As we are knee-deep in the Winter Olympics games, I wondered how you were experiencing the Olympics online, and asked you to tell me about some quirky sites you liked. The Games so far have been a bit quirky, from the marshmallow-headed mascots Neve and Gliz (pictured here) to the many ice-dancing falls to the Austrian doping raids.
But one lovable blog called DFL is covering the Games in a unique way — by keeping track of who finishes last in each event. I’ll let the MediaShift reader/contributor Peter take it away:
[Blog author Jonathan] Crowe calls this blog a personal stand “opposed to the idea that anything short of a gold medal is a failure on the athlete’s part. . . . [G]iven the stringent qualification rules imposed by the IOC, the various sport governing bodies, and national Olympic committees, I don’t think that anyone who manages to get to the Olympics has anything to apologize or atone for.”
Short version: they’re there, and you’re not, couch potatoes — so drop the win-or-apologize attitude toward the athletes, even those (or especially those) who finish last.
DFL stands for dead freaking last, though you can substitute the foul-sounding word of your choice for “freaking.” Crowe, who is from Quebec, also ran the DFL blog for the 2004 Summer Games, in which Greece was the “winner” with the most last-place finishes. So far in ’06, there’s a three-way tie for first (or last?), with Romania, Ukraine and China all logging five last-place finishes.
Despite the hype about the U.S. failing in so many sports this year, they have actually avoided finishing last in any sport so far. As for all the falls and crashes, Crowe does not count people who don’t finish, or are disqualified including for drug tests (as is possible with the Austrians).
“There’s something to be said about getting back up and putting in a finish even when all hope of a respectable result is lost,” Crowe writes on the blog. “For many athletes, finishing matters. Better DFL than DNF. Not that it’s possible in every event: a crash in alpine skiing or luge is almost always a DNF, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But there’s something important being expressed whenever somebody crosses the line after hitting the ground, long after everyone else has finished.”
Another take came from Gary Baker, the founder and president of ClipBlast, who was touting his service as a way to keep up on all the video clips being posted online from the Games.
“Our goal as a website (and blog) is to give people access to the video they want when they want it,” Baker said. “We’ve aggregated links to Olympic coverage from various news and media providers. It’s quite interesting to see the various perspectives given a specific story or event — especially the Olympics.
Olympics clips can be found here on ClipBlast. Though I don’t usually feature self-promoted sites in Your Take, ClipBlast does fit with what I was looking for. However, I think the service could improve by helping us find the good clips by highlighting them in some way — either editorial picks or user-rated picks or most popular. Otherwise, it’s a nice roundup of much of the commercial TV video coming from the Games.
Any other sites you’ve used to follow the Games online? Hit the comments below and share with everyone.