SPORTS TRIBUNE
 

Blue look for Olympics
Sai R. Vaidyanathan
Designing of the symbols for the XXVIII Olympic Games in Athens has focused on visually connecting the values of the Olympic ideal within the context of the values of the host city.

  • Emblem
  • Torch
  • Mascot
  • Medals
IN THE NEWS
Back with a bang
Rubinder Gill
The victory of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi at Masters Series in Toronto is the best news Indian tennis fans could have hoped for before the Athens Olympics. Despite the large contingent that India is sending to the Olympics, only Anju Bobby George and the Leander-Mahesh duo have a realistic chance of winning medals.
  • Return of Jayasuriya

  • Iron Mike falls

GREAT OLYMPIANS


 

Indian jinx continues
The
Indian cricket team has let down every cricket fan by giving a poor performance in the final of the Asia Cup against Sri Lanka. The team could not even put up a semblance of a fight, inspite of having seven batsmen.

  • Gritty Dravid

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Blue look for Olympics
Sai R. Vaidyanathan

Designing of the symbols for the XXVIII Olympic Games in Athens has focused on visually connecting the values of the Olympic ideal within the context of the values of the host city.

Emblem

The emblem of the Athens 2004 Olympics is a circular wreath made of a branch from an olive tree. The olive tree has been sacred for Mediterranean states for thousands of years. It was also the symbol of ancient Athens. Today, the olive branch is a global symbol of peace and freedom.

The olive wreath or "kotinos" is one of the legacies of the ancient games and was the prize awarded to Olympic champions. The wreath has the shape of an open circle; it is an open invitation to humanity to participate in a common endeavour, the Olympic way of life.

The palette of white and blue reflects the sea and sky, suggesting the fluidity and transparency of water and the brightness of the Aegean light.

Torch

An olive leaf served as the inspiration for the torch, which weighs 700 gm and is 68 cm high.

Its ergonomic design, dominated by curves, establishes the torch as the continuation of the flame itself. The flame rises from the torch as the extension of the torchbearer’s hand. It is made of metal and wood in their natural colours. The designer used the philosophy of "Pan Metron Ariston" (all things in moderation) to give the torch its structure and beautiful simplicity.

For the first time in history, the torch passed through all the five continents. On August 13, at the opening ceremony of the games, it will light up the Athens Olympic Stadium.

Mascot

The mascot was first introduced in 1968 in Grenoble.

An ancient Greek doll from the 7th century BC inspired the creation of Phevos and Athena, the two mascots of these games.

The actual doll is exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, while similar ones are exhibited at the Louvre and at museums of Boston and Berlin.

Athena and Phevos, the mascots, are a brother-sister duo. They symbolise the values of Olympics: the idea of brotherhood among all people and ambassadors of participation, noble competition, equality, cooperation and fair play. The two siblings, wear the colours of the Greek sea and sun.

Their names are linked to ancient Greece. And yet the siblings are children of modern times. Phevos was the Olympian god of light and music, known as Apollo while Athena, goddess of wisdom, was the patron of the city of Athens.

Medals

The main side of the medals has been changed for the first time since the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928. On the medals awarded to Olympic athletes from 1928 until the Salt Lake City games, Goddess Nike was seated, holding an ear of corn in one hand and a wreath in the other, while the second element of the main side was the exterior of an arena that resembled the Colosseum.

From Athens Olympics onwards, all medals will reflect the Greek character of the Games depicting both their origin and their revival. Therefore, the images of Goddess Nike of Paeonios and the Panathinaikon Stadium have been included in the design.

Nike was worshipped as the personification of victory. According to Greek mythology, Zeus sent her to Earth to crown the winners. Historical research has showed that Nike was always represented as 'winged', full of movement and dynamism, descending from heaven.

On the main side of the medals she is presented in a similar way in the interior of the Panathinaikon Stadium where the Olympics were revived in 1896. The main side of the medals will also include the sport in which the athlete won it.

There are three elements on the second side of the medals. The first is the eternal flame lit in Olympia. The flame is accompanied by the opening lines of Pindar’s Eighth Olympic Ode composed in 460 BC to honour the victory of Alkimedon of Aegina in wrestling. The design is completed with the 2004 Olympics emblem.
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IN THE NEWS
Back with a bang
Rubinder Gill

Back to winning ways.
Back to winning ways. — AFP

The victory of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi at Masters Series in Toronto is the best news Indian tennis fans could have hoped for before the Athens Olympics. Despite the large contingent that India is sending to the Olympics, only Anju Bobby George and the Leander-Mahesh duo have a realistic chance of winning medals.

Fans had waited with bated breath for the duo to team up. When they did, it seemed they had never split up. Chest-butts and high-fives were back, along with the confidence and chemistry.

They were comfortable with each other as they knew this might as well be the last chance to go for the elusive Olympic doubles medal. The Sydney experience has also taught them not to take their pairing as granted.

The duo spectacularly crashed out early, dashing hopes of millions.

The win was a step in the right direction before Athens as it will do their confidence a world of good. Hopefully, this time around they will have better luck and ride the confidence wave to serve the country with a gold medal.

Return of Jayasuriya

Jayasuriya with the Man of the Series trophy.
Jayasuriya with the Man of the Series trophy. — PTI photo

Sanath Jayasuriya is one Sri Lankan India finds hard to dislodge from the batting crease. If he is not wielding his bat like a rapier then he is bowling his innocuous looking spin which generally wreaks havoc on the famed Indian batting line-up.

At 35, age seems to have done little to slow him down. He is still at his destructive best. Coming back in the side after missing a few series, he reserved his best against India in the Asia Cup. He also rightly walked or rather drove away with the Man of the Series trophy.

He had the best batting average in the tournament, scoring 293 runs at 73.25 in five matches. Apart from batting heroics, he also claimed four wickets at an average of 19.50.

The dynamic left-hander not only helped his country lift the coveted trophy but he also came out of a form slump.

Iron Mike falls

Stunned Tyson after the knock-out.
Stunned Tyson after the knock-out.
— Reuters photo

Mike Tyson, who once described himself as the baddest man on the planet, ended up all bloody and broke, knocked out by unheralded British heavyweight Danny Williams in the fourth round. The defeat may as well mean the end of the road for Iron Mike at 38.

This was not the comeback Tyson would have had envisaged as he looked to fight his way out of a $ 38 million debt. The comeback lasted less than 12 minutes and Tyson cut a sorry figure as he faltered at the first step in his campaign to regain the heavyweight title.

After serving time in prison on rape charges, Tyson has never been the same dominating force whose sheer presence in the ring terrified opponents. Now, it seems that time, age and living-on-the-edge lifestyle have claimed the skills and spirit that at one time made Tyson so formidable.
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Indian jinx continues

The Indian cricket team has let down every cricket fan by giving a poor performance in the final of the Asia Cup against Sri Lanka. The team could not even put up a semblance of a fight, inspite of having seven batsmen. The target of 229 was easily achievable. But our batsmen made it a horrendous task by keeping the run rate low. Our batsmen were more keen to save wickets rather than making runs. Lack of good partnerships and defensive approach were the reasons for the Indian debacle. Once again the team failed to break the jinx.

A.S. JASWAL, Chandigarh

II

India’s shameful defeat has really left every Indian frustrated. No Indian cricket lover would ever like to watch India’s match again.

TV channels have been projecting Indian players as demi-gods. Many viewers who do not have much interest in cricket also have to watch the game forcibly.

The excuse offered by the Indian skipper is ridiculous.

Suraj R.K. Kapoor, Solan

Gritty Dravid

Rahul Dravid again proved his worth by playing a gritty innings of 82 runs against Sri Lanka, although India lost the match by 13 runs. Saurav and his men should not feel demoralised. I am sure India will come back with renewed strength to take on Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the future. Also, at the moment neither Sri Lanka nor Pakistan have the professionalism and consistency which India have gained in the past two years.

Rajan Parmar, Dharamsala
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