By The Associated Press, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:
REMEMBERING A CHAMPION
The memory of a late swimming champion looms large at the Olympic pool, especially as his best event — the 100-meter breaststroke — approaches Sunday.
Alexander Dale Oen of Norway died in April at age 26 from heart disease — months before he was to be the leading hope for Norwegian swimming gold in London. He won the world championship in the 100-meter breaststroke last July.
Some swimmers said they were dedicating their swims to Dale Oen.
"We're carrying him with us all the time," countrywoman Sara Nordenstam said following her heat in the 400-meter individual medley. She said the swimmers will honor him by "swimming fast and remembering him and remember everything that he taught us and go for the goals that we set together."
— Janie McCauley — Twitter http://twitter.com/JanieMcCAP
THE REVIEWS ARE IN
The opening ceremony, particularly the queen's debut as a Bond girl, earned several positive reviews.
"I was worried that there was too much self-parody, that the world might be laughing at us," wrote columnist Giles Coren in The Times of London. "But they were laughing with us. They were silently awed."
He wasn't wrong.
"Often seen as reserved and unapproachable, the Queen changed all that alongside James Bond," wrote German newspaper Die Welt.
The 86-year-old Elizabeth greeted Bond actor Daniel Craig at Buckingham Palace and then appeared to fly to the stadium before parachuting to the ground. Moments later, the real Elizabeth appeared with husband Prince Philip to be greeted by the crowd.
The sequence has already provided the defining images of the games, according to Sydney's Daily Telegraph in Australia, where the queen also reigns.
"A few hundred years ago director Danny Boyle could have been sent to the Tower for even suggesting such treason," the newspaper said. "But as if to show how far England and the monarchy have come in that time, Her Majesty not only let Boyle get away with it. She was actually in on the joke."
— Rob Harris — Twitter http://twitter.com/RobHarris
It's a cover-up. The cool London evening forced beach volleyball stars to forgo the traditional bikini attire for warmer clothes.
Two-time defending gold medalists Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor of the United States wore long-sleeved shirts on top of bikini bottoms for their 21-18, 21-19 victory over Natalie Cook and Tasmin Hinchley, a match that started at 11 p.m. Saturday when the temperature was 63 degrees. The Australians wore long pants, with T-shirts under their bikini tops.
"It's cold," Walsh Jennings said, with a "what do you expect" look on her face. "It's 11 p.m. in London."
— Jimmy Golen — Twitter: http://twitter.com/jgolen
Queen Elizabeth II returned to Olympic Park for an encore performance after her film debut as the latest Bond Girl, riding to the top of the 377-foot (115-meter) Orbit tower and visiting with fawning British Olympians in the athletes village.
Dressed in a royal blue silk dress, crepe coat and matching hat, the queen could be heard remarking at the views of the London skyline and countryside. She wore a brooch given to her in 1948 — the last time London hosted the Olympics and four years before her accession to the throne.
"For her to come through and meet the athletes, and see where we're living, it was amazing," said Rose Anderson, 24, a member of the women's basketball team.
"She went inside one of the athletes' bedrooms and chatted to us. It was just awesome, especially after last night," she said.
— Shawn Pogatchnik — Twitter http://twitter.com/ShawnPogatchnik
SOLO TWITTER SPAT
Outspoken U.S. goaltender Hope Solo isn't happy about former player Brandi Chastain's commentary on NBC, and she's tweeting about it.