Olympic shorts: 'Oh, oh dear!' The hapless Mr Hunt drops another clanger
Saturday 28 July 2012
Until Danny Boyle's spectacular, the most enjoyable television coverage of the Games would have to be the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, trying to demonstrate his bell-ringing prowess to the cameras during yesterday morning's national bell-ringing at 8.12am.
By his own admission over-excited, Mr Hunt caused the bell to fly off the handle and nearly maim a bystanding woman. The look on his face, below, in the split second as the bell's trajectory remained uncertain, was priceless. "Oh, oh dear! Are you all right? Health and safety!" remarked the minister. "There we are, disaster averted."
Boris Johnson treated the media to a spirited defence of the Olympic sponsor McDonald's.
"This is all just bourgeois snobbery," he said. "It's classic liberal hysteria about very nutritious, delicious food – extremely good for you, I'm told – not that I eat a lot of it myself. Apparently this stuff is absolutely bursting with nutrients." Over hyped, over here
Is there any Olympic squad quite as formidable as Team USA's swimmers? At the recent American trials, rarely did an event go by without the world best time being mercilessly shattered by the likes of Michael Phelps and Rebecca Soni, pictured. Despite already having to split their time between training in the pool, devouring Olympian-sized meals and posing on magazine covers, they found time to record a hilarious lip-synched version of Carly Rae Jepsen's number one hit "Call Me Maybe". Snatching the most screen time is Missy Franklin, the 17-year-old freestyle and backstroke sensation who is looking to score seven golds. But the clip's 300,000 YouTube watchers have been more enthusiastic about pin-up Ryan Lochte. His brief appearance, in which he blows a kiss to camera, rendered one viewer "dead". British Tweeters expressed their preference for Tom Daley's endearingly filthy take on LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It", released earlier this year.
Star struck... mostly
Certain high-profile competitors (step forward Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer) have shunned the Athletes' Village in favour of plush rented accommodation, but other big names who've opted to slum it are finding themselves the subject of attention from rival nations. Usain Bolt turns heads whenever he waltzes into the canteen ("some" of the food, he said, was "OK"). British weightlifter Zoe Smith said: "'I'll casually walk past him. But I'm not going to let him know how I'm a massive fan." Other athletes are more blasé. American women's judo Bronze medallist Ronda Rousey recalled that at a club for the US athletes at the Beijing Games, "Michael Phelps needed his own private section", adding he "annoyed me a little bit".
Another Korean contretemps
The South Koreans, who have featured prominently in recent coverage of the Games after their flag appeared instead of North Korea's at the football at Hampden Park, suffered an embarrassment of their own yesterday when one of their sailing coaches was sent home for drink-driving. Lee Jae-Cheol, 38, had been at a welcome party in Weymouth, Dorset. He reputedly carried on drinking after the function. At 5am his coupé veered across the road, in full view of the bolstered police presence surrounding the venue. Mr Lee was found to be more than twice the legal alcohol limit and was handed a £340 fine by magistrates in Weymouth, who also imposed an 18-month UK ban. By the end of the day he was on a plane home.
Country of the day – Vanuatu
Flagbearer and table-tennis player Anolyn Lulu is the best medal hope for Vanuatu. Arnold Sorina in the 800m is the islands' most famous sportsman, he was offered "lands and houses" after qualifying for the semi-final in the Commonwealth Games in 2010. But he trails the top athletes by 10 seconds.
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