May 9, 2014 |
Over the last several months, officials of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Comcast Corp. secretly negotiated an unprecedented $7.75 billion contract extension to keep the Olympic Games on NBC-TV and NBC-affiliated cable networks through 2032. The new Olympics deal skipped a bidding process that, experts said, could have brought significantly higher TV rights fees for the six additional Olympic Games. But the deal also guarantees the Olympics organization billions of dollars - even if the global economy tanks, or the red-hot market for TV sports rights in the United States cools.
February 26, 2014 |
THE GOOD THING is that every Olympic year when a bunch of Philadelphia bigwigs start spouting about what a great host that their city would make, we know they are just talking out of the sides of their necks for a publicity hit. It's not that Philadelphia could not pull it off; rather, the Olympic Games - Winter or Summer - simply are not worth the amount of costs, resources and inconveniences that come with them. Russia poured a record $51 billion into the just-completed 2014 Sochi Winter Games, but what did it really get out of them?
February 22, 2014 |
Matthew Dezii is on a bus and can't understand what anyone is saying around him. He's guarding a bag of videotapes, which sits at his feet. The bus - barreling down the side of a Russian mountain - needs to arrive on the coast of the Black Sea within the next half-hour, or NBC may not have any skiing footage for the night's telecast of the Winter Olympics. Dezii, a Haddon Township native, has been interning in Sochi with NBC Sports since Jan. 25. A junior audio production major at Ithaca College in New York, he has been used by NBC as a "runner" at its International Broadcast Center throughout the games.
February 18, 2014 |
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia - There's a point in Downhill Racer when an American coach confronts a self-centered, troublesome, but extremely talented skier, his country's best hope for Olympic gold. "All you ever had was skis," the coach tells him. "And that's not enough. " Soon Bode Miller, so like Robert Redford's headstrong character in the 1969 film, will find out if the skis were enough. Thirty-six now, he's not yet over the hill. But he's been at its summit for a while, and he can see there's not far to travel.
February 17, 2014 |
SOCHI - At an International Olympic Committee briefing last week, the world's sports journalists witnessed an odd but revealing juxtaposition, one that not so long ago would have been impossible to imagine. Sage Kotsenburg, the gold-medal-winning American snowboard dude in sweatsuit and knit cap, was sharing a podium with Christoffe Dubi, the suave, nattily dressed Swiss who is the IOC's director of sports. The pairing was indicative of the wildly successful union of what once were polar-opposite institutions, the stodgy, European-dominated IOC and the rebellious, U.S. extreme-sport community.
February 14, 2014 |
SOCHI - It is a simple and seemingly benign symbol, one meant to signify Olympic ideals such as brotherhood and unity. Created about a century ago by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the aristocratic founder of the modern Games, the now-familiar Olympic rings have enjoyed a relatively serene existence. But in one of the oddest developments at these 2014 Winter Olympics, an event so far devoid of any major troubles, the innocuous and ubiquitous symbol suddenly has become controversial.
February 13, 2014 |
I AM NOT going to defend Marcus Smart, but I do understand how and why it all went down Saturday night at Texas Tech. Smart should not have pushed Jeff Orr. He should have been suspended three games. So many forget in their zeal to back their teams that teenagers or just-past teenagers are far from finished life products. That they have earned a college scholarship to play basketball is all we really know about most of them. We see them on the court. Somehow, they become just players, but not people.
February 9, 2014 |
SOCHI - Russia, a nation whose history and culture are as vast as its birch forests and grassy steppes, relied heavily on both Friday night, launching the 2014 Winter Olympics with an opening ceremony that was as ethereal as it was emotionally pleasing for the 40,000 spectators at Fisht Olympic Stadium. While President Vladimir Putin had hoped his country's first Winter Games would showcase the new Russia, it was instead its rich artistic past that dominated. The nearly three-hour spectacle igniting the most expensive Olympic Games ever, winter or summer, was infused by Tchaikovsky's music, by the ballet of the Bolshoi, and by the moody literature of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.
February 8, 2014 |
HUNTINGDON VALLEY H. Lawrence Reinhard III is hardly the first parent to clash with a stepchild. But it was the lengths to which that animosity drove the 69-year-old Huntingdon Valley man that set off an international manhunt, squandered law enforcement resources, and spread unwarranted fears in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, federal authorities said Thursday. FBI agents allege that Reinhard fabricated an elaborate tale implicating his stepson in a plot to bomb the Winter Games, and sent investigators from Philadelphia to Moscow scrambling.
February 7, 2014 |
Speedskaters, figure skaters, and curlers are nice on ice. But there's nobody cooler at a Winter Olympics than the Alpine skiers. Helmeted and colorfully outfitted, these slopeside superheroes flash boldly down treacherous mountain courses, shifting and maneuvering like Porsches through mists of displaced snow. Has there ever been a more compelling Olympic image than Franz Klammer flying recklessly through Innsbruck's downhill course in 1976 to capture a medal whose color, fittingly, matched his famously gold ski suit?