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Monday, August 13, 2012

More Olympic Trivia.

More trivia that I started digging:

  1. 192 of the 193 United Nation Members participated in the 2012 Olympics .South Sudan the lone exception.
  2. 193 of the 196 Independent Countries participated in the 2012 Olympics .South Sudan,Kosovo & Vatican did not participate.
  3. Taiwan is not a UN member but an Independent Country and hence the extra nation in case 2) above
  4. 11 Countries that were territories also participated.       
  • Palestine, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands,Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Aruba,Hong Kong,Cook Island
  • Totally 193+11 =204 nations participated .

Now the question having known the above.
How many teams walked out during the opening ceremony ?
  • If your answer is 204 as would be logical it is wrong.The answer is 205 .Athletes from South Sudan(No NOC yet  because it is a newly formed nation) and the Netherlands Antilles (whose IOC was dissolved in 2010) participated unde the International Olympic Flag.
Which countries won a medal for the first time?
  • Guatemala,Grenada,Gabon,Cyprus,Botswana.
Which countries have never won a medal in any olympics till now?
  • About 75 of them .Wiki has a nice list here.

Best Ever Olympics.Finally the Answer.

Every Olympics ends with the International Olympic President declaring it the best ever .This time however it may be true not only because of the standard of the competion but because it quite simply was the best televised Olympics ever.If the YouTube coverage was superlative,the television coverage in India was the best ever.God forbid those days when our only source was DD .With ESPN taking over the coverage,we had Star,Espn,EspnHD and DD Sports covering .It means 4 events at one shot.DD Sports did it extremely professionally as well.Maybe they are catching up to world standards.Oh and ofcourse India did it's best ever,whats there not to like about this Olympics .Oh wait there may be!

It had its share of controversies,the shameful Badminton fixing scandal,the usual doping scandal,and the judging controversies.India had it's best ever performance but it had its fair share of bad luck in many ways . Boxing was definitely biased against India..Not long after India raised its voice were some judges from Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan thrown out .News of bringing back the old scoring system should cheer up the boxers.

It is said Umpires favor the stronger nations in cricket,and it is more a matter of psyche than true bias when it comes to making the line calls.This time however I am sure it is the same in Olympics.The Chinese & Americans are the BCCI of the olympics.They call the shots,they get the medals,they get the line decisions.
The medals may be mostly their effort but the decisions is just bias.

This was exactly what happened when I watched a pair of Chinese divers in the synchronized diving competition.They had been doing well so far but the crucial penultimate dive came.And to the layman ,that dive was just horrible.There was no sync and they landed with a huge splash ,as good as landing on your belly in gymnastics.The commentator on air said, "That's probably going to move China out of the medal race" .Then a few seconds wait and the points come up ,A few judges score 6.5 on 10 which is probably the right score .The rest scored a perfect 10 .The total was the highest ever in the competition and China won the gold medal. The commentators reaction when the score came on the screen "Well that seems rather generous" ,enough said ,case closed not one more round of diving did I see after that.

And finally after all these years a question that had been bugging me since I was 7 got cleared.I have always wanted to look it up since I was a kid,but without the internet in those days I had never been able to get a proper answer from anyone.With the Olympics being held in London,the question piqued my thoughts again and  I finally got my doubt cleared.

What is the difference between UK (United Kingdom) , GBR (Great Britain) & England ( In cricket)

The answer is simple.

  • UK = GBR+NI (Northern Ireland)
  • GBR=England+Wales+Scotland
  • England(In cricket) = England+Wales
  • Ireland = Separate nation that shares its border with NI 

However there is one addendum. Folks from NI have a choice of either representing GBR or Ireland in the Olympics .So there is no independent National Olympic Committee from Northern Ireland.