Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
If this ever-changing world in which we live in makes you give in and cry, just turn on NBC and sooner or later you’ll be greeted with a familiar face from a simpler time. We’re referring, of course, to the curious case of Bob Costas’s visage.
As we’ve attempted to illustrated in the above timeline, the man has indeed aged over the last thirty years—one might even say significantly so of late. But it’s hard to put a finger on where and how this aging has occurred. There’s surely been help along the way in the form of botulism injections, award-winning hair colorists and layers of various caked-on concealers. But nothing seems different, which we suppose is the point.
Something curious we’ve noticed during the Olympics: wrists adorned with watches during competition. It seems counterintuitive that anyone trying to squeeze every last drop out of their performance would wear something that could potentially slow them down—or in the case of Kerri Walsh-Jennings, misguide a bump—in the heat of battle.
But here’s one that probably didn’t play much of a factor, aside from adding some extra flash to Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake’s 100m dash: a yellow, black and green Richard Mille Tourbillon. These timepieces/cutting-edge feats of horology are so light, Rafael Nadal wears one while playing tennis (in an endorsement deal similar to Blake’s)—which also must come in handy on match nights when being punctual for dinner reservations is more important than a win. Even though Yohan didn’t outrun his superhuman training-mate Usain Bolt (who ran watchless), Blake’s silver medal still crowns this watch as the fastest across the finish line.
And there’s no doubt it will fetch more than its weight in gold.
The only difference is that associates at top private equity firms know that male pattern baldness, when on display, must be taken high and tight. And they know that this is not up for debate.
Now we will bow to you and be on our way.
He may very well be the least athletic man in all of London this week, but Mayor Boris Johnson is our pick for breakout star of the 2012 games.
There’s a whole lot to love about this guy: the foppish mop of impossibly blond hair, the eternally optimistic grin, the Buster Keaton–esque stunts—we’re on board for all of it.
Here he is celebrating England’s first gold medal yesterday by fearlessly taking the maiden voyage on Victoria Park’s new zipline, which lost the entirety of its zip halfway through the mayor’s passage. Witnesses report that Johnson spent nearly five minutes suspended in the air waving two British flags and leading the adoring audience below in celebratory song.
Tremendous, Mr. Mayor. A little short of superb, perhaps, but on cracking form. Don’t change a thing.
An ungodly amount of ink has been spilled over Olympic style on and off the podium already—especially at the expense of US swimmer Ryan Lochte. (We’re inclined to give the guy a break—we should be rooting for our countrymen, not tearing them down.) But we couldn’t resist mentioning the gloriously tie-dyed 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball team, dubbed “The Other Dream Team.” Yes, that really is officially sponsored tie-dyed gear. Yes ,those are fanny packs. And yes, those are bronze medals they’re collecting in Barcelona—sharing the same podium as our fabled champs. The story is the stuff of legend (and a Sundance-darling film). A rag-tag bunch of athletes from a country only two years removed from the iron grip of the Soviet Union who were in danger of not even going to the Olympics until The Grateful Dead swooped in with a last-minute sponsorship (which should explain the tie-dye and dunking skeleton on their warm-ups) and who, against all odds, won a seemingly unattainable medal—uplifting a small, wayward nation in the process. This is exactly why we watch the Olympics every four years.
The 2012 Summer Games are finally here—which is also good news for the weekend warriors of the world.
Every four years, a new crop of high-tech sports gear is unveiled after spending the past four years in the lab. Luckily, most of it is made available to the public for any rec-league or interoffice battles happening on basketball courts, running tracks, archery ranges and badminton fields across this country. So we rounded up the best of the new stuff for your competitive–edge-advancing needs.
There’s nothing like a living legend. And with the Olympics ramping up, we thought we’d pay tribute to nine-time Olympic gold medalist and ’70s poster boy Mark Spitz.
In today’s era of swimming, it’s all about drag-reducing sleekness—rubber caps, shaving from head to toe, shark-skin-inspired swimsuits—so it’s surprising to look back at photos of Spitz’s record-shattering run at the 1972 Games in Munich and see him dominate the field with a mop-top of hair and mustache. There’s something mystical about his confidence and unwillingness to sacrifice his personal style in hopes of shaving off a few tenths of a second on his times. It’s a ’70s swagger that he carried throughout his youth (sadly, he recently ditched the ’stache) and we’d like to applaud it.
In our ongoing countdown to the Summer Games (we’re roughly 52 hours out from the opening ceremonies, for those keeping score), we’ve got your American-made Team USA supporting polos, cardigans and sweatshirt from the newest American-made stalwarts at American Giant. There’s nothing “fancy” or “officially licensed” about this stuff, but it’s a nice subtle way to pledge your allegiance during the next month of international battle.
Plus, they won’t look out of date come fall, or next spring, either.
This snap comes from a collection of action shots The New Yorker has dug up from the early days of the Olympics circa 1908-1924. It was a much simpler time back then, when the referees wore three-piece suits, athletes had day jobs and someone could win the marathon even after falling repeatedly, running in the wrong direction and being helped across the finish line by “a megaphone-toting man in a boater.” Friday can’t come soon enough.
In our ongoing coverage of Olympic style, we’ve just gotten word that Salvatore Ferragamo has unveiled his off-duty uniforms for the Olympians of San Marino—officially known as the “Most Serene Republic of San Marino” (and unofficially: rhymes with the name of our favorite ’80s/Dolphins quarterback). The microstate is landlocked within Italy and boasts the oldest constitution still in use. Pretty impressive stuff. They’re fielding four Olympians, who, we daresay, will be the most well-dressed quartet of the entire ceremonies. Finally, we’ve found the team we’ll be rooting for when a medal isn’t on the line.
A lot of ink has been spilled over the recent unveiling of Team USA’s 2012 Olympic garb, specifically about the berets. But when this photo of the Dream Team popped up on Deadspin, it made us reconsider how good we’ve got it nowadays. (We’ve come a long way since the ’90s.)
But the most striking feature in the off-court uniforms, again, is the headgear. Thanks to Clyde Drexler giving us a look at the crown, we can identify the Panama hats as the classic yet relatively unknown style traditionally called “the gambler” that has been off the radar since Clark Gable wore one in Gone with the Wind. Sure, they’re not called “USA hats,” but America has quite the rich history with the hat. You’ll want to brush up with our Gentlemen’s Guide to the Panama Hat.
Yesterday we voiced a bit of (lighthearted) outrage over the berets topping Team USA’s new Olympic ceremonial duds. As a kind reader of ours pointed out, America does have some history with the French invention—most notably, our Army Special Forces wear a green beret (a look borrowed from the Brits in WWII). But we thought we’d dig deeper to see if the beret really is more American than we originally thought.
What we found: a few eccentrics and militant-inspired fringe groups of the ’70s, sure, but we also stumbled upon a number of style icons—the likes of Gregory Peck, Ernest Hemingway and even yesterday’s Andy Garcia, among others—getting their mushroom-top on.
Ralph Lauren’s Olympic opening ceremony uniforms for Team USA have been unveiled finally and, as expected, Ralph nailed it with the double-breasted blazer, club collar and white bucks… but we can’t quite wrap our heads around that hat. Is it, dare we say, a beret? It can’t be, can it? You might as well grab the flag out of Ryan Lochte’s hand and replace it with a baguette, draw a pencil mustache on him and tell him to stop bathing all while cooing at him like Pepé Le Pew.
All right, maybe we’re jumping to conclusions here. Let’s just call it a “puffy hat” and leave it at that. (As long as we keep on bringing home the gold and not surrendering to Germany, we should have nothing to worry about.)
Everything seemed to teeter on a bit of a knife’s edge this weekend: with three places up for grabs on the US Olympic track team, sprinters Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh tied for third place in the women’s 100 meters on Sunday, crossing the line at exactly the same time, 11.068 seconds. In other close calls, Egypt’s military rulers on Sunday officially recognized Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood as the winner of Egypt’s first competitive presidential election, Italy defeated England in a penalty shootout to advance to the semifinals of the Euro 2012 championships, and after 10 years of investigations (and 5,000 years of head-scratching), archeologists claim to have cracked the code on Stonehenge, concluding that it was in fact a monument built to unify the peoples of Britain, after a long period of conflict and regional difference.
If it were only that easy…
Olympic excitement has risen to a rolling boil across the pond, and the latest result is this Olympic Survival Kit from British designer Oliver Spencer. It’s a well-appointed selection of essentials (a change of T-shirt, a weather-resistant windbreaker, aftershave, a London city guide and more) for braving the 2012 Summer Games all tucked into a Seil Marschall mini canoe pack that will come in handy long after the competition has come and gone. No word on whether they’ll leave the bag for you at Olympic Stadium’s Will Call.
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