Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Olympic Thoughts Day Four

The fourth day of competition involved more male sports including male volleyball and men's basketball.  However, the highlight of the day was the team competition in women's gymnastics.  An event I was surprisingly looking forward to.

1.  I watched most of the men's volleyball match against Germany during the day.  Although impressive I couldn't help but think that it was more exciting to watch the women's match just a day earlier.  To those of you thinking so, yes, wardrobe may have played a small part but mainly I felt the style of play was simply more entertaining a day earlier watching Destinee Hooker and company.

2.  After the volleyball match was the men's water polo team.  This may be the most difficult sport to play in the Olympics.  Anyone that says it isn't a sport, well they are naive.  It takes extreme conditioning, strength and toughness.  One burning question remains.  How does someone get started playing water polo?

3.  I watched the 4th quarter of the USA/Tunisia basketball game while many had justifiably switched the channel.  I watched with one number in mind.  55.  That was the point spread on the game.  Just a day earlier the odds makers set the women's line at 54.  It ended up 52.  Although Tunisia covered the spread by about ten points, the odds makers set the USA total for points at 110.5.  Their total?  110.  These people know what they are doing.  Almost like they get paid for it.  Yet, we still feel we know when a line is way off. 

4.  Congratulations to Phelps on setting the record for the most medals in Olympic history.  What an achievement.  I, along with everyone else, felt he had that 200 M Fly in the bag.  That was quite the finish, however it reminds me how good Phelps really is.  He struggled through every turn and mishandled the end of the race yet somehow was "upset" in an extremely close finish.  I'm glad they let Phelps anchor the relay later.  It was really smart coaching as it allowed Phelps to have a lead and not test the amount of energy left in his tank.  Look for Phelps to take down Lochte Thursday night in a race they share the 10 fastest times in history.

5.  How about that gymnastics showing by USA?  I knew the result yet, was thrilled watching it.  Really--I can say I enjoyed watching gymnastics.  Why?  They are good, real good.  I thought it was great that Wieber performed well, but its clear Douglas has the most talent on the team, all-around.  For only competing in one event for the entire Olympics McKayla Maroney may have the "Play of the Olympics".  That event was the most impressive thing I have seen thus far.  She is like the left-handed specialist out of the bullpen in baseball.  She has one task, yet her performance last night was the equivalent of striking out Pujols on three 105 mph pitches in the 9th inning of the World Series.  In case you missed it you can check it out here.  Worth watching probably even a couple of times if not hundreds more.

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