In London, Shekhar Bhatia noted Olympics bosses have admitted that they have brought on "too many unpaid volunteers for the Games." They have been “astonished” by the low demand from VIPs for volunteer-chauffeured cars. So few of the BMWs are being used that many of the 9,000 drivers "have been left twiddling their thumbs for large parts of their 10-hour shifts." Many volunteers are now being given days off, "so they can fill empty seats in venues and enjoy the sporting action" (INDEPENDENT, 8/7).
THE SOCIAL GAMES: In London, Emma Barnett noted heptathlon Gold Medal winner Jessica Ennis experienced the biggest increase in new Facebook fans, with a 3,757% increase in "likes"over the weekend. She now has almost 500,000 fans in total. Ennis' teammate and training partner Katarina Johnson-Thomson also "experienced a huge uplift in fans online," with a 1,223% increase. Great Britain's Mo Farah was the "other big Facebook winner," securing an additional 25,000 Facebook "likes" this past weekend, a 65% jump (TELEGRAPH, 8/7).
MISSING IN ACTION: The BBC reported seven Cameroonian athletes "have absconded while in Britain for the Olympics." The seven, including five boxers, are suspected of having decided to stay in Europe "for economic reasons" (BBC, 8/7).
INSPIRATION: In Beijing, Zheng Xin wrote as China continues to rack up Gold Medals in the London Games, Beijing's fitness centers are "also enjoying golden times." The capital has seen a spike in new gym memberships, with many residents "inspired to get in shape by Olympic heroes," such as badminton ace Lin Dan. Hosa Fitness, in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, Membership Registration employee Zhang Wei said, "Although the summer is a traditional peak season for fitness clubs, the number of new members in July was higher than last year" (CHINA DAILY, 8/7).