Olympics - Off the track: Hell yeah!

By Paul Harper

Ryan Lochte models the official Team USA Opening Ceremony Parade Uniform. The swimmer is too busy for a girflriend, says his mother Ike. Photo / AP
Ryan Lochte models the official Team USA Opening Ceremony Parade Uniform. The swimmer is too busy for a girflriend, says his mother Ike. Photo / AP

The London Olympics will be remembered as much for what happens off the track as on it. nzherald.co.nz reporter - and avid early morning walker when in foreign cities - Paul Harper sums up the incidents and controversy surrounding the games.

Ryan Lochte - for one night only

Sorry women, but if you get down and dirty with US swimmer Ryan Lochte, don't expect him to be there in the morning. His mother Ike has revealed the superstar is too busy for a girlfriend.

"He goes out on one-night stands," she told today.com. "He's not able to give fully to a relationship because he's always on the go."

Lochte, 27, told ESPN The Magazine prior to the games that he is glad to be single at the Olympics. "My last Olympics, I had a girlfriend - big mistake.

Now I'm single, so London should be really good. I'm excited."

New world record for 100m dash

Usain Bolt will be looking to beat his world record 100m time of 9.58 seconds next week, but he is unlikely to get anywhere near a 9-year-old named Sarah.

Sarah covered the distance in an amazing 5.95 seconds, blitzing her previous record of 6.13 seconds, which she set in 2009. The record-breaking run occurred on a specially designed course at the Road Running Technical Council of USA Track and Field, where Sarah clocked speeds up to 98kph.

Did I mention that Sarah is a cheetah? I suppose I should've mentioned that. Find out more about Sarah here.

Dried horsemeat Kazakhstan's secret weapon?

Kazakhstan's Olympics has got off to a much better start than its Central Asian neighbours Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Kazakhstan sits tenth on the medal table, with three gold medals. Uzbekistan has a bronze, but has also had a gymnast fail a drug test, while Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are yet to win a medal.

Could dried horse meat sausage be behind the Kazakh's success? The team had the treat, called "kazy", shipped over for the Olympics, and has subsequently seen cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov win gold in the men's road race against much more favoured opposition, and Kazakhstan has won two gold medals in the weightlifting. Kazakhstan has more gold medals than both New Zealand and Australia combined, whose athletes are not believed to have eaten any horse meat.

Kazakhstan does not have any riders in any equestrian events at the Games.

World media singing the praises of North Korea

Yesterday we told you about the fascinating North Korean state media, who branded some foreign media of being "evil-minded" for underestimating the chances of the North Korean athletes. Now the Korean Central News Agency says the athletes of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have "become a focus of world media for their good results" in London.

"AP of the U.S. reported that the DPRK was winning in a big way and its flag was raised in the ExCel center for the second consecutive day," one story said.

"Leading media of south Korea, too, reported that the DPRK won three gold and one bronze medals in four days after the start of the Olympiad to take the fourth place in its total standing by demonstrating a great power in weightlifting.

"China's Xinhua and Russia's ITAR-TASS reported in detail about the DPRK athletes' successes, praising its rapid progress in sports.

"Those media said that the secret of the DPRK athletes' victory is deep concern of leader Kim Jong Il and strength, courage and deep trust from the dear respected Kim Jong Un."

In another story, the KCNA reported the "media of south Korea and the world said that the world's attention is focused on the successes by the DPRK delegation of 56 athletes and they are making a rush of wind in the London Olympics".

"Their successes represent the inexhaustible strength of the DPRK, which can never be gauged by the Western view of value and criterion."

Considering people inside North Korea cannot read for themselves what the foreign media is reporting about their team, KCNA can say they've reported pretty much anything they like.

The New Zealand Herald Off the Track team would also like to condemn any "evil-minded" media who played down the chances of our athletes, who are now of course the toast of all the world's media.

NBC: People like delayed coverage

US broadcaster NBC has copped a lot of grief from viewers over the past week, particularly for not screening events live. However NBC's researchers say that knowing the results of an event before they see it delayed makes a viewer more likely to watch it, not less.

Two-thirds of people said in a survey they watch the prime-time broadcasting of events even if they already know the results, AP reported. People who watched an event live on the internet watched a tape-delayed broadcast 50 percent longer than those who hadn't, Alan Wurtzel, NBC's chief researcher said.

More Americans are watching NBC's coverage of the London Games than viewed the 2008 Beijing Games, AP reported.

A sport fit for the Queen

And finally, here's US basketball star Kevin Love on which sports should be included in the Olympics.

"They need the WWE Royal Rumble in the Olympics. Would have been very fitting to have had it in," he wrote on Twitter.

Considering the boxing judging is suspect, why not have a "sport" where the result is predetermined?

- Herald online

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