Preparing for the Olympics


It’s finally time for the Olympics! To celebrate the fast-approaching games, two members of the Tufts community have dedicated posts on their blogs to their favorite competition with a little Jumbo spin.

Patrick Haneber, A15, starts us off with a little background on the venue for the Olympics, as well as a peek into his love for the games in a post he contributed to the Uloop Blog, a blog that promotes Uloop-The Student Powered Marketplace:

Looking back four years to the 2008 Beijing Games, the architecture unleashed there still blows me away. The nest-like structure of the Beijing National Stadium, the gravity-defying façade of the headquarters for China Central Television, and the bubbly surface of the National Aquatic Center were all so eccentric and iconic that viewers world-wide had no choice but to forever implant them in their memories.

The IOC seems to have gone for the opposite effect in the 2012 Olympic venues, opting to embrace the rich history of the city rather than give it a new identity altogether. After all, how could the IOC overlook places like Hyde Park, Wimbledon, and Wembley Stadium? These, along with plenty of other previously standing locales will be heavily relied upon to accommodate many of the thousands athletes competing in 302 different events. Among the new structures specially completed for the 2012 Games are the £486 million Olympic Stadium, the lego-like Basketball Arena, and the London Velopark, used for the velodrome bike and BMX races.

Bridget Conley, Research Director at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, continues where Patrick left off and gives us a little insight into the countries and athletes competing in the games. She focuses her post on the participation of unstable, or ‘failed,’ nations in the event in one of her posts for the World Peace Foundation’s blog–Reinventing Peace:

The Olympic countdown clock informs us that in 8 days and an ever-decreasing number of hours, minutes, and seconds the2012 Olympic Games will begin. For those of us based in the U.S., this means television coverage only of sports where Americans are expected to either 1) win medals or 2) wear bikinis (or both).  But in WPF’s unceasing quest to elucidate the dimensions of war and peace, we will run a series of postings on sport and political conflict. In this first posting, we offer a special pre-Olympic glimpse of teams we might not otherwise hear about: the 2012 teams from the top 20 failed states.

We’ll make use of the 2012 Failed States Index–not least to illustrate how the characterization of a state as “failed” doesn’t mean it cannot succeed in a number of important things, such as winning gold medals. The index rankings use economic, social, political, and military indicators to create a hierarchy of states based on their relative degree of stability or risk of violence and collapse.

With a bit more knowledge on some of the athletes and the city where they will compete, we’re more than ready for the 2012 Olympics! Are you?

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