In your daily recap of Olympics news: the Games lose a big name, a strike threatens London's aiports, and how to make the sounds of the Games realer than real.
- Defending men's tennis gold medalist from 2008, Rafael Nadal, has dropped out of the Olympic tennis tournament, saying he is "not in the right physical condition" and that a "better prepared" teammate should take his place. Roger Federer, who just won Wimbledon (on the same courts where the Olympics will be played) has to be the big favorite now. [Eurosport]
- Need more travel nightmares on your journey to London? U.K. immigration officials might be willing to oblige after they voted in favor of a strike and are threatening to walk out during the middle of the Olympics. The move would effectively shut down the nation's airports and ports during the biggest influx of foreign tourists since the Norman Conquest. Hmm, that might become a problem.... [The Wall Street Journal]
- In other travel news, there's controversy brewing with regard to the Japanese soccer teams. In particular, the men's team flies business class to the Olympics, but the women's team flies coach. "The president of the JFA said on Wednesday that for him to consider upgrading the women to business class on the return flight, the women would have to win gold." The reason given is that the men have a professional league, but the fact that the women are, arguably, better, is just one reason we're likely to be hearing more about this in coming days. [The New York Times; The Wall Street Journal]
- Boston.com's excellent "Big Picture" has an equally excellent collection of photos of athletes in training for their big Olympic moment. [Boston.com]
- Former sprint champion turned TV analyst Michael Johnson says that South Africa's double amputee runner Oscar Pistorius should not be allowed to compete against other runners due to the carbon fiber prosthetics that are now his lower legs. Johnson, who still holds the world record in Pistorius' event (the 400-meters) says it's still not clear whether his springy limbs give him an advantage or not. Of course, Johnson also said last month that the descendants of slaves have "superior athletic genes," so his scientific credentials aren't the greatest. [CNN]
- Here's a fascinating article on how TV producers capture sounds during Olympic events — and then fake it when they can't get the audio to sound "real" enough. [The Atlantic]
- The IOC, which is notorious for ruthlessly guarding what it considers to be its property, says it will be pretty lenient about letting fans upload their videos and pictures to social media sites. They have numerous restrictions in place to prevent commercial companies from profiting off the Games, but will look the other way fan just trying to have fun. How generous. [The Wall Street Journal]