London Olympic organizers say former Beatle Paul McCartney and other star performers who took part in Friday’s opening ceremony essentially donated their time – receiving a mere pound ($1.57) – for their performances.
The fee was offered to make the Olympics contracts binding – but pales in comparison to the millions big names such as McCartney can command for a stadium gig.
RULE BLASTED: The coach of reigning world champion gymnast Jordyn Wieber says it’s an “injustice” the American won’t be included in Thursday’s Olympic all-around finals.
Wieber finished fourth during qualifying Sunday but will miss a shot at Olympic gold because international rules only allow two competitors per country in the finals.
Teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas finished ahead of Wieber, leaving the 17-year-old on the outside of a major competition final for the first time as an elite gymnast.
John Geddert, who has coached Wieber during her entire career, called the rule ridiculous.
He said the rule penalizes countries like the U.S. that have deep rosters.
Wieber posted on her Facebook page that it was “hard to explain these feelings” but is honored to be on Team USA.
LET HER WIN FIRST: NBC must really think everybody knows the results before showing a tape-delayed race, or else someone was asleep at the switch. The network ran a Today show promo about interviewing Missy Franklin on her swimming gold medal – just before televising the race.
• The Nielsen company says 36 million people watched NBC’s Olympic coverage Sunday night, the biggest audience for the second night of a non-U.S. summer Olympics competition since TV began covering them in 1960.
Counting the opening ceremonies Friday, an average of 35.8 million people have tuned in for the three nights.
TOUGH LOVE: New Zealand kayaker Mike Dawson made the semifinals of the kayak slalom at the Olympics despite being given a two-second penalty by his mother Kay – who is a judge at the games.
Dawson touched gate five when going down the 18-gate Olympic course Sunday, and his mother didn’t hesitate to penalize her son.
It was one of two 2-second penalties Dawson received, but he still advanced to Wednesday’s semis.
Dawson joked in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Monday that he was tempted to get his coach to put in a protest “about that particular judge.”