Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 11:22 am
As the world's greatest athletes gear up for the 2012 Olympic Games in London this month, viewers like us are likely to see a spike in televised ads for sports drinks, nutritional bars, and energy gel — that goop that so many runners and cyclists suck from foil pouches.
Powerade, in fact, is the official sports drink of the 2012 Olympics, and if it's true what these kinds of ads imply, processed sports foods and neon-colored drinks are the stuff that gold medalists are made of.
When a private firm failed to meet its promise of providing enough guards for the Olympics, the British military was called in to "mind the gap" in security.
But even though the government is bringing in those troops — as well as RAF Typhoon combat jets, surface-to-air missiles on rooftops, and an aircraft carrier on the River Thames — organizers say it will still look like the Summer Games, and not war games.
When McDonald's cut a deal to make itself the exclusive purveyor of french fries and the similar (but please don't say matching) chips at the 2012 Olympic Games in London later this month, it may not have anticipated the flurry of responses. Foodies raged, nutritionists nagged, and many called it another example of an American cultural takeover.
Paige Selenski (right) of the United States fights for the ball against two Mexican opponents in a women's field hockey match at last October's Pan American Games in Mexico.
Credit Dario Lopez-Mills / AP
The U.S. women's field hockey team hopes to win its first Olympic medal since 1984. Claire Laubach (left) celebrates scoring in a U.S. win over Canada at the 2011 Pan American Games, with teammate Melissa Gonzalez.
As one of the world's most popular sports, field hockey produces celebrities in Argentina, the Netherlands and Australia. But the sport is relatively obscure in the United States, where members of the women's national team receive a small monthly stipend and their notoriety comes from outside the country.
Later this month, the group heads to London, where it will try to earn the first American medal in the sport in 28 years.
World class fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad talks about the music that keeps her sharp for competition for Tell Me More's series, "In Your Ear." Muhammad and the rest of the U.S. women's team recently won gold at the Korfanty Sabre World Cup competition.
Leonel Manzano leads Matthew Centrowitz to the finish in the men's 1500 meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Eugene, Ore. Manzano came in first and Centrowitz crossed second. Both made the Olympic team. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Leonel Manzano is the new U.S. track and field champion in the men's 1500 meters. He took home the title on Sunday night, and booked his place on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. As part of Tell Me More's preview of the Summer Olympics, host Michel Martin speaks with Manzano about his humble beginnings in Mexico.