Rob's Blog

Entries Tagged as 'Major Events'

Little Known Olympic Games Countries

March 19th, 2012 · Comments Off on Little Known Olympic Games Countries · Olympic Games

You would be surprised about some of the countries that have once participated at the Olympic Games. Regions such as Saarland and Bohemia participated at previous Games, but no longer exist independently. The Saar existed from 1947 to 1956 in part of Western Germany that was occupied by France, and only competed at one Olympics in 1952 before joining Germany. Bohemia athletes competed at the Olympic Games between 1900-1912. After World War I, Bohemia became part of the new Czechoslovakia, which itself lasted until 1993 when it split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Then there are short lived unions, such as The United Arab Republic which was made up of Egypt and Syria, and the West Indies Federation, a combined team from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. Both of these teams competed at the Olympics only once, in 1960.

What about athletes with no team – athletes from Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia competed as Independent Olympic Participants in 1992, and athletes from East Timor competed as Individual Olympic Athletes at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Also, after the break up of the Soviet Union, the independent states competed under the banner of The Unified Team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

I wonder which teams competing in 2012 in London will one day join this list of past teams. Border disputes and wars will continue, and the countries of the world will continue to evolve. But, no matter what, most athletes will have a country to compete for, even though the names may change.

Related Pages: all Olympic Participating Countries, past participating countries


Excessive Prize Money to Tennis Players

January 16th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Grand Slam Tennis, Tennis

The 2012 Australian Tennis Open starts today and is set to offer the highest prize money in the history of Grand Slam tennis around the world. The total prize pool will be A$26 million, with the men’s and women’s champions taking home a record A$2.3 million (US$2.18 million) each. Does that sound excessive to you?

It may be because I am not a great tennis fan, but I cannot see why we need to give the players that much money.  As it is a grand slam event, you don’t need to offer large amounts to entice players to come and play.  The winner of any tennis grand slam event will probably boost their off-court earnings more than that anyway by being more marketable.

federer at wimbledon

Some of you probably will not agree with my next comment (and that’s OK). Another thing that bugs me is that the event organizers have decided that both the men’s and women’s champions will earn the same amount (in 2007 Wimbledon decided to do the same), despite more interest in the men’s side of the tournament, with longer more entertaining games, and consequently better revenue-raising potential.

I’ll still be watching the men’s final, and afterwards, I hope they can give a little back of their millions to the grassroots of their sport.

Related Pages: Australian OpenTennis

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World Cup Team Names

September 14th, 2011 · Comments Off on World Cup Team Names · Major Events, Rugby Union

I have just completed listing all of the rugby union national team names and was surprised to find out that Ireland and Scotland don’t really have one, and that England’s name of the Red and Whites is also not commonly used.

Here in the southern hemisphere the terms Wallabies and All Blacks are practically the official names of the national teams of Australia and New Zealand. However, have you ever heard of these teams that are in the current Rugby World Cup: Bati (Fiji), The Brave Blossoms (Japan), Welwitschias (Namibia), and the Oaks (Romania)?

Related Pages:  Rugby Union,  Rugby National Team Names, Rugby World Cup


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Bet on the Octopus – World Cup Predictions

July 12th, 2010 · Comments Off on Bet on the Octopus – World Cup Predictions · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Paul the ‘Psychic’ Octopus, also known as the ‘Oracle of Oberhausen’ and ‘Pulpo Paul’, is a resident of the Oberhausen Sea Life aquarium. He became a celebrity after a 100% success rate at predicting the winners of eight World Cup matches – all of Germany’s games and the final between Spain and The Netherlands.


I want to go out on an (octopus) limb and say that it was all due to chance. I know it may sound far-fetched and very unlikely, but maybe he was just lucky and was able to select the winning teams through chance. No psychic abilities, no hand of God, and no conspiracies – just luck. A lot of luck.

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World’s Longest Tennis Match

June 24th, 2010 · Comments Off on World’s Longest Tennis Match · Grand Slam Tennis, Tennis

If you have been focused on the Football World Cup, you may not have noticed that after three days of playing, the longest tennis match in history has just finished – what a marathon!

The tennis match was played between American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut at the Wimbledon Championships, starting on June 22 and finishing on the 24th.  The match eventually took 11 hours and 5 minutes, spread over three days. The match was won by Isner 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68.

The fifth set was the longest set in history as determined by both duration and number of games and the set itself would have broken the previous longest match record of 6 hours 33 minutes.


The US Open is the only of the Grand Slams to use a tie-breaker in the final set for singles matches, the other tournaments use an advantage set, meaning they keep playing until there is a winner by two games clear.

As you can see, this can mean a game can go on indefinitely. I hope the others don’t follow the US example and remove the advantage set, as we could miss out on such dramatic games as this.

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The World Cup Sends Me To Sleep

June 23rd, 2010 · Comments Off on The World Cup Sends Me To Sleep · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

With the World’s greatest sporting event currently well on the way in South Africa, it may be surprising that this is my first post about it. It would not be surprising if you knew that I support Australia, and up until today, they have not done anything to write home about.

After getting up at 2 am this morning to watch Australia play Serbia, I am much happier and very impressed with their performance. Although they won today, they just missed out on progressing to the knockout round.

world-cup-2010 Spain
Spain at the world-cup-2010

The team did us proud, playing great football and giving everything for their country. Missing out of the final 16 is no great disappointment, the Aussies have played above expectations.

I cannot say the same about the French team, and cannot imagine the public outcry at their team’s performance. There is always drama at the World Cup, and that is why we are captivated. A few more sleepless nights to come!

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We Just Want To See A Snow Leopard

February 28th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Olympic Games, Winter

Did you hear about Ghana’s first ever participant at the Winter Olympics, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong (nicknamed the ‘Snow Leopard’)? He competed in the men’s alpine skiing slalom event, finishing in 47th (2nd last) place. I did, but I did not hear about who won. It is another reminder of why I don’t get too excited about the Winter Olympics. The media think that it is more important to fill up their coverage time with human interest stories rather than the sporting results. As a sporting fan I watch sport to see the action, the competitiveness and the champions. At each Olympics the same thing seems to happen – the media outlets focus their telecast towards the common man, non sports fan, who are more interested in gossip and drama.

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Go to Bed Tomic

January 22nd, 2010 · Comments Off on Go to Bed Tomic · Grand Slam Tennis, Tennis

Young Australian rising star tennis player Bernard Tomic had a few complaints after his second-round match at the Australian Open against Marin Cilic finished at 2.10am local time. The 17-year-old Tomic was given a wildcard into the tournament and played well against the vastly more experienced 14th seed Croatian, pushing him to five sets over the course of three hours and 48 minutes. However, Tomic let himself down and embarrassed many Australians with his comments after the match.

He said that if he got the daily schedule as requested, that “I think I should have won” … “I can’t see after 1.00am, 2.00am for a 17-year-old to go out and play – It’s difficult.” Welcome to the big world. There are other players who have been playing at these times and winning tournaments.

If he wants to be a top 10 player, which he says he does, he will have to learn to handle playing at any time, and he will need to learn to be more gracious in defeat. No excuses.

Related Pages: Australian Open, Grand Slam Tennis, About Tennis

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Another Sporting List

November 23rd, 2009 · Comments Off on Another Sporting List · Major Events, Sport

Here is another sporting poll that was seen on They were asking for the defining sporting moment of the noughties (2000-2010), and being an Australian website there was obvioulsy an Aussie bias. Their editors had already decided on the top ten, it was the site visitors job to place it in order. First a question about the top 10 that they selected. There are some international performances already on the list – so where is Lance Armstrong’s comback and Phelp’s record medal haul? The list could go on. Based on the choices we had, as an Australian I have no qualms with what was voted on top – Aloisi’s goal and Australia’s qualification into the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Here is the full list (in the final order):

  1. Aloisi and the World Cup Qualification for 2006
  2. Cathy Freeman’s 400m gold medal in Sydney 2000
  3. Bradbury’s gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics – Australia’s first ever gold
  4. Makybe Diva’s triple Melbourne Cup wins
  5. Australia’s 2009 cricket Ashes loss to England
  6. Wilkinson’s heart breaking final kick to beat Australia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup
  7. Final seconds mark by fullback “Leaping” Leo Barry in the 2005 AFL Grand Final
  8. Tiger Wood’s Master’s chip in 2005
  9. “Lay-down” Sally Robbins stopped rowing mid-race at the 2004 Athens Olympics
  10. The NRL Rabbitoh Revival

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Bad Sport Serena

September 13th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Grand Slam Tennis, Tennis

In the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, defending champion Serena Williams was fined $10,000 for her tirade directed at a line judge. She said: ‘If I could, I would … shove [this ball] down your throat’. There were a few expletives deleted from that quote.

Can you get a bigger contrast between the champion of men’s tennis, Roger Federer and her? Thankfully such bad sportsmanship has not gone unnoticed, with the big fine and her losing the final match point based on that outburst.

Williams was going to lose the semifinal to Kim Clijsters anyway, and the fine is only a smidgeon of what she earned playing the tournament. Let’s hope she gets punished in more ways, but somehow I think she will not be repentant.

Related Pages: US Open, About Tennis, Roger Federer profile

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