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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  July 31, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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carville. how much fun would that be? how much fun would that be to have a computer generated avatar of the ragin' cajun himself telling you how to get to the ch chili's in terminal b. we'll see you again at 10:00 p.m. eastern. with the latest on the fast and furious program. "piers morgan tonight" starts now. tonight, phelps does it. the pride of america shatters the all-time olympic record and proved to the world he's still got that golden touch. plus, making history and raising eyebrow. the teenage chinese phenomenon. is the wonder kid clean? also, the u.s. gymnastics team takes gold. i'm talk to former champ dominique dawes. >> i'll calling these girls the fab five, they were amazing to watch. >> and guarding the games. an exclusive tour aboard the british army's largest warship on watch for terror. >> we have a genuinely secure
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stable environment for athletes and spectators to enjoy a fantastic olympic games. >> the other royal couple, the prince and princess of monaco. marriage, mystique and the legacy of grace kelly. >> she touched the lives of so many people in so many different ways all over the world. >> this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening from london. day four of the 2012 summer olympics. indeed an historic day for the world and for every single american. michael phelps shows everyone he's the best of all-time, swimming his way into the record oks. winning not one but two medals it giving him an astonishing 19 olympic medals. quite extraordinary. it comes as a 16-year-old girl from china wins another gold and leads to more questions about whether her incredible achievements are more than god given. i'm joined now by christine brennan from "usa today" and dominique dawes who was part of
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the dream team. the magnificent seven who last won gymnastic gold for america in 1996. let's talk michael phelps. he's become officially the greatest olympic medal winner in history. what does it mean to any olympic athlete? >> michael phelps has definitely earned every single one of these 19 medals that he's won thus far. it means so much. it's the legacy he's going to leave behind. not just in swimming but in olympics sports and in sports in general. i'm so proud of him. he's from maryland. i've been cheering for him every step of the way. >> christine, it's an extraordinary achievement because the previous record holder, lar ris sa latenina, who's a russian gymnast, last competed in the olympics in 1964. give you some idea just how long ago that was, that's a year before i was born. it's that ages. >> it's 21 years before michael phelps was born. only sad note tonight for michael is he did not win his signature event, the 200 butterfly. this is the event, piers, he was in as a 15-year-old in sydney in
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2000. for michael phelps to be caught at the finish in his signature, his bread and butter race, i'm sure that even though he's very happy about this record -- >> he won't like it. >> no. >> a lot of experts saying tonight he eased up, which is unlike him. as he did, the south african went through hard and that's how he beat him. very unlike michael phelps to let that happen. >> a mistake. he looked upset afterward. people remember four years ago the 100 butterfly where michael caught his competitor right at the very end. the complete reverse of that. ki very disappointing finish for michael. >> do you think he's trained as hard as he did for beijing? do you think the hunger's there? >> no, it can't be there. dominique knows this for sure. he said he didn't want to train. if it's not in the tank, if you haven't put the money in the bank, how do you withdraw it. and i think that's what we're seeing with michael as well. >> about this young chinese swimmer. what do you make of all that's going on with her? a lot of people saying tonight
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until she is proven guilty of doping, why on earth are we debating this? >> we're debating it because of the history of women's swimming. said they weren't doping. it was state sponsored doping, piers. it was well documented. once the wall came down in germany. going back to the '96 olympics in atlanta. everyone was pointing fingers at an irish woman, michelle smith, who came out of the blue to win. sure enough, they were saying it was sour grapes. they were all correct. so time and again when they pointed fingers in women's swimming, more often than not, it has proved to be true and that's what we're seeing here. >> with us now is chen li. with u.s./china relations. what do you mathink is going on here? racial undertones to this? if this was an american swimmer or british swimmer would this debate be on front panels around the world? >> it may not be so much as a
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racial thing. i think it's still unfair to single out a chinese swimmer. because early -- history did not necessarily review things about present. the fact is the chinese government actually has a very tight policy about the doping. they actually test many, many times. the fact is that shiwen was tested recently, just a few hours ago. i think it's unfair to treat a chinese swimmer. also, chinese public acted strongly. they believe this is kind of racial thing. the chinese never doubt about the michael phelps. chinese never doubted other extraordinary performance of the american athletes. in that regard, china may have some point. >> christine brennan, there's no doubt. saying he had the same kind of extraordinary rapid growth and performance. five seconds. when he was 16, 17.
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same age. when you're very young as a swimmer, you can have these alarming jumps in your performance levels. physically, she isn't anything as bulky as the chinese swimmers who did cheat. we remember that from athens and other games. are we giving her a bad rap, do you think? >> well, i don't think we are. i think journalistically it's the right thing to do. michelle smith, an irish swimmer, she got all those questions in 1996. when dora tore rez came back in 2000, i wrote a column saying if she with german we'd ask these questions about her. she didn't like that. there are questions about chinese drug testing. that is the international community asking those very tough questions. it's not the same as some of the drug testing around the rest of the world. and the chinese coming out of the blue, i mean, good for her, i hope she's clean, but the history of the sport says we have to ask these questions. >> cheng li, china in a sense has brought this on itself,
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hasn't it, because there have been so many swimmers discredited in the last 15 years or so. is it really surprising that people would raise an eyebrow of yet another extraordinary out of the world performance? is it not right to at least ask a question? >> china paid a huge price for what they did in the 1990s. because of that, the chinese people and the chinese swimming community feel they should take a very tough policy to what's doping. they caught one or two cases even before that. i don't think it's a systemic approach in contrast to 20 years ago. having said that, i still think it is so unfair to have the audience have speculation about a young swimmer, a rising star, and she is talented and we do not have much evidence but to launch criticism against her, not only me, but many of the people, americans, including some of the leaders,
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administrators of the international olympic committee. also raise that issue. so i think that we -- unless we have some evidence, we should stop criticizing her and we should cheer, we should applaud her extraordinary achievements. >> dominique, you're a great athlete. gymnastics has never been hit by the same kind of doping scandals many of the other sports have at the olympics. there's lots of question marks about usain bolt, about almost everybody who does out of the world achievements. it's very sad to me as a sports fan that the first thought people have when you watch an amazing performance is, is she cheating, is he cheating? when there's no evidence that they are yet. >> i would be -- i'm very sad as well. i couldn't imagine being in a sport like swimming or track and field where you're standing on the block or you're about to take off and you're thinking are your competitors possibly doping, possibly cheating. >> do you think part of this is because china are beating america, winning more gold medals, jealousy maybe? >> could it because china has
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been performing very well. let me also mention china swimming team has not been a surprise victory for the team. because they have been doing consistently well in the past few years. there are some swimmers, really, will be very successful in the years to come. of course we should very vigorously to test the chinese swimmers because of the previous record. because they are doing so well. but before any evidence or any proof, we should stop all these speculations. >> cheng li, thank you very much indeed for joining me. dominique, let's turn to gymnastics. a stunning day after a disappointing day. it's been a disappointing start for the americans till today. michael phelps has revved everybody up. women's gymnastics team scooping gold for the first time since you did it with what was called the magnificent seven. you were the queen of the magnificent seven many people said. an amazing achievement. >> i'm calling these girls the fab five. i've been calling them the fab five for some time now.
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i know i've ripping off that nickname from a basketball team back in the day. i thought they looked prelips. i understand there's an issue about jordan weyn weiber being knocked out of the preround. shannon miller was there working with other reporters. we were just thrilled for these young girls. we are so proud to pass the torch. i'm so tired of hearing about the magnificent seven. i've one of those older athletes that i want to see the younger generation surpass what we've accomplished. >> good for you. >> in my 20s, i have with been so selfish but at 35, not so much. >> i interviewed ali riceman. she's a remarkable young woman. incredibly confident. gabby, again, another brilliant young gymnast. are we seeing a real resurgence now do you think in gymnastics for the american team?
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>> absolutely. i think it's the system that mar that carrolly, it's his system. national system. mind and body. get them all together. train as one. 12 different performances. three gymnasts on each of the four rotations, piers. they were flawless. just a tiny bobble here or there. >> i felt sad for jim aroseco. i really felt for him. weight of america on his shoulders. i suddenly saw the huge pressure this these young kids feel. >> it was a disappointing performance out of the guys. john aroseco, great kid, puerto rican guy until the bronx. it was disappointing for them in the team finals. however, i do feel as if those two guys have an opportunity to redeem themselves in the
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allaround competition and i think they'll do just that. >> good to see america firing on all cylinders. i think the china/american battle is going to be great. i can't wait to see how it all ends up. thank you both for joining me it i really appreciate it. watching the terror. our exclusive look behind the scenes with britain's security forces as i go aboard the royal navy's largest warship. we're at the exclusive el chorro lodge in paradise valley, arizona, where tonight we switched their steaks with walmart's choice premium steak. it's a steakover! this is perfect. the meat is really good. one of the best filets i've had. see look how easy that is to cut. these are perfectly aged for flavor and tenderness. you're eating walmart steaks.
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munich, 1972. atlanta, 1996. the foreiunfortunate datelines. a small army making sure nothing like that can happen in london. led by an elite team. the largest warship in the british royal navy fleet. it sits on the river thaimmes wh attack helicopters at the ready. i was taken for an exclusive tour of the vessel.
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>> every time we set sail, we do something unique. this is just another example of that. >> what is the nightmare scenario to deal with for you? >> there isn't really. we've contingency plans for every possible scenario. >> the particular thing i was told the army was, i'm not sure it applies to all of them, but they'll be snipers in the back. their job will be to intercept? >> there's a rang of capabilities we can put in the back of this aircraft. that is but one of them. there's a lot of surprises we can deliver. >> sergeant kevin hayes keeps them flying. these helicopters could be the fastest rapid response tool you have, right? >> that's correct. helicopter is highly versatile. it holds the world speed record of just under 200 miles per hour. these aircraft can be scrambled in a matter of moments to capture any aircraft.
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>> these at the moment down here, there are two that are currently ready to go. they can take off how fast? >> in a matter of moments. sliding door. lots of space. and we can fit weapons systems and our snipers will be operating from this space. >> if troops need to response by water there are crack marines on board like alex morgan. this extraordinary looking beast, what is it? >> it's used to transport troops to a beach head. as royal marines. that's what these things are used for. >> if there was a major incident down at the olympics, you could get here pretty quickly, right? the. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. these things are capable of shooting up and down the river quite quickly. >> you guys are basically aimed for the teeth if you need to be? >> absolutely. >> the captain is andrew benton.
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this ship was in libya, in war action last year. now it's here for the olympics primarily at the moment. what's the difference in terms of what you do as the captain? >> it is the royal navy's largest ship. but she is incredibly versatile. on the face of it, the task of libya is completely different to what we're doing here in london. but actually, the detail reality, the day to day nuts and bolts of our business is about launching and recovering aircraft. >> is this the biggest operation you can remember for a domestic situation? because i can't remember one as big as this in totality. >> as an arm of government, the uk armed forces are responsible 365 days a year to help secure our homeland. but a discrete operation, the olympic festival, whether that's the olympic games or the pair of olympic games is certainly the largest security operation i've ever seen. >> would you say from all your experience that we're ready?
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>> very much so. >> the military maxim. the army travels on its stomach. the man running the chow line. let's get down to logistics. >> at the moment, we've got just over 1,000 people on board. we've got an extra 600 people that we're feeding. on a 24-hour period. >> that's english -- >> english. >> this is like eggs, bacon, sausa sausage. the whole works. >> they don't have to have that. they can have cereals and toast if they prefer to. >> a message for anyone thinking of stirring up trouble at the games. >> stay on couch and watch it on tv. >> don't mess with you guys. >> absolutely not. >> next, my candid interview with monica's royal couple. from their olympic past to their new life together. [ male announcer ] every day, thousands of people are choosing advil® for their headaches.
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prince william and his bride
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catherine aren't the only royal couple in britain for the olympics. so are prince albert and princess of monaco. they have a lot to say about living in the public eye. i sat down with them for a surprisingly honest interview. we're here in london for the olympics. here is a fascinating fact that many of my viewers may not be aware of. you have both competed at the olympic games. >> yes. it was great to -- well, it was a wonderful moment for me and i think for charlene too but it was great that sport brought us together 'cause -- >> you were in five games. in the monaco bob sleigh tem team. bobsled as they say in america. you were the guy in front in a
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four-man bobsled. it looked absolutely terrifying to me. is it as terrifying to do it? >> you know, i've often said that anyone who's done bob sleigh, fetespecially as a driv if they weren't scared once during their career, they weren't real bobsledders. you learn to overcome that fear. your job is to beat that track. and to make sure your sleigh gets down safely. and the crew is down safely in a fast time. >> you are an olympic swimmer. >> was. >> you always are, once you? once you've competed in the olympics, for the rest of your life, you can say, "i was an olympic swimmer." >> once an olympian, always an olympian. >> tell me about your swimming career. >> i started swimming when i was 8 years old. i competed for zimbabwe. i had the dream to go to the
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olympics when i was 8 years old. my mom wallas with a div s witw. i drew a lot of inspiration from her. i managed to get to the olympic games, sydney. >> you have two horses in the race for the olympics. there's six i heard? >> we have six athletes. >> six athletes. obviously, a number of south africans competing. you'll be supporting both i presume. i went to johannesburg just before the soccer world cup and i've had the great honor of interviewing else in be m ining. incredible changes in your country. what do you feel about south africa today? >> i'm always optimistic about south africa. south africans are great people. it's a beautiful country. a lot of talented athletes and people. so yeah, i -- >> you must have met nelson mandela. remarkable man.
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>> yes, in fact, i met him, the first time, we were a small group of ioc members going to check on the cape town bid for the olympics. and he received us in his office. victoria. it was just an incredible meeting. could sense the incredible personality and the -- the essence of what he was all about. and that he was -- >> i loved his humor, too. a funny man as well. >> absolutely. >> he was a very simple man. very smart in the way he united a country through a simple game of sport. south africa was never the same after the '95 world cup rugby. and, you know, he's an enthusiastic sports person. was a sports person himself. and, you know, i just think -- >> it was in monaco that -- f the sports awards that he --
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wonderful speech that he made that evening, that he said sport has the power to unite the world. and that's exactly what -- what we are trying to do in the international olympic committee. but -- support organizations all over the world. but he was the first one to really coin that phrase. >> yeah, he was. what about president obama? he's coming near the end of his first term. he's obviously battling for re-election in november. you've met him. what do you think of him? >> yes, i met him at the united nations a couple of years ago. and was really struck by his personality and -- very engaging person. i met michelle obama also. i think he's -- considering the circumstances. overall world economic slowdown that he's managed pretty remarkably well. >> what do you think of america
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as a country today? because they're struggling a little bit i think with their identity. no longer the only super power. what do you think? >> well, i think america -- we still look up to america in many ways. many areas. but of course the world is -- the world is changing. the world is -- there are other powers that are coming into -- into their own of course. we think of china. at the forefront of that. but there's not only china. there are other countries in asia or in different parts of the world that are developing at a very rapid pace. and so america still has a lot of work to do to be competitive, to assert its place and to find its dominant position in the world. i think it's an incredible
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country, you know. wonderful country. >> i want to talk about your mother, princess grace. obviously, for an american audience, they still hold your mother in the deepest of affections. i'd like to discuss it with you. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] gillette. the best a man can get.
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i will also retain my american citizenship. >> does that go for your children too? >> i don't know about that as yet. >> prince albert, that was your mother, princess grace, talking before she got marry to your father, prince rainier. she was talking there about having children. already she was having to think about american citizenship and so on. your mother was an extraordinary woman. fabulously talented actress. and she became this impossibly glamorous princess. and the whole world fell in love with her. her life was cruelly ended so young at 52. what do you think she would have made of the way that you have conducted yourself since you had to take over the reins of the palace? >> first of all, i can't believe
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it's already 30 years since her passing. i still think of her every day. and i hope that she would be proud of me. and proud of what i tried to achieve in the last 30 years. >> you were 24 when she died. >> uh-huh. >> i would imagine the memories of that awful day are very acute for you. >> uh-huh. >> but for those who didn't know your mother, how would you describe her? >> she was the most warm, gracious, engaging person. of course, very -- very close to all of us. an incredible mother. but just an incredibly generous person. in heart and spirit. and she touched the lives of so many people in so many different ways all over the world. >> do you have any american citizenship because of your
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mother? >> i never actually had a passport but i had a paper that said when i was to travel to the united states, i shouldn't be considered as a foreign citizen. so it was that kind of dual -- unofficial dual citizenship that i had for years. and then i gave it up when i became 21, which was then the legal age in monaco. but i've never felt foreign, never felt as a foreign land to me. i've always felt very -- not only proud of my american heritage, not only very -- very close to it, but i spent a lot of time over there. >> you celebrated your first anniversary with two great royal weddings. this was the big one. how's it going, princess charlene? >> very well, thank you. >> life is good as princess
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charlene? >> busy. a lot more busier. yeah, it's going great. >> when you come into it, as indeed princess grace had to do, what is the culture shock? what is the reality of entering a royal family? >> well, from what i've experienced, it's very busy. a lot of responsibilities. and yeah it. >> a lot of engamements. >> yeah, a lot of engagements, a lot of functions. >> what's the best bit? >> the best bit? >> other than being married to this charming, handsome prince? >> i get to wear a tiara now and then. >> every woman wants to wear a tiara. i bet they're dallasing tiaras, aren't they, in monaco? >> little girls say, where's your tiara? you're a real princess? yes, i am. >> did you ever dream of that when you were a little girl yourself, think, one day, i want to be a princess, marry a
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handsome prince? >> i wanted to be zahra. >> you've had a hard time from the press. it's such a huge high-profile thing to be marrying prince albert. all the expectation of people in monaco and around the world and so on. had you dashing to the airport before the wedding, that kind of thic thing. briefly tell me about that. >> i think it was only because we wanted the truth to be known and to come out and so that's why we felt compelled to take action against -- i guess against that magazine, but i think it was extremely unfair, extremely unprofessional of those people and others who repeated that story. >> and hurtful to you, princess charlene. no bride wants to read all this nonsense. >> i actually had no idea. i was in paris the day before. i'd taken my momhopping to get
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her some shoes and bags or whatever the case. i got back to the palace. albert came back. said, there's a rumor out that you've left. i said, what? what do you mean i've left? yeah, it's all out. when did this happen? like not even an hour ago. i was, like, wow. well, it's not true, is it? >> there is an upside. and you're with your handsome prince. tell me about princess grace foundation. >> well, the princess grace foundation has been established since my mother's passing. because she wanted to establish the foundation in the u.s. there's one in monaco. slightly different names. she wanted to help young artists, young emerging artists in theater, dance and film. and she was never able to do that. so we just carried on her mission. and her vision. and tried to make it happen. and it's been now almost 30 years. and it's doing remarkably well.
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we've distributed tens of millions of dollars in scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships to these young american artists. and we will have our next awards going, fund-raiser in new york city on october 22nd. >> princess charlene, tell me about the special olympics. obviously a cause dear to your heart. why is that? >> well, training in south africa, i was, you know, often training alongside athletes that had disabilities and, you know, they also tried to get to their meets, to reach their goals in life, very little support. i said to them, if i was in a position some day, i would definitely give back and help in any way i possibly can. and so i thought, well, i've always been involved in special olympics and the paraolympics. in the meantime, i also started a foundation. you know, drawing inspiration from the princess grace
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foundation, her passions were to obviously help struggling artists. i hope to do the same with some athletes. and the support development programs. >> good for you. see, she's turning into quite the princess, isn't she? it's been a real pleasure to talk to you both. thank you for sharing the time. enjoy the olympics. enjoy london and britain. i know you've been a longtime supporter of this country. i thank you for that. thank you both for joining me. >> thank you. >> next, big games, big money. we'll take a closer look at the business behind the olympics.
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♪ i want to go ♪ i want to win [ breathes deeply ] ♪ this is where the dream begins ♪ ♪ i want to grow ♪ i want to try ♪ i can almost touch the sky [ male announcer ] even the planet has an olympic dream. dow is proud to support that dream by helping provide greener, more sustainable solutions from the olympic village to the stadium. solutionism. the new optimism.™ ♪ this dream
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the olympics are of course about aligning the world's best athletes to compete against each other. joe taylor is the ceo and chairman of panasonic north america. one of 11 companies sponsoring the olympics this year. he joins me now. welcome. why do you want to be so involved with the olympics? what does it bring to panasonic? >> first off what could be more wholesome than peace through
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sports? that's the mantra of the olympics. but i think beyond that the olympics is a brand that everyone aspires to be. or at least panasonic aspires to be. if you think about it, it's global, it's world class, it's competitive, it's young, it's on the cutting edge. it's wholesome. those are many of the attributes that the panasonic brand is try to become or try to enhance. >> is it also true it's incredibly expensive? if it is as incredibly expensive, do you actually make money? does it cost you a lot of money? how do you view it? >> well, i wouldn't say expensive or inexpensive. i would say the experience is priceless. like being with you tonight. >> of course, of course. >> and in all of business, everything is rationalized. everything has to have a return on investment. and we clearly believe, because this is -- i don't know how many olympics, now, 25 years, that we've committed the olympics. we feel we get a reasonable rate of return on our investment. so we're very, very pleased with
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our relationship with the international olympic committee as well as the regional olympic committees. >> the technology is massively more advanced than even four years ago. 3-d, hd. the one big apparent negative, although it's really up for debate, is this whole issue of taped delay. as one of the main sponsors, how do you feel about what nbc is doing? which is basically ignoring the rally cry to be airing the big events live and sticking to their prime-time schedule? >> it's a great schedule. i have enough trouble running my own company without trying to tell nbc what to do. i think we have -- i have kind of personal and professional. personally of course i'd rather see everything live. but professionally, from what we're trying to accomplish from a marketing and brand standpoint, frankly it doesn't make any difference. at least it hasn't so far in this olympics. the television ratings are through the roof. people are watching no matter what time it's on. in the end, that's all we care about. >> let's turn to your company.
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very successful company. north america panasonic. as are apple, a company i know you respect hugely. i've got a bug about a number of big american companies sending so many jobs abroad now because it's cheaper and more efficient to do that. i know panasonic do it. apple, in vast numbers. what do you think about the -- people like i guess starbucks for example opening factories back in america at a bit of a loss but doing it to make a point, we want to bring jobs back to america. >> you know, piers, i don't think there's a very simple answer for all of that. it's admiral what starbucks is doing. i would tell you in the '0s through the early '90s we had 24 manufacturing sites in north america. we've reduced that by 80% today because of competitive pressures around the world. what brings competitive pressure is consumers and customers and clients bring the competitive pressures because they want what they want when they want it at the price they want. and the u.s. has become a
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difficult place to do manufacturing. as a u.s. subsidiary of a foreign-owned company, my own ax to grind is that our united states government does not attract foreign direct united states government does not attract foreign direct investment, that is investment from foreign companies like mine. ten years ago the united states attracted 40% of all foreign direct investment globally. last year, 17%. what does that mean? it means the united states has become a less attractive place for companies around the world to move their manufacturing sites. >> whoever wins in november, what should they do about that? >> they ought to understand, business is not the enemy. i'm not a politician, but politics, government, is not the answer to many of our city's woes. i believe the answer lies in jobs and who provides jobs but large, small and medium sized businesses. and this is, the united states is now the highest cooperate tax
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rate in the woerld. world. something is wrong. >> if they made it more attractive for businesses like yours to bring factories back to america, would you do that? >> i would have to say we would consider it. but the united states has a long way to go in attracting manufacturing now. we can't have a change in policy every four years. we need consistent government policy that businesses have confidence will extend over a long period of time. at least as long as the investment will last. >> thank you. >> thank you for having me. this was fun. >> steve redgrave on his emotional role in the ceremony and the pressure of athletes going for gold. let's see if we n go inside and save you some money on your plan. you ready? sounds great! can you tell them about straight talk? emotional role in the ceremony and the pressure of athletes going for gold. >> steve redgrav emotional role in the ceremony and the pressure of athletes going for gold. ge steve redgrav emotional role in the ceremony and the pressure of athletes going for gold. > steve redgrave emotional role in the ceremony and the pressure of athletes going for gold. ved you a lot of money, and your girls like their new smart phones. i sent you a friend request.
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. an extraordinary moment at the openings ceremony, steve red dpts grave carying the torch. it's an honor to have you here. >> welcome. >> pleasure to be here. >> is was pleased you were the one carrying the torch. >> it's probably your fault i didn't get the final job then. with the iconic lighting of the
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caldron. they all want that to be a secret. i remember being in the stadium, who is it going to be and then ali appears. i think i was favorite for seven years, as soon as we were given the winning the bid, i've been trying to play it down. don't play up. because more or less it's going to be and more a chance of doing it. >> i would have had the kids taking it off beckham and then running to you. especially when i saw the way you were running. >> you've been quicker? >> not running. >> what did you feel? the most honorable thing, was it lighting the torch, was it receiving it from the great becks? >> i think it was being asked to do it in the first place. i knew before and coming down here to the stadium and they showed me that the computer
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graphics of what they were going to do. i had hairs in the back of my neck of the caldron coming up. >> it was amazing to watch. >> the big talking point in america is michael phelps and ryan lochte. and the frenchman that came out of no where. you've been in michael phelps's position. you've been a hero, toyed with giving it up and dragged yourself i can king and screaming back in. what is it about the olympics that makes great champions keep coming back? >> it is the biggest sporting event there is. nothing comes close do it. multiple sports is the size, the magnitude, the excitement. you go to anywhere in the world, even places that don't have tvs, they know about the olympic games. i think that's the special thing of it is a lot of sports that are involved in the games, in their own element in their own
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world championships are not that big. but in the olympic umbrella, it magnifies the whole thing. >> you would be british people's choice as our greatest olympian. who is your favorite olympian ever? >> it would be when i was a 10-year-old of watching mark spitz. it was another four years before i found my sport. i dreamed about being a champion. just to go to an olympic games once. >> do you think people have any real understanding of the sacrifice and the dedication that it takes to be the best when you come to the olympics? >> i think most people do. when whatever walk of life they're in, how much sacrifice they have to put in there. and the journalists will always talk about the sacrifice of it. it's a lot of fun doing it as well.
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there's a lot of highs as well as lows. but it does become very all-consuming. but to be the good anything, you have to practice a hell of a lot. sports is one of those things if you're practicing and competing. >> you have five gold medals, you've carried the olympic torch and you've been knighted by the queen. if you could have only one of those, which would you take? >> it would have to be the medals. without those you wouldn't get all the honors that come along with it. nobody would be inviting me anywhere, you wouldn't want to be speaking to me. it's got to be the sport and the medals. the joy in some ways is i stumbled the sport of rowing. >> do you still row? >> i've been out and about five times this year. and that's five times in total for the last four