Monday, August 23, 2004

OLYMPICS WRAPUP POST DAY #12: Swallow these capsules and get your Olympic medicine.

Shooting, Men's: Matt Emmons shot at the wrong target on his final shot in the "50-meter three-position rifle event" and cost himself every possible medal. Another American, Michael Anti, took the silver but the gold went to Jia Zhanbo who looked mildly surprised at the turn of events. Shooting guys are never quite sure how they're supposed to celebrate; they either look like "Oh gosh--a medal. How nice." or they run around like idiots waving their shotguns around like the Italian who took gold in skeet did today.

Jia didn't mouth along with the Chinese anthem like every other Chinese gold-medaller I've seen has. He must've not gotten the "patriotic fervor--and you better start practicing it for 2008" memo.

Table Tennis, Women's: China took the gold and I am shocked, shocked. The poor li'l gal from Singapore who gagged in the semifinals yesterday lost to a Korean. So no medal for Singapore. SOMEone's getting a caning--kidding! Kidding.

Handball, Men's: Handball was played and I missed it. There really needs to be a handball channel but NBC put all their chips on badminton being the cult sport of 2004. Don't they have another crappy basic channel they can put stuff on? It's not like USA shows anything worthwhile from 2 to 10 AM.

Voleyball, Women's: We beat Cuba to stay alive.

Wrestling, Women's: Our gal Toccara Montgomery drew Kyoko Hamaguchi way too early, so what was hyped as a gold-medal match happened today. Montgomery lost and is out; I just hope the match is on my Tivo somewhere.

Two of four Americans advanced while all four Japanese went on. For an allegedly conservative, patriarchal culture, Japan really embraces the female combat sports.

Track & Field: Justin Gatlin took the 100 meters and launched into an elaborate twenty-minute celebration (including what appeared to be a botched Lambeau Leap) that did not make us all embarassed as Americans one little bit. Maurice Green took bronze and Gail Devers couldn't even make it over one hurdle.

God, the marathon--that was frikkin' great watching that live. Noguchi held on to her lead 'til the end, winning the Marathon marathon. A Kenyan was second and I guess the Kenyans and Ethiopians don't have the stranglehold on this event their male counterparts do since apparently a Japanese won in Syndey too. Deena Kastor, proud American, RAN HER OWN RACE and came from behind to take bronze and she looked great too--her form was fantastic, and since I am now a marathon expert--having watched a marathon--my credibility is not in question.

The Russian lady who won shot put got her gold revoked because she was hopped up on goofballs or something. I would make some comment about how dare she violate the sancitity of the shot put at ancient Olympia as the games return there for the first time in all their athletic purity, but every Olympic talking head I've heard says the ancient Greeks cheated as much as we moderns do, so there is no point of that kind to be made.

OH--and a wacky, irrepresible Swede won women's heptathalon yesterday. Goofy event, gooft athlete. Or something.

Gymnastics: There were some individual events and talk of a double gold for the men's all-around. Nothing definite.

Softball: Who thought up the softball medal format? Team 4 plays Team 3 and Team 1 plays Team 2. Team 4 loses and is eliminated. Team 2 loses and plays Team 3 who have been waiting around to do a double-header since the morning. Team 3 then loses to Team 2 and gets the bronze. Team 2 plays Team 1 tomorrow for gold and silver. Okay? Okay. Maybe the IOC wouldn't be thinking of ditching softball if they could decide the medallists for it in a credible way.

The key to the above:
Team 1: USA
Team 2: Australia
Team 3: Japan
Team 4: China

Baseball: No baseball again. I am relieved that it will be an Olympic sport through 2008. If we qualify in 2008, and does Taiwan, Korea and Japan, the political heat at those games will be OFF THE CHARTS.

See--I'm already getting psyched for Beijing. The laid-back Greeks will provide quite the contrast to the amped-up Chinese crowds, I'll tell you what.

Beach Volleyball: McPeak & Youngs meet May & Walsh in the semis in the grand American spankoff. It's weird that beach volleyball is becoming a defining part of these games, and that the Greeks are pulling off their presentation of them so well. Dancing girls, tiny outfits, shitburger party music--I suspect this is what Europeans think America is all about. I have no idea where they would get that from--America is about freedom and decency and tiny....outfits....never mind.

I think that's everything. Oh--and--

Diving: Notable because a Chinese only took silver.

That's about the long and short of it for Sunday. Tomorrow I guess the soccer team finally gets put out to pasture by Germany, unless Wambach really whomps somebody, but what do I know.

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