Friday, August 12, 2016

The Olympic Blurb 2016: Day 7

It is a bummer when swimming ends. After a week straight of pool excitement, days like today seem empty because there's not as much going on. Throw in a lack of finals in artistic gymnastics and diving, and you might interpret tonight as pretty boring, right?

Never you fear; track and field is here!

Yes, it is true that today was pretty quiet even in track and field, but that doesn't mean it was short on finals. In the morning the women ran the 10,000 meters and what transpired was an insane final where the winner, Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, lapped several athletes at least twice en route to a world record run. That race was crazy, because the field very quickly spread out around the track and the gaps between runners was great.

In the evening, women's shot put took center stage, and Michelle Carter of the US team came out with her final put and dominated, getting an American record. New Zealand's Valerie Adams - the reigning 2-time Olympic champion - had to beat her on her last throw, and couldn't do it. Carter beat Adams and beat her dad, Michael Carter, who only has a silver medal in the event.

Meanwhile, the women's heptathlon began, with four of the seven events going today. Jessica Ennis-Hill, the 2012 winner, is leading, even though her teammate, Katharina Johnson-Thompson, set records in the high jump portion, tying with Belgium's Nafissatou Thiam at an insane height of 1.98 meters.

In addition to all that, there were heats and preliminary rounds for the men's 800m, the men's 400m, the women's 100m, and the women's 1600m. My round-up might look small today, but if you really think about it, when I put down "track and field," I am really talking about 8-10 events!

I also have a connection to track and field because I competed in shot put and discus in high school, and had a ball doing it. After years of dealing with a bit of athletic mediocrity, I found that shot put was an event at which I was actually good. 

I hope to watch a lot more field events on the streams, because they don't get nearly enough visibility in the television broadcast, so hopefully I can point out some of the great field events here in the Olympic Blurb!

Here's the mini-blurbs...

  • The round-up for today:
    • men's golf
    • track and field
    • men's fencing
    • men's boxing
    • women's trampoline
    • tennis
    • women's soccer
    • men's archery
    • swimming
  • It is amazing how passionate those fencers can get. They've been training moves for months and years, and they come out in the Olympics, do those moves, and then do a lot of screaming! I almost think they exert more energy screaming than fighting.
  • I heard that the US women's soccer team was in a shootout against Sweden, and I thought, "They couldn't possibly lose this one, could they?" Well it was possible, and they did lose. There aren't many people I dislike on any team, but Hope Solo is one of them. She didn't come out in a very good light, and it was her fault.
  • While artistic gymnastics gets all the love, trampoline gymnastics took the stage today and it's a pretty fun event. Men's trampoline gymnastics is Saturday starting at 1:00; I would check it out around 2:00 after they have done the compulsory round. See what these people can do way up in the air!
  • If I had to choose whether to have Maya Dirado or Michael Phelps come away with a gold tonight, I would choose Dirado. Sorry, Phelps, but after days of Hungarian Katinka Hosszu beating her in all of her elements, it was so refreshing to see Dirado beat her in the last individual event.
  • I had some family come in for the weekend, and all of them talked Olympics non-stop. They were a bit frustrated that other people weren't all-in concerning the Olympics, and that frustrates me, too. However, it was wonderful to be able to sit and talk with them about it all, and not have to explain anything or anyone - we all knew what was going on! 

Enjoy your Saturday, and see you tomorrow!

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