Eurovision Song Contest 2017

All right, it’s this time of the year again: it’s Eurovision! The biggest and longest running

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ESC 2017 logo

song competition in the world, that claims to be unpolitical, but everyone and their grandma knows it’s not.

Granted, a few stars rose from the ESC and managed to build a career, but for the most part it’s cheesy and sparkly and gay and fun and pop songs and Eurodance and ballads all in 3 big shows. I’m not a huge Eurovision-geek, but being into it once a year is perfectly fine.

I would like to talk about 2 things about this year’s ESC: Russia and Italy.

As we all know, Russia is boycotting the ESC this year, after Ukraine forbid russian entry Julia Samoylova to enter the country. Now, this may sound mean, even more so because she’s disabled and sitting in a wheelchair, but she broke ukrainian law by performing on crimera without going through Ukraine – in other words: she flew directly from Russia to crimera to perform and that resulted in a 3 year ban to enter Ukraine. There’s another 140 artists that share the same fate.

Is Ukraine being too hard? This is very hard to answer. Russia obviously is trying to be the victim here, I mean: there’s no way Russian authorities didn’t know about Samoylovas ban to enter Ukraine before choosing her and they chose a disabled artiest on top of that – someone you’re going to feel bad for easily. This was a calculated conflict from Russia, they knew this would happen and they knew Ukraine would not make an expection, because these two countries are in war and Ukraine is still damn pissed about crimera.

However, neither country was interested in resolving this conflict, the EBU said Samoyolova could perfom in Russia and her performance could be streamed live during the show, but both countries declined and neighter offered another solution. Every single person with a brain their head should’ve known either Russia or Ukraine was going to pull one out after Jamala won last year and quite honestly, nobody really seems surprised either. It’s a little sad, because Eurovision is supposed to bring countries together and it has been used to deepen an ungoing conflict this year. Personally I think both countries should’ve acted more peaceful.

Leaving Russia and Ukraine behind, I would like to talk a bit about Italy this year. Yes, Italy, the huge favorite. Some people think the song is overrated, I personally really like it. I think it’s a catchy popsong, that’s fun to listen to and you don’t feel bad listen to it more than once. I’m also a huge fan of Francescos rough voice and hope he can deliver a great perfomance in the finale.

However, I think having a great song is not the only reason so many people support Italy this year. I often read comments about Italy being robbed 2015 and they finally deserve

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Italy: Francesco Gabbani

the win they should’ve taken two years ago. Rewind backwards to 2015 when Italy was the huge fan favorite and took an undisputed clear first place in the audience voting. That night european people decided “Grande Amore” was their winner, but a hand full of profressionals decided to make a much more radio-friendly song the winner: Sweden. Since Italy was so widley supported by fans, many felt Italy was robbed by the juries and now that Italy has another outstanding top song, the support is there once again.

Additionally, I would like to add Jamala was second place last year: she was second place in jury voting and second place in audience voting. She won, because Australia did very well with the juries, but not that good with the audience and Russia did very well with the audience, but not that good with the juries. Once again, just like the year before, we have a huge difference between the fan favorite and the jury favorite and fans felt their winner was robbed once again. Add to the fact many people believe the votes for Ukraine were out of political interest and you kind of understand why the fans finally want to see “their winner” actually win.

Italy would be a very “safe” winner this year. After all the controversy around the ukraininan win last year and their trouble with Russia this year, Italy is very safe. They already deserved it two years ago, they don’t have any major problems with other countries, or at least not of the scale that Ukraine does, and they have a good song you can play on the radio in most parts of the world. It’s a “feel good” song at a time when many people don’t feel that good and problems are rising all around us and maybe we need a song to win, that makes us feel good for 3 minutes.

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Protugal: Salvador Sobral

The other favorites to win are currently Portugal and Sweden – also two very safe options – and Bulgaria, another controversial entry, because ever since Russias announced they won’t participate this year, Bulgaria is basically Russias secret entry, because their artist has russian roots, is very well known in Russia and is expected to get many russian votes. Quite honestly, I really REALLY don’t want Bulgaria to win and it has nothing to do with their song, unfortunately, it’s 100% politics: I don’t want this mess a second time in a row. It’s been a long time since ESC was as political as it is this year and I want to have a break from that next year. Every once in a while: okay, but not every year.

I’ll be rooting for Italy, I really like France and Belgium as well and hope they’ll be doing great this year. My own country? Germany? Set to lose again, no point talking about it.

I love Postcrossing

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I’m a postcrosser. I’ve been doing this for 4 years and I’ve send and received over 1100 postcard all across the globe. The combined distance of all my sent postcards equals 10 laps around the world.

Postcrossing is amazing. It’s a small piece of happiness every time a postcard arrives somewhere. You open your mailbox and you’re happy, because someone from across the globe wrote a few nice lines. This makes every day a good day.

Unfortunately, I had to take a break for about 8 or 9 months, because I had to save up

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A postcard from Russia

money to repay my student loan. Postcrossing in itself is free, but you have to pay for the postcard and the stamp and if you’re sending a lot, that means you’re also investing a lot. SInce I’m 100% free of debt now, I restarted postcrossing again and was immediately confronted with all the things I love and the things I don’t appreciate as much.

 

But what is postcrossing? It’s simple: you send and recieve postcards to and from random people all over the world. This is not meant to help finding pen pals, even though a lot of postcrossers have become pen pals one way or another.

  1. you register yourself with your address
  2. you can write up to 5 cards to random people the website pulls from a pool of addresses. Every card has a unique ID.
  3. when requesting an address, you agree to write that person, no matter where the card may go to. You have to send a card to this person.
  4. The person on the receiving end registers the ID and has the opportunity to say thanks or write a few sentences virtually.
  5. Your address goes into the pool of addresses and another random person will write a card to you.
  6. rinse and repeat – the more cards you’ve sent, the more you’re allowed to send. I’m currently allowed to send 31 cards at a time.

Sounds awesome, right? The community is, in general, really lovely. It’s full of nice people

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Bought in Austria during vacation, sent from Czech Republic on the way home back to Russia from a russian Postcrosser. Crazy!

and most postcrossers will try to send a card that you will like. Religious and political topics are not welcome, it’s usually some light smalltalk. A few stentences: “Hello, my name is. I’m doing this and that for a job. I have dog and two children. I love hiking and postcrossing!” It’s nice to hear from people all over the world and sometimes, you will find out some people thousands of miles away from you have very similar interests. I think it’s important not only to look at our differences, but at what we have in common.

 

Postcrossing also helps looking at the world more individually. It not just The Germans or The Mexicans or The Russians. Because you’re “meeting” so many people, you see so many handwritten little pieces of lives, I think it helps understanding the world as a place full of individual people with individual dreams, hopes and lives.

That’s the great part of porstcorssing. Well, that and you receive a lot of awesome postcards. Like I said, many people try to find a card that might make you happy and I’ve received the most amazing cards so far. Yeah, I’ve received 150 cards from Russia alone, but guess what? Some of my favorite cards are from Russia and they have these amazing triangular stamps. Most beautiful stamps ever! Super cool.

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A postcard from Taiwan

Then, there’s the … not so light and shiny side of postcrossing. Since many people are very considerate, other’s become greedy. It’s very common to list your interests and your favorite postcard designs, however you are not allowed to demand certain things. You can ask for them nicely, but not demand them. This rule was established, because some people started requesting certain types of cards, and ONLY certain types of cards in a very rude manner. Ever since this rule has been in effect, everything’s a bit nicer again.

 

People have weird tastes and sometimes in order to make someone else happy, you might have to do something you wouldn’t do otherwise. I don’t like to send blank postcards, that means, putting the card in an envelope and send it without writing on it. There are a lot of postcard collectors who like their cards in this state. Talking about collectors, even though they might not necessarily tell you, but some of them are very upset when they receive a dublicate or anything that does not fit into their collection and that’s… upsetting. Sometimes you just don’t have the card they’re asking for. Don’t try to mind too much, because there are a lot of people who will welcome your card with great joy. I always feel

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A postcard from the USA

like collectors are the most difficult to deal with, because they take Postcrossing very seriously. There are some very nice collectors, too, though!

When registering a postcard, you can write the sender a few sentences. It’s considered good manners to say at least a simple “thank you”. You can do that, even if you don’t speak any English. Not writing anything, aka a blank register, is considered very rude and is usually interpreted as: “I hate the card you’ve sent me.” Therefore, before you decide to leave the register text box blank, think twice.

And at last, I don’t think it’s fair to point out postcrossers of  lost postcards. We’re talking

about snail mail here. This means, postcards will get lost. I’ve even lost a card to the Netherlands. That’s a two and a half hour drive by car for me. It happens. There’s this habit a lot of postcrossers have of posting a list of postcard IDs belonging to lost postcards together with their country of destination and the username of the person who was supposed to receive the card. I think, this is one of the most rude things you can do.

 

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A postcard from China

Why are these people even doing this? The only reason I can think of is, because they’re assuming the person in question didn’t register the card on purpose and put the name of said person on their profile to show off the “bad” people who don’t register post cards. Dude, this happens to everyone! I’m assuming 99.9% of expired postcards (postcards expire after 360 days, this means, they can’t be registered anymore) just didn’t arrive. I found my name on such a list before. It hurt A LOT, because it wasn’t my fault. I always register all my cards, no matter what they look like, who sent them or where they’re from. I know I didn’t do it on purpose, but it felt like this person assumed I did. I felt very bad.

Even though, the good experiences heavily overweight the bad ones. Usually, you write a card to a nice profile and you get a nice card back from someone. That’s the standard, but we’re all humans and not all humans are equally open as others. Don’t get down, if something like this ever happens to you. Look forward to the next nice card that will be waiting in your mail box to brighten up your day. I once received a small white puzzle. The sender wrote her text on it and put it in an envelope to send it to me. Even customs

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A postcard from Mauritius

controlled it when it entered my country, because they apparently thought it was kind of weird. I’m usually against sending non-postcard items, but this was by far the coolest thing I ever received. By the way, there was a piece missing, I’m guessing it got lost when customs opened the envelope. However, that makes it even cooler, because it has a story to tell.

No matter what happens: just keep calm and continue postcrossing. It made my life so much brighter. A big thanks to all the postcrosser all over the world.

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A postcard fom the USA

Eurovision Song Contest 2016

Slowly but surely, we getting closer to the ESC 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. Most of the participating songs have been selected and you will find them on youtube. Time to take a look and be happy about Australia returning.

I said it last year and I will say it again: I’m all in for having Australia as a regular participant. The kangaroos are super awesome people and very hyped. And they send actually good acts. The second year in a row. I’m impressed.

And you know what I’m even more imnpressed by? There’s actuially a good amount of songs I really like. There’s real solid pop, songs you can listen to without feeling ashamed. Wow, what happend? Is it Australia’s influence? I don’t really care, but I think it’s actual competion this year with a good amount of legimately strong songs and that makes it worth it for the music every once in a while. Cool.

My personal favorits are Armenia, Ireland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Russia and Australia. But worry not, we do have our annual weird acts as well and funny enough, Germany is one of them. I try to see the bright side: it can’t get worse than last year. XD

 

Italy – the Winner of Hearts / Eurovision Song Contest – the Grand Final

So… I guess if you loose, you’ve got to do it right and walk out of it with 0 points together with the host. On a brigther note, the german and austrian contestants are planning on making music together now, because they came to like each other so much. That’s… good news, I guess?

I’m super happy for Belgium and Latvia for walking out of the contest with two very modern and unique songs so successfully. I mean: 4rth place and 6th place? Can’t complain about that. =D

So, let’s talk a bit about the voting. I took a quick look and here’s what I noticed: In case of Germany, the jury-voting seemed to be better than the televoting. However, if it had been only televoting, we would’ve still walked away with at least 5 points and a 25th place, so I guess we do have some friends in Europe left after all. And the host? Still last with 0 points. Ouch.

Now, here’s another interesing piece of information: If the contest would’ve been 100% televoting, the clear winner would’ve been… Italy with a full 80 points ahead of second place Russia. That’s right, the oh-so-loved Sweden, would’ve been thrid. So basically the juries made Sweden win. In the full split result chart you’ll notice the jury-votes for Italy are shockingly low compared to the televoting results. Nice and bitter taste, isn’t it?

Yeah, I’m not really happy with the overall winner, even more so since it’s a jury winner on top of that. I really liked the russian entry, because I think it’s a very well performed awesome power-ballad, but I wouldn’t have wanted Russia to hold the next contest considering the more recent law changes and overall anti-tolerant direction the country is taking. This is not the artists fault and I still love her singing, I just don’t want Eurovision in Russia right now. A few years ago it was all right and maybe in a few years it’ll be all right again, but not right now. Please don’t take this the wrong way.

Either way, why is it I’m not that happy with the overall winner Sweden? Well, for once Sweden already won 2012 and that was just 3 years ago and now we’re already going back there. Sweden has as many wins as Ireland now and I think a contest is boring if one contestant is dominating too much, like Ireland was 30-20 years ago.

The other thing is… I think Måns Zelmerlöw is too perfect. The song, the performance, the guy himself – everything is calculated to win, like a cardboard cutout, and it was successfull. Sure, if Sweden wants to win the ESC so bad, they can pour that much enery in it to produce the picture perfect Eurovision song/singer/performane, they are free to do so, but I don’t have to like that. I like the quirky entries more, the unusual ones. I still like Seriba best! I totally overlooked Italy, though, and they blew me away in the final, awesome surprise.

About the voting system: I think it’s problematic the way it’s done right now. I mean, it’s a good idea to have a jury to counter the inevitable blockvoting, but the juries themselves are usually just random musicians. I mean, how about you have “real” juries with people who actually really know their stuff about music, who seriously studied music or something.The juries should vote for the music, the performance, the package and not against televoting, something that is happening on purpose. I’m actually not quite sure if I wouldn’t like to try an ESC on televoting alone – since Italy would’ve won, you can’t really argue the eastern European countries would dominate too much, would you?

And about Blockvoting: Sweden got 12 points from all scandinavian countries – Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Sure, to win you need 12 points from other countries as well, but if that’s not a prime example of block voting, then what is? And when the easter european countries do this, people are so enraged they favor their neighbors, but when scandinavia does it, nobody bats an eye. Double standart at it’s finest.

And Australia? They did great, walked away with a 5th place and a nice song. To win the song was too… soft I guess. It’s a great mainstream pop-song, but it’s too clean and flat I guess. For winning, it would’ve needed a few more high points I guess? This is a song that does well in charts and on the radio, but that doesn’t mean it’ll win the ESC. Still a great song, though and I think it’s a bit sad Australia has to leave the Eurovision-circus already. Awesome guest entry, though. Keep the good mood up, Kiwis! =)

And lastly, the contest was so serious this year it was way close to actually resembling a cultural event, too close for my taste. Israel with their “Golden Boy” rescued the Grand Final. So, for 2016 how about we go back to our fun and crazy ESC that we love, instead of falling asleep after the 20th ballad?

Olympic Special: London 2012 – Day 7

Again, I’m sorry, it’s 1:51am here right now and after finishing the following text, I’m so beaten, I too tired to proofread. Sorry… D:

First day of athletics! Yay! Finally, I’ve been waiting for this. You see, back in school, I’ve always been very good at athletics and a teacher of mine wanted me to try out indoor pentathlon and until this day, I actually regret my decision I’ve made back then when I didn’t want to wait for their training to begin after school and went home, deciting against the indoor pentathlon. It’s not olympic or anything, but… it has always been a question of mine: what would have happend if…?

And as for the athletic events, there was something pretty uncomfortable for two german long jump athletes, because one kicked the other out of the final. They both jumped 7,92m, but one of them only managed to jump this in his third try. Guess who was allowed to go into the final.
One of our three heptathlon athletes managed to place 8th after 4 out of 7 events, but she still has a good chance to grab bronze, because her strong events have yet to come. Still, she pretty much fought at the border of her personal best the entire day, she can be proud of herself, whatever happens tomorrow. Jessica Ennis from Great Britain wilol most likely win though. She ran the fastest time on the 100m and the 200m that an any heptathlon athlete has even run. Austra Skujytė from Lithuania on the other hand was able to set a new heptathlon record in high jump and shot put. These’re some seriously strong opponents.

Talking about medals, the US managed to claim more gold than China after day 7. They have 21 gold medals now and China has 20. Germany has 20… in total now. At least we got 20 until now, I was afraid we might not even manage that, I honestly don’t know how much there’s left for us to get. The host, Great Britain currently ranked 4rth with 8 gold medals. South Korea has one more, they have 9. Think about this for a second: second place has 20 gold medals and third place has 9. Make your own decision on this, without thinking of the countries at the top.

A medal is something Roger Federer will also claim for Switzerland, the only question is: gold or silver? After a long and exiting match, he managed to win against Juan Martin del Potro and will now fight for gold, likely to be the first medal for Switzerland in London, let’s hope it’ll be gold.
No chance of gold for two athletes, one from Russia, the other from Morocco, will not participate in the olympics, because they’ve arouse suspicion of doping. Always sad to hear, let’s hope we won’t have anymore news like these.

Before we go to the medalists, I would like to add that our dressage team is curently ranked 2nd behind Great Britan. The first three are very close to each other, everything can happen, so we’ll have a really exiting day next monday when the decisions in dressage will be made. Unlike 2008, we have a pretty inexperienced team on the international stage this year and Totilas can’t participate, because his rider got ill, this is a huge disadvantage. Although Germany has won gold olympic after olympic in the dressage team event, considering our olympic newcomers, any medal would be an amazing result and they’re seriously fighting for gold… girls, you’re doing so good, keep on going, you can do it.

The first medals of the day, of course once again, were given out in the rowing events and although Germany did not win that much today, I have th honor of anouncing a german gold run in the men’s quadruple sculls competition. They absolutely convinced everyone of their class with a clear start-to-finsh race, winning before Croatia and Australia. And this also should be mentioned: very sportsmenlike and fair winners and loosers this day.
And no more german rowing medals, instead New Zealand won the men’s coxless pair. France managed to claim silver and Great Britain bronze.
In the women’s double sculls event, it seemed to be a lot brighter, especially the medal, because it was gold for Britain. Australia managed silver and Poland goit themselves a nice bronze medal.
The last rowing competition of the day was the men’s single sculls event won by Mahé Drysdale from New Zealand, their second gold of the day. Ondřej Synek from the Czech Republik came in second, before Alan Campbell who won Great Britains second bronze this day.

I’m already tired and someone is texting me endlessly in skype. I should turn it off, or I’ll never finish. Nevertheless, shooting! In the men’s 50 metre rifle prone, Germany made it to the final, but only placed 5th in the end. Sergei Martynov from Belarus was the best this day. Second best was Lionel Cox from Belgium, a neighbor of ours. Bronze went to 49 year old Rajmond Debevec from Slovenia.
The men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event saw a winner from Cuba: Leuris Pupo won the second gold for his country in London. Vijay Kumar from India came in second and third place went to Ding Feng from China.

The badminton mixed double event had a chinese/chinese final, so obviously gold and silver went to China. The bronze medalists came from Europe though, claiming the medal for Denmark, their thrid medal this olympics by the way. This was the first out of five Badminton decisions, two will follw tomorrow and two on Sunday.

Also only one decision was made in gymnastics, this time it was the men’s trampoline event and Russia once again has to give gold to someone else, “only” winning the silver medal with their athlete Dmitry Ushakov. Gold went to a chinese man with quite the funny name, it’s Dong Dong and he was able to celebrate with his fellow landsman Lu Chunlong who won the bronze medal.

In weightlifing the women’s 75kg event was won by Svetlana Podobedova from Kazachstan and this country now has 4 medals, 4 gold medals to be exact, 3 of those come from weightlifting events. Second place Natalya Zabolotnaya comes from Russia and Iryna Kulesha from Belarus.
As for the men, we had the 85kg event won by polish athlete Adrian Zieliński. Second place went, once again, to Russia with Apti Aukhadov. Kianoush Rostami from Iran won the first medal for his country in London, it was bronze.

The last archery event of the olympics 2012 was the men’s individual event and it was a good event for South Korea, winning yet another gold medal thanks to their athlete Oh Jin-Hyek, who has bad eyesight by the way. He won the final match against Takaharu Furukawa from Japan. Bronze went to yet another chinese athlete, Dai Xiaoxiang. This completes the Archery events with South Korea at it’s top, winning 3 out of 4 events. Congratulations.

Judo also had it’s final events today in the heavyweight class today. Let’s take a look at the women fist, because there we had the first female olympic athlete from Saudi Arabia competing at the games in history, Wodjan Shaherkani, who nearly wasn’t allowed to fight, because her father wanted her to wear a head cloth of some kind, in the end she wore something that looked like a bathing cap. Did she win? No, she lost her first match after 82 seconds, but that was to be expected, she’s not even a black belt and was only able to get into the olympics through an invitation. Still, a great day for women’s sport. The winners was Idalys Ortíz from Cuba who won her final against Mika Sugimoto from Japan thanks to judge decision. The bronze medals went to Karina Bryant representing Great Britain and Tong Wen from China.
In the men’s heavyweight event it was french Judoka and world champion Teddy Riner claiming gold with his victory over Aleksandr Mikhailine from Russia. Bronze was won by Rafael Silva from Brazil and Andreas Tölzer from Germany, winning Germany’s 4rth Judo-medal in London. With this Germany is the european country with the second most Judo-medals, but overall we’re ranked 11th in Judo, because we have no gold. First place is Russia with 3 gold medals and 5 in total. France and Japan both have 7 Judo-medals in total, the most in this olympics.

Next up is the men’s cycling team pursuit won by Great Britain with a new World Record while they were at it. They actually rewrote the Word Record twice, first in the qualification round, then later in the finals a second time. They naturally won clearly against Australia. New Zealand won the reace against Russia and bronze.
Fear not, I have more british gold with the name of Victoria Pendleton who won the women’s Keirin event. Silver went to Shuang Guo from China and bronze to Wai Sze Lee from Hong Kong.

Back to fencing, after today, we still have 2 more decisions left, one will be tomorrow and the other Sunday. In the men’s team sabre event today we have another South Korean victory. Silver went to Romania and bronze to Italy.

I will not close my report with swimming, I’ll have the athletics decisions last. As for today’s 4 gold medals, 3 of them went to the US, still absolutely domintating the swimming events with big names. One of these names is Missy Franklin, I still can’t believe this is her given name, but that’s not the point, she won her thrid gold in the women’s 200m backstroke event. The men’s 100m butterfly event was won by none other than Michael Phelps, doing his best to make his already legendary achievements even more untouchable for future athletes. And last the women’s 800m freestlye was won by 15-year old Katie Ledecky with a new American Record. The second 15-year old girl winning gold in swimming at the olympics 2012. Unbelievable. Her follow up was Mireia Belmonte García from Spain and thid place went to Rebecca Adlington representing Britain.
Let’s not forget about the others: the silver medal in the women’s 200m backstroke was given to Anastasia Zueva from Russia and third to Elizabeth Beisel, also from the US. In the men’s 100m butterfly event it was Chad le Clos from South Africa who placed second, together with Yevgeny Korotyshkin from Russia. There was no bronze, if there are two silver medalists, nop bronze is given out. What if we have two gold and two silver athletes? Well… no idea.
The last swimming decision in the men’s 5ßm freestlye event was won by french swimmer Florent Manaudou. Second was Cullen Jones from the US and third was César Cielo from Brazil.

Now, all what’s left are the athletics, where we have our first two decisions. The men’s shot put event was won by polish athlete Tomasz Majewski, who was able to … ehm…push (?) 3cm further than german athlete and world champion David Storl, who was leading until the last round. Very unfortunate, but I thought it was pretty cool of Majewski when he told Storl after his win, that in 4 years Storl will be the winner, note that he’s only 22 years old and the youngest european champion as well as the youngest world champion as well. I hope he’ll continue doing great.
The second gold went to Tirunesh Dibaba from Ethiopia, who was able to repeat her victory in the women’s 10000m event from 2008. Sally Kipyego came in second and Vivian Cheruiyot thrid, they’re both from Kenya.

Olympic Special: London 2012 – Day 6

I was too tired yesterday night to write my little report, so I’ll do it today while the first matches of the 7th day are already starting. So let’s just get into it, but before I would like to add that both America and China have 18 gold medals so far at the end of the 6th day, that’s 1 gold medal more than Germany has in total so far. Im case of America most gold was earned by fast swimmers, earning the US 11 gold medals in the Aquatic Centre in London.

The first decision of the day was in rowing. New Zealand won the men’s double sculls competition before Italy and Slovenia. In the men’s lightweight coxless four we had some south african athletes winning gold and the british were able to claim silver right before Denmark who placed third. The final rowing desiciton of the day was the women’s eight competition won by the US, followed by their neighbors Canada and our neighbors the Netherlands.

In shooting we had one decision yesterday and that was the Men’s Double Trap, won by Peter Wilson from Britain, followed by swedish athlete Håkan Dahlby. The bronze shoot-off was decited between Russia and Kuwai. It was Vasily Mosin from Russia who won.

At least one more gold was given out in canoeing than it was in shooting, so we had two decisions that day with more tahn two winners, because we had the men’s C-2 slalom event with Timothy Baillie and Etienne Stott from Britain at the top, closely followed by fellow landsmen David Florence and Richard Hounslow. At least they left the bronze medal foir someone else, won by Pavol Hochschorner and Peter Hochschorner from Slovakia.
In the women’s K-1 slalom event we had a french winner, Émilie Fer was the fastest one yesterday. Second place was Jessica Fox from Australia and Maialen Chourraut from Spain came in third.

Table tennis. Sometimes I’m just overly happy when I’m wrong. Of course first and second place were both reserved for China, but Dimitrij Ovtcharov won Germany’s second medal in a men’s table tennis event at Olympia. It was a very exiting match that he won 4:2 and got standing ovations from the crowd afterwards. I have to admit, I don’t care that it’s bronze, it’s a medal and it’s even more amazing, because this sport is dominated by Asia so much. Huge congratulations to Dimitrij Ovtcharov. Of course the chinese athletes also deserve their respect. World champion Zhang Jike got the gold medal and his fellow landsman Wang Hao lost the final winning silver.

The second to last archery gold was given to Ki Bo-Bae from South Korea for winning the women’s individual event. Aída Román from Mexico won silver and her team-colleague Mariana Avitia got herself the bronze medal.

Let’s continue in Judo. German fans were disappointed that Dimitri Peters was not able to make it to the finals of the hald-heavyweight event. Before the eyes of Vladimir Putin, Peters russian opponent and future olympic gold medal winner Tagir Khaibulaev advanced to the finals by the decision of the judges after none of them was able to score. As far as I saw it was a close decision and in honor of his great athlete, the german trainer carried his bronze-medal winner on his shoulders right after his last match. Silver went to Tuvshinbayar Naidan from Mongolia and the other bronze was won by dutch Judoka Henk Grol.
As for the ladies, Kayla Harrison from the US won the women’s half-heavyweight event, defeating Gemma Gibbons from Great Britain in the final. French Judoka Audrey Tcheuméo was able to win bronze, as well as Mayra Aguiar from Brazil.

In gyamastics America won their next gold in the women’s artistic individual all-around competition. 16-year-old Gabrielle Douglas place first before Viktoria Komova, whon won the silver medal and Aliya Mustafina who won bronze, both from Russia.

Now, we still have two cycling events left. Yesterday we had the first track cycling decisions and in the men’s team sprint, it was none other than Great Britain winning gold, beating France in the final race. Before that, Germany was able to win another bronze medal.
As for the women’s team sprint, this was actually a very strange competition. At first, the final should have been between China and Great Britain, but the host was relegated for an early exchange, leaving the final race to China and Germany. In this final, China was slightly faster than Germany, winning gold… or was it? After some time, german and chinese athletes were told that China also was relegated for an early exchange, winning silver in the end and gold went to Germany. Well, I guess you can also win when your opponents crush themselves.

In fencing the team foil gold medal went to Italy, who’s doing absolutely amazing in the fencing events. Silver was earned by Russia and bronze by South Korea.

Now, the last medals are once again the swimming medals with Amercia winning 3 out of 4 events. First Rebecca Soni won the women’s 200m breaststroke event with a new World Record, followed by japanese swimmer Satomi Suzuki who placed second and swam a new Asian Record and Yuliya Yefimova from Russia who swan a new European Record.
The men’s 200m backstroke event was won by Tyler Clary with a new Olympic Record for America. Yet another japanese athlete placed second, it was Ryosuke Irie who was still a bit faster than Ryan Lochte also from the United States.
As for the men’s 200m I.M. event, it was american super-legend Michael Phelps winning his second gold in London. Ryan Lochte came in second and László Cseh from Hungary was thrid.
The last medal of the day went to Ranomi Kromowidjojo from the Netherlands who swam a new Olympic Reord. Silver was earned by Aliaksandra Herasimenia from Belarus and bronze by Tang Yi from China.

And that’s it. I’m back off too watch some more olympics and hopefully I’ll come back with some new stories. See you then.

Olympic Special: London 2012 – Day 3

Actually, I seriously thought I would start this entry with the following words: “And yet another day without medals for Germany.” Nnope, we actually got one today and it was not the Men’s synchronized 10m platform event and it has a pretty unpleasant story behind it. More about it later, but another unpleasant story now, because our last remaining female Table tennis player lost today and is out of the tournament. Probably the most successful and best Table tennis player who ever lived, Timo Boll, currently ranked 7th in the world rankings, surprisingly lost in the rount of the best eight and is also out of the tournament, sadly. His team colleage won and advanced into the quarterfinals, thanks. Let’s hope he’ll make it into the semi-finals, then we have a chance to win a medal.

Other than that, there are more surprising stories to tell about this day, because during the equestrian eventing cross-country event, sadly quite some participants fell and one of the horses decited to finish the race on it’s own, meaning: it ran away and the event had to be stopped temporary to catch the fleeing horse. The last event, jumping, will be held tomorrow and Germany has a pretty good chance, because the team is currently ranked first, before second place Great Britain and in the individual rankings Ingrid Klimke with her 15-year old horse Butts Abraxxas are curently at the top with high hopes for gold. Now that’s something we like to hear.

What we also like to hear are news from our amazing rowers. 4 german boats managed to qualify themselves in different finals so far and special attention should be given to Germany’s Men’s Four during the heats. Why? Because they passed the 1500m mark on fifth (last) place and passed the goal-line, only 500m later, in second place. I know I’ve said the german rowers are doing amazingly well, but this was seriously impressive. When I was watching I honestly thought they would have to go into the repechage and then they suddenly came out of nowhere completing the race right after Australia, who absolutely outclassed everyone in this race.

In canoeing, whe had some more events today and sadly in the men’s C-2 slalom our german participants missed the semifinals by 0.03 seconds. This hurts. In the women’s K-1 slalom competition our competitor made it into the semifinals with the 9th best time. I wasn’t able to watch any canoeing yesterday, but I was really impressed when I fist saw where the slalom events are being held. It looks so cool at Lee Valley White Water Centre, thank you Britons for the wonderful location, but pretty much all the locations are so beautiful, it’s just a matter of what is most impressive.

Our gymnastics failed to win a medal and only paced 7th, even though Fabian Hambüchen did extreamly well, it was just not enough for the team, but he will have his chance to win an individual medal. Let’s hope he wil present himself as good as he did today, or better of course. Still, it’s not too late to place your bets on Germany’s worst summer olympics.

Back to bussiness and to the first gold medal of the day, that was given to Alin George Moldoveanu from Romania in the Men’s 10m air rifle shooting event. It was a very exiting final, the first place changed several times and Niccolo Campriani from Italy came in second at last. Bronze went to Gagan Narang from India and this man has a pretty touching story behind him, because his father had to sell some land to be able to buy his son his first air rifle and in order to prevent this to happen again, he later founded a school for air shooting, I think. Of course evey athelte deserves the medals he or she wins, but this man’s medal weights a bit more than others.

For the second medal, we have to go back into the water and also into the next german medal-catastrophy, because the same guys who won silver 4 years ago, only got 7th place today, because they seriously messed up one of their jumps and got thrown back from 3rd place to 7th. The winners were Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan from China with a very strong performance in the synchronized 10m platform diving event and absolutely deserved to win. Second place went to Mexico and third to the United States. Britain was unable to keep their good results from the early jumps. Too bad, because the audience celebrated their athletes like heroes with massive cheering every time they appeared. By the way, the Chinese said they wanted to win every diving event there is in the olympics this time. They’re doing pretty good so far.

In Judo Kaori Matsumoto from Japan won against romanian athelte Corina Caprioriu in the lightweight event. Men’s lightweight winner was Mansur Isaev from Russia, who won against Riki Nakaya winning silver for Japan. Nice fight, but I didn’t liked the fact that Isaev sat onto his opponent after the fight was over to celebrate his victory, while Nakaya was still lying on the ground. This was unnessecary and I absolutely love the fact that so many athletes congratulate the winners very friendly, hugging and kissing them.

In weightlifting, we had the decision in the women’s 58kg event, that was won by chinese athlete Li Xueying, who also broke the olympic record while she was at it. Silver medal winner was Pimsiri Sirikaew from Thailand and the bronze medal made it’s way to Yuliya Kalina from Ukraine. Just as a side note: German competitor Christin Ulrich rewrote the german record 3 times during this event and still only made it to 13th place. Yeah, this is how good we are at this event, but congratulations to her for improving her personal best so much.
In the men’s 62kg event, we have the third gold medal for North Korea won by Kim Un-Guk. He also rewrote the World Record.

Remember when I was talking about men’s gymnastics? Yeah, this event was won by China, who did a lot better now than they did during the qualifications. Japan also did a lot better compared to their prior performance and won silver, followed by the host with bronze. As a fact, the chinese athletes did so well, they won gold before the competition was over. Oh boy.

Now to the swimming competitions, the first gold medal in the Aquatic Center was given to french superhero Yannick Agnel winning the men’s 200m freestlye event. German competitor and world champion Paul Biedermann only managed to place 5th, but he swam his best time this season so far and the others were incredibly strong, so I think he did a good job, although he’s not entirely satisfied with his time. Ryan Lochte was still better, but also failed to win a medal. Next winner is Missy Franklin in the women’s 100m backstroke event, who qualified for 200m freestyle only 17 minutes before the backstroke final. Her sheldue is pretty impressive in general by the way, she’s trying to win 7 events. Also from America, but on the male side of the swimming team and also winner of the 100m backstroke, is Matthew Grevers. The german athelete came in 6th, but was happy to be able to swim this race at all and was absolutely satisfied. That’s something new from a german swimmer in London.
The last swimmer-medal went to 15-year old Ruta Meilutyte from Lithuania, who managed to improve her personal best during the last 3 month so much, that she won the 100m breaststroke event in Lonon as yet another unusually young athlete. What have I been doing when I was 15 years old? Right, nothing.

And we finally reach the last medal of the day and that was given out in fencing. The women’s individual épée was very dramatic with an extremely close decision in the semi-final between german athlete Britta Heidemann and south korean athlete A-Lam Shin. The last action by Heidemann was so close to the end of the last second, that the korean team discussed it over with the officials, who gave the point to Heidemann nonetheless after 25 minutes of discussions. They relyed on some complicated rules that I didn’t quite understand, but as much as I pity Shin, it actually really does seem like Heidemann’s victory is legit and even after Shin broke into tears and refused to go off stage, there was no helping. They even protested against the decision, but the officials still said it was Heidemann’s victory. She on the other hand lost in the finals pretty much in the last second herself to Yana Shemyakina from Ukraine, but still winning Germany’s first medal in London. Could’ve been gold, because it was a very exiting and close match, but happened to be silver. Still very well done. As for 3rd place, Shin lost aganst Yujie Sun from China, who won the bronze medal. What a mess and a silver medal with a very bitter taste.

And this was day 3! Very exiting, lot’s of stuff happend, good and bad stuff, but still a very exiting day. From a german point of view there’s actually more to celebrate, for example in men’s field hockey and badminton, but I’m lazy now.
Tomorrow, we have decisions in: Men’s C-1 (Canoeing), Women’s synchronized 10 m platform (Diving), individual eventing and team eventing (Equestrian), Men’s individual foil (Fencing), Women’s team all-around (Gymnastics), Women’s and Men’s half-middleweight (Judo), Men’s Skeet (Shooting), Women’s 200m freestyle (Swimming), Men’s 200m butterfly (Swimming), Women’s 200m I.M (Swimming), Men’s 4 × 200 freestyle relay (Swimming), Men’s 69kg and Women’s 63kg (Weightlifting). This is a total of 15 decisions, the most we’ve had so far.