London 2012 Olympic Report

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by andyjeffries, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    Here are my thoughts/memories on the Olympic Taekwondo at London 2012. This may be too detailed on the overall experience for some (sorry, but I wanted to put it all down "on paper" as I have a rubbish long-term memory) and not enough detailed on the individual fights (I have the BBC footage for that).


    My thoughts from being at the event:


    I went to two sessions for Taekwondo and the experience was 99% uniform for both. I'll describe the afternoon session on the first day of competition. Three students and I turned up to the ExCel at about 1:30pm for a 3:00pm start. They let you in to the holding area an hour before the competition starts, so we walked around the ExCel for the first thirty minutes. There was a great buzz there and it was crazy busy (at the same time there was wrestling and boxing events happening as well as the sold-out Taekwondo).


    We found the London 2012 merchandise shop but were a bit disappointed with the selection available (stall would be a more applicable word than shop), our local supermarkets had a wider choice of items. This killed a bit of time though. We walked back through to the Taekwondo arena and had our picture taken underneath the Taekwondo sign at the entrance (as a bit of a souvenir that we were there) and went through to the holding area.


    In the holding area there was another mechandise shop and places to get a drink/ice cream/pastie and a programme. The disappointment here was that there were no Taekwondo vendors. Quite a few of the guys at our club have Daedo uniforms with the Beijing 2008 logo and were hoping for a London 2012 dobok, but nothing of the sort. The only Taekwondo-branded item was a London 2012 T-shirt with the Taekwondo logo as a postage stamp. Previous competitions (including our recent visit to the European Championships a few months earlier in Manchester) all had a number of vendors selling Taekwondo gear.


    While we waited for our session to open, they were running a replay of the morning's action on a massive projection screen (if I had to guess, I'd say 20-30 feet across). This was great as it allowed us to catch up on the preliminary action before we saw those same fighters progress through the quarter and semi-finals.


    At about 2:30 we were told the doors were opening so we went and queued up to get in to our part of the arena. 5 minutes later we were inside and taking our seats. After a few London 2012 promotional videos on the 8 big screens around the arena, the WTF Demonstration Team came out and did their bit. It's a shame this didn't start at 3pm rather than before as a lot of people missed out as they were still coming to the event for the 3pm start. What is interesting to note is that I was there for two sessions and saw two different demonstrations from them. I don't know if they had lots prepared or had two they alternated and I was lucky.


    We then had a couple of short presentations on the rules of Taekwondo, how to score, etc. These went down well as there were quite a few people in the crowd around us that weren't Taekwondoin so they appreciated the introduction to the sport.


    Then we were in to the action. As I said at the start, I won't describe any of the fights. I've already described the latest rule changes and my thoughts on them after the Euros, but I still agree with my thoughts then - the rule changes have made it a much better sport for non-Taekwondoin spectators.


    The announcer in the stadium did a good job of explaining what video replays were for (as the referee told the video judges and they told the announcer before going to review it). During the video replays, we in the stadium often (not 100%) saw the view the video judges had, as they swapped angles we saw it, as they scrubbed back and forth we saw it. They could have done with some graphics or text to explain the rule at the same time as the replay was happening, e.g. "Blue is claiming a 3 point head kick was missed. The rule is that the foot must strike below the ankle above the opponents collar bone and the kicker must not intentionally fall afterwards" or something to that effect.


    The only negative I have is about the Daedo graphics. It was great that they had two TVs at each corner of the ring, back-to-back so wherever you are in the arena you could see one. However, the problem is that the displays look like they were designed by someone with no UX or design experience. For example, I know what the "T" and "3" icons coming up alongside the points were, but I had to explain it to multiple people (my wife included) on the two sessions. I also know about the power scores (the value that shows the current setting and the momentarily flashed up versions that show the last strike score) but these weren't obvious to others. For some reason, the last strike scores were cleared much quicker than at the Euros too, I think this was a step back.


    Daedo should invest in having a decent design/UX company re-do their displays to make them more spectator friendly. This really lets down a great system.


    On the whole though, it was a great experience being at the events. Everyone (those in my group and those groups around us) seemed to really enjoy it.


    My thoughts on BBC coverage:


    The BBC did an excellent job throughout the Olympics. I've watched most of the fights on the TV or via the website or iPhone app (including watching the finals live on the way home from our afternoon session). The commentary was generally excellent. They could probably have done with integrating the same information shown on the Daedo displays in to the presentation some how (and they'd probably do a nicer version) as the information shown is very useful, but that's a minor point.
     
  2. rlobrecht

    rlobrecht Brown Belt

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    Thanks Andy. I'm jealous that you got to experience it in person, but I'm happy with the coverage I was able to watch online and on TV.

    My son also has a 2008 Beijing dobok, and I've been searching online for TKD Olympic souvenirs, but have been disappointed.
     
  3. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    Glad you had a great time. I have to agree that the BBC broadcast was very good. Way better than the two bafoones that did the American broadcast. Maybe I will be in RIO watching my kids compete next year. Lucky you.
     
  4. d1jinx

    d1jinx Master Black Belt

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    pretty cool. I would have liked to seen it live also. Sounds like you had a good time and from what i watched live, it seemed like a smooth operation and everything went well. Granted I didnt watch all day long, but the few hours i did watch it seem to be run rather well. I would say this was a more successful Olympic competition that i have ever watched. I also have not heard of any PSS issues. Are you aware if there were any? Everything seemed to be great, including the video replay. I noticed the stands were PACKED as well.

    my only complaint, was during 1 of the live streams before the medals, there was a demonstration. the boneheads left the video run from the far corner and everything was not very well seen. they could have left the video feed in the center. the ring was far and the camera never moved.

    Congrats Andy on a fun experience. I'm jelly.
     
  5. RobinTKD

    RobinTKD Blue Belt

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    Good to see your thoughts coincided with mine Andy, I had pretty much the same experience. What days and sessions did you go to? I was there for the Wednesday evening session (8-11.15pm), didn't see any British fighters, but the standard of fighting I did see was great, especially from Thailand and China.
     
  6. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    At one point one of the hogus lost contact, it was resolved within a minute (new batteries in the back by the looks of it) and then all was well. That was the only incident I saw in two sessions (and the live footage I've sat through). I think that counts as an absolute success.

    Thanks mate.
     
  7. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    I had Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. I thought the Chinese and Taiwan fighters were great. Spanish generally did really well too (aside from their medals, talking about their performances).
     
  8. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    They changed out the sensor complete. No batteries to change, the sensor has an internal battery that you charge like an iPhone, you can not replace the batteries.123
     

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