Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year & Happy New Rio 2016 Logo

Excitement is building for the blowout traditional New Year's Eve festivities in Rio de Janiero, with the *BONUS* excitement tomorrow as the new logo for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be unveiled at Copacabana Beach.

Today's Associated Press report shares more detail. Any predictions for the new logo?

I am guessing that green and yellow will remain prominent features. Something off the wall and new for the future (as was the London 2012 logo when unveiled) is also likely as Brazil may wish to push the envelope.
Looking forward to 2011 and the big unveil on the news, which I expect will appear on CNN shortly before midnight Eastern Standard Time.
Happy New Year from OlympicRingsAndOtherThings.blogspot.com!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Televising the Games

Interesting read in today's New York Times regarding the U.S. Olympic broadcast rights process underway with major TV networks and the International Olympic Committee.

The report by Richard Sandomir paints the picture that the money may come in under past Games' agreements given the economy, changes at NBC and other factors. My gut is that with the Games coming to Rio de Janiero in 2016, with prime time competition options for U.S. broadcasts, NBC may be willing to take a hit in Sochi 2014 for the potential payoff two years later. What do you think? Post a comment by Dec. 31, 2010, and I'll send you a pin from this blog.

Photo of TV camera at Berlin 1936 Games via this Flickr account

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Olympic Filmmaker Bud Greenspan

Saddened to learn that Bud Greenspan died Dec. 25 in New York, according to published reports over the weekend.

Greenspan's series "16 Days of Glory" from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics solidified my interest in the Olympic Movement during my early teens, and it was an honor to meet Greenspan more than once, starting in 1997 at the premiere of his documentary film for the Centennial Olympic Games of Atlanta.

I was also lucky to be in the room when the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH) presented Greenspan with an award on the eve of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic opening ceremony. Greenspan's health was clearly deteriorating but he was in good spirits.
The Olympic Family lost a major contributor. Fortunately, Greenspan's work will remain accessible for future generations.

Photo via AP.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

College Days On The Brain



This morning while perusing The New York Times, the dateline for a report on page A20 -- Mankato, Minn. -- jumped off the paper.

Mankato was home for my latter teen years and early 20s, and the site on the brain when the song "I Wish I Could Go Back To College" is performed in "Avenue Q" (for clarity: I usually don't wish I could go back to college, but Minnesota State University-Mankato was a pretty darn good place to attend classes).

It's not often this little town, where Silica Gel is produced* to delight owners of new luggage, gets some ink or Internet space in a national news outlet.
Also known as the "big city" portrayed in "Little House On The Prairie," Mankato is an hour southwest of Minneapolis. And yes, Walnut Grove is real and not far from Mankato. Bravo, Mankato, for the limelight!

Today's report in The Gray Lady describes an event from 148 years ago that may get some more media play for an upcoming sesquicentennial of the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

I will let the article by Robert K. Elder speak for itself, but you can imagine my surprise and delight to read a quote in the report, showcasing the expertise of one of my college English professors, Gwen Westerman. My file cabinet holds many pages of terrible late-night writing dated 1992, each covered with Westerman's handwriting and proofreader marks (see how I just used her last name, a la AP Style -- she might have suggested I just use 'Gwen' for this pseudo-journalism blog that is more an exercise in would-be creative writing).

So cool to see her name in The New York Times!

With thanks for her influence and good works, Gwen was the third in a series of influential creative writers, following Honors English teacher Saxon Vandagriff at Edmond High School, and Keith Sell in English 101 at Mankato, who taught me a great deal about writing before "things clicked" junior year and I pursued a journalism degree with the fine MSU Mass Communications Department.

Of course, after two years of "reporting" for the campus newspaper, journalism's "dark side" lured me away to a career in public relations, which I love, but not without the occasional "grass is greener" allure of a news room (for the record, more than one MSU classmate has since inquired about the greener pastures on the dark side).

By chance, a newsy friend at Atlanta's NPR affiliate WABE-FM today forwarded a timely video titled "So You Want To Be A Journalist," portraying a recent J-School graduate networking for a job. Hilarious!

What made the video all the funnier for me personally was that I hung out at Columbia Journalism School (referenced in the video) during a Manhattan apartment-sitting gig in 1996, pondering graduate school options. Also explored Syracuse University options before landing the first P.R. job back in Atlanta. Those were the days.

Who knows, maybe the recent grad in the video has some Mankato ties, too.
Photo of "journalist" via Xtranormal. Image of Mankato via The New York Times courtesy The Minnesota Historical Society.
*Technically, silica is produced in nearby Kasota, Minn., also of LeSeur Co., home of The Green Giant and the best peas in the world.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Munich 2018 All The Way

Katarina Witt of the Munich 2018 Olympic Bid may be secretly jumping for joy over today's resignation of Annecy, France, 2018 bid chief.

According to Inside The Games, Annecy's CEO pulled out over government financial support (or lack thereof) as the next hurdle of the 2018 Olympic bid process -- delivery of the bid books to the IOC -- approaches Jan. 11, 2011.

July 6, 2011, is the big day when Munich, Annecy or PyeongChang, South Korea, will take home hosting duties from the IOC session in Durban, South Africa.

I am eager to eventually study the bid books and learn more. For the moment, Munich is my personal favorite as it would be wonderful to see the Games return to Bavaria and for the magnificent Olympiapark facilities of 1972 to see new life (though they remain a thriving legacy of the earlier summer Games).

If you wish to peruse the bid books, head over to GamesBids.com and look at the profiles for each city. Happy reading.

Photo via MotorInsight.com

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