Dwyane Wade has yet to decide if he will play for Team USA

Despite injuries to Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard, Team USA will still be bringing plenty of talent to the London Olympics. If any more players suffer injuries or back out, however, things could get a bit hairy. With guys like Dwyane Wade not yet willing to give a 100 percent commitment, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and team chairman Jerry Colangelo have to be getting a bit concerned.

According to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, Wade is planning to let his body dictate whether or not he joins Team USA this summer.

“I told them, I said, listen, I’m just going to see how I feel,” Wade said last week. “This is about being healthy — I think, for all of us, going into the summer healthy — and taking it from there.”

While that does not mean Wade plans to sit the Olympics out, he’s taking a different tone from LeBron James, who seems like he fully intends to play. When asked about Wade’s indecisiveness, Colangelo seemed like he was caught off-guard.

“You could, today, probably come up with 10 or 11 that look pretty solid unless something happens,” he told Aldridge over the phone. “Wade’s one of those guys, but if he feels like he doesn’t have anything left or doesn’t think he can go, then we’ll make a decision as to who replaces him. We do have a lot of flexibility because we have guys who can play so many positions.”

Team USA remains loaded with talent and can still count on LeBron, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, and many others, but at the moment if feels like players who were once considered shoe-ins are either on the shelf or on the fence. If the trend continues, Coach K and company may have to dig a bit deeper than they initially expected.

Note: This post also appeared on Medal Detector

H/T Game On!
Photo credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Worker smuggles fake bomb into Olympic Park to expose security flaws (Video)

Thanks to an eye-opening stunt performed by one of the workers at London’s Olympic Park, the city of London is now aware that security for the upcoming Olympic Games is extremely inadequate. Just hours before the official opening of the Olympic Stadium, a man who has worked at the site for several years successfully smuggled a fake bomb through security and right into the heart of the grounds.

As you can see from the exclusive video above that The Sun posted over the weekend, the worker was able to drive his truck right through multiple security checkpoints without being searched or questioned. The device, which looked exactly like a bomb and was wired like one, was carried in the cabin of the man’s digger in plain sight, yet his voyage went unchallenged.

[Read more...]

Warren Buffet’s ping pong prodigy Ariel Hsing makes U.S. Olympic team

Warren Buffet has discovered a ping pong phenom, and she is now on her way to the London Olympics this summer. When Ariel Hsing was a mere 11 years old, Buffet invited her to a shareholders meeting in Omaha to play table tennis against a number of prominent businessmen, including Bill Gates. Gates is a known ping pong enthusiast, and Hsing blew him and others out of the water. As you can already tell by watching the video above, Hsing’s pong skills are off the chart.

Ariel is now 16 years old and is the best under-18 player in the world. She is ranked No. 2 in the world across all age groups. Hsing’s unmatched skill has earned her a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, one that she earned while maintaining stellar grades in high school according to the Wall Street Journal. Her priority at the moment is preparing for the SAT exam, which she hopes will help her achieve her dream of attending Stanford in a couple years.

[Read more...]

Jerry Colangelo says Derrick Rose injury could affect U.S. Olympic team

Prior to Saturday, Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo still felt strongly about the finalists for the U.S. London Olympic basketball team. Despite an injury to Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum’s unwillingness to join the team, Colangelo said the Olympic roster would not be expanded. Now that Derrick Rose has suffered a torn ACL, his tune has finally changed.

“What I said (previously) was that we didn’t plan to do any additions, but we had to continue to monitor the injury situation,” Colangelo said according to Sports Illustrated. “Obviously this is a big loss. (Point guard) seems to be, at this point, still a pretty strong position. But at this stage, quite honestly, I think all bets are off.”

Of the 20 original Olympic finalists, it was widely believed that Rose would be one of the 12 players who would be going to London. Team USA still has a number of point guard options including Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Russell Westbrook, but the players mentioned above in addition to Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chauncey Billups are no longer in the running.

“I think now we’re going to wait until the very last moment to pick the team, because it seems ridiculous with a lot of playoff games to play that we would select a team,” Colangelo said. “We might as well keep the options open as long as we can, and continue to monitor (the situation).”

Maybe DeMarcus Cousins has a chance to make the team after all. A number of players who were expected to be a part of the Select team in Las Vegas and help Team USA prepare for the Olympics could now become members of Team USA themselves. Typically Select team players are stating their case for the next Olympic Games (2014), but the injury situation has led to some desperation. It will certainly be interesting to see where Team USA is at when the NBA playoffs come to a close.

Note: This post also appeared on Medal Detector
Photo credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

UK installing rooftop missiles to protect London Games

Britain’s military notified residents of a housing complex in east London that they plan to install a missile system on top of a tower in the complex to protect the London Games.

The move is a protective measure the army is taking, but it’s upset some of the building’s residents.

“There was no consultation, no one knocked on the door,” Brian Whelan, a 28-year-old journalist, told Reuters. “You just wake up one morning, there’s a leaflet telling you they are going to put missiles on the roof.”

“It is rather surreal,” Nathan Lewis told The Guardian. “It is an example of the insane world we live in post-9/11. I don’t think anyone here feels more secure because of this.”

Britain is following a precedent set in previous games, such as 2008 in China when missiles were installed to protect the Summer Games in Beijing.

The Guardian says Star Streak missiles are likely to be installed on top of a water tower inside the Bow Quarter complex (pictured above). The missiles travel at more than three times the speed of sound, have a range of 5km, and use a system of three dart-like projectiles to allow multiple hits on a target. They say ten soldiers will be on duty at all times to guard and operate the missiles.

The Ministry of Defense is considering several other locations around the city as potential bases for surface-to-air missiles.

I know this is done for security and all, but I can’t even imagine how unnerving this must be for many of the residents. Having missiles on top of a tower where I’m sleeping would only make me feel more uncomfortable.

Note: This post also appeared on Medal Detector

Olympic sandcastle knocked down for health and safety reasons

In order to count down the final 100 days until the London Olympics are officially underway, a massive sand sculpture was constructed in anticipation of the event. Hours after its completion, the sandcastle was gone. According to the Telegraph, the 13-foot by 6.5-foot sculpture on Weymouth beach had to be demolished over health and safety concerns.

Sand sculptor Mark Anderson spent four full days working on the creation. Officials say the sandcastle needed to be guarded because it posed a threat to the safety of young children if left unattended.

“We took it down because it was constructed in a special way and we couldn’t have just left it there in case it fell on a young child,” head of the Weymouth and Portland 2012 operations team Simon Williams said. “We would have been criticized if that had been the case.”

“To keep it there until the start of the Olympics would have required additional security and presented a health and safety risk in that it was quite a big structure and it could have collapsed with a child playing on the beach near to it,” another spokesman agreed.

The obvious question here is how somebody couldn’t have foreseen these issues before they let the sculptor spend four days working on it. Surprisingly, Anderson says he was aware that his sandcastle would have to be knocked down and that it was part of the plan.

“Demolishing it was all part of the plan because there would have been health and safety issues,” he said. “People could have injured themselves on the council’s land so there would be no way we could leave something like that.”

Now that’s what I call commitment. If someone told you you could spend four days working on something but they’d have to tear it down within a few hours, would you still do it? Count me out.

Deaf swimmer Marcus Titus claims USA swimming is discriminating against him (UPDATED)

When all of the other swimmers at the Olympic Trials in Omaha this June are attempting to paddle and kick fast enough to earn a spot in London, Marcus Titus will have more than just his performance in the pool to worry about. Titus is a deaf swimmer who has been working with USA Swimming for months in an attempt to come up with a method that will allow deaf and hearing impaired swimmers to have the same opportunities as their hearing counterparts. According to the Facebook page Titus recently created, he has had little success.

Titus has made it clear that he feels as though USA Swimming is discriminating against him, and he’s calling for others to assist him in taking action. FINA, the international governing body for swimming, currently allows a strobe light to be used to signal the start of a race for deaf and hearing impaired swimmers. According to USA Swimming program operations VP James Sheehan, USA Swimming currently follows FINA protocol and will do so at the Omaha qualifiers.

The problem is the strobe light isn’t enough. It lets deaf and hearing impaired swimmers know when the race begins, but there are no hand signals or indicators used to let the swimmers know to step up or take their marks. Other swimming organizations use hand signals to accommodate such individuals, but as of now USA Swimming does not.

[Read more...]