Top Olympic quirks, tweets and quotes

A leading British bookmaker is refunding all wagers on who would light the Olympic cauldron, saying it was too tough to guess the seven young athletes who eventually lit the flame. Photo / AP
A leading British bookmaker is refunding all wagers on who would light the Olympic cauldron, saying it was too tough to guess the seven young athletes who eventually lit the flame. Photo / AP

Here is a look at the top behind-the-scenes Olympic tales, tweets and quotes from the opening days of the London Games.

Briefs:

* The Indian Olympic team have been left stunned after a mystery woman walked out with their team alongside the flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony. Indian team management have no idea who the woman, wearing a red jacket and blue pants, was but were told she was just meant to accompany the team to the track. Standing out against the Indian blue and yellow uniform, the woman instead walked at the front of the 81-strong contingent around the entire track.

* A small group of protesters are marking the "anti-Games'' near the London Olympic Stadium. The few hundred protesters gathered to express their opposition to everything from corporate sponsorship of the Olympics to anger about missiles positioned on the roofs of nearby apartment blocks for the Games. But after day-one of the games, media cameras were out-numbering protesters.

* When Ryan Lochte stood on the medal podium to collect his gold, after beating Michael Phelps in the 400 individual-medley, his gold medal was not his only bling. Known for his style, Lochte also popped in his grillz - diamond-studded mouth jewellery - for the victory ceremony.

* American women's soccer player Hope Solo took to Twitter to berate a veteran player turned commentator Brandi Chastain. Irked by comments made during the US's 3-0 win against Colombia, Solo made various tweets about the quality of commenting. The New York Times reported that some members of the national team chafed at the criticism they felt was directed at them by veterans of the 1999 World Cup team, such as ESPN's Julie Foudy and Chastain.

* A leading British bookmaker is refunding all wagers on who would light the Olympic cauldron, saying it was too tough to guess the seven young athletes who eventually lit the flame. A five-figure sum was being returned to clients.

Tweets:

- Zak Bagans: "So as McDonalds is a major Olympics sponsor does that mean if I eat there everyday I will become as fit as these athletes???"

- The Olympics Update: "Yes it's true... Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Jesse J, Taio Cruz and Tinie Tempah will be performing at the closing Ceremony of The Olympics"

- US soccer player Hope Solo: "Its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game."

- US swimmer Michael Phelps: "Not pleased with my race tonight at all... But tom is a new day! And a new race!!"

- NYT Olympics Live: "That iconic Olympics music has begun a 2-week loop inside your head."

- US basketball player Al Nolen: "Man when I watch the olympics I hold my breathe cause one mistake could ruin 4 yrs of training thats pressure at its finest!!"

Quotes:

* Fourteen-times gold medallist Michael Phelps after finishing a disappointing fourth in the 400m individual medley: "It was just a crappy race. I felt fine the first 200, then I don't know. They just swam a better race than me, a smarter race than me, and were better prepared than me. That's why they're on the medal stand.''

* Responding to Prince Charles' warning to Australian swimmers Melissa Gorman and Ky Hurst ahead of their 10km open water swim race in the Serpentine in Hyde Park: "Even he admitted we should gargle some antiseptic when we get out of there,'' Gorman said.

* British cyclist Mark Cavendish blamed the tactics of other times, including Australia, for his loss in the men's road race.

"No one wants to help us. The Australians sit there. They always just ride negatively - they're happy to see us lose. It's bitterly disappointing.''

* New Zealand's chef de mission Dave Currie was thrilled by a surprise encounter with the Queen at Olympic Village: "She was just wonderful. Impressively, she'd only returned to the palace at 2am following the opening ceremony and had that morning already been to watch the swimming competition and to meet Team GB. That's not bad for someone who is 86 years old.''

* Kiwi cyclist Greg Henderson was bitterly disappointed when an upset stomach forced him out of the men's road race after just 15km: "I had to make an emergency stop in the pits. For me it was super-upsetting because I was on such a high with the Tour de France. To perform with distinction there and then end here with such a low. "I just had bad, bad, bad diarrhoea. Once I had one movement, I was done.''

* Hopes are high for the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, ahead of his 2012 Olympics campaign: "Mentally I'm strong. I know what I want. I want to defend my titles here and become a legend.''

* One of the most memorable moments of the Olympic ceremony was when stuntman Gary Connery jumped out of a helicopter dressed as the Queen. It was most memorable for Connery himself: "I think this one is probably unsurpassable. It will hang in my memory until I become senile and can't remember it any more.''

* London Mayor Boris Johnson dismissed suggestions by Tory MP Aidan Burley that the Olympic Games opening ceremony was "leftie multicultural'' nonsense. "People say it was all leftie stuff. That is nonsense. I'm a Conservative and I had hot tears of patriotic pride from the beginning. I was blubbing like Andy Murray.''

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 31 Oct 2014 23:57:33 Processing Time: 455ms