- Britain: let me play you the song of my people
- Britain: YO I TELL YOU WHAT I WANT WHAT I REALLY REALLY WANT
In London, the USA women’s basketball team stayed in the very same elegant five-star hotel as the men’s team led by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Training table was shrimp risotto. They have traveled and boarded as equals with their male counterparts ever since the Atlanta Games in 1996, for the simple reason that they have played the game so well for so long that the people at USA basketball and the NBA-WNBA had to recognize the stunning accomplishment: They have won an Olympic record five straight gold medals, seven gold overall, with a record of 58-3 since that first Olympics in ’76. To repeat: Women who play basketball for our country have lost just 3 Olympic games in 36 years. That’s one loss every 12 years.
This is how it happens: A dozen women, isolated outliers, are so committed to playing for their country that they will practically starve for the honor. The first American women’s basketball team in ’76, captained by Pat Head Summitt and featuring Ann Meyers Drysdale among others, had a budget of $500. They held training camp in an unairconditioned gym in Warrensburg, Mo, because it was the cheapest facility they could find, and they begged meals from the rotary club.
Volunteer at the Olympics reacts to a fist bump from Usain Bolt
i saw this on tv and it made me so happy askdfjha just look at his faaaaace, that made his LIFE
aw i love this on so many levels.
Silver medalists Laura Robson of Great Britain and Andy Murray of Great Britain pose with their medals during the medal ceremony for the Mixed Doubles Tennis on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on August 5, 2012 in London, England.
She’s 18. I feel so inferior.
Andy Murray won the gold for Men’s Singles Tennis today at the Olympics and I am so proud of him! He beat Federer 61 62 64. He and Laura Robson also won the silver in Mixed Doubles just a few hours later. Theirs was an afterthought partnership that Great Britain never thought would yield medals. I hope this means grand slam wins for him soon.
He faces so much pressure from the British media since he’s basically their only active tennis player, male or female, who has the ability to potentially win slams. It had to mean to much to him to win where Wimbledon is played every year, at what is likely to be the one Olympic games played in his home country. Can’t have hurt to have crushed the guy who beat him at this same venue four weeks ago.
My new favorite GIF ever. Harry is the biggest third wheel in the history of life. Thank God for this GIF.
I mean, I just don’t understand where he gets it from.
The full moon rises through the Olympic Rings hanging beneath Tower Bridge during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 3, 2012. [REUTERS/Luke MacGregor]
MORE PHOTOS: Full moon rises at Tower Bridge
For fans of serendipity.
A combination of pictures taken during the London 2012 Olympics Games shows athletes’ fingernails decorated with their national colors.
From top left: Allison Schmitt (USA), Suzana Jacobos (Hungary), Rebecca Adlington (Britain), Luz Mercedes Acosta Valdez (Mexico), Alison Williamson (Britain), Venus Williams (USA), Alison Williamson (Britain), Margaux Farrell (France), Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania)
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Olympics Commentator
Doin’ his NdT thing for the Interplanetary Olympics of the year 2320 (or something). So much more awesomeness, as if he produced anything else, on his Twitter feed.
Next week, while we’re all watching NBC, a nuclear-powered, MINI-Cooper-sized super rover will land on Mars. We accurately guided this monster from 200 million miles away (that’s 7.6 million marathons). It requires better accuracy than an Olympic golfer teeing off in London and hitting a hole-in-one in Auckland, New Zealand. It will use a laser to blast rocks, a chemical nose to sniff out the potential for life, and hundreds of other feats of near-magic. Will these discoveries lead us down a path to confirming life on other planets? Wouldn’t that be a good story that might make people care about science? But telling us this story means more than just the composition of the rocks (sorry, Mars geologists). It’s about the team that makes it happen.
No one producing an Olympic teaser asks, “What’s the importance of 100 meters?” No, they tell us about the athletes who dedicate their lives to running the race, because dedication and triumph are what make a human running 100 meters interesting. If NBC can get us all misty-eyed about 100 meters, imagine what NASA could do with 200 million miles.
The Mars race is about human survival and understanding our place in a vast and terrifyingly beautiful universe. And the stories of its athletes (mathletes?) should be world-class, because they accomplish near-impossible tasks on a cosmic scale — the hardest sport you could ever compete in. It requires dedication and doggedness that only the most passionate people in the universe could deliver. Unfortunately, this drama plays out behind closed doors. We won’t have insights into the sacrifice, scandal, discovery, divorce, hardship, and drama that it takes to work for a decade delivering a one-ton super rover to another planet. It’s the biggest irony that the most junior engineer at NASA is fearless in the face of trying to send a robot to Mars, but the career bureaucrats are afraid to tell that engineer’s story of failure or success.
NASA will say that they’re doing the best they can and stretching their education and outreach budgets to the max. But if they hope to stay in business, they need to tell us how they’re pushing the limits of humanity with over-the-top, risky-ass missions that will answer questions about who we are as a species on this planet.
Andrew Kessler, The Huffington Post. Why You Should Be More Interested in Mars Than the Olympics.
Kessler, who spent ninety days inside NASA to write Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission, believes the agency is “so frightened of failure that they’re willing to sacrifice their greatest asset: the ability to inspire.” In other words, they no longer tell a good story.
Know who could help? Kick ass science journalists.
Sidenote: AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards applications are due tomorrow.
Independent Olympic Athletes at the London Olympics 2012
The dining hall is among everyone’s first village stops. “When I walked in for the first time in Atlanta,” says women’s soccer player Brandi Chastain, “there were loud cheers. So we look over and see two French handballers dressed only in socks, shoes, jockstraps, neckties and hats on top of a dining table, feeding one another lunch. We’re like, ‘Holy cow, what is this place?’