London Spy

  • Phelps: More golds than Argentina

    Phelps: Lots of golds, and nice teeth tooMichael Phelps's place in the history of swimming was already secured even before he dipped a toe into the Aquatic centre water at London 2012. His six golds in Athens in 2004 and eight more in Beijing four years ago made sure of that.

    But the 6'4" swimmer's superb performances in the final Games of his career have left people not asking if he is the greatest swimmer of all time, but whether he is the greatest Olympian.

    If you're looking purely at his medal statistics, there's no argument: with 22 medals, Phelps has four more than the next-best athlete, Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

    And

    Read More »from Phelps: More golds than Argentina
  • One of the moments of the Olympic Games so far came in the Velodrome as Team GB's women celebrated their gold in the team pursuit.

    The team of Jo Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King blew the field away, setting three world records in their three races to sweep to victory.

    That made it four gold medals in the Velodrome already for Team GB, and with Sir Paul McCartney in attendance, the delighted crowd broke into song.

    Just as he had done in the Olympic opening ceremony, which he performed for a nominal fee of £1, the former Beatle led the crowd in a rendition of Hey Jude.

    Everyone in the crowd

    Read More »from Sir Paul McCartney leads jubilant sing-a-long at Velodrome
  • Britain's Zac Purchase and Mark HunterBritain's Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter had a bizarre start to the defence of their lightweight double sculls title when their boat broke just a few yards after the race got under way.

    The expectant home crowd were stunned into silence when the duo stopped rowing just before the 100m mark, but within a few moments officials rang the bell to signal a restart while Purchase held his broken seat aloft to show what had happened.

    The remaining crews - who had all rowed at least twice the distance Purchase and Hunter had - had no choice but to paddle back to the starting line, while the reigning

    Read More »from Brits suffer broken seat in rowing final
  • Weightlifting gold decided by cup of tea

    Poland's Adrian Edward Zielinski poses with his gold medal on the podium of the men's 85Kg weightlifting competition at the ExCel venue at the London 2012 Olympic GamesPoland's Adrian Edward Zielinski poses with his gold medal on the podium of the men's 85Kg weightlifting competition at the ExCel venue at the London 2012 Olympic GamesWeightlifting is a sport of fine margins and when two athletes who have lifted the hundreds of kilos above their head can't be separated, the difference between gold and silver can come down to who ate the lightest lunch - or who did or didn't take a few sips of water.

    When two competitors lift identical weights with identical times, the tie-breaker used is the athlete's bodyweight - on the basis that the lighter person has lifted a greater relative amoung - and on Friday an Olympic gold was decided in this manner in what was an incredibly cruel blow to the loser.

    Poland's Adrian Zielinski and

    Read More »from Weightlifting gold decided by cup of tea
  • Rio Games will have fewer empty seats than London – CEO

    Empty seats during the rowing events at Eton Dorney during the London 2012 Olympics (Reuters)

    The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics will see fewer empty seats than London with Brazilian organisers saying on Friday a plan will be in place to avoid the problem that soured the start of the Games in the British capital.

    The issue of unfilled stadiums has proved to be a headache for London Games organisers who embarked on a complex ticketing system more than a year ago in an attempt to avoid the gaps in the stands seen at the Beijing Games four years ago.

    However, thousands of seats reserved for sponsors, international federations and athletes' families were unused in the first days of the

    Read More »from Rio Games will have fewer empty seats than London – CEO
  • Light lunch seals gold medal for Poland

    Poland's Adrian Edward Zielinski, fired up on porridge (Reuters)

    Weightlifting is a sport of fine margins and when two athletes who have lifted the hundreds of kilos above their head can't be separated, the difference between gold and silver comes down to who ate the lightest lunch.

    Two Olympic gold medal events were decided on Thursday by an athlete's bodyweight after they lifted the same total weight in competition, leaving the one who weighed the least at the pre-event check in to take home a gold medal.

    "I ate a whole breakfast: boiled eggs and a little bit of porridge and for lunch I just had a small piece of chicken," said Polish gold medallist

    Read More »from Light lunch seals gold medal for Poland
  • Aussie rower sent home over drunken rampage

    Australian rower Josh Booth will be sent home from the Olympics for damaging two shop windows near the Eton Dorney lake following a night out drinking, the Australian Olympic Committee has said.

    "He will be sent home for breaching the athlete participation agreement," a spokesman said, adding the athlete was still in the Olympic village.

    Booth earlier apologised and agreed to pay reparation of about £1,400 for the damage, British police said, though he avoided any charge.

    The 21-year-old was detained by police early on Thursday after being called to an incident in Egham, near the Olympic

    Read More »from Aussie rower sent home over drunken rampage
  • Who’s the guy on the moped?

    The opening day of Olympic track cycling provided the thrilling sight of riders powering around the London velodrome in convoy.

    But Friday's action saw the introduction of something altogether less slick, streamlined and speedy - an older gentleman on a moped leading the cyclists round at low speed.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of keirin - a form of racing that originated in Japan and has been an Olympic event for men since 2000. It is making its debut in London as a women's event.

    The keirin is an eight lap (2000m) race, but the first 1400m are spent behind a pacemaker on a 'derny' - a

    Read More »from Who’s the guy on the moped?
  • The view from John Lewis in StratfordOne of the shops at the Olympic Park is charging punters £2 just to come in and take a look from their window.

    John Lewis in Stratford is levying the charge for fans who want to gaze out at the panoramic view from their viewing gallery on the third floor.

    But if you want to save your cash, you can since London Spy's spies headed down just before the Games and took these snaps.

    The view from John Lewis in Stratford

    It used to be free to take a look at the view - which is adjacent to the store's official London 2012 gift department - but the charges were brought in on Sunday after queues of freeloading gawpers made it impossible

    Read More »from Olympic shop charging £2 to look out of the window
  • Indian gatecrasher apologises for opening ceremony cameo


    The woman who gatecrashed India's parade at the Olympic opening ceremony has apologised for her "error of judgement" and insisted that she did not breach security at the London Games.

    Madhura Nagendra, a student from Bangalore currently studying for an MBA in London, irked Indian officials in London by her unauthorised presence alongside flag-bearing wrestler Sushil Kumar.

    London 2012 chief Sebastian Coe confirmed her as a cast member and said she had been "slightly over excited".

    "In an error of judgement I resulted in walking with the Indian contingent," Nagendra said.

    "Of course I have

    Read More »from Indian gatecrasher apologises for opening ceremony cameo