LONDON (AP) — Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:
A LEGEND SHOWS UP
Even Kobe Bryant wanted a picture with him.
Brazilian basketball legend Oscar Schmidt visited the U.S. men's basketball practice on Monday and was somewhat surprised he was recognized by players too young to have seen him play. Schmidt scored nearly 50,000 points during his career. He never played in the NBA, however, he made his mark on American hoops by almost single-handedly beating the U.S. at the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis.
Schmidt led Brazil to a win over an American team featuring David Robinson and Danny Manning.
There was some debate among U.S. reporters Monday about Schmidt's point total before he was asked.
"I scored 46," he said, "35 in the second half."
You hardly missed, he was told.
"That was always the case," he said laughing.
— Tom Withers — Twitter http://twitter.com/twithersAP
OLYMPIC TRADE BOOST?
There's no gold medal for technology, but if there were, Jonny Ive would be a world champion.
The Apple vice president, the design guru behind the iPhone and iPod, attended a London summit Monday aimed at using the London Olympics to boost Britain's creative industries. The U.K. hopes to secure about 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in deals.
"The creative industries are an integral part of the U.K'.s economic success and future growth," Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt says.
Hunt was also at a reception hailing British design along with the country's most glamorous royal, the Duchess of Cambridge, previously known as Kate Middleton.
— David Stringer - Twitterhttp://twitter.com/david_stringer
Big drama at the women's epee semi finals in the fencing.
The South Korean team staged an official protest after Shin A-lam lost in the semifinals, claiming the match was already over when opponent Britta Heidemann of Germany scored the winning point.
Shin and Heidemann were tied at 5-5 when the German seemed to score in the final second.
A jury spokesman said it would "take a while to come to a decision in this delicate situation."
In the meantime, Shin was not allowed to leave the strip and sat, in tears, waiting for a decision.
Tense situation. Extraordinary!
— Derl McCrudden — Twitter http://twitter.com/derl and David Stringer — Twitter http://twitter.com/david_stringer
STILL BIG IN WEYMOUTH, BY GEORGE
King George III is still a popular figure in Weymouth, the English Channel resort hosting Olympic sailing.
Seems that the monarch, best known in the United States for losing the American colonies, helped put Weymouth on the map with his summer visits from 1789 to 1805 for therapeutic saltwater dips.
There's a statue of the monarch on one end of the Esplanade, the walkway and road that run parallel to the beach. The inscription reads: "The grateful inhabitants to George The Third on his entering the 50th year of his reign."
A more interesting image of the king is called the Osmington White Horse. Carved into a chalk cliff outside of town, the giant image shows the king riding a horse. It can be seen for miles, including from the sailing courses on Weymouth Bay.
Legend has it that despite the carving being intended as a compliment, the king was offended because it showed him riding away from town, and he never returned.
— Bernie Wilson — Twitter http://twitter.com/berniewilson
Soldiers dancing in conga lines, bikini-clad cheerleaders, spectators stacking plastic beer cups in tottering towers — is anyone watching actual Olympic beach volleyball?
Even spectators taking in a match Monday between the men from Great Britain and Brazil were distracted by activity in the stands at central London's Horse Guards Parade.
As rival sections of the arena competed to build the largest beer cup tower, jumbo screens showed troops joining a conga line around the 15,000 seat venue.
Even those watching the sandy court faced distractions, including dancers in skimpy outfits who performed during each major break in play.
— David Stringer - Twitterhttp://twitter.com/david_stringer
After his father died of brain cancer a year ago, teenage diver Tom Daley went into the Olympics determined to win a medal "for myself and my dad."
The 18-year-old Briton missed out in his first event on Monday, finishing fourth in the 10-meter synchronized platform with teammate Pete Waterfield.
What made it worse for Daley was the response from one Twitter user.
"You let your dad down i hope you know that," (at)Rileyy69 tweeted.
Daley retweeted the abuse and said: "After giving it my all...you get idiot's sending me this."
There was an immediate outcry, with users tweeting: (hash)GetRileyy_69Banned.
"how am i trending worldwide?" (at)Rileyy69 asked.
His account is currently locked.
— Rob Harris — Twitter http://twitter.com/RobHarris
Britain's men's gymnastics team has won its first medal in 100 years: Behind a powerful performance from Kristian Thomas, the men took the bronze.
They sealed it with Thomas' floor routine, and he knew it. He waved his arms to get the crowd to cheer louder as he walked off the floor. Then he pumped his fist and blew kisses.
When his score was announced — a 15.433 that sealed it — the arena erupted in cheers.
— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer
MY ATM'S TALKING COCKNEY
Yes, an ATM near Olympics Park just asked me if I wanted to continue in English or Cockney.
Here's what I was up against:
— "Sausage and Mash?" (Cash).
— "Please enter your Huckleberry Finn" (Pin).
— "Reading Your Bladder of Lard" (Card).
— "Would you like your balance on the Charlie Sheen?" (Screen).
— "We are contacting your rattle and tank" (bank).
The ATMs are run by a company called Bank Machine.
The origins of Cockney rhyming slang, heard at times in east London, are obscure. It is thought to have been used by market traders who needed a way of communicating without tipping off their customers.
It works by replacing a word with a short rhyming phrase. For example: "Money" becomes "bread and honey," which in turn is shortened to "bread." Similarly, "head" becomes "loaf of bread," and then just simply "loaf."
A few other classics: "trouble and strife" for wife and "apples and pears" for stairs.
— Miles Edelsten — Twitter http://twitter.com/strewther
Winning silver in the world championships of a non-Olympic sport two weeks before the games start isn't going to get you a lot of attention. But Simon Hill, chief executive of Ultimate UK, the governing body for British Ultimate Frisbee, isn't bitter.
He knows that Ultimate — the word "Frisbee" cannot always be used because of branding issues — will one day have its time.
That moment could come sooner if the World Flying Disk Federation is successful in gaining official recognition from the IOC. Ultimate UK estimates that about 15,000 people are playing the game in Britain — double five years ago. In the U.S. and Canada, it has a far greater following.
But should it be an Olympic sport?
"I don't think it is played enough around the world. We need more players in other parts of the world, like Africa," Hill says. "But I do think it would be a great sport to have in the Olympics."
Team GB's men's team came second in the recent world championships in Japan.
"I think that the Olympics are great. Our sport is so small there is no point in whingeing about not getting attention for ourselves," Hill says. "There has just been so much attention on sport that it is a good thing for us. Overall, it's net positive."
— Fergus Bell — Twitter http://twitter.com/fergb
TABLE TENNIS INTERLUDE
I'm getting so much cooperation from Ding Ning, one of the next generation of great Chinese female table-tennis players. She's outgoing, wants to talk with reporters — and even listens to journalists trying questions in Mandarin. New breed, really.
Zhang Yining won four gold medals in the last two Olympics. Wang Nan won four in three Olympics — 2000, 2004, 2008. And Deng Yaping started the string with four in 1992 and 1996.
Now comes 22-year-old Ding.
"I'm not so sure I can be like the others, but I'm trying," she said Monday after reaching the quarterfinals. "I know Zhang Yining very well. I train with her and I have learned so many things from her. ... Of course I really want to win the gold medal. But even if I don't win the medal, I have a long career in front of me and will have more chances."
And a confession: "If I get silver, I will feel a little bit disappointed."
— Stephen Wade — Twitter http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP
The Westfield mall is the largest in Europe — but even they're having trouble coping with the tens of thousands of people who descend on it each day.
The sprawling complex, featuring upscale shops and restaurants, is right next to the Olympic Park and a convenient spot to gather, providing viewing areas of several venues even for fans who don't have tickets.
But the crush of people has made it tough to get a meal during peak hours. On Monday, a restaurant stopped putting in food orders for 30 minutes, saying it simply couldn't keep up with demand. "We didn't train enough people," a waitress said, apologizing for the delay.
A Caribbean fast-food stand also was overwhelmed by customers, some of whom gathered around the pickup counter to complain they had been waiting for more than a half-hour to get their orders. "I'm so sorry," said a woman working furiously to bring out food. "We're going as fast as we can."
Of course, the outrage was rather muted compared to what might be seen in other countries. In Britain, they don't get too worked up about anything, except maybe soccer.
— Paul Newberry — Twitter http://twitter.com/pnewberry1963
Peter Waterfield says the dive that doomed Britain's chances of gold in the 10-meter platform was essentially his fault.
Waterfield and partner Thomas Daley were in first place halfway through the men's synchronized 10-meter platform. Then Waterfield says he kicked his feet out too far on their fourth dive, throwing it off and digging Britain too big a hole to climb out of.
Daley says the reverse 3 1/2 somersault is a dive the pair felt very comfortable trying.
"Normally it's one of our best dives," Daley says. "Today it just didn't seem right."
— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski
EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item, and get even more AP updates from the games here: http://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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- Oscar Schmidt