Sunday, August 14, 2016

XXXI Olympic Summer Games, Rio 2016 (Day 9)

Team USA leads China, 17-15, in the third set of the last women's volleyball match of pool play in Brazil. Comments flow ...


  1. Russia is listed as the all-time leader in gold medals in Olympic women's volleyball, but, in fact, all four of those gold medals were won by the Soviet Union. Brazil has won the last two golds. China won at Athens 2004. Cuba won the three golds prior to that. In the 26 Olympic women's volleyball tournaments, Team USA has earned zero gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal; the good news is that two of silver models have come in the last two summer games.

  2. Team USA wins the third set against China, and, though that puts the United States up only 2-1 in the match, it's enough to lock in Team USA as the top seed for the knockout tournament, which begins Tuesday.

  3. The women's volleyball semifinals are scheduled for Thursday; the bronze- and gold-medal matches, Saturday.

  4. I didn't get to see much of today's final round, but I really enjoyed the men's golf tournament. Great Britain's Justin Rose, Sweden's Henrik Stenson and Team USA's Matt Kuchar ended up winning the gold, silver and bronze, respectively. Kuchar, age 38 of Winter Park, Florida, shot a 63 today to chase down a medal and actually left an 18th-hole birdie attempt just a hair short--or he might've tied Stenson. Wikipedia has a solid, short, round-by-round summary of the tournament.

    One of my favorite things about the event is that it ended up with two major winners and a long-time PGA Tour contender in the medals. For a while, I was afraid it was going to be a bunch of obscure-to-me golfers who won, and that would've left me a little doubtful that the guys who challenge for major victories really are the best golfers in the world. Wisely or not, I'm now more sure because of the Olympic result.

    My other favorite part about the tournament was that Johnny Miller said on Golf Channel Saturday that the players were playing more aggressively than usual because no money was at stake and "finishing fourth (and out of the medals) is the same as finishing 60th." I'm certainly not the most knowledgeable golf spectator, but it definitely did look like everyone who was within five or six strokes of the bronze was shooting at the pins. So we got to see a lot of great shots, as well as several shots that landed close to the hole but then ran a good bit off the green.

    Anyway, I'm thrilled golf is back in the Olympics (after a 112-year absence), and, at least until Tokyo 2020, I'm planning on considering Justin Rose as the greatest player in the world and Matt Kuchar the best golfer in the nation.