there and crucially you can actually choose what you want to watch.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Mark James » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:28 pm

JimBentley wrote: The BBC red button coverage is equally bad as it doesn't seem to offer a choice; it's like guesswork what's going to be on there. So I'm just watching on the website now, there's about ten times as much that you can watch live on there and crucially you can actually choose what you want to watch.
The red button isn't working for me. I thought they didn't have red button coverage. Must get on to Sky.

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Re: Olympics

Post by JimBentley » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:11 pm

Mark James wrote:
JimBentley wrote: The BBC red button coverage is equally bad as it doesn't seem to offer a choice; it's like guesswork what's going to be on there. So I'm just watching on the website now, there's about ten times as much that you can watch live on there and crucially you can actually choose what you want to watch.
The red button isn't working for me. I thought they didn't have red button coverage. Must get on to Sky.
The most puzzling thing about it is that for events like Wimbledon (where more than one thing is going on at once) the red button brings up a screen showing a number of different live feeds on little inset screens, and you could then choose which one to watch. It's just mystifying why they're not doing the same thing here.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:42 am

Being on a bit of a road trip in America right now, my viewing has been very limited. But I happened to be in someone's house for the men's 10,000m final, where there appeared to be some once-every-25-years family reunion with children and everything, just as we were there. When Mo Farah tripped, I accidentally let out a "fucking hell", although no-one appeared to notice. Anyway, he must have landed on his chin, because his goatee wasn't there at the end of the race.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Steven M. McCann » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:49 pm

Were the Rio Tennis Officials on Andy Murray to win Gold? nearly every time he was in trouble he would get a shocking call in his favour, throughout the Tournament.
Reminiscent of the sort of treatment visiting teams at Old Trafford used to get, in the Ferguson era.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:09 pm

How much did you lose on Juan then ?
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Re: Olympics

Post by JimBentley » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:27 pm

Steven M. McCann wrote:Were the Rio Tennis Officials on Andy Murray to win Gold? nearly every time he was in trouble he would get a shocking call in his favour, throughout the Tournament.
Reminiscent of the sort of treatment visiting teams at Old Trafford used to get, in the Ferguson era.
If that's what you thought was happening, why didn't you pile money onto Murray? There was ample opportunity to bet in-play and you could have been quids in.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Mark James » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:17 pm

The Irish boxer's interview after his dodgy loss has been the best thing about the Olympics so far. There was also a brilliant tweet from RTE who said there was change in the scheduled programming. Instead of the Olympics they'd be switching over to Crimewatch to discuss the fight.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:38 pm

Does anyone else feel that our amazing medal haul is down to there being a level playing field at last.
Having watched countless Olympics where the Eastern bloc countries were clearly cheating......think Kratotchvilova the 800 metres world record holder and you will understand what drugs can do.
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Re: Olympics

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:10 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:Does anyone else feel that our amazing medal haul is down to there being a level playing field at last.
Weeeeeell. Much as I fucking love the Olympics and am continually impressed by Team GB's haul from previously barren disciplines, and am glad that inroads are being made into weeding out dopers/doping practices, isn't it more down to vastly increased funding for supporting athletes, training and facilities in the last 20 years, which has increasingly paid dividends? It's obviously not a level playing field in terms of nations' human resources and financial resources, but it can't really ever be, I guess.
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Re: Olympics

Post by Steven M. McCann » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:40 pm

What exactly does a Team GB cyclist have to do to get disqualified, last night Mark Cavendish caused a pile up in the Omnium, yet keeps his Silver, tonight Jason Kenny overtook the Derny in the Keirin (which usually means instant disqualification), yet he gets away with it and of course wins the Gold in the restarted race.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:13 am

I think the Durney rider was at fault for not speeding up as he came off.
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Re: Olympics

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:23 am

Yeah I should have qualified my statement by referring to a level playing field regarding doping.
The medals table reflects talent over chemistry.
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Re: Olympics

Post by Ian Volante » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:28 pm

Well they have to retain some semblance of a nod towards the Olympic spirit. It's a no-lose gesture - there's loads of space in a 5,000m race, and one of them's injured anyway.
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Re: Olympics

Post by Mark James » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:08 pm

RTE are on fire at the minute.

http://www.rte.ie/can-you-beat-nikitin/

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Re: Olympics

Post by Steven M. McCann » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:29 pm

Congratulations to Canada's Melissa Bishop the "REAL" Women's 800 metre champion.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Ian Volante » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:34 pm

Steven M. McCann wrote:Congratulations to Canada's Melissa Bishop the "REAL" Women's 800 metre champion.
That's "REALLY" insulting.
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Re: Olympics

Post by sean d » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:03 am

Two big issues in terms of level playing fields. The financial one is the result of capitalism, innit? If the UK want to spend tens of millions on a tiny minority sports like track cycling that offers lots of medals for very few competitors (worldwide) then that's their bag. Their investment in sport since the debacle of 1996 (1 gold medal) has been considerable. I heard a figure somewhere that it worked out at £7million investment per gold medal (or per medal?) over the four years since London. That's a lot of money to get some dude nobody's heard of onto a podium for an event nobody understands once every four years. The track cycling thing is a bit perverse though- they are specifically and admittedly focused on winning Olympic medals, not developing the sport or anything like that.

Regarding drugs, unfortunately I find it impossible not to question everyone in every speed/stamina/endurance event, from Bolt to Farah to Ayana to the Irish silver medal rowers to every cyclist, and everyone in between. History tells us that an enormous number of former champions have been on drugs.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:32 am

Slanderous comments there.
I have been thinking that the major ( no pun intended ) factor in our superb medal haul was either John Major, Lord Coe or WADA. Though probably a combination of all three.
The biggest surprise is the relative dismal performance by the Aussies
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Re: Olympics

Post by JimBentley » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:38 pm

Inevitable, but this is going to be fun.

I've no particular beef with any of our Olympians being given honours; after all, pretty much anyone with a political (or even broadly public service) career gets some sort of honour when they go, even if they were so conformist as to be unnoticeable. Even the ones that were plainly rubbish at it get something and for this reason I consider the honours system to be a bit of a joke. So if Theresa wants to hand out a few gongs to people who were particularly good at something (at this particular point in time), it's fine with me (I know Theresa will be thrilled at this news).

It's the inflation of the honours that does seem a bit odd, though. Why Sir Steve Redgrave? Sir Bradley Wiggins? Sir Chris Hoy? I don't want to belittle their achievements, but what have they done that distinguishes them from, for instance Daley Thompson (MBE 1982, OBE 1986 and eventually given a CBE in 2000, long after he'd retired) or Steve Ovett (only got as far as OBE). Both of those people had far more impact on their sport when they were competing than any of the cyclists I can think of. OK, Lord Coe got his lordship more from sucking up to the Tories than for his athletic prowess, but why Dame Kelly Holmes? Again, the last thing I want to do is belittle her achievements - the 800m/1500m double at the Athens Olympics was pretty amazing - but jumping straight from an MBE to a Damehood must be pretty unusual.

Anyway, it's going to be interesting to see who gets what.

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Re: Olympics

Post by JimBentley » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:44 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:I have been thinking that the major ( no pun intended ) factor in our superb medal haul was either John Major, Lord Coe or WADA. Though probably a combination of all three.
It's pretty much seems to be acknowledged that it was the Major government (which included Coe) diverting some Lottery money to elite sport that has made the UK such a power at the Olympics. It's quite cleverly done - because it concentrates on the sports that we can realistically do well in - and so costs surprisingly little (in the grand scheme of things). But for ever sport that receives funding, there's another six or seven who don't, and are (possibly) rightfully aggrieved.
Marc Meakin wrote:The biggest surprise is the relative dismal performance by the Aussies
Nah, that wasn't a surprise at all to anyone who follows sport.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Steven M. McCann » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:47 pm

Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish two of Britain's greatest ever Football people, only ever got minor honours for all their magnificent achievements, while these Olympic Rowers/Cyclists/Athletes seem to get Knighthoods/Damehoods at the drop of a hat.
I wouldn't be surprised if every single Olympic medal winner got an honour of some sort.
A perfect example of an unelected PM buttering up the electorate.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:50 pm

Honours schmonours. I have spoken.

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Re: Olympics

Post by JimBentley » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:09 pm

Steven M. McCann wrote:Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish two of Britain's greatest ever Football people, only ever got minor honours for all their magnificent achievements, while these Olympic Rowers/Cyclists/Athletes seem to get Knighthoods/Damehoods at the drop of a hat.
To be fair, Bob Paisley (OBE) and Kenny Dalglish (MBE) (and let's throw in Bill Shankly (OBE)) didn't do a great deal outside of Liverpool FC, and for much of that time there wasn't a great deal of domestic competition. Plus they had (at the time) resources far beyond those of any other top flight English club and on top of that, were the club that every ambitious footballer wanted to play for, simply because they won shitloads of trophies and paid much more money than most of the other clubs.

A far better example would be Brian Clough (eventually given an OBE in 1991). He broke all the goalscoring records in the top leagues in the early 1960s. He played for England (albeit inauspiciously). He was the youngest manager in the league when he went to Hartlepools. He took Derby County from an also-ran second league outfit with no money to the top of the then Division 1 within 3 years. He then did virtually the same thing with Nottingham Forest, but within 2 years rather than 3, and then won two European Cups with much the same side.
Steven M. McCann wrote:A perfect example of an unelected PM buttering up the electorate.
I can't really disagree with that.

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Re: Olympics

Post by Steven M. McCann » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:18 pm

Jim, it was Bob Paisley that turned Liverpool into the dominant force in English and European football, they certainly weren't before he took over, only 1 League Title, 1 FA Cup and 1 UEFA Cup in the previous 8 seasons more than backs this up.
I accept most of Kenny Dalglish's greatest achievements were at Liverpool, but he also delivered a League Title for Blackburn Rovers and he was of course one of Scotland's greatest ever players.
Although I used to hate Nottingham Forest with a passion (they scuppered Liverpool winning the European Cup 3 times in a row) I certainly would have had no problems with Brian Clough being knighted for his achievements.

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Re: Olympics

Post by JimBentley » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:36 pm

Steven M. McCann wrote:Jim, it was Bob Paisley that turned Liverpool into the dominant force in English and European football, they certainly weren't before he took over, only 1 League Title, 1 FA Cup and 1 UEFA Cup in the previous 8 seasons more than backs this up.
That was kind of my point. They were already a big team and Paisley made them bigger.

Clough did so much more than that, taking a team - Derby County - who at the time were viewed as complete no-hopers from the second division, to winning the top division, all on a budget of more or less nothing, within three years. And then he did the same thing again - but even better - with Nottingham Forest, another written-off, unfashionable club, and won two European Cups. Granted, he was eventually given some money to spend at Forest, but not until he'd taken them to the top of Division 1. I just don't think there's any meaningful comparison.

Although to further complicate things, I don't think Clough would have been quite so successful without him having Peter Taylor around; the two seemed to work as a single entity and solo weren't so good. You only need to look at Forest's demise throughout the 1980s to see that.

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Re: Olympics

Post by sean d » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:59 am

Getting off topic but Derby's budget under Clough was far from 'more or less nothing', he broke the UK transfer record at least twice at Derby and again at Forest. Still, undoubtedly more worthy of an 'honour' than some dude who proved to be the best of the 50 or so people in the world who cycle short distances in a circle.

Paisley, Stein and Clough elevated British club football to great heights when the national teams weren't up to much. Football was the game of the unwashed scum masses though.

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