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D.C. Sports Bog: August 17, 2008 - August 23, 2008

Rock Paper Scissors Gold

The last medal ceremony I'll see in Beijing. "Whew," Matti Leshem said. "I'm nervous." It was a few minutes before 8 p.m., Beijing time. We were in Club Bud, a massive convention hall that, for this month, was serving as a shrine to beer and scantily clad dancers and...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 23, 2008; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Olympics  
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Links: Sex, Drugs and Shameless Self-Promotion

Lindsay Applebaum here, with today's roundup of Olympics-related links: - Sex, and lots of it in the Olympic Village. (The Times) - How much would you pay for Michael Phelps's sperm? (AOL Fanhouse) - Shawn Johnson is Kelly Kapowski. (Fourth-Place Medal) - Blonska caught doping, but it's all her husband's...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | August 23, 2008; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Olympics  
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Iceland Handball's Final Opponent

Will face Icelandic Vikings. To be honest, I wanted to like the French men's handball team. For one thing, they play an extremely appealing and skillful brand of handball. But more to the point, they have this tradition of operating under grandiose team nicknames at major competitions. This dates...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 23, 2008; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Olympics  
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A Morning Jolt of Icelandic Team Handball

The Icelandic poster industry will be busy with all these shots. (By Mikhail Voskresensky - Reuters) "Have none of you been to Iceland? Oh well you've seriously got to come, you don't know what you're missing. First of all it's not cold. Second, or rather reverse order, the girls...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 23, 2008; 6:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Olympics  
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Scenes From Iceland's Handball Triumph

Robert Gunnarsson's "300"-inspired mohawk. (By Lee Jin-man - AP). I was walking toward the mixed zone this evening when I ran into the first lady of Iceland. Dorrit Moussaieff asked me how she could get onto the playing surface, so that she could help celebrate her tiny country's stunning...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 22, 2008; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Media, Olympics  
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Links of the Day

Lindsay Applebaum here with a quick roundup of today's Olympics-related linkage: - Michael Phelps is responsible for childhood obesity. What a jerk. (L.A. Times) - Tiki Barber did not say what we think he said...or did he? (Newsday) - Phelps chooses Stephanie Rice over Lindsay Lohan. (AOL Fanhouse) - Another...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | August 22, 2008; 2:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Olympics  
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Icelandic Handball's Finest Moment

The scene today. It was wild. (By Marcelo Del Pozo - Reuters) "I think this is the biggest moment in Icelandic sport history." - Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. It's hard to explain just how monumental was Iceland's win over Spain was in today's men's handball semifinals. Spain--with more...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 22, 2008; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Olympics  
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This Week's Top 10 WaPo Sports Stories: Phelps Week

This week's most popular sports topic: Swimmer dude. (By Jonathan Newton - TWP) Who's the biggest star of the Olympics? Michael Phelps? Usain Bolt? The Chinese teenage gymnast fan club? The Chinese divers? The Redeem Team? Judging by our numbers, for WaPo readers, it's Phelps, in a rout. For...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 22, 2008; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Media, Olympics  
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Getting By in Beijing

Three days to go in Beijing, and I'm just killing time. I've discovered a new way to annoy the relentlessly helpful volunteers: keep one shoe untied. It drives them batty. They emerge out of every crevice of the building to tell you about your urgent shoelace problem. I just wave...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 22, 2008; 9:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Olympics  
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Icelandic Handball: Magic Elves, Cured Shark and Existentialism

Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson, celebrating during Iceland's win in the handball quarterfinals. (By Lee Jin-man - AP) When I went to the Icelandic men's handball training today, in advance of the team's epic semifinal against Spain Friday night, I intended to ask about three things. 1) The magic Elves. I...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 21, 2008; 6:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Olympics  
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Women's Soccer Gold Medal Quotes

Still working on a few things over in Beijing, where it's 5 a.m. and counting, but I figured I'd put up a few quotes from a very happy, very gold-colored U.S. post-game mixed zone. Here's the game story. The medal ceremony, if you didn't see, was endless; the Brazilians looked...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 21, 2008; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Olympics  
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A Few Words About Olympic Parties

Sadly, I didn't spend as much time this month at wild, champagne-pouring-from-the-rafters parties as I had anticipated. In fact, mostly I either skipped the parties, or forgot about the parties, or spent the parties standing outside on red carpets and marveling at the prodigious size of Beijing insects that were...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 21, 2008; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Olympics  
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Amaechi, Kobe and Being Uncomfortable

John Amaechi's name bubbled up into the U.S. sports blogscape earlier this week, after he told a U.S. reporter that his only Olympic meeting with Kobe Bryant "didn't go well." I had actually asked Amaechi if we could chat last week, but we didn't sit down until yesterday, when those...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 21, 2008; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Media, Olympics  
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U.S. Beats Brazil, 1-0, For Gold

The U.S. women's soccer team just won the gold medal, with a 1-0 win over heavily favored Brazil in overtime at Beijing's Workers Stadium. The skilled Brazilians, who had the better of play for most of the night, collapsed in tears, sitting by themselves, scattered around the field. The Americans,...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 21, 2008; 8:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (167)
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Iceland Handball Trumps Croatian Water Polo

Dorrit Moussaieff, wife of Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, taunts a fallen Pole. (By Marcelo Del Pozo - Reuters). Exactly one month ago, a wise man told me I should focus on the Icelandic men's handball team at the Olympics. I ignored him. Whoops. Per Mostly Modern Media: What...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 21, 2008; 6:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Ozzy Osbourne, Satan and Oly Hoops

Joke Lithuanian basketball Ozzy. Like every other sporting venue in the world, Wukesong Gymnasium--home of the Olympic basketball tournament--blasts the seminal riffs from "Enter Sandman" and "Welcome to the Jungle" before and during games. Unlike many venues, however, the Gym is also home to fans who say things like...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 20, 2008; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  NBA, Olympics  
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Argentina's Football Party Bus

Remember yesterday how I said that all the Argentine footballers were pounding on their bus windows and singing and chanting and clapping and dancing while they waited for their teammates to emerge out of Workers Stadium? I have several excellent videos of the in-bus ruckus, but I don't think I'm...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 20, 2008; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Bolt Quotes: Ridiculous and Sublime

Waiting for Usain. "I just blew my mind and blew the world's mind," Usain Bolt said about two hours ago. Some of you may not have been in a Chinese stadium's underbelly moments after the Jamaican sprinter became the first man to post world-record-breaking gold-medal-winning 100- and 200-meter sprints...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 20, 2008; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Yet Again, Folks Eat Scorpions on Sticks

The last time I mentioned those legendary Beijing treats that have, for generations, been eaten by Western men attempting to impress their girlfriends, I attempted to justify myself for covering ground that has been stampeded into dust by an American press corps that just can't get enough of Beijing's Donghuamen...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 20, 2008; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Olympics  
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Olympic Link Roundup

Lindsay Applebaum here, bringing you everything (important) that the Internet has to offer on the Olympics: - Beijingers are not familiar with the Boston Red Sox. Must be nice. (Boston Globe) - Lindsay Lohan thinks Michael Phelps is "[bleeping] amazing." (Deadspin) - Larry, Moe, Curly and the rest of the...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | August 20, 2008; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Usain Bolt Runs Fast

Overheard in the media area as Usain Bolt set a world record in the 200-meters. "[Expletive]." "That was the most ridiculous thing I've seen in my life." "That was sick." "Oh my God." "Um, did I really lose my BlackBerry again?" I'll let you guess who said that last one....

By Dan Steinberg  | August 20, 2008; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
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USA 89-61 After Three

And there's your rout. Kobe Bryant three-pointer. Carmelo Anthony three-pointer. LeBron James diving save of a loose ball. Kobe Bryant free throw. Jason Kidd layup. Kobe reverse layup. Kobe three-pointer. Going back to the end of the first half, that made 19 consecutive points, 11 coming from Kobe. Oh, and...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 20, 2008; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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USA 55-43 at the Half

What seemed like it might be an interesting halftime suddenly got a lot less so, and that's no offense intended against the sword-wielding halftime performers. The Aussies missed open three-pointers on their last three possessions, and the Americans closed with a Kobe Bryant fall-away and a Deron Williams three at...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 20, 2008; 8:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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USA 25-24 After One Quarter

Greetings from Wukesong Gymnasium, where the U.S. men's basketball quarterfinal rout over hopelessly overmatched Australia has yet to begin. The Kareem Hakeem Redeem Team has yet to be seriously tested in this tournament, and that shouldn't change today, especially with Andrew Bogut picking up two quick fouls. (Although the refs...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 20, 2008; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Fredonia Gets Silver

Fredonia wins its medal. (By Ruben Sprich - Reuters) A few days ago, I wrote about, Jenn Stuczynski, like me a native of tiny Fredonia, N.Y. and America's best female pole vaulter. And then I never followed up. Well, as if you didn't know, Monday night Beijing time, Jenn...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 20, 2008; 6:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Argentina-Brazil and the Super Bowl

Argentine footballers sing and bang the windows on their team bus. Bearing in mind that I didn't attend the Opening Ceremonies or any of the Phelps Phest or any of the gymnastics or the 100-meter final....And apologies for repeating myself from the disastrous live blog, but this is for...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 19, 2008; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
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Athletes and Their Medals

And here is the (hopefully) more entertaining video version of my conversations with Olympic athletes concerning the garish medals they wear around their necks when they travel around town, and what it's like to show up at a party so clothed. And jeez, upon watching this, it sure looks like...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 19, 2008; 1:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Swedish Handball Journey Ends

Swedish women's handball fans remain upbeat despite tough quarterfinal loss. I'm going to choose not to give you play-by-play of the Swedes' predictable 31-24 loss to gold medal favorites Norway in today's women's handball quarterfinals for three reasons: 1) I still don't completely understand why players are allowed to...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 19, 2008; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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On Water Polo and Drowning

The victorious U.S. water polo players celebrate while drowning. (Mark Humphrey - AP) Lets' talk about drowning. My three experiences with water polo in these Olympics went like this: Croatian mustaches, a highlight package we watched yesterday on state TV, featuring male shorts being pulled off under water, and...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 19, 2008; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Argentina Beats Brazil, 3-0

Final: 3-0 Argentina. The Argentines dance in a circle and then salute the fans. The Brazilians don't. I'm not sure the protocol here, but there was definitely no line of players shaking hands after this one. The Argentines will face Nigeria in Saturday's final, after the Africans pounded Belgium 4-1...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 19, 2008; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
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Inflatable Kangaroo Aussies on TV

Catching up with previously discussed fan bases before heading to the Argentina-Brazil football match.... * The Swedish women's handball fans? They include these weirdos, who have made all manner of goggles out of tea strainers. I asked if this was a classic handball trick; "classic Swede," they replied. They...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 19, 2008; 5:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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The Final Week of the Olympics

Thomas Boswell, asleep. I was going to make a late-night post with some quotes from the U.S. women's soccer team, but then I listened to the tape. "We know it's going to be a complete dogfight the whole entire time, and it's going to come down who wants it...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 19, 2008; 12:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
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Inside Heather Mitts's iPod

Mitts, after the Japan win and the Miley Cirus. (Quinn Rooney - Getty) I'm not actually on the U.S. women's soccer team, but I've heard Coach Pia Sundhage sing sign her inspirational Bob Dylan anthem at least three times already this year. Sundhage, the famous Singing Swede, went to...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 18, 2008; 3:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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Meet the Lopez Family

Here's another Steinberg-narrated video that's been kicking around our site for a little while, but I wanted to get it up here. In a double-dose of corporate-sponsored happiness, I caught up with America's first family of taekwondo at a Hilton reception hosted by Club Bud sometime in the past few...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 18, 2008; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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The Many Olympic Coaching Hugs

I mentioned this over the weekend when discussing judo's Mark Mangino but it bears repeating. There are plenty of emotive athletes here, who cut loose on their courts or in their pools or on top of their horses or whatever. But some of the more compelling viewing options at Olympic...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 18, 2008; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Vaguely Inappropriate, Olympics-Related Links

Beijing Sports Smog Special Correspondent/Link Enthusiast Lindsay Applebaum here, just sharing some stuff I found on the Interweb: - 100,000 condoms. 16,500 competitors. Go figure. (Guardian SportBlog) - Communists and trendy AIDS campaigns might actually know what they're doing. (Deadspin) - Hey, where the cheerleaders at? (Fourth-Place Medal) - O...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | August 18, 2008; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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Olympic Athletes Having Fun

Olympic bronze medalist rower Tracy Cameron plays air guitar, drinks beer. "I just want to drink a beer," an Olympic athlete was saying early this morning at Club Bud. "A lot of them, actually." You've never seen so many grown adults so anxious to pop the top off a...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 18, 2008; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Beer and Cheese, Olympics  
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Women's Soccer: U.S. 4, Japan 2

Editor's Note 1: Dan live-blogged the U.S.-Japan women's soccer game. See below for the second half recap or click here for the first half. Editor's Note 2: Dan also provided the audio for this slideshow about the U.S.-Japan game and its implications. To recap, after a slow start, a 1-0...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 18, 2008; 9:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
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U.S. Meets Japan in Women's Soccer Semis (Live)

Greetings from a soggy and long-hot-shower humid Workers Stadium, where I've worked up up a pretty impressive sweat 30 minutes before gametime. The U.S. women are set to face Japan in what clearly shaped up as the less impressive semifinal, paling next to the Brazil-Germany matchup that just finished up....

By Dan Steinberg  | August 18, 2008; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
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Croatian Mustaches Unveiled

I want this as a poster very badly. (Laszlo Balogh - Reuters) Every time I try to go to a Croatian water polo match, something odd happens that prevents me. Why did I want to see the Croatian water polo team, ranked No. 1 in the world? Mustaches, duh....

By Dan Steinberg  | August 18, 2008; 6:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Swedish Women Handballers Make History

Sweden's two leading scorers from Sunday's dramatic win--Matilda Boson and Johanna Ahlm--pose for their parents. His daughter, Johanna, was being mobbed by fans on the concourse when Jonas Ahlm realized the downside of athletic triumph. "This is getting very expensive for me," he pointed out. "After the last game...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 17, 2008; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Badmintoner Channels NBA Styles

Chinese Olympian puts "Face of Adversity" tattoo on his back. There's a well-documented tradition of NBA and NFL stars getting Chinese characters tattooed on their body parts, with comical results. Shawn "The Matrix" Marion is the unrivaled star of the genre; his Chinese characters apparently mean not "The Matrix"...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 17, 2008; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  NBA, NFL, Olympics  
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Only One of These Links Is Related to Michael Phelps

Let's just get it out of the way right now: - Michael Phelps is sorry he can't be your Facebook friend. (From Baltimore to Beijing) Now on to the good stuff: - Will Usain Bolt run straight into the NFL? (Fourth-Place Medal) - What's so "interesting," NBC? (Ticket to Beijing)...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | August 17, 2008; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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On Usain Bolt's Magical Yams

A scene from the Trelawny Yam Festival. The fake-named Horace Helps of Reuters has written one of the great ledes in sports journalism history, concerning the recent 100-meter dash finals. The dateline is Kingston, Jamaica: Usain Bolt streaked to 100 metres Olympic gold at the Beijing Olympics on Saturday...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 17, 2008; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Well, This Was Inevitable

A Fuwa is molested. You can't take 10 steps in Beijing's OlympicLand without running into a Fuwa mascot of some sort, whether plush and skinny, plush and plump, massively inflatable or, most wondrously, inflatable with stubby legs, as seen here. This means there are least four versions of five...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 17, 2008; 7:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Phelps Wants to Relax, Then Stop Relaxing

(By Gary Hershorn - Reuters) Michael Phelps was sitting next to his coach, Bob Bowman, talking about this slogan they use in training: "putting money in the bank." Bowman busts out the phrase when another set of unpleasant drills looms, when Phelps would rather, as he so often says,...

By Dan Steinberg  | August 17, 2008; 3:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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