Total posts for this tag 150


Summer stars set template for banishing Britain’s winter blues

Posted February 20, 2014

These Sochi Games are the first in which our winter athletes have emulated our summer Olympians by targeting success in certain disciplines.

Team GB’s summer athletes have done that so well in sports such as cycling and rowing they have often left the rest of the world gasping.

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Drug cheats are the only winners if everyone plays numbers game

Posted February 18, 2014

Ever since Ben Johnson’s fall, every Olympics has seen officials try to convince us that, this time, no cheat will get away with it. And, for the Russians, a clean Sochi is crucial if only to lay the ghosts of their doping past.

The 1980 Olympics, the last time the Games were in Russia, is widely seen as a dopers’ paradise. Even two decades later, the Russians were in such a state of denial they threatened to walk out of the 2002 Salt Lake Games after cross country skiers Larisa Lazutina and Olga Danilova failed drugs tests.

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Sochi and the lessons Brazil can learn

Posted February 17, 2014

On the face of it a winter Games should hold no lessons for a summer football World cup. Yet Sochi 2014 does have lessons for Brazil 2014 and it would be unwise of the Brazilians to ignore what is taking place along the Black Sea.

Brazil it must be said starts with an advantage that Sochi could never have had. For anyone interested in football Brazil is the home of football. England may have invented the game and framed the rules but Brazil, at least since the 1950 World Cup which as it happens was held in Brazil, has defined all that is good and glorious in the round ball game. Even those devoted to their national team feel somewhat comforted that their team has lost to Brazil and not some other nation. No team generates such a feeling in any sport with the possible exception of the All Blacks in rugby. And in Pele, Brazilians have a name that dwarfs everyone else in football. Even those who know little about Brazil, let alone football, know who Pele is. Pele is not just a name but a symbol and, in the sporting world, probably more powerful than even the Samba in defining the international image of Brazil.

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Why FIFA cannot learn from the Olympics

Posted February 5, 2014

The idea that football can learn from the Olympics has often been articulated not least after the London Games. Then the idea was even endorsed by Sepp Blatter. However, the question that was being talked about during London 2012, at least as far as Blatter was concerned, was how could football deal with what Blatter and others in the game call simulation but what most of us term as cheating. In other words the question of a player who dives in the hope he will get a free kick or a penalty, or falls down and pretends to be injured when he is not just to make sure an opponent gets a red or yellow card. The contrast was drawn with the Olympics and how Olympians during 2012 behaved in an exemplary, honourable and sporting fashion in contrast to most football players.

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How Margaret Hodge and the threat of Brussels could unravel the West Ham-Olympic stadium deal

Posted November 22, 2013

The story so far on the Olympic stadium is clear. West Ham have a deal, and a very advantageous one for the Hammers. And the hope of Leyton Orient chairman, Barry Hearn, that the House of Lord’s Select Committee report on Olympic legacy would provide him a way in has not quite worked.

The report did touch on how the deal was done but the noises it made are not strong enough to help Orient to reopen the deal, let alone use of the stadium. In any case the Lord’s report carries no mandatory sanction so it is easy to dismiss it as a lot of hot air.

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