Pizza, pasta, sleeping keeps gold run going for Phelps (Olympic sidelights)

August 14th, 2008 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Roger Federer
By V. Krishnaswamy
Beijing, Aug 14 (IANS) Guess what keeps swimming superstar Michael Phelps going. The Australian swimmer revealed to sports broadcaster ESPN that when he is not breaking records he is either eating or sleeping. “I’m eating a lot of pasta and pizza. I’m eating a lot of carbs. And sleeping as much as I can,” Phelps said.

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Time to get back together again

Australian swimmers Stephanie Rice and Eamon Sullivan, who had decided to suspend their romantic relationship to concentrate on the Olympic Games, can now get back to their old situation after a terrific show at the Water Cube.

Before the Games, Rice, who loves partying, and Sullivan agreed to cool their romance in order to concentrate on the Olympics, according to Australian media.

“Basically, we are just focussing. I guess (we are) being a bit selfish that we want to swim to the best of our ability,” Sullivan was quoted as saying. “We both mutually agreed that being together is something that probably won’t work during this month. So we decided to have a break.”

Rice captured Australia’s first gold medal of the Games in the 400m individual medley, while Sullivan Tuesday broke the world 100m freestyle record when he led off the Australian team in the men’s 4×100m freestyle relay. The Aussie team came third.

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Gold in Beijing, Champion’s patties in Tokyo

While one swimmer eats his way to gold medals and world records, another is fattening his bank balance after swimming to a gold.

Japanese swimmer Kosuke Katajima, who defended his 100m breaststroke title in Beijing, is earning good money these days from his fast food shop back home. His fans have been thronging his Tokyo store and the chef is said to be making an extra 3,000 burgers a day, according to a newspaper.

Also selling like hot cakes are Katajima’s patties, as people don’t mind queuing all day for one of those delicacies.

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Want a picture with Kobe Bryant?

Guess who is the most difficult sportsman to get a photograph with at the Olympic Village? No, it is not Roger Federer, but NBA basketball star, Kobe Bryant.

The reason: he has far too many guards and he just doesn’t stay long enough at the Athlete’s Village whenever he does come over. A local paper reported that if you want a photo with one the world’s most famous athletes, it helps if you are a woman.

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A drink and some sultry Brazilian dancing

The Beijing Olympic Games have brought in not just athletes from the world over, it has also given organisations a chance to showcase their native cultures in the Olympic city.

Visitors can ‘trot’ from Brazil to Russia to the United States to Japan and many other places, while staying on in Beijing this fortnight.

Brazil House is one place where Brazilian drum music and video-screens displaying their athletes are attracting people. It is situated at the Jianguo Garden Hotel in Beijing and showcases stunning images, performances and artefacts from Brazil - in particular from Rio de Janeiro, a candidate city for the 2016 Olympic Games.

A drink and an evening performance of sultry Brazilian dancing with nimble dancers is a nice way to chill out.

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Sport transcends conflicts

An opera called “Princess Wencheng” would be jointly staged by the National Peking Opera Theatre and Tibetan Opera Troupe from Aug 21 to 23 as one of the key cultural performances during the Beijing Olympic Games, says Liu Can, spokesperson with the Meilanfang Grand Theatre.

The hybrid drama combines the two opera styles’ most notable aspects in music, song, costume and other aspects.

“Instruments like drums and cymbals of Tibetan opera will be merged into the orchestra of Peking opera. There will also be duet and harmonic vocals featuring both singing styles,” Liu was quoted as saying in China Daily.

The Tibetan roles, including Songtsan Gambo, will be played by professional Tibetan opera actors in its native language.

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Olympic preparation captured on film

The Beijing Olympic is considered by many as the turning point in China’s history. The Beijing Tourism Administration has now joined hands with Pegasus & Taihe International to present a 90-minute promotion film on Beijing.

Revolving around Beijing’s culture, greenery, night-life and fashion trends, Beijing 2008 portrays a metropolis prepared to host an Olympic Games.

The film’s 12-minute trailer will soon be shown at railway stations, airports and buses and the final version will hit the theatres later this year. About 30,000 DVDs will be gifted to foreign reporters covering the Olympic Games.

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Sporting spirit

China is leaving no stone unturned to promote the 29th edition of the Olympic Games.

Using different media including photography, paintings, video art, sculpture and installation, the artists inform spectators about the Olympics, athletic and sporting spirit.

According to China Daily, participants include Josune Amunarriz, Jose Manuel Ballester and others.

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