London Spy

  • Zuckerberg room-mate set for Olympics

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg seems to have his hands on everything these days. Now he's showing up in Olympic headlines.

    No, he hasn't been training with the Winklevoss twins to mend fences and boost his rowing skills. Bloomberg recently ran a feature on Zuckerberg's friend and freshman roommate from Harvard, Samyr Laine, who will compete for his parents' home country of Haiti in the triple jump in London.

    Laine, who first visited Haiti in 2007, realized that competition was stiff in the US and that his best chance of reaching his Olympic goal was to compete for the small Caribbean

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  • Watch teenager Gemili’s golden 100m run

    British sprint sensation Adam Gemili powered to an attention-grabbing 100m gold at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona.

    Gemili clocked a championship record 10.05 seconds to take three hundredths off his breakthrough personal best earlier this season, which secured the 18-year old former footballer a place on Great Britain's Olympic team.

    Coach Michael Afilaka is keen his star charge makes a gradual transition into the senior ranks and he'll arrive in London with a brief just to enjoy the experience.

    But after a miserable season for British sprinting, he is certainly winning a growing

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  • Meet Team GB

    Farah flying the flag for Team GB

    Great Britain's Olympic team will be 542 strong at London 2012, their biggest delegation in 104 years.

    The host nation will be represented in all sports and are aiming to win more medals in more sports since 1908, with a target of 48 medals set by elite funding agency UK Sport.

    The sports in which medals have been targeted are: Cycling 6-10, Rowing 6, Athletics 5-8, Swimming 5-7, Boxing 3-5, Sailing 3-5, Canoeing 3-4, Equestrian 3-4, Taekwondo 1-3, Diving 1-3, Triathlon 1-2, Hockey 1-2, Gymnastics 1-2, Modern Pentathlon 1-2, Tennis 0-2, Archery 0-1, Badminton 0-1, Fencing 0-1, Judo 0-1,

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  • British medal hopes: Ed McKeever

    Dubbed the 'Usain Bolt of the water', sprint canoeist Ed McKeever is one of Great Britain's biggest medal hopes for the London Olympics.

    Selected to compete in the 200m category for Team GB, the 28-year-old from Bradford-upon-Avon, has an abundance of pace on the water and an intense training regime to make most people wince.

    McKeever won gold at the world championships in 2010 and topped the podium twice at the 2011 world cup series after having already record one of the fastest-ever times over the distance — 34.2 seconds.

    The canoeist could be Team GB's last gold medallist of the Games due

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  • Vandals deface BP’s Olympics billboard


    A major billboard for BP, the official fuel and gas provider of the Olympics, was vandalized in London as part of a protest against environmental practices of the British petroleum company.

    UPI reports some environmental groups are encouraging acts of "brand piracy," including spreading black oil paint on major billboards promoting the company's Olympic sponsorship. The six-paneled billboard above sits on Cromwell Road, a major traffic route in central London.

    Another billboard was tagged with the URL for f-ingthefuture, a website protesting BP's involvement with the Olympics. The name is a

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  • London to boast biggest ever Olympic rings

    The giant Olympic rings in Richmond Park seen from the airLondon will welcome visitors to London 2012 with the biggest Olympic rings ever seen in the history of the Games.

    The giant rings - approximately 300m across and 135m high - have been mown into the grass at Richmond Park in South West London, where they will be clearly visible by all planes landing at nearby Heathrow Airport.

    The rings were mown into the grass of the park by the park's two shire horses, Jim and Murdoch, who are normally tasked with keeping the grass short by the sides of the roads which criss-cross the park.

    Richmond Park's shire horses Jim and Murdoch
    Apparently, shire horses have been used to maintain the park for

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  • Sport guide: Weightlifting


    Weightlifting is more sophisticated now than when it appeared at the first Games, but it is still striking for its simplicity.

    In 1896 Viggo Jensen, of Denmark, won the two-handed lift, with Great Britain's Launceston Elliot taking silver. The placings were reversed in the one-handed lift and Elliot's success remains Great Britain's only gold medal in the event.

    Since 1920 the competition has featured different weight divisions, after which Egypt's Sayed Nosseir was the only non-European to win a medal until Los Angeles in 1932, when two American lifters each struck bronze.


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  • Sport guide: Wrestling


    Wrestling falls into two categories - Greco-Roman, which was part of the first Games, and freestyle, which was introduced in 1904.

    In both disciplines the aim is to pin the opponent by forcing the back of their shoulders onto the ground. Contests take place on a mat, with each bout lasting up to three periods of two minutes each, or less if a competitor pins his opponent or wins the first two rounds.

    In Greco-Roman wrestling, fighters are only allowed to use their arms and upper bodies to wrestle their opponents' upper bodies; in freestyle, wrestlers can use all parts of their body

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  • London 2012 Team GB stars

  • British medal hopes: Jessica Ennis (athletics)

    Ennis on her way to silver at the world indoorsJessica Ennis may be the poster girl of London 2012, but there's a fire burning underneath that all-smiling exterior.

    Ennis has unfinished business at the Olympics. She was forced to watch the 2008 Beijing Games from her home in Sheffield due to injury and she endured further frustration when she lost her world heptathlon crown last year in Daegu.

    Ennis was the first to admit she did not perform well enough when losing out to perennial rival Tatyana Chernova last year and she struggles to watch back tapes of her poor javelin throws which scuppered her hopes of winning the gold.

    However, having

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