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The "other" Olympic games
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If you’ve been watching the Olympic soccer competition, chances are good that you’re now in a catatonic state -- drooling on your shirt, immobilized by boredom and trying desperately to suck down enough cans of Red Bull and 5-Hour Energy to keep your peepers open.

Soccer in London got off to a rousing start with a 0-0 tie between Mexico and one of those Koreas -- West Korea, I think, or maybe Southeast Korea. Several more 0-0 ties followed, though one television analyst said he remembered a game back in the 1984 Olympics when one of the teams actually scored a goal.

The other commentator challenged that statement, saying he recalled that the last goal scored in an Olympic soccer game was in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, when America’s Jesse Owens won the 100-meter dash despite taking a quick detour into the soccer stadium and kicking a goal, then returning to the track to win the sprint.

But lo and behold, a couple days ago, Brazil downed Gabon in a slugfest, 1-0, setting a 2012 Olympic soccer scoring record in the process.

Turns out Olympic officials started the soccer competition two days before the opening ceremonies this year, luring people to the games by telling them they were actually coming to a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction.

Lots of people took binoculars.       

Meanwhile, Olympic enthusiasts in London, taking part in a Gallup poll, rated soccer just behind a Mitt Romney speech in terms of excitement.

And speaking of Mitt Romney, he surged into first place in the Olympic put-your-foot-in-your-mouth competition by managing to enrage eight different nations in only two speeches, all the while wearing his signature blue jeans that are supposed to make him look like a cowboy.

(He looks like a politician trying to look like a cowboy.)

Over in the Olympic village, chefs from several countries competed in the hot-sauce-making competition as the tiny island nation of Tobago challenged Tabasco, a small landlocked country near Louisiana. One competitor from El Paso, who gave his name only as Texas Pete, was being questioned by officials who accused him of doping.

And in the east end of London, where the women’s weightlifting competition was taking place, fans expressed surprise that the usual barbell weights had been replaced by female gymnasts from several countries.

A Bulgarian woman weightlifter named Suvlana Retzelsoffer won that competition by hoisting three American gymnasts in one hand and three French ones in the other, for a total of 98 pounds. She was later disqualified for having an over-bushy goatee.

And at 10 Downing Street, home of the British prime minister, a diplomatic melee ensued when the delegation from Yemen became enraged after Norwegian sumo wrestler Sven Ole observed a pole vaulter from Yemen and exclaimed, “Yumpin’ Yiminy.”

Queen Elizabeth II delighted the crowd by actually smiling once, and in a unique nod to anonymity, eight different countries were simultaneously awarded a gold medal tie in the “country so tiny nobody’s ever heard of it before” competition: Comoros, Lesotho, Benin, Burkina Faso, Kiribati, Tonga, Nauru and Timor-Leste, sponsored by the Lipton company.

Otherwise, things remained quiet at the London games, though security was tight and round-the-clock guards were posted at the Olympic village in case any soccer players attempted to break in and score a goal.