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Great Britain is unhappy with their new Olympic uniforms (Pictures)

The job of designing Olympic uniforms comes with a ton of pressure. For Stella McCartney, the daughter of the Beatles’ Paul McCartney, the task was especially daunting. Stella is a well-known clothing designer in Great Britain, and her uniform designs for the Summer Olympics in London were released on Thursday. Overall, the kits were not well-received.

McCartney said part of her strategy was to include the colors of the British flag, but many believe she failed to include enough red.

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52-year-old wrestler Andre Metzger hoping to make Olympics

There may be such a thing as being too old to compete in the Olympics, but you can never be too old to try. Andre Metzger, a 52-year-old wrestler from Michigan, is proving that as he tries to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Metzger was a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Oklahoma in the early 1980s. He is now preparing for the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials from April 20-22 in Iowa.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Metzger left wrestling 20 years ago after a series of events involving John E. du Pont, a man he once worked alongside as an assistant wrestling coach at Villanova. In 1997, du Pont was found guilty but mentally ill in the shooting death of Olympic gold medalist David Schultz. Metzger was thinking about making a comeback in 1993 but du Pont threatened him, so Andre decided against it. Du Pont died in a Pennsylvania prison in 2010.

“I stepped away completely,” he told the Free Press. “The guy did so many bad things; he was such an evil person.”

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British Olympians told to not shake hands to prevent spreading germs

With the Olympics Games taking place every two years for some athletes and every four years for others depending on their sport, it is important that Olympians take any and all precautions to remain healthy during, before and after competition. If an illness caused an athlete to have to miss an event, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would be squandered. But how careful is too careful? According to The Guardian, Great Britain’s athletes have been advised to avoid shaking hands at the London Olympics to avoid spreading germs around the athletes’ village and elsewhere.

Dr. Ian McCurdie, the British Olympic Association chief medical officer, recently said that illness is one of the main threats to performance in an Olympic Village that he described as a “pretty hostile environment.”

“I think that is not such a bad thing to advise,” McCurdie explained. “The difficulty is when you have got some reception and you have got a line of about 20 people you have never met before who you have got to shake hands with. Essentially we are talking about minimizing risk of illness and optimizing resistance. Minimizing exposure and getting bugs into the system and being more robust to manage those should that happen. Hand hygiene is it. It is all about hand hygiene.”

As you may expect, the assertion by McCurdie has been met with a good amount of opposition. Germs or no germs, shaking hands is a symbol of respect — one that is particularly important on an international stage like the Olympics.

“There’s not reason why people shouldn’t shake hands at the Olympics,” Britain’s Department of Health responded Tuesday according to the Associated Press.

This certainly isn’t the first time a concern has been raised about health in the Olympic Village. At the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, an emergency supply of condoms was shipped to the athletes’ dormitories to assure that — well, you know. When it comes to Olympic competition, you truly can never be too cautious.

H/T Game On!

Online surges could force London to ration internet access during Olympics

The web-oriented focus worldwide will lead more people to experience the Olympics online than ever before. Some officials in London are worried that the surge in web use around the city could cause internet outages.

The Cabinet Office sent a notice to several government departments about preparing businesses for the upcoming Summer Games. According to The Guardian, the document says:

“It is possible that internet services may be slower during the Games or, in very severe cases, there may be dropouts due to an increased number of people accessing the internet.”

The document says that internet service providers “may introduce data caps during peak times to try to spread the loading and give a more equal service to their entire customer base”, leading to concerns that major corporations or those in areas of high usage could experience problems.

Businesses are advised to cycle work shifts to ease congestion.

Can you believe this crap? It’s 2012 we’re talking about here. I understand that a good percentage of the population has internet on their phone in addition to at their home and workplace, but they might really need to ration things out? Get on top of this London, internet outages are only for Twitter, not cities.

Note: This also appeared on the Yardbarker Olympics blog

Jerry Colangelo: 2012 Olympic Basketball Team a ‘Fair Comparison’ to Dream Team

In case you don’t remember, The USA National Basketball Team won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.  That team looked pretty impressive, but anyone who has been around for a while would stop short of calling them the Dream Team.  Dream Team is a title reserved for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team, which consisted of some of the greatest players to ever play the game like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan.  According to USA Basketball President Jerry Colangelo, it’s fair to compare the 2012 team to the 1992 team.

“I think it will be a fair comparison with the Dream Team,” Colangelo said in a phone interview Thursday with FOX Sports Florida. “Look at the progress our players have made since (winning Olympic gold in) 2008. We have some of the greatest players of all time.

“You’re hearing Kobe (Bryant) right up there with the greatest of all time. Dwyane Wade and LeBron (James) are right up there. You’ve got to add up the names, and you look at the young guys like (Kevin) Durant as an example and (Derrick) Rose as an example. There’s so many. There’s only been one Dream Team, and that’s the way I think it should be. But there’s no question our team will be much stronger than we had in 2008. They’re more mature, more experienced and we’ve got more talent.”

Nobody wants to hear it, but Colangelo could be right.  The current USA Basketball players are not legends because they are still playing — but most of them will be.  It is made up of the same type of Hall of Fame-caliber talent that the 1992 team consisted of.  The key, as always, will be chemistry.  The 2008 team had it, but many argue that no team has ever gelled the way that the Dream Team did.  If Durant, Rose, Bryant, Wade, and LeBron play well as a team, there’s no reason to believe they won’t be as good as the Dream Team.  They just won’t be the Dream Team.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk for the story.

Lockout Could Result in NBA Players Passing on London Olympics

If you are one of those people who enjoys Olympic basketball and still thinks about the Dream Team, the NBA lockout could put a kink in your plans. If the lockout continues and the upcoming NBA season is cancelled, the Players’ Association will almost certainly pressure the players to bail on the 2012 USA Olympic team.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the NBA and USA Olympic team are too intertwined for NBA players to take part in the 2012 London Games. He refers to Team USA as a “David Stern production,” adding that while it will be a sticky public relations situation there’s no way NBA players and coaches could represent Team USA while the labor situation is uncertain. Jerry Colangelo, the managing director for USA Basketball, works under Stern. Additionally, the NBA’s biggest sponsor is Nike, which is also the top sponsor of Team USA.

After a disappointing 2004 performance in Greece that resulted in a bronze medal, the star power returned to Team USA and Mike Krzyzewski led a rejuvenated squad to a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. While USA Basketball will not be a top priority until a new NBA collective bargaining agreement is hammered out, it would be disappointing to see USA Basketball take yet another fall from grace.

H/T to I am a GM

Note: This post also appeared at Yardbarker’s Olympics Blog Medal Detector.

Great Britain Would Like its Olympics Athletes to Tidy Their Rooms, Thank You

As the host country of the 2012 Olympics, Great Britain is expected to set a standard both on and off the athletic field. They take their responsibility so seriously that director of sports Sir Clive Woodward (by the way, you know you’ve made it when you have a “Sir” preceding your name), compiled a list of 15 “bare minimum standards” he hopes will generate a feeling of team spirit among the athletes.

So what’s on this list, you ask? Let’s just say it’s much more Marry Poppins than it is Wayne Rooney.

The five ideals they’re trying to promote are performance, responsibility, unity, pride, and respect. Here are some of the specific items:

Under the heading of performance, they want athletes to practice good hygiene.

As part of responsibility, athletes are expected to keep their “accommodation” clean and tidy.

And as part of respect, athletes are expected to avoid using foul language and making excessive noise in the Village.

In other words, be the perfect roommate!

Hey, these are great ideals and it would be nice if all athletes followed the rules, but let’s be real: we’re talking about professional athletes here. You really think someone’s going to tell them to stop tweeting past midnight from their messy living quarters? Don’t plan on it.

*story reprinted from the Yardbarker Olympics blog*