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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Swipe right for gold.

You've been wasting your time looking for a date online. You should have been looking for an Olympic teammate.
  • Dude! We're going to shake things up and start tonight with the Men's Park skateboarding final. I can't skateboard myself but I used to be pretty good at Atari 720 Degrees. Do I know how this is scored? No more than gymnastics or diving. Stick the landing! Don't make a big splash!
  • Australia's Keegan Palmer is so happy with his last run that he spikes his board when he's done. He's in first, so I guess that was justified. I will say that the camera work in this sport is really nice. It's built for TV. NBC has cameras at the top of most of the walls the skateboarders fly over, and the skycam gives a great view of the athletes as they move across the bowl. Brazil's Luiz Francisco liked his run so much that he punted his helmet across the park. But is his destructive behavior more successful than Keegan's? No. Luiz is fourth. Corey Juneau of the US gets bronze.
  • April and Alix get some fluff. Getting a new teammate is like dating, they say. They both swiped right and the rest is history.
  • To diving for the Women's 10M Platform final. Delaney Schnell from Arizona dives first and is supposed to be in medal contention tonight. Sure enough, she's third after round one. Remember last night when Cynthia Potter said no one got 10's in diving? China's Quan Hongchan is proving her wrong. Quan has two dives tonight where she's gotten all 10's, and another where she got more than one. Delaney ends up in fifth. Quan finishes with another set of perfect 10's and breaks the Olympic record.
  • To the track! Tonight we start with the Women's 4x400M Relay heats. Unlike last night's men's race, the United States women don't have problems with the baton, so they advance to the final.
  • Now the Men's 1,500M semifinal. Four laps around the track. Cole Hocker of the US hangs back most of the race, but kicks it into gear in the last 200 meters and finishes second, advancing to the final. Matthew Centrowitz runs a faster lap than Hocker, but because everyone in his heat runs even faster, he doesn't make the final while Hocker does.
  • Michael Norman's mom is from Japan, so even though he's American, he has a big Japanese fan base. He's learning Japanese! Pretty cool, but still fluff.
  • And now Michael gets his chance to win a medal in the Men's 400M final. But he's not the only Michael from America. Michael Cherry is also in this race. Can either of them finally get a gold medal for the American men in track? No. They can't. Steven Gardiner wins the first individual gold medal ever in track and field for the Bahamas. Cherry finished fourth and Norman fifth. Norman is obviously broken up about it. He can't even finish his post-race interview. Cherry, on the other hand, wasn't even expected to be in the final, so he's pretty happy with fourth place, although he does admit he wished he would have dived at the finish to get bronze.
  • Our first look at Women's Pole Vault. American Katie Nageotte missed her first two vaults putting her in jeopardy, but didn't miss another one on her way to winning gold. Like Michael Norman, she's overcome with emotion in her post-race interview, but for her it's a good cry.
  • Now for the final event of the Women's Heptathlon, the 800M race. It's always strange to watch this because although it looks like a race, all the women are really just racing for points, not against each other. Kendell Williams of the US finishes fifth. In the Men's Decathlon, Garrett Scantling enters the 1,500M race in fourth place. He finishes the same way. Canada's Damian Warner sets an Olympic record in points to win the gold.
  • For the first time tonight we are LIVE with the A-Team, Alix Klineman and April Ross, trying to win gold in beach volleyball for the US. The win the first set easily. One more to go! The US is running away with set two and Chris Marlowe says, "April Ross… patrolling the back line like a sand panther!" A sand panther? Is that a thing? It is in Star Wars! Wrong '80s reference, Chris! Try, "She's patrolling the back line like a crack commando unit that was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit." But it doesn't matter! Ross and Klineman don't pity the fools on the Australian team. They win gold! I love it when a plan comes together. Ross has bronze and silver medals from previous Games, and now she has a gold and she's speechless.
  • Since that ended so quickly, let's go to wrestling! Yes! Wrestling! It's David Taylor of America down a point to Iranian Hassan Yazdanicharati and we join with less than a minute left. Taylor gets a takedown for two points with 15 seconds left to win gold.
  • One minute of fluff to end the night as Mike Tirico tells us about the great US teams of the past and how they've set the standard for every other country who are now beating us. Okay, okay, not everyone. The men's and women's basketball teams will still probably win gold, but the women's soccer team "only" got bronze. Still, fluff. I would rather have seen more than 45 seconds of that wrestling match than watch Mike wax poetic about the Dream Team from 29 years ago.

I'm going to jinx myself. Ready? You know what the largest amount of fluff has been these Olympics? Only 18 minutes. There have been six nights when it's been in single digits! Was there a change at the top in NBC, or are they just saving up something big for the end? I guess we'll find out. On to the weekend!

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