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Thread: The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games

  1. #1
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    Default The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games

    In case you've been living under a rock, the Summer Olympics start next week. The Opening Ceremony is on July 27. For those interested in bike-related sports, the road cycling events (road race, individual time trials) take place on July 28-29 (men's and women's road races) and Aug. 1 (individual time trials). There are also multiple track cycling heats and finals over several days.

    BMX races take place on Aug. 8-10. Mountain bike races are held on Aug. 11-12.

    Cycling schedule: http://www.nbcolympics.com/cycling/r...les/index.html

    As for triathlon, the women's race is scheduled for Aug. 4. The men race on Aug. 7.

    http://www.nbcolympics.com/triathlon...les/index.html

    Of course, there are other competitions of interest to triathletes (swimming, track and field/marathon) and the general viewing public. Modern pentathlon involves fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, cross-country running and laser pistol shooting.

    Here is the entire schedule of events from the NBC Olympics website: http://www.nbcolympics.com/results-schedules/index.html

    I believe NBC will be showing every event live in some form, whether on the main NBC network, on the NBC-owned cable networks like the NBC Sports Network or on the NBC Olympics website. The primetime broadcasts will be devoted to coverage of the most popular sports, such as swimming, gymnastics and track and field.

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    The Olympics have always been one of my favorite sporting events, even back in grade school. I used to prefer the Winter Olympics because of the high-speed sports (downhill skiing, luge, ski jumping, bobsled, speed skating). But now that I participate in triathlon, running and cycling events (at the non-elite level only), I have more of an interest in the Summer Games.

    The Summer Olympics are the main reason that I got into cycling and triathlon as an adult. I did very little endurance exercise from the middle years of college on. After dealing with a shoulder injury, I did some strength training for a few years but nothing too serious. I watched some of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games but I was busy with other things to start exercising on my own, other than the occasional strength workout or 20-min. treadmill session. After the 2004 Summer Olympics, I decided to start swimming for exercise. Again, nothing too serious. Just regular sessions in the pool over the summer and early fall.

    It was the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics that got me started on the road to endurance sports. Michael Phelps's quest for 8 gold medals was exciting to watch. I actually watched a marathon broadcast for the first time ever without getting bored. As for my (not so fast) swimming, I was surprised to discover that I had developed a decent amount of aerobic endurance. Nothing too special but considering that in 2004, I got completely wiped out by swimming a single lap of the pool, I was glad that I could do an easy 2-hr. swim session (mostly breaststroke, and flawed technique at that).

    I decided to start training for something, some type of race. My brother had run a few marathons in the past, so I asked him about training. Since I liked swimming, he suggested that I look into triathlons. Back then, I had only a vague idea of what a triathlon was. I didn't know the order of the sports. I'm not even sure if I could have named the three sports correctly. My brother had never done any triathlons either, but he is a fan of sports in general (especially basketball). (He used to play point guard on his high school team.) So that's how I decided to start training for triathlons.

    [NOTE: The process didn't go so smoothly. I kept swimming that summer. I didn't start running until after the Olympics ended. I had decent aerobic endurance but I had some muscle imbalance issues or weaknesses in my quads, particularly the VMO or medial part of the quad. I didn't know this until after I started running. I ramped up the distances very quickly, getting up to a 6-mile run after just 3 weeks. But that led to a bad case of runner's knee, which forced me to stop running for nearly two months. After a few more running injuries in the following months, I solved the problem with functional strength training and a smarter approach to base building. I finished an Olympic-distance triathlon in fall 2009. I got past the running injuries too. My last injury was in late summer 2009, although I had some shin splint/tightness problems in late 2009 and early 2010. That went away with strength training too.]

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    Michael Phelps hasn't been as dominant in recent years but he should still take home more medals this summer. The men's road cycling events will be tricky, especially for those riders who are competing in the Tour de France. It will be a short turnaround for them.

    I don't follow track cycling that closely, but I know that GC contender Bradley Wiggins has a background in track cycling. That has served him well at this year's Tour de France, so far.

    I'll be watching many of the cycling, triathlon, swimming and track and field events on TV or online. I'm not a big fan of gymnastics but I'll usually watch some of the finals because it's considered one of the key sports of the Summer Games. I usually try to watch some of the Weightlifting events too. It's amazing to see those men and women heaving up massive amounts of weight. (I do some strength training at various times of the year, but it's mostly focused on enhancing my endurance sports performance and helping to avoid injury. I don't do any of the heavy lifting that the strength athletes and weightlifters do.)

    By the way, Olympic weightlifting is different from powerlifting. Both involve barbells but the moves are very different.
    Last edited by PotomacCyclist; 07-18-2012 at 05:26 PM.

  2. #2
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    A planned stunt bike sequence has been cut from the Opening Ceremony because of time constraints.

    http://news.yahoo.com/london-shorten...8991--oly.html
    Last edited by PotomacCyclist; 07-28-2012 at 03:57 PM.

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    And that, my friend,will be but the first of many many disappointments related to the Olympics. The sporting competitions themselves? I'm foursquare in favor of. The Olympics(TM), as presented by the IOC and other governing bodies? Is absolutely appalling.

  4. #4
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    The Olympic Games are a bit overproduced and too expensive. But the fact remains that the Games represent the top level of competition in many sports. And even though the Olympics aren't really an effective means of solving international and ethnic conflicts around the world, just the fact that the Games exist is a positive. For two weeks, individuals and teams from around the globe can compete on the track, on the courts, on the fields, in stadiums, in the water and on the roads, instead of through the deadlier means of guns, tanks, bombs, etc.

    Even though professional superstars now play in the Games, many of the top stars will be in sports that don't usually get much media coverage. I like the fact that basketball or football isn't the focus for once. Well, except for ESPN. Since they don't have Olympics rights, they tend to downplay many of the Olympic events, except for the biggest ones. I say this as a fan of some of the big team sports like baseball and football (although I'm not really a hardcore football fan these days).

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    It's a sporting event, nothing more. Anything about peace and justice is self aggrandizement and self promotion. That anyone still buys it after the nazi games and the stack of corruption scandals boggles my mind.

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    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    To each his own, I guess. It's imperfect but so are many things in life, including most sports. Despite all the doping scandals in various sports, from baseball to cycling and track and field, many people still view them as legitimate -- though tainted -- competitions. Many don't and that's their right. Sometimes good things arise from imperfect processes or in spite of them.

    And sometimes people dismiss activities and events completely because of some problems or bad actors. That's actually the case with many critics of cycling. They see one irresponsible cyclist and then they think that all cyclists are evil criminals, when everyone here knows better.
    Last edited by PotomacCyclist; 07-19-2012 at 02:42 PM.

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    The sport part is perfectly legitimate. It's the idea that it's more than entertainment is the bogus part.

  8. #8
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    You're entitled to your opinion but I don't see the point in debating an unproveable point. Are you going to turn this into an Olympics protest thread? I thought it would be nice to have a thread to discuss the Summer Olympics, whether it's the cycling events or non-cycling events. You can view this as Olympics propaganda or not, but I really am not getting paid by the USOC or the IOC. I'm simply a fan of the Olympic Games. Believe it or not, many others are too, and not just because it's another sporting event.
    Last edited by PotomacCyclist; 07-19-2012 at 03:03 PM.

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    The big picture stuff like peace on earth you mentioned and the other macro-scale stuff doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I don't see where people get that. But a lot of people get inspiration out of the personal, micro-scale stories of individual athletes overcoming long odds to just be at the games etc. The human stories. That's the part that I think really is larger than the sports themselves. I suppose the same stories usually apply to pro-sports as well but for the most part Olympic athletes are amateur or semi-pro at best. That means they do it for the love of the game, which means a lot to people....... And NBC knows that so they do a lot of marketing of human stories to get more people interested.

  10. #10
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    Different perspectives. I know I won't convince any of the detractors here, but that "other stuff" is there. As I mentioned, I don't believe the Olympics brings world peace. It's a small piece of the puzzle. Perhaps not a major one and not a significant one, but just the idea that it even exists is something. Again, if you don't believe in this, a debate isn't going to convince anyone.

    It's sort of like how I keep reading on other sites that CaBi can't be used to run errands. I'm always surprised by that because I thought I had been doing just that for the last year and a half. It's the approach that if one doesn't think something exists or isn't possible, then it must not be possible.

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