Olympic Question Time: Your queries answered
Send your questions on London 2012 to our panel of Olympic experts
Thursday 02 August 2012
Every day we're asking you to send us your questions about the Games. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet using the hashtag #indyolympics, live from the Olympic Park – or your sofa. We'll try to get you an answer asap and the best questions will be printed. Please remember we may be too busy to answer everyone, but if you think you can answer someone else's question, all the better! Thanks for sending them in.
Q. Why do swimmers wear two swimming caps? Chris Whitehead
A. Well spotted. The swimmers wear two caps for two different reasons. First, it helps keep their goggles on – most swimmers put on the first cap, then their goggles, then their second cap. Also the materials are different. The first cap is made of latex, which stays put, but wrinkles. The second is made of silicone, which stays smooth and causes less drag in the water.
Q. Why is our national team called "Great Britain" not "Great Britain and Northern Ireland" or simply "United Kingdom"? Alan Jones
A. The official name of the Olympic team is "Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland", which is shortened to Team GB, with the IOC code GBR. There's a feeling that the team wants to stick with the name, rather than changing to Team UK, because "Great Britain" was one of the 14 original teams in the 1896 Summer Games in Athens.
Q. I was at the volleyball on Tuesday night. Why does one player from each side wear a different-coloured shirt to the rest of the team? Simon Rice
A. Contrary to popular belief, this player is not the team captain. Instead, he or she is the "libero". Since 1998, every international team has had a libero – a defensive specialist who can come on to replace any player in the back row without notice, and who operates under specific restrictions. These players cannot attack the ball, and if they play an overhand "set" shot in the front of the court (in front of the three-metre line), then the ball cannot be attacked above the level of the net from the front half of the court. Furthermore, they cannot attack or block the ball above the level of the net (hence, they're usually pretty short).
Q. Why play the Benny Hill music at the beach volleyball? David Burgess
A. Because it's on the official 2012 playlist. Here's a sort-of explanation from Debbie Jevans, Locog director of sport: "We want to ensure the way we present sport adds to the experience of the spectators in the venues and builds the atmosphere." So, obviously, the Benny Hill theme it is.
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