Women's Tennis, London Olympics

Matthew Childs/Action Images/ZUMAPRESS.com

Why were there so many empty seats during the first day of the Olympic games? Does that mean the Games are a failure?

—Villa C., via the inbox

Apparently, many of the empty seats you saw are right up front—VIP positions, essentially. The London organizing committee has said that those seats may have been reserved for corporations or special guests who simply didn't show. But whatever the reason for the unfilled chairs, that should change soon: Olympic officials have said they're releasing more tickets to the public to get those seats filled.

E!'s own Olympian Bruce Jenner had his take on this situation on this morning's Live from E! program, too, if you want more insight. Meantime, this isn't the only Olympic-flavored question you've sent me. Let's tackle some more!

Team India, London Olympics


Did Paul McCartney get paid for performing at the opening ceremony for the Olympics or did he do it gratis?

—Zesty Fresh, via Twitter

He did get paid. One British pound. Really.

Who was that strange lady who crashed the opening ceremony and marched with the Indian team? Are the Olympics a secure event or should I stay home?
—Becca, London, via the inbox

The woman has been identified by some media outlets as Madhura Nagendra, a graduate student from the southern city of Bangalore. She was reportedly not a security risk, but rather a volunteer at the event who wanted to walk with India during the Parade of Nations. That country is demanding an explanation. So far, all the Olympic organizers have done is offer a mea culpa: "While there was no security threat to the team, clearly this should not have happened and we are investigating this matter further."

Why do the swimmers all splash themselves before a race? Is there really a physiological advantage or is it all psychological?
—Kerry B., via Facebook

As a former competitive swimmer myself, I can tell you I did it for two reasons: Getting my suit wet prevented so many air bubbles from forming in it after I would dive in. And some swimmers like to acclimate to the pool temperature a bit before diving in.

Ballooning was a competitive event in the 1900 Paris Olympics. Why was it removed?
—Heather B., via Facebook

It was never part of the official program, only an exhibition sport.

How 'bout that Dana Vollmer?
—Clive, Scotland, via the inbox

Would rather stare at Ryan Lochte, thanks, but to each his own.

Did a UFO really fly over the Olympics?
—X Minus One, via the inbox

Well, something made a pass over London's Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony, and it hasn't been officially identified. It was round and bright and looked like a spotlight or a blimp to me. Then again, I am not a member of the British Civil Aviation Authority.

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