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Thursday, July 29, 2021

All hail the new queen of America!

Maybe there's a new GOAT in town.
  • Let's start the night with the Women's Gymnastics All-Around. You know who's not competing in this? Of course you do. NBC won't let you forget. But Simone is watching and cheering on her US teammates Jade Carey and Suni Lee. Let's look at their family watch parties. Suni's party in Minnesota apparently has everyone in the Twin Cities at it. Everyone at Jade's party in Florida fits on one couch. After the vault rotation, Jade is second and Suni is fourth. Not a bad start!
  • Brazil's Rebeca Andrade has torn her right ACL three times in the last four years. And tonight she's stuck two landings in two attempts. If she ends up winning will people damage their own ACLs on purpose to try to figure out her secret?
  • Jade Carey gets some slow motion fluff to talk about how special her dad/coach is to her. Guess what? He's very special! Fluff.
  • After the uneven bars Suni is second, Jade is sixth.
  • Would you like some inspirational piano fluff from Taylor Swift? She says it was unexpected that Suni and Jade were competing tonight. That's okay Suni and Jade. When people don't believe in you just shake it off.
  • Ooooo… Jade falls off the balance beam. Afterwards, Tim Daggett and Nastia Liukin are trying to console the viewers. "It's not just about the medals," says Nastia, "It's also about the experiences." The look on Jade's face doesn't look like she's enjoying the experience, Nastia. It's okay to say she's disappointed. Suni wobbles a little on the beam, but stays on. Andrade steps out on her landing, but everything else looked clean. But what do I know? Suni takes over first place. Andrade falls to second. Carey is in 12th.
  • NBC stops the DVR on recorded gymnastics so we can go LIVE to the Men's 100M Butterfly semifinal heats. Caeleb Dressel sets a new Olympic record during qualifying.
  • Lily King is brash and confident says fellow US swimmer Annie Lazor, but she's also a great teammate. Awww… you're going to ruin her reputation, Annie! Also, could there be a cooler name than "Lazor"? Pew! Pew! Fluff.
  • Now let's watch King and Lazor in the 200M Breaststroke final. South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker is the favorite but she can't lose King. And in a fight for third, Lazor and Russia's Evgenia Chikunova are so close that the flags NBC superimposes over the lanes are flickering on and off between their lanes. King gets silver and Lazor gets bronze by four-hundreths of a second.
  • Next up is the Men's 200M Backstroke final. American Ryan Murphy gets silver. In his postrace interview he says he "ran into a guy from Russia, or the Russian Olympic Committee, whatever the IOC wants us to call it." Ha! Yes, even the athletes think it's dumb.
  • Abby Weitzeil is the lone American in the Women's 100M Freestyle final. She's in lane one, so don't expect much. Eighth place.
  • Do you hear what The Rock is saying? Dwayne Johnson pumps us up for the weekend on the track. It's fluff, but charismatic fluff.
  • Michael Phelps is back in the studio with Mike Tirico talking about the upcoming Men's 200M Individual Medley. Once Phelps starts talking he looks fine, but when he's waiting to talk, he looks uncomfortable. He's not the GOAT on the set. Yet. Watch out, Tirico!
  • Now that we have all those pesky live swimming events out of the way, we can get back to recorded gymnastics! It seems like forever ago, doesn't it? It was only an hour. Anyway, when we last saw the gymnasts, we were at the end of rotation three, where Suni Lee had just taken the lead. We now rejoin the gymnastics meet already in progress. A couple of Russians go first, but we don't care about them. Bring on Suni! Her routine looks to be mistake-free. Is it enough? Yes! For now. She has the lead with only Rebeca Andrade left who could beat her. On her first tumbling pass, Andrade steps out of bounds, then she does it again, but her repaired ACL holds up for the whole routine. And that means… Suni wins gold! Andrade wins silver, Brazil's first medal ever in gymnastics. But before we give out medals, Jade Carey gets to do her floor routine, even though it doesn't matter anymore. I mean, it matters to her, but not to the medal rankings. Carey finishes eighth. Not bad for someone who wasn't even supposed to be in this event. 
  • Every resident of Minnesota congratulates Suni via Microsoft Teams. She's already wearing her medal! What happened to the medal ceremony, NBC? I guess they're saving it for the end of the show when they usually do them. You don't usually have continuity errors during sporting events. As Suni takes a selfie with her fellow gymnasts, Terry Gannon says Suni will soon step up to the podium. She already did, Terry! Look on your screen! She already has a medal around her neck! Then as NBC goes to commercial, they show Suni holding her medal up. Is no one paying attention in the editing room?
  • Ready for a new event at a new venue? It's track-and-field time! The stadium looks full! Only because they made all the chairs different colors. So, a vast empty stadium watches the first heats of the Men's 400M hurdles. But hey! It's something other that swimming, right?
  • Coming up LIVE in the studio, Suni Lee! She's wearing a gold medal. Hey! How did she get that, exactly? Never mind that, let's find out what kind of pizza she ate afterwards. It was pepperoni with extra pepperoni. Excellent choice! And they brought in Dad for the interview. But still on the crappy Teams camera. NBC… Suni just won a gold medal in gymnastics. She's, like, the queen of America now. Couldn't you at least get Dad to a studio and a decent camera?
  • Ohhhhh. So NOW we get the medal ceremony! And that's it. That's the end of show. Get out of here!

Okay, okay. Suni's only won one gold (so far!), so maybe crowning her the GOAT is premature. But the Olympics aren't over yet! See you tomorrow for some track-and-field!  

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