EYES ON LONDON: USA basketball, Bolt, Abbey Road

Associated Press
Jamaica's Usain Bolt, left, celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

View gallery

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:


Manu Ginobili and his Argentine friends better have had several great practices recently.

Argentina lost by 29 points to the American men's basketball team in pool play five days ago. The teams meet again in the semifinals on Friday, with a berth in the gold medal game on the line.

The Americans say they're not taking this one for granted. In Beijing, they beat Spain by 37 points in pool play, then had to fight to scrape by them in the medal round.

"It's never a sure thing," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski says.

— Brian Mahoney — Twitter http://twitter.com/briancmahoney



It's a well-trod path to Abbey Road.

One of the world's most famous crosswalks is drawing hordes of Olympic visitors. The three-block walk between the St. John's Wood Tube stop and Abbey Road is filled with pedestrians from Japan, Canada, the U.S. and other countries either coming or going from the busy landmark.

Once there, they dodge cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses and bikes zooming through the white-striped crosswalk to recreate the Beatles' famous 1969 "Abbey Road" album cover featuring John, Paul, George and Ringo walking away from Abbey Road Studios. The band broke up the following year.

Tourists take turns posing in the crosswalk, asking other visitors to snap their photo, which requires risking one's life to stand in the middle of the road for the best angle.

Some motorists screech to a halt and wait until the photos are taken. Others impatiently honk their horns.

Another popular photo spot in the elegant residential neighborhood is the front of the recording studio, where graffiti covers the fence posts. Unlike other street signs hung low, the Abbey Road signs are positioned high on the walls of buildings to discourage souvenir hunters.

— Beth Harris — Twitter http://twitter.com/bethharrisap and Paul Newberry — Twitter http://twitter.com/pnewberry1963



The weather in London and Rio de Janeiro couldn't be more different, so why are Brazilian officials visiting Britain's weather agency?

That's because every Summer Olympics needs good forecasting no matter which country is host. Rio has the 2016 Games.

Marcia dos Santos Seabra from Brazil's National Institute of Meteorology has been observing the Met Office operation at London's Olympic sites and says she's been "very impressed."

Games officials depend heavily on good weather forecasts. Andy Murray's gold medal win against Roger Federer, for example, went ahead on Wimbledon's Centre Court with the roof off after the Met Office predicted a dry spell after a morning of rain.

— Sheila Norman-Culp — Twitter — http://twitter.com/snormanculp



When Usain Bolt won the 200 meters, the Twitter world went nuts — so much so that the Jamaican speedster generated another kind of Olympic record.

"Record alert!" Twitter said in a tweet. "(at)usainbolt sets a new Olympic Games conversation record with over 80,000 TPM for his 200m victory."

TPM is Twitterspeak for tweets per minute.

Bolt, who became the only man with two Olympic titles in the 200, has never been shy about his skills.

His Twitter profile says he is "The most naturally gifted athlete the world has ever seen."

Now he has a Twitter record of sorts to add to his "living legend" contention.

— Peter Prengaman in New York — Twitter http://twitter.com/peterprengaman



Goalkeeper Hope Solo is known almost as much for the controversy she stirs up off the field as she is for the saves she makes on it. But not on Thursday night during the gold medal game against Japan.

Solo was brilliant all night, making several heart-stopping saves to lead the Americans to a 2-1 victory. The last one came in the closing minutes, when she laid out to her left to stop a point-blank shot.

"Hope Solo, she says a lot on Twitter, I guess. I don't follow her," coach Pia Sundhage said. "But what matters is what kind of team player she is and how she performs. ... Today Hope Solo had a very good game. She brought the gold back to the United States of America."

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski



After her team won gold, U.S. women's soccer coach Pia Sundhage tried to describe the feeling.

"It's happiness," the native of Sweden said. "It's hard to explain in English and it's hard to explain in Swedish, anyway. Just the fact that you're standing in the middle of something huge."

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski



In his post-race news conference, where apparently no question is out of bounds, 200-meter champion Usain Bolt was asked what kind of woman might be his type.

"I used to have a type," Bolt said. "I don't have a type anymore. It's all about falling in love. That's what it's all about. If I could find the right girl and fall in love, it doesn't matter. I am looking forward to it, though."

— Eddie Pells — Twitter http://twitter.com/epells



Here's what Usain Bolt is saying after winning his second London gold on Thursday.


Was he confident all along?

— "There wasn't a doubt. I know a lot of people doubted me, but in my mind, there wasn't a doubt. After the 100 meters, I was really confident in myself. So I knew I could do it. It wasn't a problem."

What was behind the 'ssshhh' gesture?

— "That was for all that people that doubted me, all the people that was talking all kinds of stuff that I wasn't going to do it, I was going to be beaten. I was just telling them you can stop talking now because I am a legend."

Even Yohan Blake?

— "I don't know if Yohan was talking. I didn't hear him, so I can't say. If he was talking, then yes."

Are you the greatest ever?

— "Without a doubt. I've done something that no one has done before, which is defend my double title. Back to back for me, I would say I'm the greatest."

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



It's the move of the night.

Tens of thousands of people are pouring out of London's Olympic Stadium after seeing Usain Bolt win gold in the 200 meters. So what do they do? They strike the Jamaican's signature pose — a lightning bolt. And their friends take a picture.

And so on, and so on, and so on. Nonstop lightning bolts.

Even British police in their distinctive Bobby helmets were cheerfully striking the pose.

— Danica Kirka — Twitter http://twitter.com/danicakirka



"I did it at the trials and he wanted to get me back. So he got me back." — Yohan Blake commenting on Usain Bolt's 'ssshhh' gesture as he crossed the finish line in Thursday's 200-meter final.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



"To be part of the U.S sweep ... when we are 80 or 90 years old, our grandkids are going to puff out their chests a little bit." — Tray Hardee, a silver medalist, talking about the American domination of the decathlon.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



Daniel Rudisha failed to set a world record in the 1968 Olympics, settling for a silver medal in the 400 meters.

His son, David, went one better on both counts Friday.

And his thoughts were with the man he calls his inspiration.

"Even before I started my race I was thinking how my father was sitting in front of the television back home," said Rudisha after winning gold and setting a world record in the 800 meters.

"I know he's always proud of me, he's the one who encourages me to come this far. He's a big inspiration in my career.

"He wanted to do it in the 400 but he couldn't do it. So, for his son to do it... "

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



Two teams, two styles left Wembley stadium on Thursday night.

When the final horn sounded, U.S. goalie Hope Solo was mobbed by teammates and Abby Wambach emphatically waved a towel as Queen's "We Are the Champions" thundered on the speakers.

The American women's soccer team, which won the gold medal 2-1 over Japan, donned white T-shirts that read "Greatness Has Been Found" — with the first word in gold.

The Japanese huddled quietly, with several players sobbing. They then walked over to a section filled with Japanese fans, bowed as a team and left the pitch.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski



The United States women's soccer team has beaten Japan 2-1 to win the gold medal.

Carli Lloyd scored both goals for the U.S and Hope Solo was outstanding in goal, including a lunging save on a point-blank shot from Asuna Tanaka in the 84th minute to keep the Americans in front.

The Americans avenged a loss to Japan in the World Cup final and captured their third straight Olympic title.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski



Wembley Stadium has set a record for attendance at a women's Olympic soccer game. The crowd for Japan-United States was announced at 80,203, beating the 76,481 who watched the gold medal game in Atlanta in 1996.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski



"Usain Bolt is a great athlete. He's the greatest sprinter we've seen in the world over many years. Maybe one time if we can meet in 400 and compete it would be great. It'll be fun just to watch it." — David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya, who set a new world record Friday in the 800-meter final

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



Jeneba Tarmoh passed on a runoff against Allyson Felix for the last spot on 100 meters for the U.S. team.

Tarmoh ran Thursday in the opening round of 4x100 women's relay, and said she isn't thinking about what might have been. The U.S. women easily won their heat in 41.64 seconds and will compete in Friday's final.

"No regrets. When I make decisions it's really calculated. I usually make decisions I don't regret," she said.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer


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.

View Comments (0)