The United States Men’s National Volleyball team qualified for the 2010 World Championships in Italy on August 15-17. They finished the qualification tournament at the Bren Events Center at UC Irvine campus in Irvine, CA 3-0 without even losing a set to Guatemala, Panama, or the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic only lost to the United States and will go on to another qualifying tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico later this month.
Having seen The Dominican Republic dominate in their matches against Guatemala and Panama, I was looking forward to a more interesting match with the United States. They did put up more of a fight than either of the other teams (the Dominican Republic was even ahead at the first technical timeout of the second set), but they were no match for the United States (who won the sets 25-16, 25-19, & 25-15).
Guatemala didn’t win a single set, though they made The Dominican Republic beat them 27-25 in their third set on Sunday and looked good at a couple points against Panama. Matches that are sweeps are definitely not as exciting as close matches, but the US team was definitely a lot better than the other teams in this qualifying tournament. I’m sure they’ll do well at the world championships, though clearly the other best teams in the world were not in Irvine with the US team.
Tags: national team, UC Irvine, United States, volleyball, World Championships
Unfortunately, Oxygen didn’t air the World Figure Skating Championship men’s free skate until 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. last night/this morning on my cable network. So, I avoided all news of the results and watched the competition today.
Lysacek won his first gold medal in the World Figure Skating Championships in the town he’s chosen to call home. Very few competitors (in any sport) are lucky enough to win their first World Championship in their country, let alone in their favorite arena in their own city.
After the perplexing standings at the end of the short program, even the commentators seemed completely unsure of how fair the judging would seem at the end. When a skater can touch his hand to the ice in his short program and end up in 1st place, I can’t really support the method of judging. The same problem happens in ice skating and gymnastics, since they changed the way scoring is done. When Joubert had his first major error in his free skate, they talked about how it might not cost him as much as we’d expect, since his errors in the short program still allowed him to start the night in 1st place. When Joubert fell, it was pretty clear that Lysacek had secured the gold medal, though. I think there would have been a riot in Staples Center if the judging had gone that horribly wrong. Canada’s national champion (Patrick Chan) had performed his free skate before Lysacek, so Joubert’s fall secured the gold medal for Evan Lysacek.
Their performance in this year’s World Championships also secured 3 spots for the American men in next year’s Olympics. Lysacek mentioned that being an important part of his win.
The World Championship win at home is a great accomplishment (especially when he’s done it all with a stress fracture) to help Lysacek on his road to the Vancouver Olympics next year.
Tags: Brian Joubert, Evan Lysacek, figure skating, Olympics, Patrick Chan, Staples Center, World Championships
Evan Lysacek, born and raised in Chicago but currently living in the Los Angeles area, had an amazing short program last night to start off his 2009 World Championships with a bang. Evan practices not far from Staples Center at the Toyota Center in El Segundo (where the Kings and Lakers practice) and attends Lakers games at Staples Center. Evan has medaled twice in the World Figure Skating Championships (bronze in 2005 & 2006). He came in fourth in the 2006 Olympics and was US Figure Skating Champion in 2007 & 2008. Clearly, it would be special for Lysacek to win his first World Championship on his home turf at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Lysacek is perfectly positioned (in 2nd after the short program yesterday) to win the World Championships for his first time, which would be a wonderful accomplishment to for the year before the Olympics in Vancouver. Evan’s performance in the short program was outstanding. One of the best things about the short program (from a simple spectator who’s obsessed with the Olympics and many of the sports in them viewpoint) was that Lysacek was clearly having a great time. Once he got the jumps out of the way, he just let loose and enjoyed himself. This allowed the audience to enjoy it with him and clearly got the Staples Center crowd (surely rooting for their local contestant) involved.
Since Oxygen was airing the championships and I don’t get that in HD, I’m hoping NBC will be kind enough to re-air last night’s short program (and tonight’s free skate) in HD when they get to their coverage this weekend. I know women’s figure skating is more popular, but I’d love to see last night’s short program in HD.
Tonight’s men’s free skate starts at 5:35 p.m. Pacific and will air on Oxygen. The complete schedule can be found at Universal Sports and it’s all available to watch live and on demand after it airs. If you’re interested in more information about Evan Lysacek, check out the official Evan Lysacek website.
Tags: Evan Lysacek, figure skating, HD, NBC, Olympics, Staples Center, World Championships