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Swiss TV pulls plug on Olympic closing gig

Switzerland’s national TV network, SF, received an earful of complaints after the broadcaster pulled the plug on coverage of the closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games before the event ended.

Swiss TV pulls plug on Olympic closing gig
Photo: Matt Deegan

SF switched to advertising before the ceremonies ended shortly after 1am.

As a result Swiss viewers missed a performance by British group Take That and the extinguishing of the Olympic flame.

The move unleashed a torrent of comments on Twitter from people upset about missing the last moments of the historic sporting event.

“That’s impossible!” tweeted Mark Gillies, editorial director at Tele Züri, who noted that the event was live.

“We are speechless.”

On Monday morning, SF’s customer service department issued an apology for the premature ending of the broadcast.

The finale followed a disappointing Olympics for Switzerland, brightened by gold medals from equestrian athlete Steve Guerdat in show jumping and Nicola Spirig in the women’s triathlon.

Roger Federer, a favorite to win gold in the men’s singles tennis tournament, had to settle for silver after losing to Britain’s Andy Murray in the final.

The match was a replay of last month’s Wimbledon final that Basel native Federer handily won.

Guerdat received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Switzerland late last week to a boisterous reception at the Zurich International Airport.

Spirig is also being hailed as a national sports icon after her dramatic photo-finish win in the triathlon on August 4th.

Over the weekend, the Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that Swedish triathlete Lisa Norden would not be awarded a joint gold medal with Spirig.

The tribunal denied an appeal made by Sweden after the two athletes finished with identical times of one hour 59 minutes 48 seconds.

Spirig was given the nod for first place in a "field of play decision" by officials who ruled that her torso breasted the tape ahead of the Swede.

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MODEL

Suspected stabber Nabilla freed from prison

Swiss model and French reality TV star Nabilla Benattia left a women’s prison in Versailles, France on Thursday on conditional release while facing charges of attempted murder after stabbing her boyfriend.

Suspected stabber Nabilla freed from prison
Photo: AFP

The 22-year-old, known by her entertainment industry name Nabilla, was freed after five weeks’ detention but remains under judicial restrictions ahead of a trial which will not take place until mid- 2015 at the earliest, justice authorities said, according to a report from AFP.

She is suspected of using a knife to stab her boyfriend Thomas Vergara, 28, in a hotel room in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris last month.

The native of Geneva was placed in detention on November 9th.

Under the order for her release, Nabilla is prohibited from having contact with Vergara, even through social media, and is also required to not comment on the case in the media.

Nabilla’s liberation came two days after she and her boyfriend were questioned again about the case.

She reportedly maintained that Vergara wounded himself with the knife during a violent dispute between the couple, Swiss broadcaster RTS said.

Vergara, for his part, alleged that it was Nabilla who held the knife and struck him “amid the confusion” while he was trying to restrain her.

Nabilla had initially maintained that the couple were the victims of three unknown intruders, a scenario that was contradicted by the lack of any matching evidence from video surveillance cameras.

The petite model, who has admitted to having breast enhancement surgery, shot to fame in a French reality TV show.

She subsequently became a fixture in media both in Switzerland and France, where she is routinely referred to as a "bimbo", while photos of her in scanty attire have filled photo galleries on websites. 

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