Tag Archives: China

Countdown to London 2012…

Yesterday, our friend and fellow Olympics-nerd, James, mentioned on his Facebook page that the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England are due to begin exactly two years from now. Hooray! I know it’s a little early to set up a season pass on our Tivo — seriously, I would if I could — but, it’s never too early to start talking about the latest Olympic mascots!

Introduced to the world back in May, the official mascots for the London games are a pair of strangely-hideous, one-eyed blobs named Wenlock and Mandeville.

And while they are not nearly as cute as the Fuwa Friendlies from the Beijing games, or the epically-cool Quatchi and friends from the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Wenlock and Mandeville do have a pretty interesting origin story, and the animated clip explaining it all (below) is even cooler!

I won’t spoil it for you by giving any of the plot away, but, their names do carry great meaning for folks in the UK and the story behind how they were “born” is really kinda cool. And on top of all that, the clip holds up very well on repeat views. We’ve watched it dozens of times already on YouTubeGreta is obsessed with the rainbows! — and I still get misty-eyed at the ending every time.

Anyway, though I probably won’t be dashing across the pond to buy plush figures of these new mascots (if they even come in plush!) when the games begin, I do heartily approve of them in concept.

So, check out the first of what I’m assuming will be many videos celebrating the world’s next big Olympic mascots…and by all means, let the countdown to London 2012 begin!

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Beijing Olympics: Week Three!

Everybody keeps saying that the Summer Olympics ended on Sunday, but according to our Tivo, Christine and I still have almost 48-hours worth of Olympics yet to watch. Weird…huh?

Well, the way I see it, until we finish plowing through the many moons of Olympic coverage we have stored up, the Games of the 29th Olympiad are very much alive and well in Burbank, amigos!

Now, before we get back to watching those rocking Synchronized Swimming and Modern Pentathalon finals, Christine and I just wanted to take a moment to wish that nice Michael Phelps boy well.

Man, we sure hope he wins all those swimming medals he came to Beijing for! Go for the gold, Phelpsy!

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Beach Volleyball Cheerleaders?

OK, speaking of stuff NBC does not show in their extensive coverage of the Olympics from Beijing…did you know that those scantily-clad girls in the background on the Beach Volleyball matches were cheerleaders? Christine and I have watched hours of Beach Volleyball this past week and we sure didn’t!

It wasn’t until scouring the NBC and official Chinese website for the games that I even came across pictures of these bad-ass babes in action! And, man alive, it looks like these young ladies put on quite a show, I mean, they have like, actual props and shit too! Wow!

So, just to get this straight, NBC can stop everything to show us Mary Carillo chomping on a fried scorpion at a street bazaar, but they can’t show us even a little glimpse of these gals in action? How on earth does that make ratings sense?

Anyway, I learned online — since none of the Beach Volleyball announcers apparently thought this was newsworthy enough — that the Beach Volleyball cheerleaders of Chaoyang Park were trained by former New England Patriot cheerleaders on how to dance, move and shake up the crowd. Patriots, indeed! Thank you, New England cheerleaders.

Now, if I could only find some live footage of these chicks in action, my Olympic coverage would be complete. Hmmm, I wonder if Mary Carillo takes requests?

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UPDATE: Latvian “giant killers”, gone but not forgotten…

Though you wouldn’t know it from watching NBC’s frustratingly America-centric coverage of the games, two of my favorite Beach Volleyball players, the Latvian “giant-killers” Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs were knocked out of the running for the quarterfinals a few days back.

Honestly, most people never thought they had a chance at even getting past the preliminaries, but after killing Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser in their opening game at Beijing, the “giant-killers” were on a roll. After a surprising loss to Argentina on August 11th, they beat Switzerland 2-1 on August 13th, and were seriously on their way to the quarterfinals before getting wiped out by Austria on August 16th in a crushing 2-0 match at Chaoyang Park.

But even if they didn’t get much screen time — I had to settle for photos of their matches online! — these Baltic beach bums kicked some serious ass in Beijing and certainly put Latvia on the map in my book.

So, rock on, my Baltic brothers. Hope we see ya again in London in 2012!

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Panda porn with Mary Carillo!

OK, Christine and I are still days behind in our Olympics coverage so this might be old news by now, but according to the fetching young lad on NBC, I think his name is Mary Carillo, panda experts in China actually show male pandas “panda porn” to get them in the mood! Crazy, huh?

And just in case we doubted the veracity of these reports, NBC actually showed us footage of a horny panda pacing back and forth in his cage while some juicy “panda porn” played on a TV nearby. Hilarious! All that was missing were some classic porno jams thumping away in the background.

And yes, I know Mary Carillo is a woman with a husband and two kids, but man, that old foghorn she calls a voice gives me the willies sometimes.

And though Ms. Carillo has taken a beating online for her looks, her voice and even the kinda borderline racist slant (no pun intended) to several of her reports from Beijing, we still love us some sweet Mary Carillo Olympic Moments. So, rock on, dude…er, Mary…and hooray for “panda porn”!

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“Smash” this, Frenchie!

Barely a day after cocky French swimmer Alain Bernard declared his intention to “smash” the American rely team in the men’s 4x100m Free Relay, Michael Phelps and company set the Frenchies straight with a record-breaking gold medal performance in the event.

As with the Latvian giant-killers the day before, this was a match for the ages, folks. The American’s and the French were neck in neck most of the relay, but in the last few seconds, 32-year-old Jason Lezak kicked it up a notch and managed to beat the former world-record holder — Bernard, who was swimming in the lane next to him — to the punch by 0.08 seconds. Insanity!

The look on Bernard’s face was priceless. And even with a silver medal spot on the podium for him and his team, that “smash” quote is gonna haunt his ass for a while. But the looks on the American team’s faces were just plain awesome.

Not only did they win the gold — Phelp’s second of a hoped-for eight at the Beijing games! — but the American Free Relay team also beat the world record by 1.30 seconds. Ha-ha…”smash” that, Frenchie!

Oh, and um…just for the record, I love French stuff, you know, movies, wine, bread, whatever. I don’t endorse “freedom fries” and any of that shit, but man, I could not have scripted a better comeuppance for that Alain Bernard punk. And you know what’s even cooler…?

At the medal ceremony, Phelps actually stepped off his gold medal perch beside his teammates and went over to shake the French team’s hands. A cool, classy move by a rock star swimmer who knows the true meaning of good sportsmanship, and yet another classic Olympic moment

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Latvian “giant-killers” rule the day!

OK, Christine and I spent almost all of our waking hours this weekend watching the Olympic coverage from Beijing and so far, we have discovered a few very interesting things…

One: the American female gymnastic’s team needs to seriously step it up, because those little girls on the Chinese team are AWESOME. Two: Chinese lady weightlifters kick ass. And three: Chinese people really, really love Kobe Bryant. Seriously, it’s kinda crazy…

And while Christine loved watching those sideways walking horses in the Equestrian Dressage events, I gotta say, my favorite moment so far was the way a couple of kinda stonerish Baltic beach bums kicked our American golden boys asses in the beach volleyball preliminaries.

It was a classic moment, the Latvian team, Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs, came into the Olympics placed 23 out of 24 teams. The American team, Todd “The Professor” Rogers and Phil “The Thin Beast” Dalhausser came to Beijing expecting to clean house and go home with the gold.

But in a truly thrilling preliminary match up, the Latvians showed our guys what the Olympic spirit is all about. I’m not kidding you, man, Plavins and Aleksandrs kicked ass. It was like watching Rocky beat the crap out of Ivan Drago…really, a battle of total David and Goliath proportions. It was epic, baby!

And the story behind those crazy Latvians was even cooler. There are so few beach volleyball players of note in Latvia that Plavins and Aleksandrs actually trained by playing on the beach against six other guys. SIX! Apparently, that was the only way to truly simulate the caliber of players they would face in the games. Now that is Olympic spirit, amigos. Just awesome…

And though the Latvian “giant-killers” — as they’re quickly coming to be known online — were knocked down a few games later by some bad-ass Argentians, as of right now, they still have a chance at medaling. So, rock on Latvia!

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