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SBD/August 9, 2012/Olympics
U.S. Track & Field Team Sweeps Last Night's Competition, Making Headlines
Published August 9, 2012
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? In N.Y., Andrew Das notes while the Olympic decathlon “boasts some of the top all-around athletes in the world, its drawn-out schedule and its complicated scoring system seem to give it a low profile even in Olympic years.” Even with the “help of tape delay, NBC announcers would struggle to explain to viewers why a 100-meter time of 10.3 seconds would be worth 1,023 points, but a 10.5 counts for only 975.” U.S. decathlete Ashton Eaton, who is the “clear favorite to win” the Gold Medal today, said, “I don’t think the fans really understand how it works. But I think they’re learning, because pretty close to an entire stadium was staying today for the decathlon shot-put, which isn’t too exciting” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/9).
REWORK THE FORMULA: The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Roger Blitz writes the Games “mask the generally impoverished state of athletics.” Set aside its “showpiece global events and what is left is a sport struggling for sponsors and broadcasters, participants and a grassroots structure.” One solution would be to “rethink track and field along the lines of the short-format concepts that have revived interest in cricket and rugby” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/9).