Every basketball team in the Olympics wants to come home with the gold medal, but only one can take the honors. Coming one win short like the Spanish national team has to be frustrating, but that doesn’t give grown men an excuse to act like teenagers. According to the NY Daily News, Spain trashed it’s London hotel rooms after their loss to the US in the gold medal game back in August.
The team reportedly caused $14,400 worth of damages to two hotel rooms. The Spanish media described the incident as “despicable” and “disrespectful,” while the Spanish Basketball Federation had the following to say.
“The leaving parties are usually a regular thing when players finish a tournament. After living together for six weeks, preparing and competing, they have it. But it has never led to this.”
It’s tough to imagine a team that is led by NBA veterans Pau and Marc Gasol doing something this immature, although it is important to note that it is unclear whether or not the entire team was involved. Spain had to deal with some cheap shots on the court during the tournament and was obviously frustrated by the end result, but trashing hotel rooms is typically reserved for 18-year-olds after their senior prom.
If you find yourself watching the Paralympics over the next 12 days and feeling badly for the athletes — don’t. The men and women from around the globe who will be competing may have been born with unfortunate birth defects or lost limbs in tragic accidents, but they are competing for medals like every other Olympian you have already watched at the London Olympics. And if you didn’t already see the athletes in the Paralympics as intense competitors, maybe the ad above that Channel 4 in Britain has been running will help.
“Forget everything you thought you knew about strength,” the ad that NBC News pointed out reads. “Forget everything you thought you knew about humans. It’s time to do battle. Meet the Superhumans.”
Like any first-time Olympian would, Aly Raisman wore her medals almost everywhere she went when she first won them and brought them back to the U.S. Following a slight mishap, however, the gymnast said she keeps her medals at home most of the time now.
During an interview WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Joe Mathieu, Raisman admitted that she recently dropped one of her two gold medals and it suffered some slight damage.
“They’re so heavy and I don’t want to lose them and I’ve already dropped one of them so there’s a little dent in them,” she explained according to CBS Boston. “It gives it a little bit of character.”
Raisman said the medals are the nicest accessory she has ever owned, and we can certainly understand wanting to keep them on your person at all times. But she also said they are much heavier than she expected and she will likely store them in a safe deposit box at some point in the near future.
“They’re really, really big,” she explained. “So even if I breathe it just moves and clinks together.”
As long as she avoids showering with her medals, Raisman can hopefully avoid an accident similar to the one this Brazilian judoka experienced in London.
Gymnast Sam Oldham’s grandmother loses her bet that he would win gold because Great Britain won as a team
Sam Oldham may have been a long shot to win a medal in London, but that didn’t stop him from accomplishing the feat. The 19-year-old and his fellow Team Great Britain gymnasts defied the odds and won the bronze in the men’s team event, marking the first time since 1912 that Great Britain medaled.
Oldham’s grandmother, Linda Aldred, was so confident in her grandson bringing home a medal that she bet the equivalent of about $8 on it with 200-to-1 odds before the Games began. After watching Oldham and Team GB win the bronze, she assumed she was not only the world’s proudest grandmother but also about $1,600 richer. According to The Telegraph, the bookie Aldred placed the bet with will not honor the wager because Oldham did not win a medal as an individual.
“I went back to the shop and I asked if my bet was finished and they said it was and the bet was void as Sam had won the medal as part of a team not as an individual,” Aldred explained. “I was stunned. I am really happy Sam won, it is more the principle than the money, but I could have used the winnings to pay for my ticket to see Sam at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”
Aldred has taken her complaint to The Independent Betting Adjudication Service and the organization is looking into it. She said that her husband (Sam’s grandfather) was a betting man so she figured she would place the bet in his honor.
If the bet was for Oldham to win a medal and Aldred didn’t skip over any fine print, the bookie should honor it. If the action clearly stated that she was wagering on Oldham to win an individual medal at the London Olympics, there’s probably not much that can be done. Then again, if a bookie can refund bets like these just because the outcome was painful, maybe Aldred should get her $8 back.
Throughout the 16 days of the London Olympics, roughly 150 million tweets were sent. That is an astronomical number for slightly over a two-week stretch. In fact, so many users were on Twitter at the start of the Olympics that the network even crashed for a short period. No single person was the topic of discussion in more of those 150 million tweets than Usain Bolt.
According to Reuters, Bolt was mentioned in 80,000 tweets per minute during his 200-meter race and 74,000 during his 100-meter race. Andy Murray finished second with 57,000 tweets per minute as he was going for gold against Roger Federer in men’s singles tennis.
Bolt was among nine Olympians who were mentioned more than 1 million times during the Games. Some of the other notable athletes who hit the million mark were Michael Phelps, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tom Daley and Gabby Douglas. Bolt’s mentions were probably helped by people like this NFL running back and this college quarterback, who claimed they could beat him in a race.
With Twitter at the peak of its popularity, it’s safe to say the social networking tool played a massive role in the buzz surrounding the 2012 Olympics. Between the London Eye serving as a massive mood ring based on tweets and stars like Michael Phelps posting pictures to complain about their accessories, it’s tough to remember what Olympic life was like before Twitter came along.
Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
The London Olympics came to an end with the Closing Ceremony on Sunday night, but not all members of the Olympic teams are accounted for. According to the Guardian, four members of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Olympic delegation have been missing in London since the weekend.
Among the missing are Cedric Mandembo, a judoka who lost his match in the 100kg category in 49 seconds, and his coach Ibula Masengo, Congo boxing trainer Blaise Bekwa and national technical director of athletics Guy Nkita. The Congolese Olympic Committee says Mandembo disappeared on Sunday evening and has not been answering his cell phone. All four members of the team reportedly left their luggage in the Olympic Village.
Seven Cameroonian athletes including five boxers, a swimmer and a soccer player also went missing during the Olympics. It is believed they are attempting to stay in London for economic reasons, but no details about the four members of the Congolese delegation have been released at this time. While police have been notified about the missing Cameroonians, they technically have until November — when their visas expire — to vacate the country.
As the missing athletes and this unauthorized batch of condoms have reminded us over the past week or so, no Olympic Games are ever totally lacking controversy.
The London Olympics will come to a close on Sunday evening, and the US has officially announced that track and field athlete Bryshon Nellum will be the country’s flag bearer during the Closing Ceremony. Nellum will lead a squad of 529 athletes as they say farewell to London and many look forward to Brazil in 2016.
Nellum is a first-time Olympian who ran the first leg of the men’s 4x400m relay, an event in which Team USA took home a silver medal.
The 23-year-old’s road to the Olympics was extremely difficult. During his freshman year at the University of Southern California in 2009, Nellum was shot in the legs by gang members in a car that pulled up alongside him when he was walking home from a party. He was left with injuries in each thigh and his right hamstring, and doctors told him that it was highly unlikely he would ever reach world-class speed again.
“I’m humbled by this incredible privilege,” Nellum said in a statement Friday according to the LA Times. “Four years ago, I wasn’t sure I would ever run again, and now I’m leading Team USA into the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. I’m so grateful for the incredible support of my friends and family and I’ll never forget these Games.”
After three separate surgeries (the most recent of which was a year ago) that hampered his recovery, Nellum was able to defy the odds and make his way to London. As the Olympic torchbearer who got this embarrassing tattoo would likely tell him, the best thing he can do is enjoy the experience for what it is and try not to get too wrapped up in the moment.