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    On Friday, the Mail and Star were good enough to publish a spread of Reeva Steenkamp’s lingerie shots, as befits a family newspaper. If you’re asking what sort of family demands the sexy-ing up of stories about murdered women, I’m drawing a blank. (The provisional wing of the Manson family?) Doubtless they’ll claim they used these pictures because modelling was one of Steenkamp’s jobs – and the next time they illustrate a story about a murdered hairdresser with pictures of her cutting hair, or a murdered student working in the college library, we can treat that justification with something other than a tired: “Bull. Shit.” In this age, many female victims’ social media imprint would yield an image of them at their place of work, and you should totally, totally expect news outlets to use it if the choice comes down to that or a beach snap of them scantily clad.

    Reeva Steenkamp’s corpse was in the morgue, her body was on the Sun’s front page - Marina Hyde

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    Armstrong expressed regret, not sorrow. Politicians and celebs only say “sorry” in absolute extremis. Tony Blair has never said sorry for anything. Rather he too has expressed regret and – on occasion – apologised for having had to take some very difficult decisions. Partly this is a legal matter; if Blair did say sorry for his failures during the war in Iraq, he might just find there were a bunch of lawyers ready to indict him for alleged war crimes. But it’s also semantically important. The word “sorry” – even if said insincerely – carries a sense of personal responsibility. The word “apologise” is much more ambivalent, as it suggests the possibility of some confusion over culpability. As for “regret” … well that’s something even more arm’s length.
- John Crace on Lance Armstrong’s apology to his team Livestrong yesterday
Photograph: Petr Morrison/AP

    Armstrong expressed regret, not sorrow. Politicians and celebs only say “sorry” in absolute extremis. Tony Blair has never said sorry for anything. Rather he too has expressed regret and – on occasion – apologised for having had to take some very difficult decisions. Partly this is a legal matter; if Blair did say sorry for his failures during the war in Iraq, he might just find there were a bunch of lawyers ready to indict him for alleged war crimes. But it’s also semantically important. The word “sorry” – even if said insincerely – carries a sense of personal responsibility. The word “apologise” is much more ambivalent, as it suggests the possibility of some confusion over culpability. As for “regret” … well that’s something even more arm’s length.

    - John Crace on Lance Armstrong’s apology to his team Livestrong yesterday

    Photograph: Petr Morrison/AP

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    In defence of the most misunderstood Olympic sport: dressage

Following on from the idea that you have to be rich is the idea that you need no talent, that the horse does all the work and that consequently, riders don’t need athleticism. This is nonsense. Watch a horse and rider perform dressage from a distance, and the rider looks as if they are hardly moving. Then watch the close-ups of passage, that strange slow motion trot that was originally used in military parades. There is a tremendous amount of movement in passage (take it from me as a rider, the thought of dressage without a sports bra is too painful for words) and so for the rider to create the illusion of sitting still, they must move in synchronicity with the horse. The difference between each movement lies mainly in the use of your hips, legs and core muscles. Even at my low riding level, I have a nicely defined set of abs and the cardiovascular fitness of someone 15 years my junior.

 Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

    In defence of the most misunderstood Olympic sport: dressage

    Following on from the idea that you have to be rich is the idea that you need no talent, that the horse does all the work and that consequently, riders don’t need athleticism. This is nonsense. Watch a horse and rider perform dressage from a distance, and the rider looks as if they are hardly moving. Then watch the close-ups of passage, that strange slow motion trot that was originally used in military parades. There is a tremendous amount of movement in passage (take it from me as a rider, the thought of dressage without a sports bra is too painful for words) and so for the rider to create the illusion of sitting still, they must move in synchronicity with the horse. The difference between each movement lies mainly in the use of your hips, legs and core muscles. Even at my low riding level, I have a nicely defined set of abs and the cardiovascular fitness of someone 15 years my junior.

    Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

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    The happiest-Olympic-worker-gone-viral (above) wrote a lovely piece for us:

    It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to work at the Games. I’m a natural people pleaser, and enjoy making people laugh. When I saw that chair it was like it had a shining light around it, and I thought: this is the perfect opportunity. This is my chair. It was the first time I had a platform to speak to people, and once I was sat up there with the megaphone I just said what came to mind.

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    We don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.

    Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble.

    How could we have missed that? Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith responds to sexist tweets on her blog
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    If there is anyone who embodies the spirit of the Olympic Games on its opening day today, it is Guor Marial, the South Sudanese refugee marathon runner who won his right to compete in London at the 11th hour. Marial lives in the US, but is a man without a passport or a country. He was born in what is now South Sudan, at a time when it was ruled by Sudan. He learned to run fleeing for his life from a Sudanese labour camp in a conflict that claimed the lives of 28 of his relatives. He survived by hiding in a cave, his jaw broken by soldiers. So when the International Olympic Committee offered him the chance to run for Sudan, he declined. Last week, Marial was one of four competitors the IOC cleared to run under the Olympic flag as an independent, but he is in no doubt that he is running for his fledgling country. By Ros Wynne-Jones
    Read about other amazing athletes who have defied the odds here.
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    Too good for us not to make a gif: This morning, Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, could have killed an innocent onlooker with his bell end as he rang it with too much gusto to celebrate the Games starting in London.

    Too good for us not to make a gif: This morning, Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, could have killed an innocent onlooker with his bell end as he rang it with too much gusto to celebrate the Games starting in London.

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    London 2012: what do you think of the Olympic kits?

    The Spanish are really upset about their kits - and with that … thing they have to wear, we can understand them. Are you happy about your nation’s sartorial choice? Do you think it represent your country well?

    [Above: Kits for Russia, USA, UK, Brazil, France]

    Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images for adidas; Ralph Lauren/AP; Misha Japaridze/AP; Cameron Spencer/Getty Images; Sergio Moraes/Reuters; Charles Platiau/Reuters

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    Saman Shad on the rise of “lingerie football”, in which athletes in lingerie play American football:

And so it comes down to this – what will make men watch. Men, as everyone seems to have decided, are by and large the biggest consumers of sport. Any sport, except women’s – unless, they are good-looking and/or under-dressed. While the men’s soccer league in America can afford to have the likes of David Beckham playing in one of its teams, the women’s soccer league has been cancelled. A protracted legal battle and a lack of interest from sponsors and audiences alike meant the league was struggling. If the women don bikinis or lingerie, perhaps their fortunes may turn around? I for one really hope they never have to resort to that.

Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

    Saman Shad on the rise of “lingerie football”, in which athletes in lingerie play American football:

    And so it comes down to this – what will make men watch. Men, as everyone seems to have decided, are by and large the biggest consumers of sport. Any sport, except women’s – unless, they are good-looking and/or under-dressed. While the men’s soccer league in America can afford to have the likes of David Beckham playing in one of its teams, the women’s soccer league has been cancelled. A protracted legal battle and a lack of interest from sponsors and audiences alike meant the league was struggling. If the women don bikinis or lingerie, perhaps their fortunes may turn around? I for one really hope they never have to resort to that.

    Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

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    I’ve spoken to a fair few depressive sportsmen and women and they have told me how much running has done for them. Yes, they were fit beforehand, but they weren’t getting the buzz they needed. Ronnie O’Sullivan took up running to fight his depression, and he is now a highly competitive club runner. “I lie there some mornings and think what’s the point of even getting out of bed? I end up lying there until one in the afternoon. I’ll struggle up, have a cup of tea and that’s pretty much it. Those are the days you just lose,” he told the Guardian’s Donald McRae in 2009. “Running clears my mind, and gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.” Simon Hattenstone writes about a new study which states that depression isn’t alleviated by exercise. He begs to differ
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    Dana Lone Hill: Why the ‘Fighting Sioux’ mascot is not acceptable

I used to wear a Cleveland Indians jersey with pride. Not because I am a Cleveland Indians fan, because I have been a Yankees fan since I was five years old, but because I am an Indian. I used to think, “What’s the big deal? Can’t I be a sports fan and an Indian?”
But over the years, my opinion has evolved. Besides hearing my sons’ thoughts on the subject, I also have met people along the way who had differing views. But it wasn’t only listening to others; it was also the fact that when I have to explain repeatedly who we are, and how we exist in today’s world, it made me realize that most of the world sees us as objects, not as human beings. We don’t all have tomahawks; we don’t all live in tipis; we don’t all have the same rituals, customs, and beliefs. We comprise 500 nationshere in America. We are not all from the same cookie-cutter that was used to make the Indian in The Pilgrim and Indian cookies on Thanksgiving.
Rest here

    Dana Lone Hill: Why the ‘Fighting Sioux’ mascot is not acceptable

    I used to wear a Cleveland Indians jersey with pride. Not because I am a Cleveland Indians fan, because I have been a Yankees fan since I was five years old, but because I am an Indian. I used to think, “What’s the big deal? Can’t I be a sports fan and an Indian?”

    But over the years, my opinion has evolved. Besides hearing my sons’ thoughts on the subject, I also have met people along the way who had differing views. But it wasn’t only listening to others; it was also the fact that when I have to explain repeatedly who we are, and how we exist in today’s world, it made me realize that most of the world sees us as objects, not as human beings. We don’t all have tomahawks; we don’t all live in tipis; we don’t all have the same rituals, customs, and beliefs. We comprise 500 nationshere in America. We are not all from the same cookie-cutter that was used to make the Indian in The Pilgrim and Indian cookies on Thanksgiving.

    Rest here

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    Our columnist Hadley Freeman looks at how the Jeremy Lin row reveals deep-seated racism against Asian-Americans:

    "Chink in the armor" was ESPN’s take not once but twice when the Knicks lost a game last week, both as a headline added by ESPN writer Anthony Federico and then as a phrase used by the anchor Max Bretos (Federico has since been fired and Bretos received a 30-day suspension.) Those two muppets look the height of sophisticated decorum compared with Foxsports.com writer Jason Whitlock, whose response to Lin’s triumph over the Lakers on Friday night was to tweet "Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple inches of pain tonight", a comment notable for being almost more misogynistic than racist. When the Madison Square Garden Network flashed up a photo of Lin, it superimposed it with a fortune cookie, presumably refraining from adding some chopsticks purely because it didn’t have the graphics.

    Welterweight Floyd Mayweather has never been a modern-day Emily Post but his tweeted thought on Lin last week – “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the praise” – was impressive even by his standards. Also, “don’t get the praise”? Come on, Floyd, you came ninth in Dancing with the Stars! How much more praise do you want?

    Nor does one need to look to the morons for examples. The chinstroking journal The Atlantic put forward the charming theory that Lin’s success is due to his “philosophical heritage” – ah, so! And so inscrutable, too!

    • Photograph: Adam Hunger/Reuters

    • Photograph: Mike Cassese/Reuters

    • Spike Lee, a big Lin fan, at Madison Square Garden. Photograph: Andrew Gombert/EPA

    • Lin supporters Photograph: Mike Cassese/Reuters

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    Photographs, clockwise: Bettmann/Corbis; Jess Tan/AP; Bettmann/CORBIS; AP; AP

    In praise of … Muhammad Ali at 70

    It is just over 30 years since he left the ring. And it is almost as long since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease which, ever since, has taunted the supreme athlete he once was. Most of the world’s inhabitants had not been born when he fought his epic contests with Joe Frazier, George Foreman and the American military. Yet Muhammad Ali remains to this day one of the most admired human beings on the planet, perhaps still the most widely loved of us all. This newspaper has never loved professional boxing, but Ali always gloriously transcended his sport, which has struggled to survive without him. That he has reached his 70th birthday after the assaults and ravages that have been inflicted on him is another tribute. A lesser man might have become reclusive, content to live in a well-tended retreat. But Ali never turned his face away. The greatest. The people’s champ. The words still fit him. Happy 70th birthday, Muhammad Ali.

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