SBD/August 8, 2012/Olympics

Olympics Names In The News: Bannister Joins Coe To Watch Men's 1500-Meter Final

Condoleezza Rice (l) watched the track and field competitions in Olympic Stadium
The AP’s Stephen Wilson notes ROGER BANNISTER, the first man to break the four-minute mile, was “front and center at Olympic Stadium on Tuesday night to watch the men's 1,500 meters.” He sat with LOCOG Chair SEBASTIAN COE, who won the Gold Medal in the event for Great Britain in both the '80 Moscow and '84 L.A. Games (AP, 8/8). The AP’s Jill Lawless notes former U.S. Secretary of State CONDOLEEZZA RICE was “spotted at the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, and actress SUSAN SARANDON watched men's water polo alongside gold medalist CARL LEWIS on Monday.” Microsoft Founder BILL GATES “has attended events including table tennis and beach volleyball.” But otherwise, Lawless writes “megastars have been few and far between” at the Games (AP, 8/8).

NO GHOST TOUR TICKETS AVAILABLE: The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Helen Warrell noted London Mayor BORIS JOHNSON was “quick to dismiss suggestions last week that the Olympic Games had turned some parts of central London into a ghost town as tourists flocked to the stadium and Londoners heeded warnings not to overburden public transport.” Johnson said, “That’s absolutely not the case. In the West End we’ve got big crowds in the heart of London area." He added, "We’ve got footfall up about 16 per cent on last year and the (companies) are getting ... ready for crowds at Hyde Park, big crowds in Victoria Park so (things are as good) as they could possibly could be” (FT.com, 8/6).

GETTING POLITICAL: In N.Y., Peter Baker reports PRESIDENT OBAMA “cannot stop talking about the gymnasts, swimmers and soccer players” of the U.S. Olympic team on the “campaign trail nearly everywhere he goes these days.” Obama “has been wrapping himself in Olympic glory, giving shout-outs to the winners and slipping in that he just happened to call some of them personally to congratulate them on their medals” (NYTIMES.com, 8/7)....Rafalca, the horse owned by Republican Presidential candidate MITT ROMNEY’s wife, ANN, received a “score of 69.302, not enough to advance to the Grand Prix Freestyle” for the dressage finals tomorrow (N.Y. TIMES, 8/8).

IT TAKES A VILLAGE: NBC’s SAVANNAH GUTHRIE was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Athlete’s Village and living areas by U.S. diver KELCI BRYANT, and Guthrie said, “Most people are not allowed inside, but I was lucky enough to get a look.” Guthrie said the “main hub for athletes and visitors entering the village is the International Zone, complete with its own post office, florist, market, even a hair salon" where athletes can receive free haircuts, manicures and pedicures. The first stop was the housing for Team USA, “a place normally off-limits to cameras.” The athletes can get massages at the sports medicine area and are able to make free phone calls to the U.S. Guthrie noted the village will become apartments for locals after the Olympics. Guthrie told her co-hosts, “It’s really nice accommodations. No air-conditioning, but you know what, with this weather you really don’t need it at all” (“Today,” NBC, 8/7).

PUT A STAMP ON IT: The British Paralympic Association said that champion Paralympians “will not be featured on individual stamps as their Olympic counterparts have been.” Instead, a series of “six first-class stamps featuring every medallist will be produced after the Games finish on September 9.” The BPA said that it “wanted to make sure British Paralympians were ‘recognised for their fantastic achievements’ and noted that the stamp honour was a first in the history of the Paralympics” (INDEPENDENT.co.uk, 8/8).

FAST DON'T LIE: The three-month-old cheetah cubs at the National Zoo in DC “have been named Carmelita and Justin after CARMELITA JETER and JUSTIN GATLIN, who had the best American finishes in the 100-meter dash” (AP, 8/7).
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