Olympics of superstitions (Olympic diary)

July 30th, 2012 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Serena Williams London July 30 (IANS) Many Olympians may strongly believe in scientific methods of training, yet they are superstitious. They seem to think that some of their routine rituals are necessary to psyche them up ahead of a contest and also enhance their performance levels.

For instance, multiple Grand Slam champion and US tennis star Serena Williams always takes her shower sandals to the court, ties her shoelaces in a specific way and bounces the ball five times.

Here is how American swimmer Michael Phelps prepares for a competition: The winner of a record 16 Olympic medals, including six gold, walks to the block, takes off his headphones, swings his arms three times, steps on to the block — a routine he never fails to follow.

British diver Thomas Daley has an orange monkey toy as his lucky charm. However, this time it didn’t work as he finished a dismal 29th in the preliminary round of the men’s 10m platform event.

Move to inspire greener living

With organisers claiming the London Olympics to be the greenest ever, an interactive exhibition regaling tales of the Games’ sustainability to inspire greener living is being organised at the Bedzed Visitor Centre, London.

Titled “The One Planet Experience”, it explains how the London Olympic and Paralympic Games aim to be the greenest Games ever.

The exhibition hopes to inspire people to save energy and reduce waste.

There is the carbon calculator house which can help understand the ways to make optimum use of electrical appliances and reduce energy bills. Then there is the energy velodrome to see how many household appliances can be powered optimally, and test one’s knowledge on the touchscreen energy and waste quizzes!

Soldiers filling empty stands

Swathes of empty seats at most of the venues have been haunting the organisers so much so that they have called in soldiers and students to fill in the desolate galleries.

Organisers were prompted to act after empty stands at many venues got highlighted in the electronic and print media. Even the Aquatics Centre, where British medal hope swimmer Hannah Miley performed, saw near-empty rows of seats.

The idea of filling venues with soldiers and students came after accredited seating for officials, athletes, sponsors and media were left unused over the first weekend of Games.

Quite in contrast to empty stadiums, huge crowds lined the streets, where tickets were not required, to watch the cycling road race.

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