Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Photographers' Blog:

Paralympic spirit

By Nir Elias

When the idea to photograph Israeli athletes for the London 2012 Paralympic games came to mind, the second athlete I met was Pascale Berkovitch.

Pascale, 44, lost her legs in a train accident in the suburbs of Paris when she was 17 years old. She now lives with her partner and two daughters in Tel Aviv and is part of the Israeli Paralympic staff for the 2012 games in the field of Hand Biking.

During my first meeting with Pascale, I was struck by the expression 'sport spirit'. The more time I spent with her while training in the park, at home with her partner or while wandering around her neighborhood with her little girl, the more I felt this was an understatement.

Pascale, like many other Paralympians, has a very optimistic character. I could feel that in her case, this character expands to become something outstanding. Pascale gives the impression that she has no self pity over her physical condition and the way she lives with her disability is totally ordinary.

from Photographers' Blog:

Robo-cams go for Olympic gold

By Fabrizio Bensch

Is it possible to get 11 photographers into a box and put them in a position where you could never place a photographer? Normally, it would be absolutely impossible. But nothing is impossible when it comes to the Olympic games.

The London Olympic summer games will produce huge emotions, records and we as the Reuters photographers team will catch it from any extraordinary angle. When athletes from around the world compete against each other for the glory of an Olympic medal, hundreds of photographers try to capture the one and only moment which makes the Olympic games so unique.

from Photographers' Blog:

The Olympic Games: Much more than the stars

By Denis Balibouse

"The important thing in life is not victory, but the fight; the main thing is not to have won, but to have fought well." Baron Pierre de Coubertin

I have always been addicted to sports, any kind of sports. My father was a sports reporter in Switzerland. As a child I would follow him onto soccer pitches, motocross grounds and ice hockey rinks. Whenever I travel somewhere I try to follow the local sports. I even attempted to understand cricket (I'm married to an Australian), although I have to confess, I have so far failed with this one.

from Photographers' Blog:

At home with Hercules

By Peter Andrews

When asked which Polish athlete has a chance at the London Olympics I immediately thought of the shot put champion Tomasz Majewski.

For those who have never seen Tomasz in real life, it can be a bit intimidating. I have always considered myself tall at 192cm (6 feet, 3 inches), but when I first met Tomasz I suddenly felt very small. With a height of 2.4 meters (7 feet 10 inches) and weighing 140 kg (308 pounds), Tomasz is overpowering. He reminded me of Hercules with his long dark hair up in a pony tail. He also has a nice warm smile he puts on easily, so being around him is relaxed and easy right from the first handshake.

from Newsmaker:

Thomson Reuters Newsmaker with Sebastian Coe and Hugh Robertson

To mark the one year countdown to the London Olympics, Thomson Reuters held a Newsmaker event on July 21 with four-time Olympic medalist and chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Sebastian Coe and Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP. Below are highlights from the evening.

Legacy of 2012 includes economic dividend: Robertson

Transport system ready for 2012 demands: Coe

Olympic ticket sell-out is coup for London: Coe

Stadium dispute threatens future Athletics bid: Robertson

Testing crucial during Olympic countdown: Coe

UK on top of Olympic security threat: Robertson

Coe welcomes "Blade Runner" Pistorius to London 2012

Thomson Reuters Newsmaker with Sebastian Coe and Hugh Robertson

from Newsmaker:

Tick, tick, tickets – defusing an Olympic PR bomb

-Adrian Warner is BBC London's Olympics Correspondent. The opinions expressed are his own.-

The morning after his surprise 800 metres defeat by Steve Ovett at the 1980 Moscow Olympics,  Seb Coe was sitting in his bed in the Olympic village when former decathlete and close friend Daley Thompson stormed into the room. Thompson went straight to the curtains and opened them up.

West Ham given Olympic stadium nod but can soccer co-exist with track and field?

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OLYMPICS-LONDON/STADIUMSo now we know: Premier League soccer club West Ham United will take over the Olympic Stadium in London following the 2012 Games, assuming there are no late objections from the British government or the city’s mayor.

The decision will be greeted with relief by many fans of the rival bidders Tottenham Hotspur for one simple reason — soccer does not generally co-exist very well with athletics.

Inside Track: Solinsky’s record-breaking debut

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ATHLETICS-WORLD/Except for a training run, new American distance find Chris Solinsky might not have become the first North American runner to break 27 minutes in the 10,000 metres.

“We were planning to run a steeple (3,000 metres steeplechase) actually … until after one of my tempo-runs when Jerry (Coach Jerry Schumacher) decided that we’d switch it to the 10,000,” Solinsky told a conference call.

Does athletics still rule the Olympics?

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Dash or splash? Which is the number one Olympic sport?

Athletics has massive crowds and Usain “Lightning” Bolt torching world records while swimming boasts Michael Phelps ripping off another bundle of world and Olympic records.

Conversations over the past week indicate the argument is heating up.

First, respected U.S. sports analyst Bob Dorfman suggested: “Because of the drug issues, because it (athletics) is not terribly compelling, I think swimming has taken over a little bit in terms of Olympic sports popularity.”

from The Great Debate UK:

What can London 2012 learn from Vancouver? Seb Coe answers your questions

OLYMPICS/The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were hit at the very start by the tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili and for a while the Games struggled to recover, as organisers were faced with problem after problem, from the unseasonably warm weather to transport snarl-ups to scoring problems.

Some even wondered if Vancouver would go on to be called the Worst Games Ever but no one is saying that now, with the action picking up to provide a series of electrifying and heart warming moments while the organisation has settled down.

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