Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 10:35 am
The 2012 Summer Olympics in London starts in four days with the carefully choreographed opening ceremony. But a related spectator sport is already well underway: Dissecting the economic impact of the games.
A show we did in February looked at how big an economic boost cities really get from hosting the Superbowl, and much of the same analysis is being applied to this year's games.
You have found The Torch, NPR's new blog about the London 2012 Summer Olympics. For the next three weeks, we'll bring you the big news from London, along with stories about the human side of an international mega-event.
Saying that the punishment is "warranted by the conspiracy of silence" among Penn State University's top leadership that turned a blind eye to former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of young boys, the NCAA just announced sanctions on the school that include:
-- A $60 million fine. The money will go into an endowment fund to support programs around the nation that assist victims of sexual abuse, NCAA President Mark Emmert said.
OK. The athletes gathering in London for the opening of the Olympics are after gold, and also after green. Forbes estimates that sponsorships will earn swimmer Ryan Lochte almost $2 million. And even athletes who are not superstars can pick up cash. Here's Ilya Marritz of member station WNYC.
ILYA MARRITZ, BYLINE: Lashinda Demus is a 29-year-old mother of twins living in Los Angeles, and currently, she's the fastest 400 meter woman hurdler in the world. Also, she's promoting Greek yogurt.
The U.S. has taken a bit of a nosedive when it comes to winning Olympic medals in diving. Not a single American diver has stood on the medal stand in the past two games. 23-year old David Boudia hopes to change that. Sam Klemet WBAA
More bad news for Penn State: The NCAA says it will issue sanctions Monday against the school over the child sex abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky.
The announcement came the same day the school removed the famed statue of legendary football coach Joe Paterno from outside the Penn State football stadium. Our colleague Eyder Peralta has written more about that move.
Spain is a country that partied for days after winning the European Soccer Championships earlierthis month.
Soccer dominates the sports scene, and the Spanish side is favored to win Olympic gold in London this summer. But Spain is also a basketball powerhouse and is currently ranked No. 2 in the world behind the U.S.
At a school gym, you'll find Spaniards who actually know that. Basketball is growing in popularity among kids, especially girls.
"Basketball is a sport that's beautiful for me," says 13-year-old Lucia Gutierrez.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And it's time now for sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTS THEME MUSIC)
SIMON: OK, maybe that should be the (hums Olympic theme) because in just a few days, all the pomp and patriotism, the grit and athleticism, the sweat and pomposity of the 2010 Olympic Summer Games begins. Here with a preview NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Tom, thanks so much for being with us.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Did I just hear doves released in the studio there, Scott?