What’s That You Said?

August 28, 2008

The LPGA is requiring golfers to achieve a basic level of competence in conversational English in order to continue to play on tour. This has, as you might expect, caused a firestorm of reaction. For a balanced, nuanced view, Ron Sirak looks at reaction from players and agents. Read the rest of this entry »


The Gold Standard Update

August 25, 2008

As I said yesterday, there is another way to look at the medal totals at the Olympics. So for those Americans threatened by the dominance of China in gold medals, I present the final tally in the official SportsDiva Medal Count.

China won 51 events, yes. But there were only 74 gold medals awarded to Chinese athletes and only 185 total medals awarded to Chinese athletes.

By this measure the United States, which won only 36 events, actually won the gold medal race and completely overpowered in the total medal race. American athletes are bringing home 124 gold medals and 314 total medals.


The Gold Standard

August 23, 2008

So there is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth that the U.S. has fewer gold medals than China does. But not if you look at it my way. The special SportsDiva Medal Count right now (11 am EDT) has the United States at 87 versus China with 72.

How can that be, you may ask? China has 49 gold and the United States has 33. Au contraire! Look at the Chinese and U.S. medal winners. Note that 72 Chinese individuals are wearing gold medals around this week, while 87 Americans are. By the end of the weekend, if a few more U.S. teams come through with gold, it won’t be even that close.

Of course, there are those who want to parse medals by population and GDP. They’re from smaller or less wealthy countries who have their own ax to grind. The United States doesn’t come out too badly per capita, but using both population and GDP, it looks pretty bad compared with Zimbabwe!

I like to think that China’s concentration on sports in which there are more medals for individuals to win has backfired. Team sports, at which the United States is excelling in this Olympics, are the key to winning the SportsDiva Medal Count. So, for those of you who weren’t feeling dominant enough this morning, relax and root on the volleyball, basketball, and water polo teams. Building world domination one team sport at a time.

I’ll get back to you with the overall total tomorrow.


Checking off the Ballparks

August 22, 2008

It’s been a long time since I collected a new ballpark (two Septembers ago in Kansas City). So it was time to add one. And why not one that is not only new to me, but new?

Friday and Saturday I made my first (and surely not last) visits to Nationals Park in D.C. Conveniently accessible to the Navy Yard Metro stop, the ballpark is plunked down in a rapidly transitioning neighborhood that is soon to be the home of Half Street, a development of retail, entertainment, office, and living space that should make the ballpark more of a destination, even if they don’t manage to make the baseball team a better draw. Read the rest of this entry »


This Won’t Solve the Age Question

August 22, 2008

If the IOC finally is willing to admit to doubt about the ages of Chinese gymnasts, asking the Chinese government or gymnastics federation is unlikely to resolve the issue in anyone’s mind. You don’t ask a liar if they are lying and expect them to say, “Oh, yeah, you caught me. I was lying.” DOH!

The only thing that might help, and even that is unlikely to bring resolution, is a hearing before The Court of Arbitration for Sport, with the doubters bringing forward the documentation and video that they offer as proof of the gymnasts’ true age. Won’t happen.


Happiest Medalists–All Three–And Other Olympic Sights

August 20, 2008

[For some reason, the images aren’t showing up the way I expected them to. To see the photos I’m referencing, right click on the bold (and no, that isn’t working right, either) phrases/names and select “view image.”]

What you missed last night, because NBC only cares about U.S. medalists and last night they cared only about LoLo Jones losing, even though an American, Dawn Harper, won the 100 meter hurdles, was this, the <b>happiest medal ceremony</b>. We did, rather belatedly, see just a tiny bit of the <b>elated celebrations</b> of both silver-medalist Sally McLellan and bronze-medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep. And we saw Harper’s face during the anthem. But with all three young women clearly delighted with the result, the opportunity to show that winning any medal IS winning was lost on NBC. Read the rest of this entry »


How Upset IS Federer?

August 14, 2008

Oh. My. God. Do you suppose James Blake could play in the Olympics every week? Because if this is what happens when he’s wearing red, white, and blue he might want to talk to Ralph Lauren about a clothing deal.


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