Monday Morning Realist: Olympics Opening Weekend

Hosted by Akiem Balium- Host of 10 Minutes on the Clock on The Real Sports Talk Network, and Blogger for TRST’s the Sports Realist. Follow Akiem on Twitter @Li495Akiem

The Games(and the stories) have begun alright…

.After a stirring, reflective, upbeat, and emotional Opening Cermonies organized by Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle (which some are already saying topped Beijing’s), the London 2012 Olympic Games have indeed gotten off to a wildstart.

 China’s Golden Artillery

The first gold medal of the games was spotted at the Royal Artillery Barracks. China’s Yi Siling beat Sylwia Bogacka of Poland 103.9 to 103.2 to claim the top prize at the 10M Air Rifle competition.

 Choppy Waters for Michael Phelps

From an American point of view, The closing act for Michael Phelps as an Olympic athlete is off to a rocky start. In the 400 meter IM preliminaries, Phelps qualified, but was the last swimmer to qualify. He was 8 out of 8.

Then in the medal stages of those same 400 IMs, Florida’s very own Ryan Lochte dominated the rest of the field to win gold. Phelps, by the way, didn’t even medal by finishing 4th.

And today in the 4 X 100M from the Aquatics Centre, France’s motto must’ve been “N’oubliezpas le Lezak!” (Remember the Lezak!). Jason Lezak turned out to be the difference in the US winning gold in the 4 X 100 in Beijing—and was a critical step in Michael Phelps winning his 8 golds. Yannick Agnel outswam Lochte in the finalleg of the event to win gold for France. Meaning Phelps’ only medal of these Olympics is a silver.

It’s safe to say Beijing already feels like a distant memory.

Luckily, a female swimmer managed to win gold before Phelps. Speaking of ex-Gators, DanaVollmer in the women’s 100 M individual butterfly final not only managed to win gold, but became the first woman to do so in less than 56 seconds.

In other words, that’s a world record.

 ¡Que Mala!

Today in football, a major development occurred that could be the story of the Olympics so far. Spain’s national team(s) have been dominating football as of late. They won gold in Beijing. They won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. They were the champions of the Euro 2012 tourney in Ukraine/Poland.

Spain doesn’t have to worry about setting up another parade in Madrid. After losing to Japan,their final match of these Olympics was in Newcastle-upon-Tyne losing toHonduras 1-0. Granted, this is not the same Spanish team that won the Euro 2012 tournament as it is comprised primarily of players from their under-20 and under-18 national teams. Still, Spain was one of the favorites to win gold in men’s football & they now take a short exit from London.

 Tears of Despair

After injuries and failures to qualify for Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin,London 2012 was set up perfectly to be the crowning moment for 17-year old Jordyn Wieber as gymnastics’ new “it-girl”. But thanks to a controversialtechnicality on behalf of FIG (the International Gymnastics Federation), Wieber’s dreams of winning gold in the women’s gymnastics all-around came to an end.

This wasn’t because she was outdone by anyone from other countries. The two ladies that scored higher than Wieber were Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman—both teammates ofWieber.

The rule states that in international competition, only 2 from each country can make it to the finals out of the 24 participants. 12 countries get represented. But,already, this has sparked outrage at FIG on Twitter. The outrage has been so felt that someone even went to and organized a petition demanding FIG to change the rule. While Raisman was being interviewed by NBC, Wieber was seen (numerous times, by the way) in tears, disappointed at her performance.

More than anything else, it’s a testament to just how talented USA’s Women’s Gymnastics team is and why they should win gold in team competition.

Home Cookin’…British Style

In the pre-Games build up, I was listening to BBC Radio, the flagship broadcaster for these Olympics. The topic was: Do British athletes feel more comfortable representing England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales? Or are they fine with competing under the Union Jack for the two weeks of London’s Olympics?

British are very territorially split when it comes to sports, football in particular which they basically invented. But they seem to be united under the Union Jack for the sake of the Games. Already in football, Britain’s women defeated Cameroon2-0. Britain’s men defeated UAE 3-1 with goals from Ryan Giggs, Scott Sinclair,and Daniel Sturridge.

It also looked like that Britain would put themselves on the Gold Medal board viacycling. Lizzie Armistead led coming down to the final meters, but she waited too long. Marianne Vos of the Netherlands did make her move & crossed the finish line first to claim gold for her country.

Arm instead finished 2nd and claimed silver.

Are Peacocks Supposed to Lay Eggs?

If they are,a huge one has been spotted near 30 Rockefeller Center in New York.

It seems as if NBC still can’t get over its tiring fetish of airing Olympic events ontape-delay. Even the Opening Ceremonies which were on BBC live. CTV, Canada’sOlympic broadcaster who is in the final year of their deal with the IOC alsoaired the OCs live. And NBC’s meme of live-streaming via the internet was jk exposed when (1) they’re requiring a cable/satellite subscription for the live-streaming service and (2) those that are using the live-streaming service aren’t even accessing all the streams clearly.

Certain events that should be live have been kept in primetime even after NBC’s ownTwitter feeds gave away the results. During the Opening Ceremonies, instead of showing Akmar Khan’s tribute to the July 7th 2005 terror attack victims, they aired a pre-taped Ryan Seacrest interview with the women’sgymnastics “Fab Five”.

This is only scraping the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mistakes and sorry excusesNBC’s brass has given for why it covers the Olympics the way it does. I could write an entire column on the miscues of NBC as opposed to the rave review the flagshipBeeb has received.

I can’t imagine one year after re-upping with the Peacock until 2020 that Jacques Roggeis too pleased with what his #1 TV bankrollers are putting forth. The IOC called NBC on this thing before the bids came up and if NBC didn’t commit to live-streaming, we’re talking about Sochi 2014 Winter Games on ESPN or Fox.

Luckily, tape-delay is not a practice here at The Real Sports Talk. Maybe we ought to have the Olympics rights…

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Posted on July 30, 2012, in Olympics. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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