News Roundup On The Cusp of the Olympics!

Less than 24 hours until the start of the Summer Olympics! Hopefully you aren’t too burned out on Olympics stories so far, there’s a long month of feel good tales and endless shots of crowds ahead of you. Meanwhile, we have a quick roundup of apps and news to carry you through to the Opening Ceremonies!

First, NBC has two apps to help you stick with the Olympics on the go. One is an aggregation of news and prepackaged articles and photos, and the other is for live coverage during the games themselves. So far, my personal experience has been a bit mixed with the apps. The main NBC Olympics app is pretty choppy and slow, especially when scrolling through articles. I can’t help but wonder what the experience is like on an iPhone 4 if it is that slow on my 4S!

The live app is also choppy, but it is helpful if you aren’t near a television and have the urge to watch badminton live at 3am. It has a setting to let you log into your cable provider as well, and according to the app this will allow users to catch events on demand as well as live broadcasts. I will test this as the games are underway, but it will be interesting to see if demand outpaces bandwidth! And remember, this is streaming video, so beware of hitting this too much if you don’t have unlimited data!

One athlete you won’t see at the Olympics is Voula Papachristo of Greece. According to Techcrunch, she tweeted a very racist comment regarding African immigrants, Greece, and the West Nile virus, and has been pulled off the Olympic team by the Greek government. It’s yet another sad example of how not thinking before you tweet can lead to some major professional issues. Especially if your “joke” can be construed as offensive and you’re in the spotlight on the cusp of a huge professional endeavor.

Forbes has a really interesting analysis on the mental games that get athletes to the Olympics. It’s an easy and flip joke to say that what gets you to the Olympics is genetics, but it’s obviously more than raw talent. There is an intense amount of pressure and drive, and Forbes does a really great job of connecting the pressures of being an athlete with the everyday career pressures we all face. It’s also a great way to keep perspective: just because you aren’t the absolute best doesn’t mean you can’t excel.

Finally, if you have some time to kill, be sure to check out this amazing Slate article. They set up simulations showing the gold medalists in various fields from 1896 to 2008, all in attempt to see how much faster/higher performing modern athletes are. There’s something super addictive about watching tiny stick figures duke it out for imaginary gold!

Hopefully the opening ceremonies are exciting! And even though his biggest claim to fame happened outside the Olympics, I am still hoping for an appearance by Sir Roger Bannister, the British doctor who was the first runner to break below a 4-minute mile!

Categories: Outdoors