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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - Page updated at 09:00 p.m.
Winners and losers of the 2012 London Olympics
By Michelle Kaufman
The Miami Herald
LONDON — After 17 days glued to the television, the post-Olympics hangover surely has set in.
No more track and field in prime time. No more swimming. No more gymnastics. No more BMX or rowing. Back to regularly scheduled programming (read: NFL training camps and baseball).
But before we tuck away our Olympic memories, here is a quick review of some of the biggest winners and losers of the 2012 Games.
Winner: Optimistic weather forecasters. After months of record rainfall, some Olympians expected to be competing in puddles and waterlogged venues. Visitors packed galoshes, slickers and "brollies" (umbrellas). The weather changed just in time. Other than the occasional shower during the Games, the weather held up nicely.
Loser: Ticketless tourists. If you arrived here without tickets in hand, you probably were out of luck. Scalping is illegal, and they really enforce those laws. When they did release some tickets after British fans were outraged at the sight of empty seats on TV in the opening days, those tickets were sold online only to British and European fans.
Winner: Michael Phelps. The most hyped story entering these Olympics was the rivalry between U.S. swimmers Phelps and Ryan Lochte. But Phelps wound up getting most of the headlines after winning four golds and two silvers to bring his career total to 22 medals (18 gold). He became the most decorated Olympian of all time.
Loser: Australian swimming. The Aussies had their worst showing in 20 years. They won 10 medals in swimming, half of what they won in 2008. For the first time since 1976, they didn't win a gold.
Winner: Usain Bolt. Once again, the Jamaican sprinter stole the show with golds in the 100 and 200 meters and the 4x100 relay. He also declared himself a "living legend" and who can argue? He is, arguably, the greatest sprinter of all time. And, he certainly is the greatest showman.
Loser: Cabdrivers. Many Londoners left town for fear of predicted chaos and huge crowds, and visitors were urged to use public transport, leaving the cabbies with less work than usual for this time of year.
Winner: Women. This was the first Olympics in which every delegation included at least one female athlete. Saudi Arabia entered women, and the U.S. team had more women than men. The U.S. women won team golds in soccer, basketball, water polo, gymnastics, rowing eights and dominated at the pool and track.
Loser: U.S. boxing. U.S. boxers won 104 medals from 1904 to 2004, but the men were held to one bronze in 2008 and were shut out here.
Winner: NBC. More than 219 million viewers tuned in for the Olympics, making it the most watched event in U.S. television history, surpassing the Beijing Olympics (more than 215 million viewers).
Loser: NBC viewers. Sports fans prefer to watch live competition and NBC showed much of its coverage on four- and five-hour delay, including the opening ceremony.
Copyright © The Seattle Times Company
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