The 2012 Summer Paralympics Games commenced three days ago.
It’s unfortunate that the Paralympics or Special Oympics don’t get as much recognition or fanfare as the “regular” Olympics…because I think the athletes of the Paralympics and Special Olympics are amazing.
In fact, I wrote a post about them a couple of years ago…with special focus on one Japanese Paralympic athlete from the 2010 Winter Paralympics who overcame tragedy in his life twice.
(Click here to read it.)
Anyways, have you seen the promotional ad for the 2012 Summer Paralympics that are currently underway in London?
It’s titled “Meet The Superhumans“! It’s a great ad…here it is:
Everyone, I’m sure, knows that the 2012 Summer Olympics are underway…and that they games are being hosted by London.
Have you watched the opening ceremonies?
Did you see “James Bond” escort the Queen of England to the games by helicopter…and “the Queen” parachuted in?
And Mr. Bean playing with the orchestra? David Beckham driving a speed boat? And the “legend” himself, Muhammad Ali?
It was a pretty good opening ceremony. I enjoyed watching it (on television…I’ve never seen an Olympics event “in person”. The closest that I came was when my wife and I took the 新幹線 (bullet train) to 長野 (Nagano, Japan) in 1998 to see the “Olympic city” atmosphere).
Anyways, are you watching any of the games?
Which events do you like best?
Last night, I watched Japan “almost” get gold in men’s judo…but lost to Georgia.
So far, the top three countries with medals won are China, America, and Italy.
Japan is currently in 15th place.
To show gratitude to the people of many countries around the world for supporting and helping Japan in the aftermath of the Great Earthquake in Sendai of 2011 March 11, Japan will host a special event in London, England that will be called “Arigato in London“.
This event will feature many aspects of Japanese culture including photos and a movie of the Earthquake affected area that will also include many Japanese children expressing thanks to people around the world, Japanese food, beer and 日本酒 (Japanese sake alcohol), Japanese tradional games and traditional arts and music.
To allow many people from many different countries to attend, this event will be held in London from 2012 July 28 until August 11 to coincide with the Olympics that London will be hosting then.
Click here to visit the “Arigato in London” website.
Have you ever watched the volleyball World Cup championship games?
They are held every four years…and this year (2011) was one of the years that the matches are held. They are currently winding down…the women’s games ended a couple of days ago and the men’s will finish up soon too.
Did you know that Japan is always the host nation of the Volleyball World Cup?
Italy are the champions of the 2011 Women’s Volleyball World Cup. The American team are the second-place winners and China came in third.
Japan’s team are the fourth-place winners.
America came ahead of Japan in the final results, but Japan beat the U.S. (3 sets to zero) in the Japan vs USA match.
Since Italy, America and China came in first, second and third place (respectively), those teams qualified to play in the Olympics in London next summer.
Do you know the song “I Love Rock And Roll“? If you do, in fact, love rock and roll then I’m sure you know this song well. “I Love Rock And Roll” has been covered by many artists since it’s original release 36 years ago (I can’t believe it’s already been that many years!)…but do you know who wrote and recorded it originally? It’s quite likely you guessed it was Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.
Alan Merrill with his band (at the time) The Arrows who wrote and originally recorded the rock masterpiece “I Love Rock And Roll”.
But, although her version reached the #1 spot on the U.S. music charts, Joan Jett’s version of the song is a remake. She isn’t the original artist. It was
Alan Merrill in 2011.
Alan Merrill is American and currently lives in his home state of New York…but he has lived in both England and Japan for a number of years…and reached celebrity status in both countries. Mr. Merrill was kind enough to do an excellent and interesting interview with me.
Click here to read his interview with me (and then come back and leave a comment on this post with your opinion of the interview).
My favorite country in the world is Japan.
(My interview with Alan Merrill: www3.ocn.ne.jp/~tokyo5/interviews.html#merrill.)
In 渋谷 (Shibuya, Tokyo), there’s a famous intersection near the JR train station that, when the pedestrian signal turns green, all the cars have red lights and must stop and people can walk across the intersection in any direction.
The crosswalks are painted not only straight in four directions…but also diagonally.
(Actually there are a number of intersections around Tokyo like this…but Shibuya’s is most famous).
Well, London, England has just made a similar crosswalk at one of that city’s busiest intersections.
At the opening ceremony for the new crosswalk, the Mayor of London said that the intersection’s new crosswalk is entirely based on Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo.
In fact, there were Japanese 太鼓 (Taiko drums) drummers playing at the opening ceremony!
London's new crosswalk based on Shibuya Crossing.
Yesterday I read the newspaper while I was riding the train.
A few stories made an impression on me (let me know if you’ve heard any of this news…and what you think!):
- At the Six Flags amusement park in Georgia, USA, a 17-year old boy climbed two fences that surrounded the perimeter of a roller-coaster ride.
He went in there to get his hat or something…and the roller coaster hit him and decapitated him!
I was shocked to read this…but, then again, I’ve read quite a few stories about tragedies at amusement parks. That’s why I’m always hesitant to let my kids go to one with their friends (I let them go…but I’m always nervous about it).
- Many countries are sending their Olympic teams to Japan to practice for the upcoming Olympics in 北京 (Beijing) rather than have them practice in 中国 (China).
This is because, the newspaper said, many countries are concerned about air pollution, food safety, and political tension in China.
Also, they said, Japan has good training facilities.
- Tokyo is the largest city in the world. And it’s the most densely populated (Tokyo has 36 million people…nearly double the population of New York City. There are more people in Tokyo than in all of Canada!)
But, despite Tokyo’s large population…this city was recently voted the third most livable city in the world by the London magazine Monocle!
Copenhagen and Munich were voted first and second respectively…but those two cities have only just over one million people. Tokyo has nearly 36 times as many residents…but the magazine says Tokyo is “a big city getting the basics right”.
The link to the Monocle magazine’s article is here (they require a paid subscription to read the entire article…but you can see the headline for free (whatever)).