Archive for the ‘olympics’ tag
Tommy Craggs — with good reason — thinks that the whole “Redeem Team” shtick is nothing but the most insidious marketing campaign the NBA has ever waged.
The Redeem Team’s greater triumph in these Games, though, has been one of marketing, branding, and message discipline. With assistance from Nike, which partnered with NBA Entertainment to make a five-part Team USA documentary called “Road to Redemption,” USA Basketball has relentlessly peddled the notion that this new bunch has embraced the virtuous and selfless habits of international ball.
Uncommon Knowledge highlights interesting facts about the Olympics. This one was new to me:
the disruptions in the host city - or at least the perception of disruptions - are actually a major boon to competing locales. In 2002, the year Utah hosted the Winter Olympics, counties with ski resorts in Colorado netted an additional $160 million in retail sales, according to sales-tax data.
This on isn’t surprising, but it’s still interesting:
Male athletes were seen as more composed and intelligent in victory, and less committed in defeat. Female athletes were seen as more courageous in victory, and weaker athletes in defeat. A similar pattern was found [in NBC’s coverage] with regard to nationality. Americans were seen as having more concentration, composure, commitment, and courage in victory, while non-Americans were granted more athletic skill. The authors note that “parallels between long-held racial stereotypes (e.g., blacks being ‘born’ athletes and whites being superior intellectually) may transfer in similar ways within the domain of nationalism.”
Specifically: Why does India have so few Olympic medals? Tyler Cowen and others speculate. I do believe that cricket remains my favorite explanation.
It’s a momentous date for number of reasons. The three most prominent:
- The Olympics begin. That’s a link to a Big Picture post.
- Russia and Georgia are in the midst of an “undeclared war” over the breakaway region of South Ossetia. This had been speculated about for a while — The Economist even ran an analysis piece on their website today about what trouble such a conflict would cause. Passport has a wrap-up.
- It’s the 20th anniversary of the biggest pro-democracy demonstration in Burmese history. That one, like the recent “Saffron Revolution”, was pretty handily suppressed. (Link goes to The Irradday’s special issue, via Passport.)
Speaking of Beijing… Chinese officials has banned the service of dog during the month of August. It’s not that important anyway, Fuchsia Dunlop says, because few Chinese eat them, and it’s a winter food anyway:
Dog eating, in any case, tends to be a seasonal pursuit. According to Chinese folk dietetics, which classify every food according to its heating and cooling properties, dog is one of the “hottest” meats around, best eaten in midwinter, when you need warmth and vital energy, not in sultry August.
Perhaps in part to validate their story predicting this occurance, Wired Science says that though China’s making a valient effort, air quality in Beijing isn’t really better. (Though, as anyone who’s been in a big city could have told you, rain and wind do a good deal to improve visibility.)
If only to demonstrate how much a fan I am of The Big Picture, another link to another stunning series.
At least one scientist doubts China’s ability to keep Beijing’s air quality within acceptable limits for Olympic competition:
China’s basic air problem is that the city experiences roughly weekly meteorological cycles in which stagnant, polluted air coming from the provinces south of Beijing is flushed out by cold fronts from Mongolia. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, there is little that the authorities can do, Rahn said.
“I’m glad I’m not an Olympic organizer responsible for canceling these events,” Rahn said. “It is a borderline situation and unpredictable until the 11th hour. “
The Big Picture really should try to do a post about this. Even Passport’s rather small picture is impressive.
More than 10,000 people have been mobilized to clean up green algae that has invaded the Olympic sailing venue in Qingdao, Shandong, China. The Qingdao Olympic Sailing Committee estimates that the area will be cleared before July 15.