This is an official attempt to re-cap the first 3 days of Olympic competition without you realizing that I'm mostly going to be discussing swimming.
By Melissa Presti (Book Publisher)
It's your 2012 London Olympics Crazytown Correspondant at your service! Weird that after only 3 days of events I'm already so tired and taking daily naps from watching so much tv. Imagine if I was an Olympian! Alas, food eating competitions have never made their way (officially) into an Olympic games. I'm thinking this could be added to the Winter Olympics, not Summer. I have some standards.
Before I was able to even watch the Opening Ceremony that I had DVR'ed because I had better Friday night plans, Brits were already handing out medals in archery. Slow your roll, Brits! Did the Queen put you up to this? She did, didn't she. She's wondering if they wrap up the games a week ahead of schedule we'll forget you neglected to include Elton John at the opening ceremony which feels super sinful in AMERICA so I can only imagine what your people think of you.
Men's Gymnastics: in 2008 the Chinese men completely dominated the games. They left nary a crack in the foundation of their gymnastics empire for any country to squeeze into and claim gold. But it's not 2008 and we aren't in Beijing where maybe probably there was some bias (see: 1996 USA gymnastics gold medalists in Atlanta). In London, injury and mishaps have plagued the Chinese men, leaving a giant window open for the American men.
Update: China re-defined what it means to rally, as they left all mishaps in day 1 of competition and came back to take the gold, yet again. USA came up very short in fifth place. Still the all-around and individual events to come!
Women's Gymnastics: Did you hear about the all-around competition kerfuffle? There is some whack rule that allows each country to send 2 gymnasts to the all-around, a total of 24 gymnasts, but they aren't necessarily the top 24 gymnasts at the Olympics. I'm all for international equality, but we have Jordyn Wieber who happened to finish 3rd within the USA team, and even though her scores were 4th overall, she will not compete in the all-around in the top 24 gymnasts.
Does that make sense? No. No it does not. She's 16. She doesn't do anything else in life except gymnastics and she is devasted. This poor girl is in tears/trying to be happy for her teammates and NBC is like "we're going to put 10 cameras in your face and ask you how you're feeling, but only after we've interviewed your teammates who did qualify, while you're in the background of our camera shot crying and trying to pull your shit together." Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman will compete in the all-around, and there is still the team competition tonight and individual events. It's only just begun!
The Superior Highlights!
Swimming: I already gave you the preview to the Lochte vs. Phelps showdown and made it pretty clear that although Phelps is my athletic hero in the history of ever, this Olympics belongs to Lochte. And oh how he proved me right on the first day of competition. In the very first event finals of the 400m IM, Lochte won gold and left Phelps in the dust in 4th place, failing to make the podium. It was a weird simultaneous moment of pride and absolute shock.
And then, THEN, when Lochte was set to receive his gold medal on the podium there was something so noticeably missing. As I watched my live stream online with British announcers, they were all “he isn’t wearing his flashing mouth guard” and I was all "WTF" and then realized “oh they mean his GRILL, we call them grillz, yo” so basically if you’re watching swimming in prime time with American commentators speaking normal English from the western world you’re just going to have an overall better time.
I assume it was a direct order from the Elton John-hating Queen herself that prevented Ryan from being Ryan with his podium bling. He was told he wouldn’t receive his medal if he wore it. Sounds like Lizzie isn’t down with patriotic diamond-studded “mouth guards” but have no fear – after the final notes of Francis Scott Key’s ostensible overture, he popped in the grill and made the media rounds Lochte-style.
You can catch the results and USA Swimming medal count here, but these are my stand-out races thus far:
- Men's 100m Breaststroke - Brendan Hansen (bronze) His only goal for coming out of retirement after Beijing was to beat his archnemesis and dominator of the breastroke, Kosuke Kitajima. He's beaten him before but never at an Olympics. Not only is it crazy that Hansen won bronze from lane 8 (medaling from an outside lane is rare!) but Kitajima finished 4th. I think Hansen can finally hang it up now and RIP.
- Men's 4x100m Free Relay - USA (silver) All I can say is fuck. the. French. I would never ever have Lochte anchor this relay, he's not that kind of sprinter. Phelps swam faster than him. The whole relay order was wrong, and I'm not surprised they were unable to defend the 2008 gold. If it was Australia who was supposed to win (they finished 4th) I'd be ok. But France? The same guys who bad-mouthed the Americans in 2008 and then shut-up after one of the most epic races in swimming Olympic history put them in second? Anyone but them.
- Women's 100m Backstroke - Missy Franklin (gold) 17-year old making her Olympic debut and living up to every expectation, not an easy task. She's so damn lovable! And 6'1" so I really like her.
- Men's 100m Backstroke - Matt Grevers (gold) Nick Thoman (silver) I watched this race at work, naturally, and literally shed tears at my desk watching these guys hug it out in the water.
Update: Lochte finished 4th in the 200m Free, missing the podium and stirring up headlines claiming his "star is fading" I call bullshit.
Swimming will be over by the time I blog again, Lochte will be one year older (HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN!!!!!!!) and I won't be in your face gushing about swimming. But, will we know if Phelps beat Lochte or if Lochte beat Phelps? Is it that simple?
Lastly, a few things the 2012 London Olympics could use, based on my observations:
- an English translator for Bela Karolyi.
- mandatory Prince Harry attendance at everything.
- a statement from Bob Costa's stylist confirming whether or not his hair is real.
- more camera shots of the gymnast's parents watching their kids: