The US is witnessing a quadrennial surge of interest in the sport of complaining about NBC’s approach of saving the best Olympic action until primetime, writes Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.

Figures from operators of virtual private networks suggest that viewers who cannot wait until 11pm to see Usain Bolt and do not have the pay-television subscription needed to see live footage on NBC’s web and mobile services have been looking elsewhere.

Expat Shield, a VPN that provides UK web addresses to overseas residents enabling them to view BBC broadcasts that would otherwise be blocked, reports that installations from the US shot up from an average of 250 a day before the Olympics began to 4,900 a day in the first week of the games. 

When Usain Bolt, not a naturally modest man, thanks you for your help after clinching his umpteenth gold medal, you have probably done something right. Brunel and Birmingham universities won his praise for their help in preparing and hosting the Jamaican team, writes Chris Cook.

Other universities can claim to have done rather well. I quite liked this exchange on Twitter between William Hague, foreign secretary, and Patrick McGhee, vice-chancellor of the University of East London (which is hosting the US Olympic team).

But on to the medals! Here, courtesy of Podium, the body representing universities and colleges at the London Olympics, is the roster showing which institutions have done best at the sports. If you look on their site, you can see the full list.

Higher and further education is now an important part of the British Olympian system. For institutions, this table does actually matter: as I wrote last week, universities are an increasingly important spine of Team GB’s infrastructure.

Institution Gold Silver Bronze Total
University of Edinburgh 3 0 0 3
University of Nottingham 2 2 1 5
University of Oxford 2 2 1 5
University of Cambridge 2 1 2 5
University of Reading 2 1 1 4
St Mary’s University College 2 0 1 3
University of St Andrews 2 0 0 2
University of Bristol 1 2 2 5
University of Bath 1 2 0 3
Peter Symonds College 1 1 1 3
Hopwood Hall College 1 1 0 2
Northumbria University 1 1 0 2
Staffordshire University 1 1 0 2
University of the West of England 1 1 0 2
University of Leeds 1 0 2 3
King’s College London 1 0 1 2
Barton Peveril Sixth Form College 1 0 0 1
Bournemouth University 1 0 0 1
Bradford College 1 0 0 1
Cardiff Metropolitan University 1 0 0

What to make of this table? Here are also some important things to note – and I hope they’ll help illuminate some of the nonsense about sport and education in England that has been swirling around lately:

 

It’s official. London has staged the most amazing, incredible and unbelievable summer Olympics of the century, writes Andrew Hill.

A quick trawl through Factiva’s database of new articles produces 10,314 instances of writers, athletes or spectators using the word “amazing” in an Olympic context since the Games opened on July 27. That is on top of 6,185 “incredibles” and 3,142 “unbelievables”. 

Walking along the South Bank I saw a surprising sight: a man and a woman daring to venture out in broad daylight clad head to toe in Spain’s garish Olympic kit, with not even a blush, writes Carola Long.

For anyone who missed the furore over Spain’s cut price garb here’s why one might have expected them to stuff their red and yellow tracksuits back in their lockers before leaving the Olympic village.

Bosco, the Russian sportswear brand, provided the kits, saving the Spanish government  €1.5m according to Alejandro Blanco, chairman of the Spanish Olympic Committee. Blanco claimed a fiscal victory — given Spain’s ailing economy — but the designs were widely deemed a style defeat. 

Flagbearer Kirani James (C) leads his delegation during the opening ceremony on July 27 (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/GettyImages)

It’s been a historic few days at the games for Guatemala, Grenada and Cyprus, with each country winning its first Olympic medal, reports Darren Wee.

Erick Barrondo of Guatemala won silver in the 20km walk on Saturday, teenager Kirani James of Grenada won gold in the 400m dash on Monday and sailor Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus won silver in the laser class on the same day.

The three athletes became national heroes overnight. Thousands of revellers took to the streets for an impromptu carnival in James’ hometown of Gouyave, while Barrondo took the opportunity to call for “the kids at home to put down guns and knives and pick up a pair of trainers instead”. 

From Maija Palmer on our Tech blog:

The mobile phone is emerging as the technology winner in the Olympics, with more and more stats to show that this is how vast numbers of people are finding out information about the games.

Google published some data on Tuesday showing that Olympics-related searches over mobile phone increased 10-fold in the first week of the games, and mobile is trumping any other technology at key moments.

Google’s analysis showed, for example, that searches for Paul McCartney surged when the former Beatle played Hey Jude during the opening ceremony, and the largest proportion of these searches came from smart phones, rather than desktop computers.

The data highlights how much the internet’s landscape is changing.  The London Olympics are proving not just to be the first ‘social media games’ but also one where the mobile internet is coming of age.

In many countries in Europe, around a third of all Olympics related searches came from mobiles and in the UK, mobiles accounted for nearly half – 46 per cent of all Olympics queries.

 

Just over half-way through there can be little doubt that the 2012 London Olympics has given Brand Britannia a very big boost, at least qualitatively, writes Sir Martin Sorrell.

Arguments may rage over the quantitative benefit. Will the legacy justify the £9bn infrastructure investment? Will consumer and tourist spending be enhanced to the tune of £850m, as Visa, a major Olympic sponsor suggests? Will advertising and marketing spending be boosted beyond the normal and the £750m predicted?

Whatever the relative strengths of these arguments, there is no doubt the intangible benefits have been considerable in many ways so far.

 

Team GB’s Olympic gold medallists have been honoured with stamps featuring photos of their winning performances, less than 24 hours after their victories, writes Darren Wee.

Royal Mail has issued two first class stamps in honour of cyclist Bradley Wiggins and the British women’s rowing pair, all of whom won gold yesterday.

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won Britain’s first gold medal of the games in the women’s pairs event at the rowing regatta, setting an Olympic record in the heats. The pair are the first British women to win a rowing gold and the first all-female sports team to appear on a British stamp. 

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.

 

 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.