Known for connecting people, social networking site Twitter has been making all the wrong noises at the London Games. Racial posts on the site caused expulsion of two players while a spectator was arrested for sending malicious tweets to a British player.
Swiss football player Michel Morganella was sent packing by the Swiss Olympic Committee after he reportedly posted a racially offensive tweet about South Koreans following their 2-1 win over Switzerland.
The drastic step found support from US tennis star Serena Williams. “I think it’s honourable if they had to kick someone out because of that, then they realise there’s no colour bounds.”
Earlier, Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was expelled from her country’s Olympic team over comments she posted on Twitter which were deemed racist. She was evicted from the team even before the Games had begun.
In another instance of Twitter turning dangerous, a teenager was arrested in Britain for sending malicious tweets to British diver Tom Daley, who missed out on a medal finishing fourth in the 10m men’s synchronised platform diving event partnering team-mate Pete Waterfield.
The 17-year-old was held after Daley retweeted the message which said the diver had let down his dead father by failing to win a medal.
London goof ups!
India received a lot of flak for its goof ups in organising the 2010 Commonwealth Games and now it is the turn of the London Games’ bosses to be at the receiving end. Gripped by organising blues, they have been making a series of gaffes.
The organisers had to apologise as the North Korea women’s football team walked off the pitch before their game against Colombia after they were pictured next to the national flag of bitter rivals South Korea.
However, the organisers managed to persuade the North Koreans to return an hour later to play with the correct flags fluttering.
In another embarrassment, Ukraine asked the organisers to correct biographies of athletes published on the Games website that showed the Ukrainian players’ birthplaces to be in Russia.
Official schedules of the men’s soccer matches featuring Great Britain had to be reprinted after the originals listed Welshman Joe Allen as English. Needless to say, the organisers once again apologised for the error.
Another mistake, though a bit funnier, involved the “Welcome to London” banners in Arabic that were put up at the official shopping centre as they read backwards. It was also written with spaces between the letters, making them hard to decipher and look alien even to Arabs.
The icing on the goof up cake came much later, when the London police admitted that they had lost a set of keys to Wembley — one of the most famous soccer stadiums in the world and an Olympics venue — and had been forced to hastily change the stadium locks.
‘Hot pants’ and electric blankets
In a bid to fire up their hope of winning medals, the British and Australian track cycling teams would use a new weapon — battery powered pants — aptly called “hot pants” that will keep their legs at an optimum temperature to improve their preparation for each race.
Before competing, professional cyclists do warm-up exercises, but a time delay between the warm-up and the start of the race can cause the muscles to lose heat.
In an effort to plug this gap and gain advantage, the “hot pants” with a battery-powered heater will help keep muscles at the right temperature.
However, the New Zealand track cycling team has rubbished the claims of revolutionary “hot pants” saying their humble electric blankets will do the same job.