Category Archives: Olympics

London Olympics: stories and subplots

The 2012 London Olympics are fast approaching. As always, there is no shortage of stories or subplots.

– Queen Elizabeth II will open the London Olympics, her first since she opened the games in Montreal in 1976.

– In Soccer, both the men’s and women’s US national teams are playing in fine form. The women are 8-0 in 2012 and qualified easily for London. The US continues to reload the roster and will be tough to beat. The men, meanwhile, are coming off a historic win over Italy on Italian soil. Signs are positive that the changes new German coach Jurgen Klinsmann implemented are beginning to pay off.

– Team USA released its new uniform design for its basketball team. The team is primed with the core of the 2008 gold medal “Redeem Team” returning along with a new wave of all-stars headlined by the phenom Kevin Durant. A rematch with Spain may await in London.


– Speaking of uniforms, the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) recently changed its rules to allow female competitors to wear skirts if they so choose. Although most western boxers are resistant to the idea, some Eastern European boxers tried wearing skirts at the European Championships. The issue is sure to raise eyebrows in a sport that struggles against sexism. For example, Cuba refuses to send a female boxing team to London because it considers it unbecoming for women.

– Japanese rider Hiroshi Hoketsu may become the oldest olympian at the age of 71. The two time olympian has earned an individual dressage slot to represent Japan.

– And of course there is Michael Phelps. In what is expected to be his final games, the US swimmer is beginning to ramp up his intensity as London approaches. Phelps has not announced how many events he plans to enter, preferring to wait until he approaches the US trials.


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Summer olympic medal count: Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing & London.

Atlanta 1996 Summer games. Kerri Strug and Shannon Miller were part of the gold medal gymnastic team. Donovan Bailey set a new world record in the 100m and Michael Johnson won gold medals in 200m and 400m.
gold medal


Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States 44 32 25 101
2 Russia 26 21 16 63
3 Germany 20 18 27 65
4 China 16 22 12 50

Lighting of cauldron

Sydney 2000 summer games. Ian Thorpe and Cathy Freeman became homegrown stars in the pool and on the track. Simon Whitfield won the first olympic triathlon. Marion Jones dominated the 100m and 200m.
Sydney gold medal

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States 40 24 33 97 2 Russia 32 28 29 89 3 China 28 16 14 58 4 Australia 16 25 17 58 5 Germany 13 17 26 56

Lighting of cauldron

Athens 2004 summer games. The US 4x200m swimming team of Natalie Coughlin, Carly Piper, Dana Vollmer and Kaitlin Sandeno won gold. Swimmer Michael Phelps won 6 gold and 2 bronze. Gymnist Carly Patterson took the all-around gymnastics gold medal.

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States 35 39 29 103 2 China 32 17 14 63 3 Russia 28 26 38 92 4 Australia 17 16 16 49 5 Japan 16 9 12 37

Lighting of cauldron

Beijing 2008 summer games. Michael Phelps wins 8 gold medals. Team USA wins basketball gold. Gymnasts Nastia Liukin, and Shawn Johnson were gymnastic stars. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt shattered the 100m and 200m world records in stunning fashion.

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 51 21 28 100 2 United States 36 38 36 110 3 Russia 23 21 29 73 4 Great Britain 19 13 15 47 5 Germany 16 10 15 41

Lighting of cauldron

London 2012 summer games. It remains to be seen what storylines emerge from London. Will swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps triumph in the pool? Can Usain Bolt lower his world records?





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