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the heat is on

olympics

the heat is on

Ben Ainslie had a close call during the opening ceremony when a puff of breeze nearly lit his eyebrows on Olympic Torch fire, though Big Ben may have been feeling even more heat after failing to win either of the two opening races for the Finns in Weymouth.  It was instead the big Dane Jonas Høgh-Christensen who took two bullets, with Croatia’s Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic finishing just behind Ainslie in both races.

Newcomers to the Legend of Ben might not realize that this is the best start to an Olympics he’s ever had. The older, more physically beat-up but mentally sharper Ainslie of today is more careful and controlled than ever, and we don’t envy the Dane as the week goes on.  As much as Christensen wants to win, and as much as he’d like to see Elvstrom’s medal record stay intact, we just don’t think will is going to be enough.  If Ainslie can keep his joints and back from falling to bits, he’ll take the gold, and make history.

Great pic of the near ‘Benflagration’ thanks to Richard Langdon/Ocean Images.  The Finn Class Olympic microsite is the best place to keep up with the fleet.

US of A (Underperforming Sailors of America)

Meanwhile, Team USA had a far rougher time of it than team GBR in the three classes sailed on opening day.  Zach Railey is deep in the Finns, Mark Mendelblatt in the Star, and even the best hope of all – Anna Tunnicliffe – could only manage to take one of two match races.  It’s certainly early in the regatta and we expect better from our countrymen and women, but the pressure-cooker that is the Olympics can make a comeback harder than walking on water.  Fingers crossed.  Team USA has reports and dopey interviews here.

Don’t Pay Per View

It blows our minds that, in this day and age, the Olympics isn’t available for the whole world to watch free on the web, supported by advertising.   The IOC is about as backward as a body can be, deep in bed with TV networks instead of paving the way for technology that will share the games with tens of millions more than will watch on TV or TV-linked sites.  The maze of national regulations, IP-specific viewing bans, and subscription TV-requirements for viewing on the web isn’t worth going into here, but we can tell you that it is absolutely possible to watch the Olympics live on your computer for free, no matter where you live.

Wanna know more?  Take a few minutes to read the Olympics thread – instructions are right in there.