Eyes on London: Doing the Amanar, stamp prize

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, July 29 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

China's Man Zhong competes against South Korea's Junghwan Kim during the men's individual sabre round of 32 fencing at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012, in London.

Andrew Medichini, Associated Press

LONDON — Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:


The U.S. women's gymnastics team wasted no time showing why they're the best vaulters in the world.

All four vaulters do the Amanar, considered the hardest vault in the world. They breezed through the routine in Sunday's Olympic debut, and in qualifications, only the top three scores count.

So it was Aly Raisman's score that was thrown out — and every other country would kill to have gotten her 15.8.

Meanwhile, McKayla Maroney did not appear to be slowed by her broken toe. The reigning world champion in vault qualified for the event finals.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer


Most national Olympic committees are giving their athletes financial incentives to win a medal — members of Malaysia's badminton team could even get a bar of gold bullion each worth $600,000 if they win the gold.

But for the hometown Brits, philatelic fame will have to do.

British medal winners receive no prize money from their federation, but the Royal Mail has promised to produce a stamp overnight honoring each of the country's gold medal winners. The stamps will be sold at 500 Post Offices in books of six for 60 pence (94 U.S. cents) each stamp.

Still, it could be worse. Some countries refuse to put you on a stamp until you're dead.

—Shawn Pogatchnik — Twitter http://twitter.com/ShawnPogatchnik


It was a Herculean lift — and Om Yun Chol is crediting former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Om joined an exclusive group of weightlifters on Sunday to have lifted three times their body weight in the clean and jerk.

"How can any man possibly lift 168kg? I believe the great Kim Jong Il looked over me," according to the internal news agency at the Olympic Games.

"I am very happy and give thanks to our Great Leader for giving me the strength ... It is all because of him."

— Luke Meredith — Twitter http://twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP


The University of Florida marching band made an appearance on the Mall during the women's road race, entertaining a few hundred people suffering through intermittent showers.

The band had to wait nearly an hour to perform because of one particularly strong downpour.

An official at the cycling venue said that 216 members of the Gators' band made the trip from their campus in Gainesville, Fla. The band will return home in the coming days and begin preparing for Florida's first home football game, scheduled for Sept. 1 against Bowling Green.

— Dave Skretta — http://www.twitter.com/apdaveskretta


Kim Rhode's family thought of everything before the London Games — even bringing their own Olympic pin for the trip.

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