Some Olympic questions...

Why do the female fencers (haven’t seen a men’s match yet) scream after every point and perceived point? Sometimes they scream before its even sure they scored.

In swimming, as soon as a swimmer jumps off their little bench at the start of the race, a row of stern-looking, besuited Olympic personnel step up to it. I don’t see them removing them. What are they doing stepping up to the starting blocks?

In qualifying for the individual event competition, gynmasts compete against not only other countries but their own team members. Are teams absolutely forced to send someone with a higher score to the individual round? I ask because as of this post:

US and defending world champ Jordyn Wieber lost out to her 2 teammates for the all-around finals. Let’s say she had a bad day, or some other accident or circumstance forced her to score lower than her team mates, can Team USA still send her to the qualifying rounds if she’d otherwise make it compared to the other countries?

Also, this article is hilarious :smiley:

You may want to contact a mod and ask that this be moved to The Game Room.

I assume they’re judges. There are rules about how the strokes have to be performed, that you must come to the surface within a certain distance, that sort of thing. When they first dive into the pool, the swimmers are under water briefly, and I think there are restrictions on what kicks they can perform and how many. The judges at the start may be looking specifically for that. I did hear about one swimmer already being disqualified, and then reinstated on review, but didn’t hear what for.

My swimming question: After a race, the swimmers (the guys, at least) will be head, shoulders, and most of the torso out of the water. It looks like the pool is four feet deep and they’re standing on the bottom. But when we see the inside of the pool, like at the beginning of the backstroke, it’s clearly much deeper than that. Are they just that good at treading water that it looks like they’re standing on the bottom?

The officials are looking for false starts, touching the pool side at each turn, etc. They’re somewhat cool customers to appear impartial.

He was notorious for false starts, but one of them was deemed an overzealous ruling and was rescinded.

They’re probably holding onto the row of floating lane dividers.

I would also like to know about the fencing thing.

Also, when I watched, Italy was competing agianst itself. What’s up with that?

It wasn’t Italy competing against itself, it was one Italian fencer competing against another. Like the Americans Phelps and Lochte racing against each other.

Not every competition is a team event. Presumably it was an individual event - just like the 100 meters.

He was DQed for a false start, which he didn’t do and the tapes showed him with a fair start. The judges are looking at the strokes, how long they are underwater, which is 15 meters except on breast, and touches at the turns and end.

The Olympic rules are the pools have to be I believe 2 meters deep. If you look at the underwater shots there is a groove cut into the side of the pool to stand on. It’s probably about 3-4 feet deep.

The water polo pool this year they said was 6’ 7" deep (i.e. two meters)-shallower than in past recent Olympics, but not shallow enough to take advantage of (I was thinking you could go down to the bottom, then push off hard to soar for an alley-oop spike from a teammate’s pass, but perhaps that is illegal).

I heard the commentators mention that yesterday – and then add that one of the guys in the pool is at least 6’7" (as per, it’s apparently Jeff Powers). If the Olympic basketball team could spare Tyson Chandler’s seven-foot-plus athleticism for an hour, things could get pretty weird pretty fast.

If you’re 6’7", you can’t stand on the bottom of a 6’7" deep pool (even on tiptoes) without your nose being under water. If you keep your head above water, you can’t reach the bottom, so you’re no better off than anyone else.

Over seven feet – maybe you could get your feet to the bottom and head above water. But your arms would be in the water, making it next to impossible to get off a decent shot (the water will slow you too much – it’s have to be all in your wrist).

OK, here is my question. I am not sure it has an official answer, but here goes: Why is the women’s cycling road race so much shorter than the men’s? 87 miles versus 155 miles. It’s not like the women are not strong enough to cover that distance. The unofficial explanation I read was that the women cannot pull over to the side of the road to pee. Riding hard for 155 miles would necessitate a “nature break” or two, but is that really the reason for the large disparity in distance?

Well, I was guiding off JohnDiFool’s point: a 6’7" guy could presumably drop down and push off to soar, which isn’t really an option for a 5’7" guy – and, as you say, over seven feet means he can push without dropping down. (The NBA has a guy who stands 7’3", Yao Ming was 7’6"; it seems like the possibilities are there).

Point is, height wouldn’t have that extra relevance in, say, a twenty-foot-deep pool.

I think it is exactly because the female riders aren’t as strong as their male counterparts. Guys could probably do 500km as well (they used to in the early days of the tour), but you want some kind of racing to take place. In multi stage races (men), a stage is usually less than 200km; single day races are over 200 and the real big races can be up to 260; there is plenty of riders that have a reputation to be good for sub-200 or sub-250 km races only. In fact, I think many people were doubting Cavendish’s chances for last years World Championship because it was such a long race (which he did win btw).

I heard the commentators say they do this so they can sell the point. So if it’s close and the referee has to decide who to give the point to, that probably helps your case a bit. I guess the ref decides on who is attacking first and not who screams first, which the commentators also referenced, before giving the point, but a little acting might help. It’s just like chucking up the ball for a shot when a defender slaps your arm in basketball, or flopping.

I remember hearing that water polo players were not allowed to touch the floor for any reason.

My guess is for the same reason that, for instance, the longest standard cross-country ski race is 50 km for men and 30 km for women, or women have the heptathlon with three fewer events and less overall running than the men’s decathlon. It’s primarily because the respective sports federations are dominated by aging reactionaries who still can’t believe respectable women are willing to work up a sweat in public.

There’s no referee calling touches. The suits and swords are wired up to an electrical system that signals touches.

I seriously doubt it, on the basis that I don’t believe the men do stop to pee on long races - when you’re sweating that much and expending so much energy (and hence liquid), you can probably go for hours without even needing to pee, let alone actually being forced to let go. If anyone has a cite against this, I’d be surprised.

How to pee while riding.

And yes, it’s quite common in long races.