Monthly Archives: July 2012

Hannah Kuchler

The start of the opening ceremony on July 27 (ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP/GettyImages)

The writer of the Olympic opening ceremony has criticised David Cameron for defending Dow Chemical, one of the sponsors of the games, and called on the government to help make the Olympics a space for resolving conflict.

Frank Cottrell Boyce, who worked with director Danny Boyle in creating last Friday’s spectacle, said the project was wrought with moral difficulty. He also criticised another corporate sponsor – Visa – for their Olympic park ”proud to only accept visa” ads - and G4S, the outsourcing company which failed to supply enough security guards for the games. Read more

We are investigating reports of hooliganism in an Olympic sport! But, English readers will be relieved to note, it does not involve their football fans. In fact, it does not involve football at all.

My colleague Vanessa Kortekaas is hot-footing it to the basketball arena after reports that police officers were called in to deal with a group of rowdy supporters. Until we know if it’s true, I won’t say which country the alleged troublemakers are said to be from.

18.30 UPDATE: So, we can confirm that there was an incident involving hooliganism and racist chanting at the Lithuania v Nigeria men’s basketball game on Tuesday afternoon. At least one person was removed from the arena by the police after complaints from the public at both that game and at the last game the Baltic team played, on Sunday, against Argentina. The FT has been told by security officials that the man, who was later arrested on suspicion of “racially aggravated chanting”, was a Lithuanian supporter. Read more

Rupert Murdoch at the Sun Valley conference on July 13. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Rupert Murdoch will be making an appearance at the Olympic Games this week, when he attends an evening of swimming finals as the guest of Boris Johnson, the mayor of London.

It will be Mr Murdoch’s first appearance in the public eye since he gave evidence to the Leveson inqury into press standards last May. A person familiar with his movements said that he would be visiting the aquatics centre in Stratford, east London, the main base for the Games, with his wife Wendi Deng.

The person said that Mr Johnson had invited Mr Murdoch because he was “the single biggest investor in British sport in recent years”, a reference to the billions of pounds that British Sky Broadcasting pours into buying the rights of Premier League football, cricket, rugby and other sports.

BSkyB is also the sponsor of the team which was responsible for the first ever British winner of the Tour de France, Bradley Wiggins, earlier this month. Read more

Tom Daley practicing at the Aquatic Centre during previews for the London Olympic games. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Police have arrested a 17-year-old in Weymouth, Dorset, on suspicion of sending “malicious communications” to the British diver Tom Daley.

The communications in question were alleged Tweets which Daley said he had been sent after he and Pete Waterfield failed to win a medal in the 10m synchronised diving competition.

The first tweet, which the diver retweeted to his 792,000 followers on the social media site, told Daley: “You let your dad down i hope you know that.”

Daley’s father died of brain cancer last year and the 18-year-old diver had said he was inspired by that loss to try to win an Olympic medal.

On the face of it, while grossly offensive and showing a lack of taste and decency which no human being could be proud of, that Tweet would not merit prosecution. After all, many public figures receive offensive Tweets all the time. You only have to look at some of the messages sent to leading business figures such as @rupertmurdoch, who choose to inhabit the Twittersphere. Read more

Just published from our Business blog:

Halfway through my evening at Wembley Stadium on Sunday I realised why watching Olympic football – or any Olympic sport for that matter – feels strange: it’s the absence of advertising. A stadium normally decked in every type of corporate branding was dominated instead just by the Olympic rings, the participants’ flags, and the purple hues of London 2012.

 Read more

Esther Bintliff

China's Ye Shiwen after the finish of the women's 200m individual semi-final on Monday. MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/GettyImages

China's Ye Shiwen after the finish of the women's 200m individual medley semi-final on Monday. MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/GettyImages

Your morning warm-up is a bit late today, for which, apologies – we’ve been busy with the big story which remains Ye Shiwen, the 16-year-old Chinese swimmer whose incredible performance on Sunday raised some eyebrows. Shiwen, who will be aiming for another gold today, was quoted by China News Service as saying: “My results come from hard work and training and I would never use any banned drugs.” We’ll have more on this story from our Beijing bureau very soon. UPDATE: The story is now live: Chinese social networks defend Shiwen.

Highlights from today’s schedule include:

Swimming - Men’s 200m Butterfly final due to take place at 19.47. Michael Phelps will be out to avenge Saturday’s defeat by his US teammate Ryan Lochte. Ye Shiwen will also be back in the pool for the Women’s 200m individual medley final at 20.39.

Equestrian - The British equestrian team will be looking to overhaul rivals Germany in the final section of the three-day event competition, the showjumping, in Greenwich Park

Gymnastics - China, the US and Russia are likely to battle it out for the podium spots in the final of the women’s team. Read more

 As the world’s eyes turn to London, the city’s street artists have sought out their share of the limelight, writes Conor Sullivan.

An artist who goes by the street name Loretto drew this anti-Olympic piece at Bankside adjacent to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, next to where the torch relay passed on its final lap last week.

The renowned street artist Banksy has also produced some wry observations on the games. One which depicts an Olympic javelin thrower hurling a missile is perhaps a take on the controversial anti-aircraft weaponry that the military has stationed in Bow Quarter, a residential area close to the Olympic Park.

 Read more

I’m at the Olympic hockey venue to watch Team GB take on Argentina in the men’s competition. This is a fixture with some added spice since Fernando Zylberberg, the former captain of the Argentine side, was shown in a television advert filmed in the Falkland Islands, the South Atlantic territory disputed between the two nations.

There have been fears that Argentinian athletes might stage protests of some kind during the London Olympics in this, the 30th anniversary year of their nation’s attempt to take control of the islands. Read more

The BBC sport site had its busiest day ever on Sunday as people flocked to watch Olympics coverage online, reports Rob Budden.

The BBC is delivering 24 simultaneous live channels over the web covering all the events at the Games. That equates to a total of 2,500 hours of coverage – 1,000 hours more than the Beijing Games.

On Sunday bbc.co.uk/sport had 8.3m global browsers – 2.2m of these overseas. These are big numbers. Indeed, the Olympics may well emerge as a key event in changing viewing habits for millions, with many no doubt watching sports content online for the first time. Read more

David Cameron (CL) and Francois Hollande (CR) at the women's preliminaries Group B handball match France vs Spain on July 30, 2012 (JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/GettyImages)

Perhaps it was David Cameron’s Olympic dream to watch France vs Spain in the women’s handballRead more