Hey sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a self admitted “rink rat” so a lot of this blog will be about figure skating and hockey, however as an ex-figure skater, ex-varsity athlete and a sports fan in general, I usually have thoughts and opinions about alot of different sports I follow, so visit often!
It has only been a week in Rio and there are already so many amazing stories to come out of the Olympics. Here are my favorite moments from week one:
Top Tweet: Based on how much tv coverage there was for all of the Phelps finals, this is the best tweet I have seen all week. It sure puts it in perspective!
@cla_hanabi: “substitute Phelps with Hanyu and you’ll have coverage of any skating even on Japanese tv”.
Gymnastics: Mens Event: Team Japan and King Kohei
Uchimura-san said that all he wanted to do was to win the Team Event. After 2 previous silver medals in the Team Event in 2008 and 2012, they did it!! What an amazing comeback!! What an amazing event!! Everyone did their part, and shared in the success.
Source: Getty Images: Ryan Pierse
I am most familiar with Uchimura and Shirai. That is most likely because these 2 are the ones that are most photographed alongside Yuzu, and also they are the ones that the Canadian tv networks focus on whenever gymnastics is on.
Two days after achieving his goal of Gold in the Team Event, King Kohei repeats as the Mens Individual All Around champion!! This is the first time this has been accomplished in 44 years!! The last man to do this was also a Japanese gymnast by the name of Sawao Kato (1968 and 1972). The all around was so close!! What a nail biter but I was so happy when Kohei won!!
This article (link below) is a fantastic story about Uchimura-san growing up, and about his mom. He plans to retire AFTER 2020?? Wow!! I thought he was going to retire after Rio!! Boy, gymnastics in 2020 Japan will be one of the most popular events of that Olympics!
The best part of the article is how he would visualize tricks by squishing his stuffed animal!! Awwwe!!!
Source: Getty Images: Laurence Griffiths
Swimming: Penny Oleksiak
Source: @Sportsnet twitter
Canada has never been this excited about the women in swimming!! That’s not to say we have never won swimming events before, but not like this. Penny Oleksiak is a 16 yr old phenom swimmer. I am writing this on Friday afternoon and she’s not done yet, but she already has 4 medals: 1 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze!! Amazing!!! New Canadian records! Penny is putting Canada back on the swimming map!!
Trying to follow and keep up with social media during the Olympics while watching the events on tv is hard!! At one point, a fan said “And to think in its infinite wisdom the Canadian government thought it would be a good idea to get rid of all the pennies. As usual they were wrong. Congratulations Penny Oleksiak!!” Great tweet!!
I think we all know who will be Canada’s closing ceremonies flag bearer. In fact, I’m pretty sure she will be carrying the flag in for Canada in 2020 Tokyo as well!! Has anyone ever been flag bearer for both the opening and closing of different Olympics?
When Penny won her Gold medal, it was a tie. When they put up the scores on the screen, they listed Canada 2nd second, with USA on top indicating it was a tie, even though Canada is first alphabetically. Hmmmm….I didn’t like that. Then during the medal ceremonies, the USA flag was placed on top of the Canadian flag in the center spot. Hmmm, didn’t like that either. But, we got some sweet redemption because in all of the podium pictures, Penny happens to be in the middle position for the pictures (just because of the way they had them lineup), in the gold medal spot. Heh heh, whoo hoo for the little things! Congrats to both winners though!
Swimming: Michael Phelps
Source: @Sportsnet twitter
What can you say about the greatest swimmer of all time?? I have read a lot about his last 4 years and his downward spiral, and his road to recovery. What a crazy story. But, he is healthy and happy, and has an adorable baby boy, Boomer!!! I love watching him race and am screaming at the television whenever he is on.
When we talk about the insane amount of media coverage of Phelps’ races, the Phelps impact extends beyond the pool!! The NFL Baltimore Ravens even stopped play in the middle of their pre-season game for the 200 IM final!! Now, that’s incredible!! Talk about a city getting behind it’s athlete!! I mean, this is the NFL stopping for one guy!!!
So, about that 200 IM final. I watched the race on CBC and the commentator was Elliotte Friedman, an NHL broadcaster. He was thrown into the position at the last minute because the original commentator Steve Armitage fell ill. I knew which lane Phelps was in, and during the last leg of the race, he was clearly in the lead. Then the big OOPS moment came where Friedman was calling the race with Lochte in the lead, and that Phelps wasn’t going to make the podium. I was so confused! Then the moment of silence, and then the apology. Holy cow, what a mix-up!! But, Friedman then went on to twitter and apologized, and of course, all Canadians got behind him.
Ryan Lochte, who has basically been in Phelps’ shadow for the last decade or more, had a funny quote: “I guess you would say I’d be like the Michael Phelps of swimming if he wasn’t there.” Priceless!!
Commentator Moment: Poor Elliotte Friedman
If you think the Phelps/Lochte goof up was bad enough, it continued moments later during the next race.
Penny Oleksiak had her gold medal winning race next. Poor Elliotte proceeded to call Penny by the wrong name (Overholt) during the race!! The Phelps blunder was confusing but funny but the Oleksiak goof up? C’mon, Friedman is an NHL guy, so he should have gotten it correct since Penny’s brother Jamie, actually plays in the NHL for the Dallas Stars!
This is a great article where Elliotte was interviewed about his goof ups afterwards. I feel bad for him, but he did his best, and live play by play is tough!! I’m sure he will be happy to go back to his day job where the water is frozen, the ice rink.
Volleyball: Team Canada
Wow, Canada started out with a bang!!! We didn’t just beat the USA, we beat them 3-0!! What an amazing match!! I found an article (link below) that I enjoyed reading and wanted to share because it really described how volleyball in Canada is viewed. The best excerpt from the article:
A little volleyball context: When Hoag took over the national team 10 years ago, the program was somewhat in disarray. Canada was ranked 22nd in the world in volleyball and going nowhere without notice. In hockey terms, that made us Japan or Korea. In basketball terms, we were Tunisia or Great Britain. In Olympic terms, Canada was known basically by three distinct letters: DNQ. Did not qualify.
After a loss to Brazil where their setter, their middles, and their libero literally schooled us, we had another disappointing loss to France. We now have a “must win” game against Mexico coming up today, Go Canada Go!!
Synchro Diving: Chinese Divers
The chinese womens’ teams on 3M springboard and 10M platform synchronized diving events were mind blowing – such perfection!! These girls were incredible!! I feel bad for the divers having to dive into murky green water where they ran out of chlorine due to budget constraints. Really?
So, week 2 is in progress!! Can Usain Bolt 3-peat and complete the triple/triple?? That sounds like he is a figure skater now!! Ha ha. And of course, Go Canada Go!!
Go Yuzu Go!!! Doki Doki!!