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EYES ON LONDON: An opening-ceremony interloper, concern over empty seats _ and London rain
LONDON (AP) Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:
OUT OF STEP
One woman stood out during India's walk through Olympic Stadium at the opening ceremony. That's because she wasn't supposed to be there.
Friday night's party crasher was not wearing the yellow and white dress that every other Indian woman was wearing in the group, yet still managed to situate herself next to flag bearer Sushil Kumar at the front of the line as they walked around the stadium.
Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London organizers, says he plans to meet with the Indian delegation to discuss what happened.
"She was a cast member who clearly got slightly overexcited," Coe says. "She shouldn't have been there."
Coe also insists she posed no danger to the Indian team or the proceedings because, as a cast member for the opening ceremony program, she had to go through all the security measures to get into the park that everyone else does.
"She shouldn't have been in the opening ceremony," Coe says, "but don't run away with the idea that she walked in off the street."
Jon Krawczynski Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APkrawczynski
EYES FOR HER NATION
When it comes to showing patriotism, Daniele Hypolito gets bonus points for originality.
The Brazilian gymnast wore eye shadow in the colors of her flag during Sunday's qualifying session green in the corner, yellow in the middle and a big swath of blue on the outer edge. AP Photographer Matt Dunham caught her in a moment with her eyes closed to showcase the color display.
Nancy Armour Twitter: http://twitter.com/nrarmour
THAI HIGH HOPES
One family from west London visiting the ExCel on Sunday are more than a little excited to be here they couldn't get tickets in the British balloting system and had almost given up hope. Then friends back in Thailand told them about a Thai agency with tickets available, and they jumped on them.
"The price of the ticket was a little bit higher than from the British ticket website, but it is a once in a lifetime experience," says Vichayaporn Varasit, 13, as her family surrounds her and chants, "Thailand, Thailand!" The group of 10 are all heading into Arena 2 to see Thai boxer Saylom Ardee take on Gani Zhailauov from Kazakhstan.
"We live in London," Vichayaporn says, "but we are definitely here to see Thailand."
Check out the Varasit family here: http://www.whosay.com/fergusbell/photos/208514
Fergus Bell Twitter http://twitter.com/fergb
Now that's a photo op.
An Olympic technician got a special souvenir from Britain's Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, just after she rode her dressage test Saturday in the equestrian eventing competiton at Greenwich Park.
He stopped a relaxed and smiling Phillips as she walked back to the stables with her husband, British rugby star Mike Tindall, and asked for a picture with her. Tindall obliged by taking the camera himself and making the snap.
Phillips had just performed her dressage test in front of an enthusiastic and partial British crowd hoping for another medal for the home team. While Phillips' dressage score was respectable, she asserted that her horse High Kingdom was looking forward to jumping the cross-country course Monday, a specialty of his.
"I think he wants to get out there now," Phillips said to reporters. "He's a bit bored with dressage."
RAIN OR SHINE
Conditions: dreary. Seats: lots of empty ones.
The women's road race began Sunday on the Mall outside Buckingham Palace under gloomy conditions that left plenty of opening seats on the grandstands lining the route.
There was a massive crack of thunder during the rider sign-in that sent fans scurrying for cover, and only a few hundred people were around to watch a dance troupe perform before the start.
It's the second straight Olympics the women will have raced in the rain.
Nicole Cooke of Britain managed to survive a downpour in Beijing four years ago to win Olympic gold. She was among four riders for the home nation on Sunday attempting to deliver the medal that eluded their powerhouse men's team on Saturday.
David Skretta Twitter http://twitter.com/APdaveskretta
Nothing like a beach to bring out the party atmosphere at the Olympics.
Nothing like the rain to spoil it.
Brazil was playing Austria in the third beach volleyball match of the day on Sunday, with the sun reflecting off the golden numbers on the Horse Guards Parade clock tower. Seconds later dark clouds moved in, the temperatures dropped and a clap of thunder drew a collective gasp from the crowd.
The game continued as the fans pulled on their rain gear and the P.A. announcer encouraged them to keep cheering despite the "liquid sunshine."
Many headed for shelter.
Jimmy Golen Twitter: http://twitter.com/jgolen
THAT EMPTY FEELING
The London organizing committee's chief says some Olympic visitors can expect seat upgrades to help address many empty seats in the preliminary rounds of the first few events. Coe says military personnel are already filling some of those empty seats and local teachers and schoolchildren are being offered some.
Coe is downplaying the issue Sunday, saying it is common for preliminary rounds to have empty seats in the sponsored areas. Some are simply trying to pick and choose between many events through a day and he expects the numbers to increase as the games go on.
"This is not unfamiliar in the preliminary rounds," Coe says. "I'm not sure naming and shaming is what we're into at the moment."
Overall, 8 percent of the tickets available go to sponsors and 75 percent to the British public, Coe says.
They also could start selling more tickets. Coe says an additional 1,000 were sold on Saturday.
Jon Krawczynski Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski
"One of the lessons that we took away ... is that full stadia create the best atmosphere. It's best for the athletes, it's more fun for spectators and it's been an absolute priority." British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt on reports of empty seats at venues. He says London organizers had learned from the 2008 games in Beijing, which had problems filling some venues because of the high cost of tickets.
The young girls wore long sequined dresses of the British flag, flag-patterned leggings and flags draped over their shoulders as shawls. Then, there were the wigs one curly in their country's colors, the other long and straight. And don't forget the glasses in the same spirit, and their flag-painted faces.
Ciara Whitnall, 9, and her 7-year-old sister, Caitlin, woke up at 6 a.m. Sunday to prepare their outfits for a day at swimming to cheer star countrywoman Rebecca Adlington alongside parents Jamey and Michelle.
"Looking cool, guys," one police officer said with a smile.
These two posed for some 15 photographs Saturday while watching the cycling road race in their Putney neighborhood of London. They had already been stopped a half-dozen more times Sunday before entering the Aquatics Centre.
"We've seen the Olympic Stadium in real life, and we've seen it on TV," Ciara said, noting she had so far tuned in for tennis, archery and table tennis.
Janie McCauley Twitter http://twitter.com/janiemccAP
NO DANCING SHOES
There will be no waltz, samba or quick step this year for Misty May-Treanor.
The beach volleyball star has been hoping to get an invite back to "Dancing With the Stars" ever since her 2008 run on the show ended when she ruptured her Achilles tendon while rehearsing.
When she learned there was an all-star show in the works, she expressed her desire for one of the slots on Facebook and elsewhere. But when the roster was announced earlier this week, her name wasn't there.
"It would have been great," she says, "but if they don't want me that's fine."
Treanor-May has plenty to keep her mind off the disappointment. She and partner Kerri Walsh Jennings won their first match Saturday night in what May-Treanor says will be her final professional tournament.
Jenna Fryer Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer
The family's arriving. And not just any family.
Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, has a few royal fans in the stands for her Olympic equestrian debut.
The Duke of Edinburgh, the queen's husband, as well as Phillip's mother, Princess Anne, are in the VIP seats at Greenwhich Park for the eventing dressage competition.
Phillips is riding in the dressage competition. Eventing combines the discipline of dressage with the skill of show jumping and the endurance and bravery of cross country.
Nicole Winfield Twitter http://www.twitter.com/nwinfield
EDITOR'S NOTE "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item, and get even more AP updates from the Games here: http://twitter.com/AP_Sports