Want to become an instant expert on all things Olympics? Consult our guide for sports like diving and rhythmic gymnastics to use as random facts to keep up your sleeve for screenings with friends!
In the pool and on the track, Australia’s 800 athletes and officials are donning their lightest and fastest uniforms ever, thanks to sporting giant Adidas. Sportscraft and footwear legends Volley joined forces to create the team uniforms for the opening and closing ceremonies. The retro-lawn bowler sports jackets and custom-made, gold-adorned Dunlop Volleys have already won a gold medal of critical acclaim from athletes and fashion experts alike. What's in and what's out:
There are 26 sports at this year’s Olympics – at the first modern games in 1896 the Greeks had just nine. Sports are added and omitted every four years based on a voting system. Here are the changes: IN: Women’s boxing
Back in March, the International Amateur Boxing Association urged women to wear skirts in competition, resulting in outcries of sexism (they’ve since amended the rules to “either shorts or the option of a skirt”). Controversy aside, there will be three weight categories for this first-time sport: fly (48-51kg), light (57-60kg) and middle (69-75kg). OUT: Baseball and softball
Well, at least baseball still has the World Series. Softball, on the other hand, has been good to us – Oz boasts three bronze and one silver medal since its inception in 1996. Now it has been dumped amid criticism the competition was one-sided (the US won gold in the last three out of four Olympics). What you need to know about...
(Facts courtesy of John Purnell, Diving Australia, diving.asn.au
) How it works:
There are six types of dive (forward, backward, reverse, inward, twisting and arm stand) and for each the competitors take different body positions (tuck,
pike, straight and free). What they’re judging:
The approach, take-off, elevation, execution and entry. Scoring:
Seven judges score each dive. The two highest and lowest scores are eliminated. The remaining three are added together, multiplied by the degree of difficulty, then reduced by three fifths (0.6). This is to reflect an old tradition that a diver’s score comes from only three judges. Phew! The highest possible score is 10. Splash factor:
It is indeed true that a small splash generally means a good score, because it reflects the form and accuracy of the dive. So whoever you originally heard that from was actually correct. RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS:
No, this is not all about prancing around and throwing a piece of fabric in the air while Enya music plays nearby. There’s a lot more to it than that, says Bridget Thomson, Victorian technical director for rhythmic gymnastics (gymnastics.org.au). “The ribbon is six metres long, it has to be in motion the whole time making shapes, and no part of it can touch the ground,” she explains. “Each gymnast is judged on the shapes she makes (spirals, snakes or swings), plus what her body does – pivots, leaps, jumps, balances and moves of flexibility.” They also get bonus points for throwing (and catching) the ribbon in mid-air. “The best gymnasts release the ribbon at exactly the right moment so that it travels 10 metres up, they can do four rotations under it, and then magically pluck it from the air at precisely the right moment.” You get even higher points for catching it without looking or, say, with your knees (!). Not such a “nothing” sport now, is it? WALKING:
Yes, the people who wiggle their hips and do that funny thing with their knees can be Olympic-level athletes – in fact, racewalking, as it’s called, is a highly technical event that requires an insane level of fitness. (Admit it! You’ve tried imitating them at some point.) What’s more, Australia is very strong in it. “I definitely get a lot of laughs,” confesses Regan Lamble, who’ll be representing Australia in the 20km walk in London. “But if I wasn’t in the sport, I’d probably laugh at me too!” There are two serious rules in this odd-looking event: you have to have one foot in contact with the ground at all times, and your approaching leg must have a straight knee. Three strikes and you’re disqualified. “What annoys me is the fact people think we don’t train or that anyone can do it because it’s walking,” continues Lamble. “And that it can’t be exciting. If you have three people racing for gold, silver and bronze and the first two competitors are on two warnings each, it can be anyone’s win. You can’t tell me that’s a boring race.”Products that keep Olympians looking good (and sometimes performing better!)...
Who uses it?
Securing those ponytails that are tighter than the muscles in their teeny-tiny bum cheeks. ROLL-ON “BUTT GLUE”:
Who uses it?
Once more, the gymnasts. Why?
Speaking of those rock-hard bum cheeks, wedgies must be kept at bay. Enter the aptly titled “butt glue”. Simply roll this on your skin, press down the leotard fabric and there you go – instant stickage! GELATIN:
Who uses it?
Synchronised swimmers. Why?
Well, have you ever been able to keep your hairdo rock-hard, water-proof and glossy while dancing submerged underwater? Here’s how you can: dissolve unflavoured cooking gelatin in boiling water to form a honey-like paste, then literally paint it on your hair before letting it settle into an impenetrable shell. FAKE TANNER: Who uses it?
Yup, synchronised swimmers. Why?
So they can look in sync! And attractive. Nobody wants to see pale limbs rising out of the water at the Games’ “prettiest” event, right? VASELINE:
Who uses it?
Male marathon runners. Why?
It reduces chafing in their nether regions. Gross, but true. Many competitors smear it on their nipples too. (Trust us, you don’t want to know what happens to a chafed nipple after hours
of intense running.) Numbers:
Times that London has hosted the modern Olympic Games (since 1896) – more than any other city. 4...
prehistoric skeletons were removed from the site where London’s new aquatic centre was built. 30%...
of Brits say they plan on ignoring the Olympics. (Say what?) £2012...
The price for the best seats at the opening ceremony (that’s the most expensive ticket and converts to around $3175 AUD). 4700...
Medals the Olympic and Paralympic athletes will be vying for. 5000...
anti-doping urine samples that will be collected at the Games. 12,874...
Kilometres that Olympic relay torchbearers will have travelled – through 1000 British villages, towns and cities – in the lead-up to the Games. 10,000...
portaloos are being positioned at Olympic venues. That’s enough to service the entire country of Malta. 150,000...
The number of condoms to be issued to the 10,500 athletes in the Olympic village (that’s 14 apiece).Related articles:
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