Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I Am Watching the Olympics (Day 5)

Urgh! I've already missed three rowing medals races today!

76 comments:

  1. Women's quadruple sculls: Ukraine gold, Germany silver, United States bronze. Congrats to Natalie Dell of Clearville, Pa.; Megan Kalmoe of Saint Croix Falls, Wisc.; Kara Kohler of Clayton, Calif. (which would be a great title for a rousing '40s pop song), and Adrienne Martelli of University Place, Wash.!

    Women's pair rowing: Great Britain gold, Australia silver, New Zealand bronze. Congrats to Bert and Dickie!

    Men's eight: Germany gold, Canada silver, Great Britain bronze. Congrats to all the Wöhlers!

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  2. Medal table:

    1. China (13 gold, 6 silver, 4 bronze)
    2. United States (9, 8, 7)
    3. France (4, 3, 4)
    4. Germany (3, 4, 1)
    5. South Korea (3, 2, 3)
    6. North Korea (3, 0, 1)
    7. Kazakhstan (3, 0, 0)
    8. Italy (2, 4, 2)
    9. Russia (2, 2, 4)
    10. Ukraine (2, 0, 2)
    11. South Africa (2, 0, 0)
    12. Japan (1, 4, 8)
    13. Australia (1, 4, 2)
    14. Great Britain (1, 2, 3)
    15. Romania (1, 2, 2)
    16. Brazil (1, 1, 1)
    16. Hungary (1, 1, 1)
    18. Netherlands (1, 1, 0)
    19. Georgia (1, 0, 0)
    19. Lithuania (1, 0, 0)
    19. Slovenia (1, 0, 0)
    22. Colombia (0, 2, 0)
    22. Mexico (0, 2, 0)
    24. Canada (0, 1, 4)
    25. Indonesia (0, 1, 1)
    26. Poland (0, 1, 0)
    26. Chinese Taipei (0, 1, 0)
    26. Cuba (0, 1, 0)
    26. Thailand (0, 1, 0)
    26. Denmark (0, 1, 0)
    26. Egypt (0, 1, 0)
    26. Sweden (0, 1, 0)
    34. Slovakia (0, 0, 2)
    34. New Zealand (0, 0, 2)
    36. India (0, 0, 1)
    36. Belgium (0, 0, 1)
    36. Norway (0, 0, 1)
    36. Serbia (0, 0, 1)
    36. Azerbaijan (0, 0, 1)
    36. Moldova (0, 0, 1)
    36. Uzbekistan (0, 0, 1)
    36. Mongolia (0, 0, 1)
    36. Qatar (0, 0, 1)

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  3. I kayaked for the first time earlier this year, but it didn't much resemble the experience of these Olympians on the fake river in London.

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    1. Man, this looks fun. I today announce that I'm going to consider blowing off this career and instead launching a chain of these fake rivers around Kentucky where people could come and do this kayak racing. I'd call it, "Whitewaterz(TM)."

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    2. Men's K-1 kayaking: Italy gold, Czech Republic silver, Germany bronze.

      That's the first medal for the Czech Republic, and it's courtesy of Vavrinec Hradilek, a 25-year-old student at "Agricultural University," per his NBC bio. I'll bet that is this.

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  4. Well, heck! I misread the schedule. The women's individual time trial race was this morning. Delighted to hear the "Star-spangled Banner" playing from the living room and run out to find that Kristin Armstrong won gold! Hooray for the 38-year-old from Boise (and native Memphisian), whose NBC bio says she "is not Lance Armstrong's ex-wife."

    Silver to Germany, bronze to Russia.

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  5. Bradley Wiggins is blowing up. The Brit takes gold in the men's individual time trial cycling event. Tony Martin of Germany takes silver, and Christopher Froome of Great Britain grabs silver. Happy times for the home team.

    Meanwhile, Taylor Phinney of Boulder, Colo., rolls in fourth, just as he did in the road race. Says NBC: "Phinney's father is two-time Tour de France stage winner and Olympic bronze medalist Davis Phinney and his mom is Connie Carpenter-Phinney, the gold medalist in the first ever women's Olympic road race in Los Angeles in 1984. Known affectionately as 'Mini Phinney,' Taylor has quickly created a name for himself in the cycling world."

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  6. Scores from women's basketball today:

    Canada 60 - 64 France
    China 76 - 52 Angola
    Australia 67 - 61 Brazil

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    1. I heard Ann Meyers the other day, and apparently Brazil has been wrought with intra-team turmoil.

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  7. Women's 25m pistol: South Korea gold, China silver, Ukraine bronze.

    Again, I need to look in to whether Kentuckians at all play prominently in the U.S. shooting teams, and, if not, why not?

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    1. I think this question about Kentucky's shooting goes to an issue of why the Europeans do so much better than we do at the Olympics. Let's imagine that instead of competing as one country, we had to compete as 50 different states. Kentucky would have its own Olympic committee and its own teams. But that committee, and those teams, would face tremendous public pressure not to finish the Olympics with a zero next to their name on the medal count. My guess is that Kentucky would respond by pouring huge amounts of effort into the events where we had the best chance of winning -- probably the shooting and equestrian events. And, as a result, Kentuckians would do much better at the Olympics than they do now.

      Well, that's the situation in Europe. It's not enough for the EU to win medals -- each individual country wants to win medals. And I think that's a major reason they do better than we do.

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    2. Once I cash out on the IPO for Whitewaterz, I intend to launch the Kentucky Olympic Committee (KOC) as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

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    3. I would donate.

      Actually, SmartGirl and I want the USOC to launch the United States Olympics. There would be teams from each state and territory, and we would contest all of the Olympic sports. It would be a lot of fun -- and it would be great for our athletes, who don't have the benefit of competing in something like the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games.

      I'm picking LeBron's Ohio team to win the basketball gold.

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    4. This is a great idea--as great as Vince Vaughn's Brady Bunch sequel.

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    5. SmartGirl says that during the opening Parade of States, Virginia will come into the arena wearing cavalier outfits -- complete with cape and plumed hat. The Virginia equestrians will be riding horses.

      She wanted to know what the Kentucky outfits would look like, but I couldn't decide. I was thinking navy blazers and khakis. What do you think, Eric?

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    6. I think the entire Tennessee delegation should come in wearing orange jackets like the one Bruce Pearl wore when he coached against UK.

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    7. Those orange jackets are awesome.

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  8. In singles table tennis, one Chinese woman beat another Chinese woman for the gold. The bronze goes to 25-year-old Feng Tianwei, who hails from Heilongjiang Province in China but competes for Singapore. And she gives Singapore its first medal of these games!

    Per Wikipedia: "Popular sports include football, basketball, cricket, swimming, sailing, table tennis and badminton. Most Singaporeans live in public residential areas near amenities such as public swimming pools, outdoor basketball courts and indoor sport complexes. ... The Singapore Slingers, formerly in the Australian National Basketball League, is one of the inaugural teams in the ASEAN Basketball League, founded in October 2009. ..."

    I really, really like the "Singapore Slingers," and I really, really, really love Wikipedia.

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    1. One of the all-time Singapore Slingers was Rod Grizzard, who, of course, was a second-round draft choice of the NBA's Washington Wizards in 2002.

      Jump, jump, slam, slam ...

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  9. More with the judo ...

    Women's middleweight: France gold, Germany silver, Colombia and the Netherlands bronze.

    Men's middleweight: South Korea gold, Cuba silver, Greece and Japan bronze. First medal for Greece!

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  10. Hurrah! Mariel Zagunis of Beaverton, Ore.--the U.S. flag-bearer at the opening ceremony and "the quintessential Olympic tale of opportunity and execution," per NBC--has advanced to the semifinals of women's individual sabre fencing. She and a South Korean and a Ukrainian and a Russian compete in the semis at 12:30 p.m. Central today, and the finals are scheduled for 1:40. Zagunis has won the last two Olympic gold medals in individual sabre.

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    1. Ties so far at 1, 4, 5 and 6, but now Mariel Zagunis has opened an 8-6 lead on Olga Kharlan as the second of three periods opens ...

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    2. 10-9, the Ukrainian leads ...

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    3. Ukrainian surge ... 13-10 ...

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    4. Match point ... four straight for the Ukrainian ... "

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    5. That's it ... "OL-GA! OL-GA! OL-GA!" rises a chant ...

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    6. I'm very frustrated that no one is keeping track of how the United States is doing compared to how it was expected to do. It seems to me that we're suffering upsets and blown medal performances all over the place, but I can't tell if those are counterbalanced by unexpected metal victories.

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    7. You should've been buying more newspapers over the last 10 years so that the poor media could afford to labor on that kind of analysis.

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    8. Oh, they had the resources. They chose to spend them on Tim Tebow and Brett Favre.

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    9. Women's individual sabre medals: South Korea gold, Russia silver, Ukraine bronze.

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  11. Women's 152-pound weightlifting: North Korea gold, Romania silver, Belarus bronze. Maryna Shkermankova delivers the Belarusians their first medal of these games. She hails from Glubokoe (Soundtrack: Marilyn Manson "Tainted Love.")

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  12. It's pretty safe to turn the channel any time you see an American boxer come on your television, unless you are rooting against the Americans.

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    1. On CNBC, they're now saying that at least two of our boxing defeats today involved questionable judging.

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  13. In women's basketball, Russia beat Great Britain 67-61. Up next, Croatia (0-2) takes on the Czech Republic (0-2).

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  14. By the way, Germany has won 7 medals today to surge into fourth place in the total medal count. They have 13 medals, only three fewer than third-place Japan.

    At the top of the table, China and the United States are tied at 27-all, although China has more golds.

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  15. Britain has now overtaken Australia in the medal count -- the Brits lead the Aussies 9-7 in a race that's a big deal for both countries.

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  16. After one quarter of women's basketball, the Czech Republic leads Croatia 22-19.

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  17. After two quarters of women's basketball, the Czech Republic leads Croatia 45-39.

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  18. After three quarters of women's basketball, Croatia leads the Czech Republic 60-57.

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  19. Men's 170-pound weightlifting: China gold, China silver, Cuba bronze.

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    1. China has won 7 medals today. We could have won 7 medals today if our fencers had won their semi-final matches -- or the subsequent bronze medal matches.

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    2. Fencing is my breakout sport of these Olympics. Curling was my breakout sport of the last couple of Winter Olympics, and I jinxed the U.S. teams in that sport, too.

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    3. Next time, you should pick a breakout sport where only one or two medals are up for grabs. What about team handball? That's a great sport.

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  20. In men's football, the Brits are learning just how hard it is to beat Uruguay. Team GB leads the World's Scrappiest Football Nation 1-0 with about two minutes left before injury time. But the last 25 minutes or so has been full of fights, people screaming at the referee, people trying to get other people thrown out of the game, and so forth. Watching Uruguay play soccer is like watching Martin Mull compete in those company games in Mr. Mom.

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  21. In the fourth quarter of their women's basketball game, the Czech Republic decided to quit messing around and just smoked Croatia. The Czechs outscored Crotia 32-10 in the fourth quarter, and won the game 89-70.

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  22. The GB/Uruguay game is almost over, and the Uruguayans now appear to be faking injuries to drag out the time.

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  23. Men's individual epee fencing: Venezuela gold, Norway silver, South Korea bronze. Ruben Limardo Gascon, for whom NBC has no information, claims Venezuela's first medal of the games.

    Bronze-medal match loser was Seth Kelsey of Portland, Ore. Hard-luck day at the ol' fencing piste for the Oregonians. Their swords might have today sunk, and yet, still, alis volat propriis!

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  24. After six minutes of injury time -- an almost unheard of amount -- Great Britain finally beats Uruguay 1-0. The Uruguayans had two great chances at the end, but a shot in the post and their last free kick was smothered by the British goalkeeper. If nothing else, Uruguay's effort was worthy of their last performance on the international stage -- when they used a blatant handball against Ghana to advance in the World Cup. I really hope they qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

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  25. It's been, basically, 10 years since I watched women's basketball, and I come back to find that they're still cutting to pictures of men's players in the crowds of women's games.

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    1. It was good to see, however, that Anthony Davis and LeBron James were on their iPhones, presumably checking out the HP mobile app.

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    2. USA 19, Turkey 16 after one quarter ... Angel McCoughtry, a University of Louisville product who is averaging almost 23 points a game for the WNBA's Atlanta Dream this summer, has seven.

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  26. After a very hard-fought first quarter of women's basketball, the United States leads Turkey 19-16.

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  27. Oh, good. Ann Meyers Drysdale just said that Diana Taurasi might be the world's best player, so apparently I haven't missed much in the last 10 years.

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  28. My daughter saw Turkey's flag and thought the United States was playing China. I know one 3-year-old girl who is going to be doing some extra paper-flag drills tonight.

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    1. But, alas, the daughter has the last laugh. Now we're watching Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.

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  29. The U.S. leads Turkey 41-26 at the half.

    If every U.S. team were coached by Geno Auriemma, our OES would dramatically improve.

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    1. I think that would help, but, actually, I think the key there is the level of competitive intensity that reaching Olympic status in basketball in the United States demands versus reaching Olympic status in, say, fencing or curling. That doesn't mean that individuals within those sports aren't of the intensity of Sue Bird, but I just can't fathom that those individuals face waves of waves of like competition throughout their rise through the U.S. ranks in that given sport.

      One of the first Kentucky Olympic Committee initiatives would be to encourage every girls' Sweet Sixteen point guard from 1990 through 2010 to take up judo, badminton, table tennis or curling.

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    2. Well, if every team was coached by someone as obsessive as Geno Auriemma, I think that you would see the level of competitive intensity significantly improve.

      I actually feel bad for our people in the other sports. I'm sure they would like to win medals too, but it's very hard to win any competition without a great coach pushing you all the way.

      Look at what good coaching did for our female gymnasts. We could do that in any sport with the right coaching.

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    3. But, man, I like my point-guards idea.

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    4. That would also be a good idea. We need to do something. I don't want this to be another deal where we're always losing to Tennessee.

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  30. Turkey -- which has the largest women's team I have ever seen -- comes out on fire in the third quarter, and cuts the U.S. lead to 50-45, but Our Girls respond with a spectacular 13-2 run to close out the quarter. With one quarter left, the U.S. leads 63-47.

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  31. In the last quarter, the U.S. blows the game open, and rolls home an 89-58. More pain for FIBA, more joy for us. Great job by the U.S. women.

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  32. Catching up on the NBC's prime-time medals ...

    Men's synchronized 3m springboard: China gold, Russia silver, United States bronze. Congratulations to the U.S. team of Troy Dumais of Ventura, Calif., and Kristian Ipsen of Clayton, Calif.

    Men's individual all-around gymnastics: Japan gold, Germany silver, United States bronze. Danell Leyva of Miami rallied to third from 17th place with three rotations to go.

    Women's 4x200m freestyle relay swimming: United States gold, Australia silver, France bronze. The gold medalists are Alyssa Anderson of Granite Bay, Calif.; Missy Franklin of Centennial, Colo.; Lauren Perdue of Greenville, N.C.; Allison Schmitt of Canton, Mich.; Dana Vollmer of Granbury, Texas, and Shannon Vreeland of Overland Park, Kan.

    Men's 100m freestyle swimming: United States gold, Australia silver, Canada bronze. Nathan Adrian of Bremerton, Ore., edged Sydney's James "The Missile" Magnussen by a hundredth of a second.

    Women's 200m butterfly: China gold, Spain silver, Japan bronze. Barcelona's Mirela Belmonte Garcia brings in Spain's first medal of the games.

    Men's 200m breaststroke: Hungary gold, Great Britain silver, Japan bronze.

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  33. New medal standings ...

    1. China (17 gold, 9 silver, 4 bronze)
    2. United States (12, 8, 9)
    3. South Korea (6, 2, 4)
    4. France (5, 3, 5)
    5. North Korea (4, 0, 1)
    6. Germany (3, 8, 2)
    7. Italy (3, 4, 2)
    8. Kazakhstan (3, 0, 0)
    9. Japan (2, 4, 11)
    10. Russia (2, 4, 5)
    11. Great Britain (2, 3, 4)
    12. Hungary (2, 1, 1)
    13. Ukraine (2, 0, 4)
    14. South Africa (2, 0, 0)
    15. Australia (1, 6, 2)
    16. Romania (1, 3, 2)
    17. Brazil (1, 1, 1)
    17. Netherlands (1, 1, 1)
    19. Georgia (1, 0, 0)
    19. Lithuania (1, 0, 0)
    19. Slovenia (1, 0, 0)
    19. Venezuela (1, 0, 0)
    23. Colombia (0, 2, 1)
    23. Cuba (0, 2, 1)
    25. Mexico (0, 2, 0)
    26. Canada (0, 1, 5)
    27. Indonesia (0, 1, 1)
    28. Poland (0, 1, 0)
    28. Chinese Taipei (0, 1, 0)
    28. Thailand (0, 1, 0)
    28. Denmark (0, 1, 0)
    28. Egypt (0, 1, 0)
    28. Sweden (0, 1, 0)
    28. Czech Republic (0, 1, 0)
    28. Spain (0, 1, 0)
    36. Slovakia (0, 0, 2)
    36. New Zealand (0, 0, 2)
    36. Norway (0, 0, 2)
    39. India (0, 0, 1)
    39. Belgium (0, 0, 1)
    39. Serbia (0, 0, 1)
    39. Azerbaijan (0, 0, 1)
    39. Moldova (0, 0, 1)
    39. Uzbekistan (0, 0, 1)
    39. Mongolia (0, 0, 1)
    39. Qatar (0, 0, 1)
    39. Singapore (0, 0, 1)
    39. Greece (0, 0, 1)
    39. Belarus (0, 0, 1)

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  34. Trying to get out in front of tomorrow's events a little bit. Primary medal interests: more swimming, of course ... women's individual all-around gymnastics, of course ... men's double trap ... women's eight rowing ... men's lightweight four rowing ... women's individual archery ... women's team foil, featuring Lexington's Lee Kiefer!

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