Lai See

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:15pm


Brits know all there is to know about the crying Games

A lot of people have commented on the apparent increase in crying by successful athletes at the London Olympics. Why people cry has yet to be fully understood by scientists.

We're a bit doubtful about one theory we came across as to why women cry. Dr Noam Sobel found that women's tears act to ward off unwanted advances from men.

Crying used to be viewed as a sign of weakness, but now crying on the part of men seems to arouse approval, particularly in women.

Reasons aside, the Wall Street Journal has watched the tapes of 129 gold medallists to determine who cries the most at the Olympics. It concludes that 16 per cent cry at some point, 16 per cent either bit or kissed their medal, while 44 per cent sang along with their respective national anthems.

Unsurprisingly, women cry more than men: 25 per cent compared with 8 per cent.

Among the leading medal-winning countries, just 7 per cent of Chinese cried, compared with 17 per cent of Americans and a whopping 37.5 per cent of athletes from Britain. So much for the stiff upper lip.

The Chinese sang the most, presumably, as the newspaper points out, because they weren't crying, while 61 per cent of British athletes and 44 per cent of Americans sang their anthems.

The ancients don't appear to have recorded whether successful athletes cried on receiving their victor's laurels. We suspect it would have been viewed as demonstrating a lack of moral virtue.

Sponsors run into trouble

One aspect of the Olympics that has irritated everyone is the absurd rigour with which officials have sought to restrict brands competing with sponsors. Lord Coe caused a stir by suggesting anyone wearing Nike trainers would not be allowed into the Olympic Park because of rules favouring sponsor Adidas.

The absurdity of the rules appears to have spurred Nike into other forms of creative advertising. As the Games began, it launched a global TV campaign where amateur athletes are shown around the world. So there were runners in London, Ontario, cyclists in London, Nigeria, shooters in London, Ohio, and so on.

Another problem for the organisers was that Nike is the official sponsor of the US Olympic team, so none of the athletes can be monstered by the officials. To make matters worse, Ad Age has run a story saying that nobody remembers who the sponsors are. It reports that in a survey of US consumers, 37 per cent thought Nike was an Olympic sponsor, a third thought Pepsi was one, which will displease Coke. A fifth incorrectly thought Burger King was selling its burgers at the Games - (it isn't, though McDonald's is) - and 16 per cent thought Google is an Olympic sponsor, which it isn't.

Don't bank on a promotion

Standard Chartered Bank is not taking the recent accusations of the New York State Department of Finance lying down. It has fiercely rejected the claim it is a 'rogue bank'. It has even sought to undermine one of the more colourful pieces of evidence.

A StanChart executive is reported to have said: 'You f***ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we're not going to deal with Iranians.'

A source has told Reuters that this was uttered by group finance officer Richard Meddings, who has been mentioned as a future CEO. A Standard Chartered spokesman told Reuters: 'This is not a quote we recognise as coming from Richard or any of our other directors. The bank emphasised that the remark was 'something someone said had been said' and did not appear in any documents.

We wonder, if indeed Meddings did make that observation, it will help or hinder his career.

Spot the cigarette factory

Non-smokers may be tickled by Stanford University's ploy to discourage the production of cigarettes. The university has produced an interactive map pin- pointing where the industry manufactures the six trillion cigarettes sold worldwide every year.

According to the World Health Organisation, cigarettes are the biggest cause of preventable death worldwide and may kill a billion people during the 21st century if current trends continue.

'Before launch of the Cigarette Citadels project in September 2010, no means existed for anyone, whether curious citizen or devoted researcher, to know about all these factories, peer into them, and begin questioning their specific effects,' notes project director Matthew Kohrman. Previously research had centred on the consumer, but this project pushes attention towards the surfeit of cigarette factories in the world.