London Olympic opening ceremony

London Olympics feared opening ceremony cyber attack

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Fears that the lights would be turned off by a cyber attack during the London Olympic opening ceremony led to extensive precautions from officials, according to the BBC.

The head of cyber security for the 2012 Games was woken on July 27, 2012, the day of the opening ceremony, at 4:45 a.m. by a phone call.

“There was a suggestion that there was a credible attack on the electricity infrastructure supporting the Games,” Olympic cyber security head Oliver Hoare told BBC Radio 4. “And the first reaction to that is, ‘Goodness, you know, let’s make a strong cup of coffee.'”

The initial response to the threat came from the Olympic Cyber Co-ordination Team (OCCT), based at MI5 headquarters in Thames House.

There were two priorities. The first was to investigate how credible the threat might be. The information had come in overnight and was based on the discovery of attack tools and targeting information that it was thought at the time might relate to the Olympics.

While this investigation continued, officials also put in place contingency plans in case the attack materialised. Time was not on their side. “The clock was absolutely ticking,” recalled Mr Hoare, who worked first for the Olympic Delivery Authority and then the Government Olympic Executive.

Thirty minutes before the opening ceremony, Hoare asked someone for a status update.

“Good news,” he was told. “If the lights go down we can get them up and running regardless within 30 seconds.”

Hoare’s response?

“Thirty seconds at the opening ceremony with the lights going down would have been catastrophic in terms of reputational hit,” he said. “So I watched the opening ceremony with a great deal of trepidation.”

Hoare did so at his home with his family, twitching every time the lights dimmed.

Medals shattered at World University Games

Olympians added to New York City Marathon field

Dathan Ritzenhein
Getty Images
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Two Americans will go from the Rio Olympic track next month to the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6.

Kim Conley, who made her second Olympic 5000m team earlier this month, will debut in the marathon less than three months after her event final in Rio. The full American field for the race is here.

Conley joins fellow two-time Olympian Molly Huddle in making a 26.2-mile debut in New York. Huddle announced her entry June 9, following a trend of recent great U.S. distance runners, and one month later won the Olympic Trials 10,000m.

The New York field will also include Dathan Ritzenhein, a 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympian who failed to make the Rio team. Ritzenhein was the fastest American at the 2015 Boston Marathon in seventh place (2:11:20) but dropped out of the Olympic Trials marathon on Feb. 13 around mile 20.

Sara Hall, the wife of the retired Ryan Hall (fastest American marathoner of all time), will make her New York City Marathon debut on Nov. 6 as well. Sara Hall was the top American at the London Marathon on April 24 in 12th place.

More Rio Olympians could still be added to the New York City Marathon field.

MORE: The story behind Estonia’s Olympic marathon triplets

Anderson Varejao doubtful for Olympics, report says

Anderson Varejao
AP
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The Brazil men’s basketball team may be down two of its top four scorers from the 2012 Olympics.

Golden State Warriors big man Anderson Varejao is likely to be withdrawn from the Rio roster (named last week) due to a back injury, according to ESPN.com.

Varejao’s absence would further deplete Brazil in the frontcourt. The team is already without Atlanta Hawks big man Tiago Splitter, who underwent NBA season-ending hip surgery in February.

Splitter and Varejao were the third- and fourth-leading scorers on Brazil’s 2012 Olympic team that was eliminated in the quarterfinals after not qualifying for the Games in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

The Rio roster includes four other NBA players — Leandro Barbosa, Marcelo HuertasNenê and Raul Neto.

MORE: Tony Parker leads 5 NBA players on France roster