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30 Olympic questions spilling out of the XXXth Games

As the Olympics draw to a close in London, a TV spectator in the US is left with a host of random questions.

By Ross AtkinStaff writer / August 12, 2012

Dominican Republic's Felix Sanchez waits for the baton during a men's 4 by 400-meter relay heat during the 2012 Summer Olympics, August 9.

Matt Dunham/AP


Repeat performance

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1 - How rare is it for an athlete to win a gold medal eight years apart with an identical time? That’s what Puerto Rico’s Felix Sanchez did in winning the men’s 400-meter hurdles as he did in the 2004 Athens Games in 47.63 seconds. 

Football folly

2 – Can National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell really be serious about trying to get football on the Olympic program? The sport has never seriously established itself outside of North America. Plus, how can you hold a tournament during the Olympic fortnight when games are traditionally played a week apart?

Bare-skin billboard

3 – What happens if an Olympic swimmer shows up some year with a personal sponsor’s name or logo –not that of an official Olympic sponsor - tattooed on his or her body? Will officials insist it be covered by a wetsuit?

Track pioneer

4 – Now that South African double-amputee Oscar Pistorius has run the 400 meters in the Olympics on J-shaped Cheetah blades, will other disabled athletes soon follow his breakthrough or will he remain a lonely crossover athlete?

Remember L.A.

5 – Didn’t anybody concerned about congestion in London during the Games remember what happened in Los Angeles in 1984? The California freeways were as quiet as they may have ever been as many residents headed out of town. Certainly the apocalyptic forecasts for nightmarish traffic never materialized. 

Airtime regulars

6 – Have two Olympic athletes ever received more network airtime than American beach volleyball players Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor? Their matches are much longer than races in swimming and track, so the time devoted to their matches could probably fill a cable channel.

Lights worth a look

7 – London’s Olympic Stadium may not be that architecturally distinctive, but has any main Olympic venue ever had cooler looking lighting than those triangular light banks rising from the rim of London’s stadium?

Fast finish

8 – Would Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen’s breakout gold medals have raised nearly as many suspicions if in her 400-meter individual medley win she hadn’t swum the last 50 meters so fast? Her time was even better than the men’s champion, Ryan Lochte, in the same event.

Champion denied

9 – What was so wrong with Larisa Latynina’s request that Olympic officials wouldn’t let her present Michael Phelps with his record-breaking 19th Olympic medal? Latynina, the Russian gymnast who held the record, traveled to London to be pass the “torch” to her successor.


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