SBD/August 3, 2012/Olympics

Olympic Names In The News: Lochte Happy With Results In London

U.S. swimmer RYAN LOCHTE appeared live on-set on NBC’s “Today” Friday morning and he told NBC’s Matt Lauer, “I’m relieved that it’s finally over. It’s been a long four years but you know what, I’m coming home to my country with five Olympic medals. I can’t be more happy.” Lauer asked, “Were these the Games you envisioned?” Lochte said, “Whenever I step on the blocks I’m always going there to win … and sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. But overall, I’m pretty happy.” Lauer noted that in an interview he did with Lochte a few months before the London Games, he asked Lochte to “write the headline for what the papers will say when these games are over and you said, ‘I hope it says Ryan Lochte takes over.’ What’s the headline?” Lochte: “That’s hard to say just because I had some up-and-down swims at this Olympics. I don’t know, it’s hard to say, I’m just going to have to wait and see what the actual media says” (“Today,” NBC, 8/3).

VLAD THE IMPALER: The AP noted Russia President VLADIMIR PUTIN, a "longtime judo enthusiast," on Thursday attended the men's 100-kilogram judo finals at the London Games as Russian TAGIR KHAIBULAEV won the Gold Medal. Putin "arrived Thursday in London" and met with U.K. Prime Minister DAVID CAMERON for "about 45 minutes before heading out to the Olympic judo venue" (AP, 8/2). Putin is "a judo black belt" and a "master in the art of intermingling sports and politics" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/3).

MINGLING WITH THE MASSES: YAHOO SPORTS' Martin Rogers noted PRINCE WILLIAM and his wife, KATE MIDDLETON, Thursday "surprised fans at the Olympic Games tennis tournament at Wimbledon by sitting in the cheap seats." The pair "decided to shun the VIP seating available to them in favor of a regular spot in the stands" while watching Britain's ANDY MURRAY play Spain's NICOLAS ALMAGRO (, 8/2).

STAMP OF APPROVAL: British Gold Medal-winning rowers HELEN GLOVER and HEATHER STANNING are being "celebrated in a commemorative stamp" that the U.K.'s Royal Mail released Thursday (, 8/1).

BUSTING HIS CHOPS: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Paul Sonne wrote British Gold Medal-winning cyclist BRADLEY WIGGINS, who "rocks a pair of seriously-retro ginger mutton chops," has "fuelled Britain's already-growing sideburn mania." Fans at the men's road race time trial on Wednesday "donned fake sideburns." Many U.K. tabloids on Thursday were then "offering cut-out sideburns in his honor on their front pages" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/3).

CHILD'S PLAY: In Albany, Mark McGuire wrote about London Games mascots WENLOCK and MANDEVILLE and asked, “Why do Olympic mascots always seem to, um, suck?” McGuire: “Why do they always seem to resemble characters from a rejected Nick Jr. pilot -- cutesy but creepy, simple but sinister, made for 3-year-olds but too complex in concept for anyone to digest? Yes, it's all about merchandising. Of course, they are aimed at kids. But would you want your kindergartener waking up to those all-seeing eyes in the middle of the night?” (, 8/2).
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