Olympics: Off the track - August 1

By Paul Harper

The London Olympics will be remembered as much for what happens off the track as on it. Herald.co.nz reporter - and a member of a mixed social seven-a-side football team which was smashed by a girls' team starring Football Ferns last year - Paul Harper sums up the incidents and controversy surrounding the games.

Henderson's "horny" hiccup

A Denver Post reporter has had to publicly deny he was "horny" while reporting on the feats of two teenage swimmers.

"That was fun. First time I've gotten horny covering the Olympics. Thank you!" John Henderson tweeted, straight after he filed stories on Missy Franklin, 17, and Ye Shiwen, 16.

Henderson later deleted the tweet, and explained himself on Twitter.

"Hi all. I mistakenly tweeted to the world what I had intended as a DM. It had nothing to do with the event I was covering."

Mr Henderson told the Denver Westward he was having an "an innocent direct Twitter conversation with a reader before the Opening Ceremonies and she just said a couple things that got me excited".

I bet it was a UFO

More than a billion people from around the world are believed to have watched the Olympic Opening Ceremony - and perhaps a few viewers from out of this world. A YouTube clip has emerged showing a disc hovering over London as fireworks shoot up from around the stadium towards the end of the ceremony.

Funnily enough, bookmaker William Hill was offering 1000-1 odds that a flying saucer would appear above the stadium during the spectacle. So did anyone place a wager? And will they pay up? We are eagerly awaiting a response from William Hill on the matter.

See the clip for yourself here:

Am I a 194cm-tall woman?

If I were an Olympic athlete, I would most likely be Ciara Michel, a women's volleyball player for Team Great Britain. That's according the BBC, who have collated information from all of the GB team, as well as several other nations' athletes, to calculate "Your Olympic athlete body match".

I'm not convinced about the accuracy of the calculator, as Michel is much taller than me and much more female than I am. I'm also rubbish at volleyball. But we're both blonde and good-looking so I guess they're not far off.

Try out the BBC's Olympic athlete body match for yourself here.

Follow the leader

Yesterday I told you who was the most followed New Zealand Olympic athletes on Twitter, but who is the most popular athlete in the world? According to interactive marketing website ExactTarget, US basketballers LeBron James, with 4.7million Twitter followers and 10.6m Facebook likes, and Kobe Bryant, with 108,000 followers and 13m likes, are the most popular athletes on social media.

The Guardian offers a different way of ranking who is the most popular online, instead measuring the number of clicks on news stories about each athlete. Americans make up the top three, with swimmer Ryan Lochte topping the list as at 11am New Zealand Time, followed by gymnast Jodyn Wieber and women's football goalkeeper Hope Solo. New Zealand's Mark Todd was this morning in the mix, sitting at 15th most popular following the Kiwi eventing team's bronze medal performance.

Has Brazil stooped to alarming tactics?

The New Zealand Olywhites face a tough challenge tomorrow, needing to beat Brazil in their final group game to stay alive in the tournament. In need a full night's rest before the must-win match, the players vented on Twitter after their hotel's fire alarm went off at least twice.

"Fire alarm has been going off for the last 10 mins!!! Yes I might be moving.... If its not my floor I'm not getting out of bed!" striker Chris Wood wrote.

Teammate Tommy Smith was also not pleased.

"Again??? Seriously, unless I see smoke, I'm not moving! ?? *pillow covering ears* #f-offfirealarm."

Blackburn Rovers youngster Tim Payne saw the funny side.

"Love it when the fire alarm goes off and we are all annoyed about the noise, a fire not even crossing our minds #firstworldproblems ha!"

It is not known whether this was a desperate ploy by the Brazilian team to put our lads off their game, but I have my suspicions.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 19 Apr 2014 10:37:55 Processing Time: 698ms