Eyes on London: Sharp wit, fake mustaches, no WiFi

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Aug. 11 2012 1:08 p.m. MDT

Mexico players celebrate winning the gold medal during the men's soccer final against Brazil at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 11, 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:

QUICK WIT

Patrick Sandusky serves as the primary spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee, meaning his job is to know exactly what to say.

It's a skill he put on display Saturday.

At a USOC news conference, a British journalist wanted to know why Americans feel comfortable calling their country the greatest in the world. He phrased the question like so:

"For people from here, it's a bit of a strange thing to say. We don't really talk about our countries in the way you guys do. So do you genuinely think the USA is the best country in the world?"

Sandusky immediately sprung into action, asking U.S. chef de mission Teresa Edwards to answer the question.

"Teresa, you can start answering the question from the gentleman who comes from the country with the word 'Great' in the front of the title, Great Britain," Sandusky said to much laughter.

— Tim Reynolds — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ByTimReynolds

SECOND SOCCER LANGUAGE

"Felicitaciones Mexico!" volunteer Dave Clements barked into a megaphone over and over outside Wembley Stadium in a decidedly London accent. Asked whether he speaks Spanish, the 43-year-old said no, but he did his homework. "I figured it out," he said.

— Niko Price — Twitter http://twitter.com/nikoprice

WHAT, NO WiFi?

Soon after leading Japan to a bronze medal in the women's volleyball competition on Saturday, coach Masayoshi Manabe called the London Games "the toughest environment I've had to coach in."

Not because of opponents South Korea but because the Earls Court venue didn't provide the data-crunching coach with the WiFi network he needed to analyze real time data of his opponents.

Manabe called the omission of an internet connection on court a "huge surprise" that the competing teams had asked organizers to rectify early in the competition, to no avail.

Bob Clarke, the volleyball manager for London organizers, says "we went to the IOC, all the way to the top, with the request but we were denied. We don't know why."

Teams improvised instead, with both Japan and the United States relaying data to their coaches through walkie-talkies and earpieces.

"We got the information we needed, with a delay," Manabe said.

— Paul Logothetis — Twitter http://twitter.com/PaulLogoAP

QUICKQUOTE: BRAZIL

"We had 89-plus minutes to turn it around and we didn't. All of us lost, not one of us." — Brazil coach Mano Menezes on defender Rafael's mistake that led to a goal 29 seconds into the match.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

CHEERING A TIBETAN

Tibetan exiles are out to support what is believed to be the first Tibetan athlete to compete in the Olympics. The Chinese are supporting her, too.

That's because Qieyang Shenjie was born in Qinghai, a province of China that is also on the Tibetan plateau and part of the region that Tibetan exiles consider to be Tibet.

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