Africa Geographic Travel

New Fifty Fifty episode – London’s Green Olympics

The countdown has begun with mere days until the London Olympics 2012! (27 July) Athletes around the world have been training to get the gold but London Olympics have gone green.

Green Olympics

This year the Olympics are going green! © 50|50

The Ancient Olympic Games were a series of competitions held between representatives of several city-states and kingdoms from Ancient Greece, which featured mainly athletic but also combat and chariot racing events. The origin of these Olympics is shrouded in mystery and legend. One of the most popular myths identifies Heracles and his father Zeus as the progenitors of the Games.

According to legend, it was Heracles who first called the Games “Olympic” and established the custom of holding them every four years. A legend persists that after Heracles completed his twelve labors, he built the Olympic stadium as an honor to Zeus. The Ancient Games featured running events, a pentathlon (consisting of a jumping event, discus and javelin throws, a foot race and wrestling), boxing, wrestling, pankration, and equestrian events.

That was then…these days, the games are as much about sport and athletes performing at Olympic levels as they are about international prowess and making politically correct statements.  This year the message is green!

Derelict industrial buildings and areas of neglect made up a large part of the Brownfield site which was transformed by the ODA into an urban park with world class sporting facilities on the Olympic Park site. Sustainability has been at the heart of the process including the delivery of lightweight venues, the recycling or reuse of waste materials, (90% of construction waste was diverted from landfills and was reused or recycled instead), using concrete with a high recycled content, and delivering materials by rail or water. All kinds of contaminants were removed in a process called remediation and where there once was devastation, beautiful green English gardens and ecosystems now abound!

Green Olympics

Beautiful gardens on the Brownfield Estate © 50|50

Nastia update

Shortly after our broadcast of the tragic bear story in the Ukraine, the same footage was released to the European media, BBC and SKY as well as numerous channels in Germany,Austria and Switzerland who all ran the story. A press conference in Kiev was held for all Ukrainian media under the line “Lutsk zoo tarnishes Ukraines hard work during UEFA 2012”.

Nastia the bear, Ukraine

Nastia, the bear who was confiscated from a zoo in the Ukraine © 50|50

The day before a bear died from unknown causes in Kiev zoo. As a result of the media storm, the authorities immediately gave Four Paws permission to confiscate Nastia, the bear cub who was so brutally removed from the Lutsk Zoo, from her captivity in appalling conditions under “Vladimir’s” the zookeepers watch. Her mother is the next rescue target and too, the other bears at Lutsk zoo (where Nastia was taken from) at least until a temporary decent home can be constructed for the bears at the zoo.

On the 5th July, Nastia was rescued. On the release of the footage to the media, the deputy director ofLutsk zoo drive overnight to Kiev to speak with Four Paws. She was concerned she would lose her job – she made pretty damning allegations about her boss the zoo director. Meanwhile, conflicting statements from the Lutsk zoo director really hasn’t afford them a united front. There have been many twists and turns and reunited mother and cub may not prove that easy…

Nastia the bear, Ukraine

Nastia and her mom ©50|50


Fifty Fifty

© 50|50

Johann deciphers a “crime scene” in the bush in true CSI fashion – piecing the clues together from bits of fur, droppings and bones, Johann re-creates the story of a gory kill that took place under the cover of darkness…


This week’s VeldFokus we see what Mother Nature has to offer hungry animals.  A bat for the appetizer and zebra for mains… what’s for pudding? Watch 50|50 this Monday to find out what other tasty treats are on the bushveld menu.

50| 50

A television programme that has, for twenty-five years, presented the successes and disasters of conservation to South Africa's people. 50|50 has influenced environmental policy, stirred the public against environmental injustices, promoted the work of our dedicated conservationists, and helped to create a stronger awareness of conservation and environmental issues in South Africa. Weekly on a Monday on SABC2 at 7:30pm - 8:30pm Visit the 50/50 website , or follow us on Facebook

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