As unimpressed as I’ve been with the reporters at the events in general (swimming & gymnastics, especially), I have really enjoyed the interviews in the studio with the athletes. I definitely have to give NBC some credit for doing a lot of those this Olympics. I really think it’s cool that they interviewed Arron Piersol, Brendan Hansen, & Jason Lezak without Michael Phelps and giving them a bit of the attention they deserve. Don’t get me wrong, I think Michael Phelps is probably the most amazing Olympian of all time and probably always will be, since he’s still very young. However, the other guys on that relay (especially Lezak, who did an amazing job in the freestyle relay) did a lot and deserve some credit. Without them (and Phelps’ other relay teammates), Phelps couldn’t have broken the record of 7 gold medals in one Olympics.
I was glad to see that the Chinese women got the bronze medal as well as the silver in beach volleyball. Of course, the match happened before the gold medal match last night, but I didn’t find out until after I got home and was able to watch Very cool for them to get their first two medals in beach volleyball when the Olympics are at home. It was the first time since beach volleyball was introduced to the Olympics that Brazil didn’t get a medal – they must be pretty devastated.
Kerri Walsh & Misty May-Treanor were the only Americans I’d noticed who actually sang the National Anthem until the women’s soccer team later in the day. It was great to see them win the gold medal again (in an exciting game that went into extra time, since it was scoreless at the end of regulation).
I can’t believe Japan won gold in softball. I guess that’s what can happen when you go into a game with everyone wondering if the other team will even score, rather than fighting to win. The US women must be crushed… Most of the games the US women played started out with the commentators wondering if the other team would get a hit, not if the other team would win. I didn’t watch the game, since I don’t find it very interesting when a team dominates a sport so much. I stopped paying attention to the US softball team years ago.
As a big volleyball fan, I can’t wait to see the US women’s volleyball team playing for the gold (after sweeping the match against Cuba). They’ll play Brazil in the finals. Brazil hasn’t lost a single set so far in the 2008 Olympics. Hopefully, the US will break that streak.
Until Wang Chen of the US beat South Korea’s Kim Kyung-ah to advance to the quarterfinals, the US had never had an Olympian get that far. Wang, born in China, had a lot of friends at the match and dropped to her knees crying when she won. It was an amazing match and is the first time anyone from the US has made it to the quarterfinals and Gao Jun of the US was eliminated just barely, losing 4-3 to Wu Xue of the Dominican Republic.
I hate that they cut the beginning of the men’s quarterfinal match (22-21 USA when they started airing it). So sad! I love volleyball and clearly the game was good – a game can’t be that close without being pretty exciting. The commentator even mentioned it. They did win the first set 25-22. They turned around the second set (losing 16-13) to win 25-21. They dropped the third set 25-27 and the fourth set 22-25, but came back to win the 5th set 15-13. I can’t wait for the gold medal match! In the next quarterfinal match, the commentators were saying they think the US will be the team to beat in the gold medal match, no matter who moves on. I hope they’re right. No matter what, it should be a great match and it’s their first appearance in the finals since 1988.
I don’t remember ever seeing a jump-off for gold and bronze in the equestrian individual jumping event. Both the US competitors jumped part of the decoration and Beezie Madden successfully completed the course and beat the time set by the German rider who started the jump-off for bronze.
I thought they might cut out a lot of the gymnastics gala, since they only showed parts of it Wednesday night, but fortunately, they showed it on Oxygen in Thursday night’s coverage. As a former gymnast and lover of the sport, I like seeing the gymnasts just let go and have fun doing the sport they love at the end of the competition and I’m glad NBC didn’t decide to cut this as they did so much of the gymnastics throughout the Olympics. I’m sure they didn’t show us everything, since they’ve been cutting a lot all along, but they did show a lot of great performances at the gala.
The interviews with all the gymnasts were great, too. I think Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin are great, but my favorite gymnast on the women’s team was Alicia Sacramone. It’s sad that she still totally blames herself for the team getting silver instead of the gold. There was quite a bit of a difference in the scores. I really don’t think she should blame herself, though I’m sure as the leader of the team she feels responsible. A lot of the blame has to be placed on the judging. There’s no way around that. It’s so funny how a female gymnast at 21 is already getting old for the sport and thinking she probably won’t be able to compete in the next Olympics. Very sad, since Alicia is my favorite from the team, but it’s what I expected.