London 2012: Quick Thoughts Part 1

Aly Raisman – Photo courtesy of USA Gymanstics’ Facebook Page

I’ll start with my favorite sport, gymnastics. After seeing Raisman and Douglas have strong openings (especially Raisman in her weaker two events) when Jordyn Wieber arched her handstand on bars I told Tim, this is close. She could easily not make the All-Around final. We all know what happened. Wieber (who did appear to be underscored on beam and floor) finished two-tenths behind Douglas and failed to make the all-around final. Despite the fact she placed fourth overall, she was not one of the 24 athletes allowed to advance due to the “two-per-country” rule.

Jordyn Wieber – Photo courtesy of USA Gymnastics’ Facebook page.

This rule is ridiculous on many levels. For one, the Olympics are supposed to be a competition of the world’s best. If you qualify for the Olympics and place in the top 24 or top 8 or whatever number each event is, you should be allowed to move on to the finals. I have a few suggestions that FIG should take a look at.

1. Allow the top 24 for the all-around and top eight for the individual events qualify for the event finals. If a medal sweep on an event or two happens, so be it. The games are supposed represent the best of the best.
2. For the all-around take the top eight qualifiers no matter their country and have the next 16 picked from countries that don’t already have two representatives. This still allows parity but doesn’t penalize those who truly are the best of the best. Same goes for top four on individual apparatuses.
3. If they they are adamant about only having two athletes per country to avoid a podium sweep, then have the individuals qualify for their events at their country’s respective Olympic Trials. Swimming does this and yes some people won’t be happy but it will help the athletes concentrate on team finals and on their events more. There are a few issues with this format. One is that right now only eight athletes qualify for the individual apparatus events. If the qualifications were to change this way, it would include more gymnasts. Another issue is that unlike swimming, gymnastics is a judged sport and can get completely different scores from different judges.

Regardless, I thought Wieber handled herself very well. It was devastating for her to not qualify, but she still managed to give a composed interview that included praising her teammates that did move onto finals. I hope she can move on and have an amazing team final and earn a medal on floor.

A few more quick hits:

Megan Rapinoe leaps into her teammates arms – Photo courtesy of U.S. Soccer’s Facebook page.

I love our women’s soccer team. They are such studs. The energy they have is fantastic and they play so well together. I hope I get to see them play at some point in the near future. (I had to work an ASU event when they were this past year). I’m happy to see their players turning into household names.

Even though I knew it had happened, I still found myself yelling in my living room when I saw Dana Vollmer break the world record to win gold during the primetime telecast.

Speaking of the primetime telecast, as long as they give options to show the events live online, I don’t have an issue with showing many of the events on primetime. I think the people who are mainly complaining about it are those who don’t work a standard 8-5 schedule. For those of us who do and who have offices that don’t allow streaming or TVs, we have to wait to get home anyway. While the quality isn’t great, I haven’t had an issue with the live streaming so far and appreciate having the option. I will be trying to save my watching of the gymnastics TF tomorrow though.

Ryan Lochte, WTH is up with the grill. C’mon man!

I’m annoyed by commentators who claim a swimmer (male or female) to be the next Michael Phelps. What Phelps did in 2008 was incredible and I don’t think it will be repeated for a long time. Stop trying to gain ratings by claiming someone is going to do what he did.

Props to Kimberly Rhode. Winning an Olympic medal is a huge accomplishment. Winning one in five straight games is nothing short of incredible. Here’s to hoping you can come back for No. 6.

Tim and I have really enjoyed watching archery. No seriously, I might have to see when a competition in AZ is (especially one featuring Glendale native Brady Ellison). One of the greatest parts of the Olympics is the awareness of non major sports such as fencing, archery, badminton, table tennis, judo. They are athletes too and it’s nice to see them appreciated.

Is there a more marketable athlete right now than Missy Franklin? She’s an absolute stud in the pool and has a bubbly, All-American personality the nation loves and agents are drooling over. As a swimmer, I think it’s great she wants to go to college. If she stays this good/improves, she’ll have plenty of opportunities to get sponsorships after, just like Amanda Beard did. Here’s to hoping she doesn’t end up at U of A though 😉

Looking forward to the rest of this week. I do wish we could get the time off to watch the Olympics… guess I’ll have to settle for livestream and primetime.


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