Anchor Aaron Schachter gets an update on the talk at the Olympics from The World’s Alex Gallafent in London.
Beyond the sporting news, Alex also takes a brief shopping trip to the official department store of the 2012 London games.
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Aaron Schachter: I’m Aaron Schachter. This is The World. US athletes made some history on day 4 of the London Olympics. For the first time since 1996 the Americans took the gold in the women’s team gymnastics competition. Swimmer Michael Phelps broke the record for most Olympic medals won by an individual athlete. His nineteenth medal was a gold in a 4×200 Freestyle relay. Sixteen-year old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen also added to her medal total. She won another gold in the 200 meter individual medley setting an Olympic record in the process. Ye already had a gold medal after breaking the world record in the 400 meter medley. In a few minutes we’ll hear about Chinese reactions whose suggestions that Ye might have doped to achieve those results. First we get some more Olympic nuggets from The World’s Alex Gallafent in London.
Alex Gallafent: Aaron it’s been a right royal day here. The queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips won a silver medal in the team eventing competition. Do you know what team eventing is?
Schachter: No idea.
Gallafent: It’s horse riding, jumping, and cross-country.
Schachter: Yes I have, of course.
Gallafent: So a really good day for the Royal family here at the Olympics in London.
Schachter: And there’s another big talking point that’s been going for a few days, the empty seats we see on TV.
Gallafent: Right. And actually I’ve been out and about today in London away from the Olympic park and people have been talking about that and other things.
Announcer: Come and meet Wenlock. The London 2012 official mascot.
In the London 2012 shop on the fifth floor.
Gallafent: This is the official department store of the London 2012 Olympic games. A place called John Lewis. On my way up to the fifth floor, I chatted with two Australians who had the steely look of Olympians about them. Gino and Ismar Toromanovic, they’re brothers. Now it turned out they were hunting for furniture not medals though they are in London for the games.
Gino/Ismar Toromanovic: The only tickets that were available were the weight-lifting tickets.
Gallafent: They saw that yesterday. And the ongoing kerfuffle about empty seats at Olympic venues has been a bit frustrating for the brothers Toromanovic.
Gino/Ismar Toromanovic: We’re not happy with that but obviously beggars can be choosers and we did get our set of tickets and we did enjoy the show, which was good enough. Some people really didn’t get to see it and go, so yeah.
Gallafent: So your Olympics are over in terms of seeing stuff. You’ve seen the weight-lifting. It’s done.
Gino/Ismar Toromanovic: Yeah I mean there’s no tickets. Those other tickets would have gone today. There’s nothing else available so.
Gallafent: So what’s left is shopping.
Gino/Ismar Toromanovic: Shopping. Yeah.
Gallafent: Well they could do worse. Oxford street is one of Europe’s biggest and busiest shopping destinations and within this store, John Lewis, the official Olympic shop is the busiest spot. People are snapping up all manner of branded Olympic swag.
Luke Hoskins: I’m Luke Hoskins.
Lizzy Hoskins: Lizzy Hoskins.
Gallafent: The Hoskins family is completely bedecked in clothes covered with the British flag. It’s like they’ve got severe nationality amnesia and need to remind themselves where they’re from. Luke who’s ten does Taekwondo. Perhaps he’s a future Olympian himself.
Luke Hoskins: Maybe!
Gallafent: but for now it’s just watching.
Luke Hoskins: I saw a bit of the cycling track.
Lizzy Hoskins: Today we’re going to watch the beach volleyball.
Gallafent: Funny Lizzy should say that. I happen to meet a member of Brazil’s beach volleyball team in the Olympic shop. A personal trainer named Rossini Arosio.
Rossini Arosio: The guys competed yesterday and won against Great Britain.
Gallafent: How dare you sir!
Rossini Arosio: Yes, yes. Yesterday 2-0. Tomorrow we’re competing against Canada.
Gallafent: Okay, well good luck with that. Today’s a day off for the Brazilian beach volleyball team, a chance to go shopping for some Olympic trinkets. Out on Oxford street, I bumped into Sandy Peyton from Atlanta. He has an Olympic goal o his own: to collect all the Olympic commemorative pins that feature a heart. He underwent a heart transplant ten years ago.
Sandy Peyton: I didn’t even think there were even probably 200, I’ve got over 350 now.
Gallafent: Sandy wears a few dozen pins on his baseball cap and he’s soon joined by another American Olympic pin collector, John Smith. Smith is with the outreach Bible project, a Christian group. They’ve produced their own Olympic pins for London 2012.
John Smith: We have fun. We see each other with the hats. We’re attracted to each other right away. Most of the pin traders have been to more than one Olympics.
Gallafent: Smith himself has been to eight.
Schachter: Alex, sounds like the Olympic games sounds like a good spot for religious proselytizing.
Gallafent: I think it is. And, you know, without wanting to be flippant about it, businesses, organizations of all kinds rebrand themselves along Olympic themes during the games and so do religious groups. There were loads of distinct Christian groups handing out freebees and talking to people on Oxford Street today, the main shopping district. One gave me a flyer called The Ultimate Goal which had a picture of a very Olympic-looking torch on it. Another group wore T-shirts that read â€œMore than Goldâ€.
Schachter: Alright. The World’s Alex Gallafent going for gold in London. Thank you.
Gallafent: Thanks Aaron.
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