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Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

The Olympics have officially ended (don’t tell NBC, they’re airing the closing ceremonies right now!) but here are some interesting statistics that the Wall Street Journal posted last week anyway. Somebody (probably an unpaid intern) analyzed 129 medal ceremonies from the London Olympics and examined the reactions of the winners. As the article states:

About 16% of them cried at some point during the ceremony. Another 16% either bit or kissed their medal on the podium, while 44% sang along with their anthem—sometimes through a stream of tears. Women cry more than men—25% compared to 8%—but many of the men who did cry seriously lost it. South Africa’s Chad le Clos needed tissues after he beat Michael Phelps in the 200-meter butterfly, while the Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez was a complete wreck after winning the 400-meter hurdles.

Among the three countries with the most gold medals thus far, China cries the least, with only 7% of its athletes succumbing to tears. More than 17% of American winners cried, while a whopping 37.5% of athletes from host country Great Britain cried. And since they weren’t crying, the Chinese also sang the most: 92% of their athletes belted out the anthem, compared to 61% from Great Britain and 44% from the U.S.

Additionally, at least one athlete was not impressed with her position on the podium. An interesting thing about these statistics is that Fox News used all of them in a slightly longer article in which they mentioned the Wall Street Journal but did not provide a link. I suppose the fact that they mentioned their source still puts them ahead of Fareed Zakaria.

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Update: The current version of the article goes into much more detail, so this appears to be a case of “publish something first to beat the other news outlets, fix it up later so that it actually makes sense.”  An example of poor writing and the effects of the 24-hour news cycle!

For writing assignments I am constantly imploring my students to anticipate questions that readers may have and answer them in the text of their work.  “Don’t assume that the reader knows what you’re talking about,” I tell them.  Maybe the following news story will help them see that I am not making this up (the linked story is from the Denver Post but, as this is from the AP, the same story is repeated with different headlines all over the place).  Can you guess the sport?  The complete text:

Canadian men improve to 8-0, beat US 7-2

By JANIE McCAULEY AP Sports Writer

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