Monday, July 18, 2005

Some long-awaited sports content

Being away for three weeks in Europe made it difficult to follow American sports to say the least. Not having a blog until the end of that trip made it even more difficult to blog about sports. That said, I will try to start blogging more about sports issues in honor of my one faithful reader who has expressed interest in the subject.

But before tackling the American sports world, I will instead provide some discussion of the European sports world. I have already addressed the wonders of Gaelic sports in previous posts, so I will move on to some other tidbits about the Olympics and of course football (soccer to you Americans...and me).

First, the Olympics (I know I addressed them earlier, but this is another story). In the days leading up to the announcement of the host city for the 2012 Games, it was clear that Madrid, New York, and Moscow had no chance to win, so it was a two-horse race between the bitter rivals London and Paris. London knew that Paris had been the favorite all along, so the bid committee decided to pull out all the stops and bring in a number of star Olympians past, present, and future (and David Beckham) in order to drum up some late support. Now what I found to be most fascinating was the manner in which Beckham came to be the dominant figure in this delegation. This point once again proved that the choice of host city was not truly about the Olympics, but about popularity. Here is a sampling of what went on during the press conference (in which there were about 10 British athletes on stage):

Reporter #1: So, Mr. Beckham, what do you think it will be like to have the Olympics in the East End of London, where you grew up?
Beckham: Well, it will be splendid to have them on my "manor" (everyone in the room laughs, this is the signature line of the press conference)
Reporter #2: How do you think the Olympics will help England as a whole? Mr. Beckham?
Beckham: The Games will provide role models, etc...
Reporter #3: So now a question for Mr. Beckham. How did the Olympics enhance your career?
Beckham: Well I was never actually involved in the Olympics, except as a fan.
Reporter #3: That's ok, just speculate.
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe: Well, I would...
Reporter #3: Let's hear from Beckham.

And so on and so really was astonishing. So everyone in London who wanted the Olympics should really be thanking David Beckham for contributing his time and celebrity status to the bid.

On second thought, the football will wait for a separate post.

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