Category: Sports/Fitness

Between the NFL and Data Packets: Usain Bolt Is the Potential of Being Modular

Image source: Daily Mail

By Eduardo Navas

Note: This text was previously released on the Huffington Post on August 31, 2012.  A week before the NFl began their official season.

 

The NFL prepares for its upcoming season, and during exhibition games on television, as wide receivers go deep for spectacular catches, I cannot help but be reminded of exciting moments from the London Olympic Games, particularly in track & field — when Usain Bolt ran to take three gold medals in the the 100 m, 200 m and 4×100 m relay.

Coincidentally, there has been speculation that Bolt may transition to professional sports such as football in the NFL, although he may prefer soccer. The main reason behind his potential future in either sport is not because he is a good ball handler, in fact, the ball is hardly mentioned. What matters is that Bolt is fast.

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Will video games be included in the next Olympics?

In some parts of the world (we’re looking at you, east Asia), video game competitions gather the same attention, accolades, and drama as traditional put-the-ball-in-the-hole sports. As another summer Olympics come to pass, some industry insiders are asking if video games will ever rise to the prominence of traditional, non-virtual sports.

As London sweeps up the mess from the 2012 games, Cologne, Germany is playing host to the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) competition that will run through August 19th. Modern pro-gaming (or “eSport”) competitions like IEM are not only rewarding big money prizes, they are earning sizable viewing audiences. This year’s IEM, for example, is expected to attract 250,000 attendees to watch the event (10% more than last year) with more than 20 million people watching live feeds of Star Craft II and League of Legends competition.

Read the complete article at DVice.

London 2012 – The Official Game of the Olympic Games: Review

Imagine a game that focused on the drama and pressure of the Olympics. More of an RPG than a sports game. You create a character based on your likeness, choose a sport, and then work your way through the amateur ranks until you’ve earned the right to compete for a gold medal. Training grants experience and winning smaller tournaments builds your fame, paving the way to Olympic greatness. I would play that game.

Unfortunately that game doesn’t exist.  What does exist in its place is Sega’s “London 2012 – The Official Game of the Olympic Games.”

Read the complete review at Community Voices

Watching The Olympics on TV Is Still About Collective Participation

Image source: Washington Post

By Eduardo Navas

Note: This text appeared previously on Huffington post.  Since its original publication on August 8, 2012, NBC decided to at least make available live streaming of the closing ceremonies. Other than this, much of what is observed in the following commentary remains relevant.

Viewers well versed in media expect delivery-on-demand for major events. This has created a peculiar tension when viewing prime-time Olympic coverage consisting of competitions that previously took place throughout the day, but which were not broadcasted live on TV. After the first week of events, it appears that audiences are tuning-in to NBC’s evening broadcast in larger numbers than previous Olympics, and this has become the network’s main justification for holding out on selected events until prime-time.

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London 2012: The Games of the Memes

The London Olympics were supposed to be the “social media Olympics.” They were supposed to be the Olympics when viewers around the world, enabled by Twitter and Facebook and other free communications services, could come together to discuss the competition and pageantry playing out on their television sets. Or, if they were lucky enough, on their computer screens.

And these Olympics were, to an extent, exactly that: Facebook saw soaring numbers for the Facebook fan bases of Olympic athletes. Twitter, not to be outdone, logged over 150 million Olympic-related tweets over the past 16 days. But these Olympics ended up being something else, too. The drama playing out in London ended up bringing people together through a very particular kind of social media: memes. Visual memes, ridiculous memes, memes that took the imagery of the Games and augmented it.

Read the complete article and view a gallery of memes at The Atlantic.

 

3D Technology in the 2012 Olympics

he 2012 Olympics will be the first games filmed with 3D cameras and broadcast to hi-tech televisions with 3D viewing capabilities. Television network, NBC, has partnered with Panasonic and the Olympic Broadcasting Services to provide 3D coverage of the momentous events. So long as the television is 3D compatible and has a service carrier to transmit the filming technology, 3D viewing is possible. Comcast’s Xfinity and DirecTV are service providers with 3D.

For full story visit Resource

The Problem with Olympic Spoilers is Selection


Image source: E News

By Eduardo Navas

Posted on August 1, 2012 on The Huffington Post

Social media spoilers are inevitable when the broadcasting network decides to block-out selected events and save them for primetime. This became evident to me as I experienced the Olympics during the first three days.

It began on Friday when I settled to watch the opening ceremony. At this time I briefly considered the fact that the broadcast was not live on the East Coast of the United States, where I live. I also realized that people on the West Coast would see the opening extravaganza three hours after me.

I said to myself that it did not matter because viewing a delayed broadcast of an opening event, sure to be considered historic, would not change my viewing experience. Such a situation is equivalent to one’s willingness to watch a television series knowing that it is a recorded production.

Things were different when I selectively viewed the first events on Saturday live on Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, and NBC Sports. The multiple broadcasts were also complemented with apps for mobile media, well supported with the nbcolympics.com website.

Throughout the day I checked twitter and Facebook for updates and comments. I soon learned that Michael Phelps took fourth place in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley, while Ryan Lochte took first, winning the gold. However, I was not able to experience the historic moment until primetime on NBC. At this point I was more interested in knowing how it happened, and was no longer invested in the event as I would have, had it been live.

The same thing happened again on Sunday when Lochte and Phelps participated in the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay only to come second to France. Again, I learned about this in the late afternoon, but I waited to view it during primetime on NBC.

The decision by NBC to select certain events, from earlier in the day, and broadcast them during primetime began to be discussed as soon as Saturday, and by Sunday, stories were written on different online publications. Entertainment Weekly, in particular, ran two extensive stories. NBC apparently made its decision in order to attain higher ratings during its primetime broadcast. Understandably some people are quite unhappy about NBC’s decision, which is why, as I write this, the hash tag #nbcfail is still going strong with rants.

After viewing the events on Sunday night, however, I don’t think that the problem for NBC is that selected events are shown well after they take place. The problem, in my view, is that NBC appears to be selecting the wrong events for delayed broadcast at night.

To be specific, both on Saturday and Sunday during primetime, NBC went back and forth between gymnastics and swimming. When swimming came on, I could not help but think that I was about to see something which had already taken place. But with gymnastics, I did not mind the delayed broadcast at all. Why, I thought? I came to the conclusion that it has to do with the type of sport.

Swimming is an action sport, which deals with extreme physical performance dependent on time. It is defined by exciting moments such as when your favorite athlete does not even take third place. Add to this the possibility of breaking a world record, and you are sure to have a nail-biting experience as a viewer. Such thrill is unlikely to happen with a delayed broadcast of a major swimming competition such as Lochte’s and Phelps’ once it has been spoiled earlier in the day due to social media and online news sources.

Gymnastics, on the other hand, is a sport about physical strength, precision and gracefulness. Add to this the fact that it depends on points given by judges who, in large part, rely on aesthetics, and we have a dynamic that is closer to viewing a theatrical performance, and not so different from viewing the opening ceremony. Gymnastics is one of my favorite categories in the Olympics, and I don’t think I have ever experienced them live.

NBC’s situation actually makes apparent the fact that major networks need to better understand how to create a worthwhile experience for viewers who are likely to know already much about sporting events that took place early in the day (in this case the Olympics) which they decide to deliver during primetime.

If a network decides to hold out on a sport defined by its physical excitement, such as swimming, then an effort should be made in creating a viewing experience about how and why something happened and not “what will happen.” This approach would then make the juxtaposition of swimming and gymnastics a better fit given their differences as I explained. With this more realistic approach Bob Costas will not have to say “no spoilers” as he introduces the taped segment of Lochte winning gold while Phelps takes none, hoping that the viewers will have a thrilling experience. I did not.

London 2012 Olympics: How athletes use technology to win medals

Ever since the first ancient Greek chipped away at a lump of stone to give it the smooth, aerodynamic properties of a discus, sportsmen and engineers have been looking at ways to enhance performance – while some of those denied medals have been crying foul.

A new report from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers suggests that technological innovation is now an integral part of sport at the highest level, and that Olympic competition is not just about who is fastest – but whose kit is smartest.

Many of Britain’s Olympic athletes will have had clothes and helmets individually designed for them following a full body scan to establish exactly what contour will give them the most aerodynamic shape. Mountain bikes and sailing harnesses will have nano-coatings that repel liquid, preventing drag from mud or water. Boxers have trained with overhead cameras that track and record every weave and punch. Divers get post-training feedback on their ipods from poolside computers that measure the angle of their bodies in the air.

“Technology is as much a part of an athlete’s armoury as nutrition, training and coaching,” says the report.

Read the complete article at The Guardian.

Custom 3D-printed shoe makes you lighter and faster

Weighing in at just 96 grams and made of sintered nylon polyamide powder, the shoe is just a prototype, but Fusaro hopes to see it in actual use in the future. You can see the development of the shoe in the video below.

Read the complete article at DVice.

Eurosport to Broadcast 2012 French Open Tennis Grand Slam in 3d in the UK

Eurosport will broadcast the 2012 French Open – Roland Garros Live, in 3D, via Sky in the UK market.

The Global sports channel will broadcast a Live 3D feed from Centre Court at Roland Garros from May 28th to June 10th and it will be available to UK sports fans, non exclusively, via Sky 3D TV.

It will be the third consecutive French Open tournament to be produced and available for fans in 3D.

Jean Thierry Augustin, Eurosport’s Managing Director of Rights Acquisition, Distribution & Development said: “Eurosport was the first broadcaster to present live tennis in 3D with the French Open in 2010 and this agreements with Sky will give the British public an opportunity to experience live Grand Slam tennis in 3D.

Read the complete article at Market Watch.