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Just heard on TV that the Silver Ferns have won the gold.

Ok, so I’m watching 3+1 so that happened an hour ago!

Still, a fantastic achievement.

Congrats All Whites

Good on the All Whites for drawing against Italy.

But it’s a pity people here are complaining about the ref – from what I’ve seen we were the beneficiaries of poor decision making, not the other way around.

The All Whites took a shock lead after seven minutes when Shane Smeltz turned in Simon Elliot’s free kick from close range.

Replays showed that Smeltz was offside when Kiwi defender Winston Reid flicked the ball on to him, but the lineman’s flag stayed down.

The goal instigated a frenzied period of Italian pressure which eventually told when referee Carlos Batres awarded a penalty after defender Tommy Smith tugged at Daniele De Rossi’s shirt in the Kiwi’s penalty area.

Striker, Vincenzo Iaquinta stepped up and sent keeper Mark Paston the wrong way to level the scores.

Still, an outstanding effort.

Opening Ceremony – how to start the world cup by insulting your viewership

So, you’re up late the night the World Cup is due to start.

So you stay up a bit later to view the spectacle. Coverage starts at 1am.

So you turn the TV on at 1am.

Martin Devlin comes on screen and says something like…

Welcome to the coverage of the world cup. Well, these things always start with a stupid opening ceremony and that started a while back. Ah, what the heck, we’ll show you some highlights.

Um, if I am up at 1am, I want to see the whole freaking thing – not 30 min of selected highlights followed by another 20 min of farting around with ads and studio talk.

If I wanted highlights I’d watch it tomorrow.

Worse, TVNZ7 is playing the usual overnight “oh, this was interesting yesterday” reel. Why couldn’t they at least broadcast the whole thing there?

Update: Those stupid trumpets are already old, and the game hasn’t even started. Sounds like a giant bumble bee, what’s the point – drive everyone deaf?

Olympic Cheat Caught – thanks to Us!!

Wow, this is fantastic!

A Chinese gymnast now living in Huntly, in the Waikato, has been stripped of an Olympic bronze medal this morning, for being too young during the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee overnight announced it would strip China of its women’s gymnastics team bronze medal from the 2000 Games after finding competitor Dong Fangxiao was only 14 at the time. Gymnasts must turn 16 during the Olympic year to be eligible.

Dong now lives in Huntly with her husband Terry, where she has been coaching gymnastics to three children at the local gymnastics club.

Huntly City Gymnastics made a submission to Waikato District Council’s policy committee last December asking for funding for extra equipment, saying that having an Olympic medallist in the club was “an opportunity to really launch the sport of gymnastics in the Huntly district”.

The submission said Dong had initially moved to New Zealand as a student and was currently on a 30-month working visa and applying for residency.

I suspect however that this is going to create a massive stink, since the Chinese government was in on the conspiracy.

Update: so, it was just the team bronze – ah well. But it does strengthen the other claims.

Update 2: Ok, the TV news says it was a result of the investigation into the 2008 frauds which actually uncovered this, not the fact she moved to NZ.

Congrats Oracle

Well, Alinghi has been put in it’s place, thoroughly thrashed by Oracle’s better boat.

It’s a pity the series was only best of 3. Due to the dispute, the “original rules” applied to the race. What this effectively meant (as decided after the ’88 mismatch) was “build the biggest, fastest boat you can – so long as it’s wind powered”. Multihulls are faster than monohulls, so that’s what everyone goes with.

What you end up with is the equivalent of a 100m race with both athletes stuffed full of whatever performance enhancing drugs they can get their hands on.

Now with Alinghi and their attempts to skew the rules out of the way, we can get back to proper racing the way most people think of the America’s cup – a challenger series, meeting the winner of a defender’s series. Hopefully we can have a new class too, as the “fast spots” of the IACC rule are now quite well known, with only small performance enhancements possible. Alinghi had the right idea proposing one, but keeping the details to themselves (so they could test and build while everyone else was guessing) simply wasn’t on.

Let’s just hope there’s less legal machinations next time.

Congratulations to the All Whites

Glad the team held up under pressure!

We beat Wales! (oh, we won the League Word Cup too)

The Kiwis won the Rugby League World Cup in the weekend.

But every news bulletin that morning that I heard had it as story no.3, behind the All Blacks beating Wales. (wopee!)

Now, I watch about 10min of RL a year, but I would have thought that winning a “world cup” was actually a very big deal.

Maybe not. What would I know.

Oh and another thing… I seem to remember the team winning some other big competition a couple of years back and getting stiffed at the Halbergs in spite of their massive achievement… what was that?

Fake Gymnastic Competitors

There’s a minimum age for competitors in Gymnastics of 16. This is intended to prevent children from being pushed into competition before they have matured properly.

However, younger competitors are usually more flexible and have an advantage.

The ABC looks at how China’s team are rather young looking 16 year olds. It looks like because the government is part of the conspiracy, nothing can be done.

Anything to boost the national image, even tarnishing that same image through cheating apparently, not to mention lip syncing, and fake church services.


Olympic Torch in Australia

From what I’ve seen on the news, the Olympic torch passed peacefully through Canberra.

10,000 Chinese turned up to oppose any pro-Tibetan independence protests. I’ve heard they were students.

Well, 10,000 students’ just don’t wake up one day and decide to do something like that. There has to be organization, and it would appear that that organization was directed from the Chinese government.

I haven’t said much on Tibet, mainly because those protesting for independence are actually advocating a return to a past that is not much better (actually quite possibly much worse) than what is there now.

But it’s interesting to say the least that the Chinese have the ability to organize something like this. Actually, it’s just a little disquieting.

Biking to Work

Biking can be dangerous. I used to bike some time ago, and the roads were quite dangerous then.

But since I stopped, I naturally assumed that things had gotten better.

Apparently not.

I have to say, some of what’s on this doesn’t really phase me. I also wonder how much might be avoided by being a bit more aggressive – it’s easy to push a cyclist out of the way but most people wouldn’t run one over.

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