I just love the way the Bing Homepage is my daily reminder of what is going in the UK and indeed the world. I noticed this weekend that the Winter Olympics had kicked off. It is amazing to see the wide range of countries and sportspeople who participate in these grueling events. Now let’s be honest, the Winter Olympics doesn’t really get the same public support in the UK as for example the summer Olympics or the World Cup.
In fact, how many of you Brits out there could name any of our Olympic squad this year or even any of our past Winter Olympians?
I asked a few of my friends down the pub on Saturday night and the best we could come up with was our beloved Eddie, ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. He was the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping in Calgary in 1988. He was also the world number nine in amateur speed skiing (106.8 mph) and the stunt jumping world record holder (10 cars/6 buses). I remember the whole country rallying around the spectacled superhero’s Olympic debut in my youth. It was definitely his personality rather than his sporting prowess which brought him the fame. Check out this Eddie the Eagle video for a nice trip down memory lane.
Here we are again 22 years later and another team of British hopefuls is competing for our country. I wanted to find out more about what’s in store for them. Luckily Bing had already done the work for me with a series of new Olympic themed features. Search for 2010 Winter Games to visualise the vast array of snowy and icy events on offer. Search on 2010 winter games medals if you want to do a quick medal check or check out Team GB from one of the links. Gillian Cooke from our female bobsleigh team definitely needs more support after her spectacular wardrobe malfunction. (Sorry I couldn’t resist!)
Switzerland is in the lead this evening with three gold medals… but they do have snowy Alps and should be good at skiing! If there was a sport for umbrella dodging whilst in pouring rain, we Brits would definitely get the gold.
Of course, only a select few of us get to attend the Winter Games to support the team in person. However, those smart folks in our maps team have created this really neat map app that allows you to see what is going on at each venue and feel the ambiance through a combination of news, maps, tweets and photos. Check it out here. From the welcome pane, click on the venues, select number 1 for the Canada Hockey Place then Zoom in on the info box to see where it is all happening. If you are interested in learning more about the technologies in play here then I recommend reading the recent spatial search post in the Search Blog. I think this is really cool…. ice cool.
Ok, after hours of watching frozen athletes you may get the urge to splurge the cash on a ski holiday. If so, please check the snow first. Whistler may be a tad packed just now J I was looking at the snow forecast for Meribel at the weekend and it reports pure powder. Remember if you are thinking about buying a new snowboard this year, you may want to do your research online first. The combination of bright white snow, mulled wine and bumps on the head can affect your ability to haggle on the slopes. Sound familiar?
You never know, with all the gear, some ideas and millions of hours of practice, you could be in team GB at the Winter Games in 2014!
À bientôt – Marie