Four long years have bitten the dust since we were last this excited for the (summer) Olympics. Beijing’s opening ceremony knocked our socks off with a terrifying army of perfectly drilled drummers, a crazy high-wire act and a photoshopped fireworks display that was as entertaining as San Diego’s 15-second, shoot-your-wad-early fusillade. London’s got a tough act to follow, and as fellow westerners, we hope the Limeys don’t screw it up — from the looks of it, they’re rockin’ it out. We’ve picked through the week’s over-hyped rags to put together a special Olympics edition of Briefings.
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1. What to Read | 1904 Marathon Shenanigans
Turns out sports scandals are nothing new (gasp!). Okay, that’s not the reason we highlight the 1904 Olympic marathon — it’s more the absurd plot twists that sound like the makings of a Tarantino film. The exploits of the devious Fred Lorz and superhuman Thomas Hicks are definitely worth a once-over, if only to remind yourself that the good ole days were freaking nuts. Just don’t get your hopes up for blatant cheating, boozing, and rat-poisoning in this year’s race.
2. What to Tag | Olympic Street Art
It seems street artists (can we just call them artists already?) have been busily preparing the streets of London for an onslaught of audience. We’ve long thought Banksy a genius, but it’s nice to see the impressive works of other provocateurs as well in this nice roundup by blogger Rick Atherton. Not into the political satire that the Brits do so well? Most of the pieces are aesthetically gorgeous, too.
3. What to Read | Honey as a Performance Enhancing Substance
In this age of strict drug tests and rule books thicker than the Chicago Style guide (grammar nerds get it), it’s hard to believe that Olympic athletes can use whatever they want to give them an edge. It’s downright preposterous that the substances they choose are honey, beer, coke and melted gummy bears. In the men’s parallel bars event, it seems MacGyver would do pretty well.
4. What to Gawk At | Sex in the Olympic Village
What can be said about wild orgies amongst world-class athletes that hasn’t already been said? Um, wait, what was that? Yea, wild sex parties. Running through tens of thousands of condoms like they’re toilet paper after a massive Mexican dinner. Sex on the lawn of the Olympic village. Heavy boozing during the closing ceremonies. The mile high club on the flight home. You’re probably not interested in reading about stuff like that, right?
5. What to Watch | Old Spice’s Olympic Spot
Old Spice has officially figured out how to fit the maximum amount of disjointed awesome into a 30-second TV ad. We don’t want to give the ending away, but this thing could’ve been directed by M. Night Shyamalan.