Now that Athletics (Track and Field) has started, I’m sure the posts might be getting thinner. Frankly, the track events cool me down a bit. The long races are…well, long. The sprints are so tainted by performance enhancement that it’s like the MLB of the Olympics to me for the past few olympiads. For some reason, the field events haven’t yet turned me off, yet, even though the PE taint has been there for much longer, especially in the discus, shot put, and hammer throw.
My big shout out this session is the victory of the USA women’s soccer team over Japan in the semi-finals. With the flat start that had the Americans behind by a goal early in the match I was worried that today wouldn’t be their day. With Abby Wambach having gone down last month, and she being arguably the US’s most fearsome weapon, I didn’t have huge expectations for the American team; I figured they’d be lucky to medal. Now they are guaranteed at least a silver. The final is as it should be: between the two most dangerous teams in the world. Brazil is simply amazing, but the Americans are steady. The Brazilians are still stinging from their loss in the 2004 Olympics, where they out-played the Americans and yet lost the gold. This is definitely a pick’em. Either team can win this without excuses.
Gymnastics was interesting. I loved the crashes on pommel horse. If you go to any elite gym, you see crashes like that are more the rule than the exception.
Softball. Sometimes you just have a inning you should never have, and that certainly happened to China when the USA scored NINE RUNS in the first inning—all with two outs having already been recorded.
Big congrats to the USA Women’s Eight. A most unexpected win.
Regarding diving…as much as the rest of the world is annoyed by the dominance of the USA in softball, the Chinese dominance in diving is equally yawn inspiring. Certain countries tend to have a dominance in a sport. But these periods of dominance tend to change over the generations. The tides of sport are constantly changing.