In London, Steven Morris wrote that there was "scepticism about whether sailing could ever be a spectator sport" prior to the London Games. But a decision to site the course within a few hundred metres of the Weymouth shore "has encouraged the crowds to come and cheer Great Britain's Ben Ainslie and the rest on." Spectator Tracey Jones said, "It's been brilliant." About 70,000 people "are believed to have been in the town" to watch Ainslie secure Gold (GUARDIAN, 8/9).
NEW FRONTIERS: REUTERS' Keith Weir reported that the decision to include rugby sevens in the next Olympics is "already helping the game to grow in some of the world's most important developing markets." The prospect of a place in the Olympics was "helping rugby to conquer new frontiers," with the sport now on free-to-air TV in the U.S. Int'l Rugby Board Chair Bernard Lapasset said, "It is the key that has unlocked the door to participation in emerging and new rugby markets" (REUTERS, 8/8).
PARALYMPICS DEMAND: The AFP reported that organisers have sold a record 2.1 million tickets for the London Paralympics, beating the previous mark set at the '08 Beijing Paralympics. The popularity of the London Games "has seen demand suddenly soar" for the Paralympics. More than 600,000 tickets have been purchased in the last month. The Paralympics run from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9 (AFP, 8/9).
ONLINE PLAYER: DIGITALFERNSEHEN.de reported that the plan of German public broadcaster ZDF to shift a majority of its Olympic coverage to the Internet "seems to pay off." The number of people who watch the London Games via ZDF's online player "has almost doubled during the second week" of competition. An "average of more than two million people a day" watch the events online. The highest number of viewers received was during the men's 100m final on Aug. 5 with 2.8 million hits. ZDF Chief Editor Peter Frey said, "We are glad that so many people use this new form of broadcast" (DIGITALFERNSEHEN.de, 8/8).
THIS AND THAT: Almost 2,500 motorists have wracked up a total of £312,000 ($488,000) in fines for using the Olympic Games Lanes in London (LONDONLOVESBUSINSS.com, 8/9). ... World Amateur Boxing Head Wu Ching-kuo wants to double the number of women's weight categories to at least six for the '16 Olympics in Brazil (REUTERS, 8/9). ... The seven Cameroon athletes who have gone missing from the Olympic Village have visas to stay in Britain for another three months, London Games organizers said (GULF TIMES, 8/9).