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100 days to go

I was checking out news of the Olympic today and found this link with the medals revealed.  Seems the are "undulating rather than flat"  (I really like that description).

And I am loving the "affordable and practical souvenir"- cute simple red mittens with the logo and all.  If I was going I would most certainly shell out for a pair.

Plus, while we are talking consumerism, you can get Vancouver 2010 Olympic Stamps.  While I don't have the supreme infatuation with these mascots as I had with Beijing's, these guys are still pretty adorable and I like them a lot (plus the games, see previous entry).  Plus if you look real close you see Sumi is shuffleboarding/curling while in a wheelchair.  No pomp and circumstance, not a big ordeal, just inclusion in the set.  Made me smile ;)

Mmmm Olympics

Today's post is brought to you by my desire to bake a cake.

I vaguely recall seeing a few Olympic cakes around when the Beijing games were going on, but I wasn't paying close attention to the phenomenon. There are quite a few out there, by both amatuers and professionals alike.

Let's start with this Olympic Ring cake:

This wonderful birthday cake was made by Perfect Cake by Shirley, in PA. Not only was the cake sculpted in the Olympic Ring shape, but I love the inclusion of the flags from different countries.

Next up, we have a cake that looks like a Winter Olympic Stadium:

While the base for the mountains is made from styrofoam, everything else on this cake is edible. The mountains are covered in royal icing, and there is a lot of nice sugar paste work. This cake is by flickr user Edible Art, who is a pastry chef/sugar artist in NY.

Lest you think cupcakes were forgotten, here is a wonderful display:

This cupcake/cake combo (complete with gumpaste or maybe fondant mascots) comes from flickr user Sandra (socake). Even in Australia people go crazy over Olympic cakes.

This next cake was designed to resemble a familiar Olympic structure:

That's one Bird's Nest I'd sure like to sink my teeth into. Penk Ching and Shen Chen, of Manila, created this cake for the Coca-Cola opening ceremonies party. It's a fruitcake covered in gum paste. Check out all the detail work- including little gumpaste Olympic pictograms.

I also found a very cool Michael Phelps cupcake and some Beijing Mascot Cupcakes from Love A Cupcake, who is based in Malaysia. Unfortunately, I cannot post those photos, so you'll have to visit the blog to see them.

I can say, this has inspired me. It's looking like an Opening Ceremonies Party for the 2010 Olympics is a serious possibility. You can bring the popcorn!

Sexism in the 2010 Olympics?

To make up for no post last week, here's a second bonus post.

The Olympics are coming up.

I know I don't need to tell any of you that information. You probably already have it programmed on your TiVos or your DVR. Maybe you even have a party planned for the Opening Ceremonies (which, now I really want to do- but I might not be a great host as I'd be shushing everyone so I could hear).

Did you know that the IOC is being sued on the basis of descrimination?

That's right. A group fifteen of female ski jumpers is suing the IOC for the right to participate in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Unfortunately, the Canadian court has ruled that while they do feel that the IOC is being sexist they cannot do anything about it.

The women felt that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applied as it bars gender discrimination by government agencies and groups performing government functions. However, the Canadian judge stated that the IOC is the only entity that can reverse this descrimination because the Canadian Charter does not apply to an International Committee.

The IOC says they are glad they don't have to make the change. Their defense is that there are not enough participants to make Women's Ski Jumping a full fledged event. But, by using their standards, the Male Ski Jumping event doesn't qualify. Luckily for the men, their event has been grandfathered into the 2010 games.

The Ski Jumping event is the last event in the Olympics that remains closed to Women.

This decision also means that the current record holder on the "normal" hill in Vancouver- where the 2010 athletes will be competing- cannot participate.

Comcast Planning US Olympic Network

Imagine my surprise last week when two people in my life sent me frantic messages about the Olympics. While most of my family and close friends are aware of my obsession with the Olympics, it's quite rare that during an "off" time anyone mentions them at all. Other than myself, obviously. (And, of course, my SIL palladinemoo  who is my co-host here)

I received to frantic messages and then turned on NPR on my ride home from the train station and they were also discussing this breaking Olympics News.

So, what is this frantic, important, breaking news?

Comcast is planning to launch an Olympic Network in conjunction with the USOC. Comcast, for those not in the know, is a cable company. Out where I live, they are pretty much your only option (outside of AT&T U-verse or sattelite). And, of course, the USOC is the US Olympic Committee.

The big consternation here, and potential barrier, is that NBC has paid a kafrillion dollars to be the Olympic network here in the States. So everyone on NPR was talking about whether or not this would even fly, considering the current GE (GE being the parent company of NBC) with the IOC (International Olympic Committee).

My question, of course, wasn't about the IOC and NBC. It was "this sounds sweet, but what else are they going to show when it's not 'Olympic season'?"

From what I can gather USON (the US Olympic Network, the proposed name for the channel) would air international competitions in non-traditional sports. So, we'd be able to see Curling, Luge, Rifelry (amongst others) more often than once every four years.

Ok, great. But what else? Because as much as I love seeing some of those things, I can't imagine it would sustain an entire channel, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

Well, the USON would also like to air "classic" and "memorable" moments in Olympic history. That certainly sounds fantastic to me. Except for one thing- doesn't NBC own the rights to some of those broadcasts? Of course they do.

There are some years before NBC became the Olympic Network where the Games were aired by CBS and some of those might be available or even public domain.

Overall, this is a very interesting idea. Especially to an obsessed Olympic fan, like myself. But I find myself wondering, is there really enough to provide compelling programming for an entire channel?

Macots- vancouver style

Meet the Mascots.

They seem to have borrowed from the same vein as the Beijing 'scots.  Granted I'll admit at first glance I had a much deeper love of the FUWA.  These are still cute though and the voices (roll over their names on at the link above) totally crack me up- especially Quatchi's voice (and this quiz tells me I am most like him among the 2010 mascots.  of course the second time through with different questions I was closer to Sumi).

Granted you can get all the info from a link on the main Vancouver Olympic page also- complete with extra Us in word like neighbourhood for your enjoyment.

Plus they have corresponding games that can keep you easily amused at work, uh hum, I mean at home without requiring the bulk of a big download:

Rock Band-esq Miga

Recycle, curling style

Soaring Sumi

Shootout Shutout


We're Back!

Ladies & Gents...

I have no real excuses for my long, long absence from this community and I apologize. Personal life and things got in the way, and I am sorry.

Moving on from that, can I just say that I am getting really excited for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games?!?! Because I really, really am.

I was looking at ticket costs for the events at Vancouver the other day, because I had been thinking for a while (basically since the close of Bejing 2008) that I wanted to try to make it to at least one event. I figured that Vancouver was relatively closer than other locations to the USA. And yes, I knew in my brain that Vancouver is not really that close to my home on the East Coast of the US, but I was laboring under delusions brought on by Olympic euphoria, and I'm sure you understand that.

Long story short, while there are still tickets available (even to one of my favorite winter sports: Curling!), I will not be attending. Is anyone from the community planning on going? If so, please let us know because we'd love to feature some posts by you- live from Vancouver.

So what do I have to offer you today that aren't apologies and sad stories about how I'm not going to Vancouver?

How about the fact that GM is still confirming its sponsorship of the games despite their declaration of bankrupcy? I'm definitely glad that the promises aren't being broken, but I'm still a little shocked.

Or that the committee is two sponsors short of its eleven sponsor goal for the 2010 games? Those who are in (including Samsung) are discussing consolidation in other areas in order to continue to support the Olympics.

And if you live in Vancouver or a surrounding area- see if you can find a Job or a Volunteering opportunity at the games. Wouldn't that be amazing?

I'll be back, with more interesting news stories early next week.

For now? I'm just basking in the glow that is pre-Olympic excitement.

New Mascots

First, allow me to apologize for my absence. I know that the Community information says that we will post weekly between games, but my personal life did not allow that to happen.

But, I'm back.

So, as we look ahead to the 2010 Games in Vancouver (only a year and a month away!) I'm happy to post about the Mascots.

There are three Mascots, Miga (a Sea Bear whose favorite winter sport is Snowboarding), Quatchi (a Sasquatch whose favorite winter sport is Hockey), and Sumi (an animal Spirit- composed of parts of other animals- who I think is officially the Paralympic Games mascot).

I have to say that hands down Quatchi is my favorite. He's just so darn cute.

The website offers a range of games and activities- including downloadable desktops and wallpapers- if you want to get a jump on supporting the 2010 games.

Me? I'm still hoping I can actually make it to Vancouver in February of 2010.

[Many thanks to my husband for sending me the link.]

Between Now (Beijing) and Then (Vancouver)

Just a little housekeeping notice:

Now that the Games are over (until 2010 in Vancouver), we'll return to our weekly (instead of daily) format.

We'll try to keep our posts Olympics (or at the very least sports- that are in the Olympics) related.

For now, I leave you with a link: USA Olympic Committee

Closing Ceremony & Coverage Thoughts

I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to post about Sunday night's Closing ceremony. LIfe has been getting in the way lately.

At any rate, I thought the Closing was fine. I definitely did not think it was as cool as the Opening. Although, I also really enjoyed seeing the Fuwa make an appearance.

I get that Jackie Chan is famous, but it seemed odd to me to have him "singing." I'm not even sure he was really singing, it sort of looked like he was just lip synching. Which, I guess is a valid choice because I have no idea if he can even sing at all.

I thought the bit with the double decker bus for London was pretty cool. I'd read somewhere that Beckham was going to show up. I like Beckham, but honestly I wish he weren't the only English sports figure that the rest of the world recognized. I get a little tired of seeing him pop up, and whoever (or whatever) he's with expecting his appearance to make all of us suddenly want to be/have/do whatever it is he's promoting.

I also might have totally fallen asleep when Leona Lewis was singing. I'm sorry, but I'm being honest. I was exhausted from the Olympics and I thought that part was boring.

I did not watch the "party" that NBC showed after- did anyone watch that? I have no idea what that would have even been, but seeing as how I fell asleep while Lewis was singing I didn't think it was a good idea to try to watch the after party.

On to something that I can talk about a little more logically.

So, I feel like this year's TV coverage of the Olympics was kind of...well, it left something to be desired.

As a self-proclaimed olympiddict I found myself with time to watch other TV during the Olympics. Granted, this was my first Olympics with a TiVo so I ended up taping a lot of events. During prime time, I taped things and started to watch a half hour (to an hour) late so that I could fast forward through the commercials.

But people, I fast forwarded through a lot (and I mean a lot) of other events that my TiVo thought I might like to see. Dressage, field hockey, basketball, and even (yes, I will admit this) soccer. It's not that I wasn't interested in what was happening, it's more that those aren't the typical summer events that I watch. I like weight lifting and judo and archery. I saw a little bit of most of those events (no judo though, I missed out on that), but definitely not as much as I would have liked.

The thing I love about the Olympics (after the spirit of the Games) is that it gives TV time to a lot of interesting sports that otherwise you never get to see (unless you happen to be directly involved in the sport). Four years ago I loved watching the kayak event. I loved it because I thought it was truly interesting and not something I see every day.

Sure some of those events were on at odd hours and were shown on cable (thus not as accessible to everyone) but during the day it seemed like there were also interesting and unique events on.

NBCOlympics.com showed a ton of footage that wasn't available on TV as well as recaps and reshowings of things that were broadcast on TV. Which is nice, and I certainly took advantage of that (when freaking NBC decided not to show Synchronized Swimming even after they had it on the schedule- grrr)- but it's not the same thing. I don't want to sit in front of my computer to watch the Olympics.

I think that another difference for me this year is that I couldn't watch very much during the day. For the 2006 Winter Olympics I was lucky enough to have a job where I had a TV in my office and could turn on the Olympics while working.

The last thing I'll say about the coverage is this: yes, I like Gymnastics. But NBC, I had zero desire to see the Gymnastics Gala. I really wish you would have put that on the website and let me watch an actual sporting event instead.

What are your thoughts on the 2008 coverage?

hooray for Fuwa

i as just telling the boy yesterday while watching the first half of the closing ceremonies that I was disappointed that I never really saw my beloved Fuwa.  Granted I have missed way more coverage in general this week than I intended but since th efocus was more on running and less on swimming I was only bummed instead of very dissapointed.  While the athletes were coming in during the closing ceremonies yesterday I took an opportunity to make a dash for home so he could finish more of his art stuff for his show next week.

I dallied around a bit at the place I am staying (housesitting for a dog who spends 45mins on a treadmill daily ;) before turning the second half of the cermonies on.  And what to my wondering eyes did appear but miniature, and not so mini, Fuwa.  I called him immediately and in an excited tone tried to tell him he had to turn his TV on as they finally made their appearance.

My Olympics are now contently complete!

Also am I the only one who teared up, a lot, during the little segments they were showing between commercial breaks?   all the winning and not so winning moments replayed had me super emotional.

18 more months until Vancouver!!!!  

I imagine the SIL and I will be into it enough to be back on here blogging our obsession then too.

If i can scrape together some money, which honestly is not super likely but I will try, I want to use it as an excuse to visit friends there- a combo Olympic/ friends/ vancouver/ portland/ seattle trip ;)