EYES ON LONDON: Where's Bolt, and a golden binge

August 2, 2012 - 9:41 AM
London Olympics Rowing Women

U.S. rowers of the women's eight team celebrate after winning the women's rowing eight gold medal in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

LONDON (AP) — Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:

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CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

It's not easy catching up with the fastest man in the world. Just ask tennis star Novak Djokovic who's been searching in vain.

He's probably wasting his time. An Olympic official hinted Thursday that Usain Bolt is not staying in the athletes village. It's not so much a question of Bolt preferring swankier accommodations. As one of the highest-profile athletes in these games, it would be difficult for him to move around without attracting large crowds.

It's a big city, and he's no slouch. But he's got to turn up somewhere, right?

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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YI GOES DOWN

China's already slim chances in men's basketball just took a serious blow when star forward Yi Jianlian went down with a knee injury.

Yi appeared to twist his right knee late in a loss to Australia on Thursday.

Yi had to be helped off the floor by teammates and he was still limping badly when the game was over.

Chinese coach Bob Donewald says it's too soon to tell how serious the injury is. Yi will be examined by doctors later in the afternoon.

Yi, an NBA player, played most recently for the Dallas Mavericks.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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QUICKQUOTE: ANN ROMNEY

"She was consistent and elegant. She did not disappoint. She thrilled me to death." — Ann Romney to The Associated Press after her horse Rafalca's Grand Prix dressage test.

— Nicole Winfield — Twitter http://twitter.com/nwinfield

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CANDY!

Another day, another Olympics security check. It feels like you're in permanent airport mode. Off comes the belt, out comes the laptop, no liquids.

A security worker at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in Waltham Cross, site of Thursday's canoe slalom events, brightened the mood by tossing out candy and yelling "Come on. Have a sweet! It's all part of the Olympic experience!"

— Luke Meredith — Twitter http://twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP

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QUICKQUOTE: PARENTAL ADVICE

"Without sounding like a parent, which I am, I would say, 'Drink wisely.'" — IOC spokesman Mark Adams on the Australian who was detained in an incident police say was related to alcohol.

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WET FIELD

With every step or swipe of the stick, a rooster-tail like stream of water splashes up from the blue turf at Riverbank Arena

The field hockey surface is kept heavily watered down to keep the ball from bouncing, and workers use water guns before each game to ensure the turf is wet enough.

It creates the appearance of a soaking wet sponge that's constantly being squeezed.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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LOVE OF THE GAME

Among those in the crowd Thursday for the U.S. vs. Australia women's hockey game: an NCAA referee and a family that cut short their vacation to see the game.

Sandie Inglis, an NCAA referee since 1990, waved her American flag high before settling into her seat. She views the game far more in-depth than the casual fan. "The turf is very fast, and at the international level, you expect to see finer skills, and execution with speed and great control," Inglis says.

She was seated next to the Matousek family from Wilmette, Ill. They'd been vacationing in Paris when they learned they could get tickets to field hockey, a game both their teenage daughters play.

"It's fast paced and it's fun, but I think it's more fun to play than watch," said 15-year-old Nicole.

Glimpse the hockey pitch here: http://bit.ly/NnMgFH

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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BADMINTON INQUIRY

The disgraced badminton players who have been dismissed from the Olympics aren't the only ones who could face penalties related to games being dumped to get more favorable matchups in later rounds.

Mark Adams says the IOC has asked the Olympic committees of both nations to look into whether other officials, including coaches, should face discipline as well.

Two teams from South Korea, one from China and another from Indonesia were disqualified from the competition for trying to lose games.

Adams says it is up to the committees to determine if more sanctions are necessary.

"We're working together with all of them and just making sure also that it isn't just the athletes being punished," Adams says.

—Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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SERVING FEDERER

John Isner is one of the few who can say he's beaten Roger Federer. Now he has to do it again and on an Olympic stage, no less.

Isner faces Federer on Thursday on Centre Court at Wimbledon, which has been Federer's stomping ground for the better part of a decade. The Swiss superstar has won a record-tying seven Wimbledon titles, so he feels right at home in the London Games.

To advance, Federer will have to handle the 6-foot-9 Isner's mammoth serve.

"We know he's got one of the best serves on tour, if not the best," Federer says. "That obviously makes it complicated getting into rallies, into rhythm. That's grasscourt tennis."

Isner is 1-3 in his career against Federer.

"He's the hottest guy on the tour, he's back to No. 1 in the world," Isner says. "I'm going to have to serve well."

— Christopher Torchia

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POST-RIDE PARTY

He rode. Then he cut loose.

After winning the time trial for his seventh Olympic medal, cyclist Bradley Wiggins marked the moment by getting "blind drunk." It was a very public binge, with Wiggins posting messages and pictures on Twitter as he celebrated gold near St. Paul's Cathedral.

"Getting wasted," he tweeted, accompanied by a picture in which he was posing with a drink and flicking the V for victory sign.

And Wiggins wasn't slowing down.

Later, the Tour de France champion tweeted: "Blind drunk at the minute ... it's been emotional."

British Olympic chief Colin Moynihan says Wiggins was "thoroughly entitled to have a fantastic party."

— Rob Harris — Twitter http://twitter.com/robharris

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ROWER DETAINED

A bit of trouble for an Australian rower Thursday morning: Josh Booth was detained by police for allegedly causing damage to a London storefront. Authorities say it was an alcohol-related incident, and it happened hours after he competed in the men's eight at the Olympic rowing basin.

Australian team chief Nick Green says Booth fainted while at the police station and was taken to the hospital. He was released a short time later and was not charged.

Green, who says he received a call from police at 3 a.m. Thursday about the incident, says he'll make a decision on potential disciplinary action after he receives more information from the police and Booth.

The 21-year-old Booth made his Olympic debut as the Australians finished sixth in the six-crew final of the eight at Windsor outside London on Wednesday.

— Dennis Passa — Twitter http://twitter.com/dennispassa

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THE MISSILE RETURNS

The 17-year-old Missile is back in the pool on Thursday looking for more.

Missy Franklin goes for her second individual gold and third overall of the London Games. She won the 100-meter backstroke Monday night and was part of the winning 4x200 freestyle relay on Wednesday night.

Franklin is becoming one the breakout stars of these Olympics. But she wouldn't be in position for a third gold without an incredible anchor leg from Allison Schmitt in the relay that reeled in the Australians.

"Allison is a fighter and she can push through anything," Franklin says. "We had total faith in her."

— Paul Newberry — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

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PHOTO ON THE FLY

While his colleagues blogged, tweeted and filed stories with their smartphones and tablets from a media boat on Weymouth Bay during the London Olympics regatta, veteran British sailing scribe Bob Fisher regaled them with a yarn about how the games were covered 40 years ago.

Fisher recalled being on a media boat on the opening day of sailing at the Munich Olympics — the sailing venue was in Kiel — when a photographer from an evening newspaper in Copenhagen, Denmark, boarded with a wicker hamper.

"In it wasn't his lunch," Fisher said.

Turns out the hamper contained a carrier pigeon. Fisher said that after taking a picture of Denmark's Paul Elvstrom at the start of the Soling race, the photographer put his camera in a changing bag, snipped off a negative, rolled it up tight and put it into a screw-top aluminum can. He strapped the canister to one leg of the carrier pigeon and released it.

"That picture appeared on the front page of the Copenhagen paper that evening," Fisher said. "Here's a guy who thought on his feet. Obviously he'd done it before, or had practiced it."

Fisher has written 35 books and is working on three more books about the America's Cup, including one titled "The Poisoned Chalice."

— Bernie Wilson — Twitter http://twitter.com/berniewilson

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PHELPS VS. LOCHTE II

Time for round two of Phelps vs. Lochte.

The United States' two biggest male swimming stars go at it a second time at the London Games, with the latest coming in the 200-meter individual medley final on Thursday.

Michael Phelps won his record-setting 19th career Olympic medal and 15th gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay Tuesday night. Lochte is the world record holder in the 200 IM.

Lochte beat Phelps earlier in these Olympics with a resounding win in the 400 individual medley.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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104 MEDALS AND COUNTING

A rowing club founded nearly 200 years ago and located on the leafy banks of the River Thames is celebrating an extraordinary milestone achieved at the Olympic Games.

Members of the Leander Club, which claims to be the most successful sporting institution in the world, had won 99 Olympic medals for Britain dating back to 1908 before the start of London 2012.

Well, they've just topped the 100 mark.

Five members of the Henley-based club were part of the British men's eight that captured bronze in Wednesday's thrilling final at Dorney Lake. That result sparked a mass clinking of glasses as the Leander officials who failed to land tickets for the race packed into the dining room and bar area at the club to watch it on giant TV screens.

"Obviously it's a significant milestone, but it's part of our long-term plans to carry on being the main feeder club of new talent into the GB international system," says Leander official Robert Treharne Jones.

Heck, many countries haven't won 104 Olympic medals.

That's not the end of the matter. There are still 14 Leander rowers involved in finals at Dorney Lake over the next three days.

— Steve Douglas — Twitter http://twitter.com/sdouglas80

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BRAND PATROL

A sampling of the more bizarre examples of strict enforcement of branding restrictions against non-Olympic sponsors:

Pimms, that quintessentially English liqueur, cannot be listed on any menus during the games, even at Wimbledon, where tennis is taking place and where Pimms is as traditional as strawberries and cream. The gin-based drink, which is not an Olympic sponsor, is instead being referred to as "No. 1 Cup."

And the Goodyear Blimp, ubiquitous at sporting events around the globe, has been stripped of any corporate reference, prompting more than a few double-takes from sky-gazing fans.

Some journalists have been surprised to see Olympic workers taping over the logos on their Dell and Apple computers, since neither company is bankrolling the games, and the U.S. women's soccer team has been told not to hand out its media guide because it has 12 small logos of its sponsors — which are not official Olympics 2012 backers.

— Paul Haven — Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/paulhaven

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EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.