The Main Blurb
Dear Dawn Harper:
Once again, you went under the radar. And once again, you showed that you are for real.
In 2008, Lolo Jones was the premier star of the women’s 100m hurdles. She was cruising through the rounds, she was the poster girl in the event, and she got all the attention from the media and NBC. So naturally, the people here in the US were pulling for Lolo. You were barely mentioned in any of the heats, semis, or even the final! I don’t remember you actually being mentioned until they scrolled down the field for the introductions.
Everyone was watching Lolo Jones. Everyone watched as she stumbled on the ninth hurdle. And although I was sad that she stumbled, I was thrilled to see another American come and take her place as the gold medalist. And I laughed as you walked around in unbelief, screaming that you had won the gold.
So this year, I was pretty surprised when, once again, Lolo Jones was getting all the attention! She got the NBC profiles, she got the documentary, she got the endorsements. And as I watched those, I went, “Where’s Dawn Harper’s endorsement deal? She’s the one with the gold!” You got a small profile during the opening heats, but people were still talking about Lolo.
I pray that today’s race will help put you in a little more of a spotlight. You came out slowly, but then you erupted and made it a close race against Sally Pearson. You made it so that Pearson didn’t know that she won because they had to check the photo finish. You didn’t stumble out the gate, you didn’t trip on a hurdle; you actually PR-ed! And because of that hard work and being sure of your own talent, you got a silver!
I am glad that you did so well again! I hope that you’ll get a little more attention this time around – you deserve it!
Thank you everybody for reading the blog! I have reached 1000 pageviews! I'll try to keep up the postings after the Olympics conclude so that you can keep reading!
It seems like when the women have event finals, the medalists are those that messed up the least amount of times. Stumbles, falters, or landing on your butt. When the men have competed in individual events this week, it has been full of fantastic routines. Monday’s vault routine was extraordinary. Today the high bar was absolutely breathtaking! For those two events especially, the man who raised the bar won the gold – not because others messed up, but because they stood out from the great routines. Another reason I enjoy men’s gymnastics more than the women’s.
Another note on the high bar: there is lots of swinging around the bar, doing handstands, and a couple of releases. Then the Netherlands’ Epke Zonderland came up to the bar. WOW! He did at least three releases in a row – each more crazy than the next! I hope that male gymnasts everywhere take note of all the releases he did. It’s more than just doing the craziest releases – it’s the amount, too! Keep it up, Epke – make those guys earn the medals!
One more hype-bashing: who got the hype coming into the Games? Jordyn Wieber and Gabby Douglas. Who came out with the most medals in gymnastics? Aly Raisman. She earned ‘em all! (And probably should have gotten one more!)
How sad to see Liu Xiang of China pull out of another Olympic hurdle event. In 2008 his Achilles killed his chances of winning the 110m hurdles in his home country. And today his leg pain once again caused him to underjump the first hurdle and force him to hop to the finish. That was a pretty admirable thing for him to do – and for the rest of the hurdlers to help him out. That heat this morning was incredible (look it up if you can), because four hurdlers didn’t finish! That’s half the heat! Three didn’t even make it past the first hurdle!
Erik Kynard, American high jumper, must be a fan of Robert Griffin III. Did you see his socks? Awesome! (Another Olympian who digs the crazy socks? Yohan Blake of Jamaica!)
I’ve seen three Americans in the “weights” part of the field events: a female discus athlete, a male hammer throw athlete, and a female shot putter. None of them grunted when they released their object. And you know what? None of them medaled. Meanwhile, Reese Hoffa screams when he puts the shot, and he got on the medal stand with a bronze. Sensing a pattern, guys? C’mon, release your pent-up anger with an otherworldly yell!
I’ve never seen a discus event when each throw in the fifth rounds was longer and longer and longer! Well, not three times, because the Iranian stepped over the circle. But it would have been! It was a pretty incredible final. How much of that did you see? None? Oh, thanks NBC.
I was irritated that the Algerian won the 1500m final. He dropped out of the 800 preliminary, was kicked out of the Olympics, returned with a “doctor’s note” saying that it was due to injury, and was allowed to win. How about some consistency, Olympic officials? If you’re going to kick out badminton players for not trying, kick out this guy, for being a sore sport and giving him the doctor’s note loophole which clearly wasn’t truthful. This has been the only gold medal where I verbally boooooooooooooed the result. And I say it again: “BOOOOOOOOO!”
Jen Kessy and April Ross beat the mighty mighty Brazilian #1 beach volleyball team to get to the gold medal match against fellow Americans Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings. How can these Olympians compete so well in the driving rain? I can barely walk in the driving rain, let alone bump, set, and spike!
By the way, Kessy and Ross, the next Olympics are in Brazil. You now have a giant bullseye on your back for the next Olympics. But now we’ll get gold and silver (it makes up for the men, so thanks).
Kobe Bryant wasn’t anywhere that I saw. Did you see him today? Maybe he was back at the Olympic Stadium.
Czech Republic Gold Medal Watch: no medals today either! Let’s try getting something in the 400m hurdles tomorrow, okay?
Today’s roundup: balance beam, high bar, floor exercise, water polo, running events, discus, high jump, volleyball, beach volleyball, diving, synchronized swimming, soccer.