Last night’s Olympics coverage had some of the most shocking footage (to me) so far in the Olympics. Although perhaps they should have given Haley Ishimatsu (the 15-year-old diver who just missed qualifying for the platform diving, coming in 14th when the top 12 advanced) a bit more time before her interview, I understand wanting to talk to her before she left for the night. Surprisingly, the reporter asking Haley how it felt to be so close to qualifying and not make it seemed touched moved by Haley’s tears and tried to comfort her. I was shocked. It was nice to see a reporter for NBC seem to care about the feelings of one of the athletes at the Olympics. Normally, it seems like they’re cold-hearted and actually enjoy asking questions like “So, you just missed getting the gold by 1/1000 of a second – how do you feel?” and concentrating on the negative side, rather than saying something like “You just won the silver medal, beating out tons of other athletes – how do you feel?” I appreciate the fact that one of the reporters actually came across as caring about an athlete. I’m sure it won’t last, but it was a nice touch.
The men’s volleyball match against Italy yesterday was definitely exciting. I know that the USA wasn’t expected to win and it was a huge upset, but clearly I was rooting for the USA and was going nuts watching them. I’d be rooting for them anyway, but with UCI’s men’s volleyball coach (John Speraw) there as an assistant coach to the team, I really want them to do well! I’m excited that the men’s volleyball team moved on to the medal round and I hope to see them play for the gold. Go USA!
Of course, watching the women’s beach volleyball finals wasn’t too surprising. I figured Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor would win the gold and be the first team to win back-to-back gold medals in the Olympics (teams often aren’t even the same from Olympics to Olympics, it seems). I’m so happy that they were able to achieve their dream and move on with their lives now, though I’ll miss them in London if they’re too busy with their families to participate. They’re a lot of fun to watch on the AVP tour and in the Olympics. I did think that the Chinese team might win one of the sets against May-Treanor and Walsh. They are a very good team. It’s amazing to me that May-Treanor and Walsh were able to get through two entire Olympics without losing a single set. They did face set points against other teams, but they never actually lost a single set to another team in the Olympics. That’s amazing.
Usain Bolt broke the 200m world record Michael Johnson set in the Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996. Many felt that Johnson’s record was untouchable, but Bolt proved them wrong. Even people who aren’t interested in track & field seem interested in world records being broken.
Those who were talking about all the excitement being over when Michael Phelps was done swimming and the gymnastics had ended are really missing out on the volleyball, beach volleyball, diving, track & field and many other sports that are still going on (it’d take too long to list them all). I can understand the people who are sick of hearing about the “Redeem Team” and not being interested in basketball (I feel the same), but there are tons of other sports to watch – even BMX racing, which can be kind of fun to watch. The gymnastics showcase pieces are enjoyable, too. It’s good to see the athletes relax after winning their medals and have fun out there. I realize I’m not biased, since I’m clearly addicted to the Olympics, but a lot of world records have been broken in Beijing and many are starting to argue what I believe (that Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time – he’s only 23 and he’s already surpassed the lifelong totals of everyone who’s ever participated in the Olympic games – imagine what he can do since he’s not done in the Olympics yet). How can one not be interested in the Olympics with so much happening?