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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Lots of US gold and Simone Biles.

Do the two coincide? You'll have to read on to find out.
  • Gooooood morning, Tokyo! Mike Tirico said there was a 6.0 earthquake there hours ago. Is it Simone Biles related? Mike says she's the biggest star of this Games. Is she? You just did a news report on Norway's Karsten Warholm, who shattered a world record in the 400M Hurdles last night. No offense, but what has Simone done? She's not even the biggest medal winner on her own team!
  • Speaking of gymnastics, let's watch the men do their thing on the high bar. The ROC's Nikita Nagornny nails his routine and what Tim Daggett calls "Gymnastics 101, fly high and stick the landing." Brody Malone of the US misses a handstand and doesn't stick the landing. Two mistakes won't win in it in the Olympics. No medal for him. But at least he doesn't do what Japan's Kitazono Takeru does, miss the bar entirely and crash to the floor. Twice. Ouch! He gets back on and sticks the landing, though. Japan's Hashimoto Daiki nails his routine AND the landing. Too bad there's not a crowd here. This place would be crazy. As it is, there's just some polite applause from the few people assembled. The last gymnast is Bart Deurloo from the Netherlands. He, too, falls off the bar. Brody finishes fourth. Pretty close, really. I thought he'd be lower.
  • Over to Olympic Stadium for some track and field and the Men's 200M race. Seventeen-year-old Erriyon Knighton is in the first semifinal and he looks like he's going to finish fifth. Then he turns on the jets and cruises to first. Lewis Johnson asks if he was learning some Japanese talking to someone on the track. Erriyon says yes. Johnson asks what it was. "I already forgot," Knighton quips. This kid is going to be a star. Noah Lyles runs the next semi and makes a big mistake. He pulls up too early and instead of finishing first, he finishes… what? It's a photo finish for second and third. The first two racers qualify for the final automatically. Lyles finishes third. Uh-oh. He still has a fast time, so he should make the final, but if he doesn't he has no one to blame but himself. In the third semi, "Kung Fu" Kenny Bednarek gets both he and his headband into the final. Lyles makes it to the final, so the US could sweep the medals!
  • And now the Women's 800M final. American Athing Mu is another teenager running for Team USA. What's up with all the teens running? Usually Olympic runners are in their 20s. The US hasn't won this race since 1968, and hasn't medaled at all since 1988. But that changes tonight! Athing Mu is Athing One! Gold medal for Mu! And at 19 years old, she's likely to be around for a while. Not only did Mu win gold, but American Raevyn Rogers gets bronze. That's quite a way to end a drought.
  • Next up, the Women's 200M final and American Gabby Thomas. Elaine Thomas-Herah of Jamaica wins, making her the first woman ever to win the 100M and 200M in consecutive Olympics, but Gabby sticks it out to win bronze.
  • Around the Games! Temyra Mensah-Stock wins Olympic gold in wrestling. Was she excited about it? I'm going to say yes. I'll bet she sang on the podium. Team Pursuit cycling! The US women finish third. Women's golf! It's starting, and the US is doing well.
  • SIMONEBILESSIMONEBILESSIMONEBILES! Are you excited? NBC is! Simone is competing tonight in the balance beam finals. She and Suni Lee are representing the US. But first, some Simone fluff! Taylor Swift narrates. Don't you see, Simone's a hero, she says. That seems a little melodramatic, but okay. Has a football player returning from an injury ever been hailed as a hero before they took another snap?
  • The best thing about Simone's dramatic comeback: her moves. The second-best thing: because Tim and Nastia wanted us to soak in all the drama, they said virtually nothing during her entire routine. Now that was a relief. Maybe the commentators should shut up more often. The other interesting thing was listening to all the cameras going off during Simone's performance. Clearly they think it's a big deal.
  • Suni Lee is part of the close-knit Hmong community (drink!) and they're all showing up to support her. She dedicated her medal to them. Awww. Fluff!
  • Suni almost falls off the beam but doesn't. However, almost falling is still a deduction. Tim says if we don't think this is difficult, put your cellphone on the ground and try doing these moves on a space the width of your phone. First of all, Tim, who doesn't think this is difficult? Second, encouraging people to do stupid things with their phones seems like a good way to get a bunch of people to break their phones.
  • With two gymnasts to go, Simone is still in second. The first of two, Flavia Saraiva of Brazil, reaches down and grabs the beam on her first move, so she's out. Simone will get at least bronze! One to go, China's Guan Chenchen, the favorite. And Chenchen gets gold, pushing Biles down to bronze. It's not Simone's best, but it is still a medal! Both Tim and Nastia say it might be the best she's ever won. Andrea Joyce asks if it is. Simone says yes, and thanks everyone for their support.
  • LIVE to the track for the Men's 110M semifinals. American Devon Allen wins and then does some breakdancing moves for the camera. He's moving on. In semi two, Grant Holloway is ready to go. And go he does. First place for him, too. Allen and Holloway will be two of the final eight. Lewis asks Holloway about the final and he says that early in the morning isn't the best for the racers, but they'll be there to put on a show. There's someone who understands how TV works.
  • Medal time! Athing gets her gold. Is she singing? Unknown! But she does unmask for photos afterward. See you in 2024, Athing!
  • Women's hurdling fluff! Two Japanese warrior women with swords are about to fight, sharpening their iron blades in the fire. Get it? Iron sharpens iron? Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad? Okay. But what about Anna Cockrell? Is she not worth mentioning in this samurai movie fluff? I guess not.
  • Now we're LIVE for the Women's 400M Hurdles final. McLaughlin wins in world record time, but Muhammad finishes second, also breaking the old world record. Sydney is the youngest medalist in the 400M. There's some kind of youth revolution going on in the US running team.
  • To the diving well we go for the Men's 3M Springboard final. Much like gymnastics, what do I understand about diving? Big splash or no splash. At least in the synchronized diving I could tell if the two divers were moving together. Here I know nothing other than they're all turning incredibly fast and then they splash big or small in the water.
  • American Andrew Capobianco won't medal in this event, but analyst Cynthia Potter is begging him to come back for the next two Olympics because now he has experience so he'll do better next time. Will he? What if all the other competitors come back too? There's a flaw in this logic.
  • Back in the studio, Mike is talking to Simone. We've been talking about her so much already that this interview doesn't add much. She says people want female athletes to fail. They do? I guess she listens to different things than I do. 
  • Medal time! Sydney and Dalilah take the stand for the 400M Hurdles medal. Do they sing? Dunno. Do they unmask and take pictures? Of course!

With her bronze, Biles now ties Shannon Miller as the most decorated US gymnast. It's too bad she wasn't able to do more this year, but it is what it is. Simone! Paris is only three years away! That's not that long. You should think about it. If Oksana Chusovitina can do it so can you!

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