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London Olympics diary: Quirky moments around the Games

  • 31 July 2012
  • From the section UK

The Olympic Games is all about very serious sport but there are plenty of asides and anecdotes as well.

Here's what we've found so far on day four.

A girl of few words

According to her headteacher, schoolgirl Ruta Meilutyte is normally "a right little chatterbox".

But the 15-year-old Lithuanian, who trains alongside Tom Daley at Plymouth College, was all but lost for words after winning gold at the 100m breast-stroke on Monday evening.

In her interview with BBC Sport's Sharron Davies a few moments after winning, a shell-shocked Ruta spoke less than 35 words.

"I can't believe it... It's too much for me," she says, her hand to her mouth in surprise.

Asked what she would like to say to her father she responds: "Um, can I say in Lithuanian? Ačiū, aš myliu," adding: "I said, 'thank you, I love you'".

Did the false start bother you, asks Davies: "No... I can't believe it," she exclaims, fingers, complete with national flag decorated nails, fluttering to her mouth once more.

Watch the race and the interview.

Can't buy me love

Going for a song: Paul McCartney and other headline artists were paid the nominal sum of £1 for performing at the London 2012 opening ceremony, organisers confirm.

Smurf turf

That's the nickname for the London 2012 hockey pitch. Can't think why...

Pop pickers

Appropriately, Van Halen's Jump is among the tracks played during the break at the equestrian eventing final.

Meanwhile over at the handball, Sit Down by James blares out each time a player gets a suspension or time out, Helen Barnard from St Neots, tells us.

Royal approval

The rules - "no swearing, no kicking, no punching" are flashed up on a screen so that any crowd members new to the sport understand water polo.

For what those rules are worth, one attendant says: "What goes on under the water stays under the water" in this full-on contact sport.

One spectator who won't need them is the Duke of Cambridge, who slipped relatively unnoticed in to the arena to watch Britain take on Serbia. He used to play the sport.

He sat in the stands with other players cheering on Team GB after earlier watching his cousin Zara Phillips compete in the Equestrian event at Greenwich Park.

Mane event

The cast of hit West End show War Horse has appeared at the Olympic Park, as equestrian eventing got under way over in Greenwich.

Lifesize puppet Joey the horse was accompanied by his handler and Captain Nicholls, played by actor Alex Avery.

Buffed up

Steve in Hemel Hempstead tells us: "I was at the men's road race on Saturday and just before the medal ceremony I saw the assistants cleaning the shoes of the medal and flower bearers. Nothing was left to chance here, spick and span."

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