Monday, August 6, 2012

A Detour Through London

So all day yesterday I avoided the spoilers surrounding Oscar Pistorius's semi-final run. I didn't expect him to make it to the finals, but I wanted to see the race for myself without already knowing how it ended.

And I didn't want to take all day waiting to watch a 45 second race!

So from the scheduled time for the race until 11 PM last night I kept checking in. I saw bits of women's volleyball (very cool), women's waterpolo (brutal), women's marathon (the winner was the one who fell at the water station!) equestrian competition (I have no idea what to look for), diving (I don't get why athletes choose a sport where years of training come down to the size of a splash), and the women's gymnastic vault competition (I would feel tremendously sorry for McKayla Maroney but her demeanor [concentration aside] and apparent sportsmanship is very off putting).

I couldn't spend the day watching horses jump or rain fall on runners. I have a book to finish. So I had the TV on in the next room (because Oscar's racing wasn't broadcasting when it was supposed to). and kept an ear out. At one point "carbon fiber" caught my ear and I raced next door in time to see one of NBC's little athlete spotlights about OP. And then nothing. For hours.

The race finally broadcast at 11 last night and for me the highlight wasn't the outcome, but the exchange of bibs. That, and knowing that Oscar's participation in the Olympics will inspire so many people.

Next week, back to books! I have pictures to share and Sammy Keyes updates. But this one's for Oscar. What a guy!

PS Besides Oscar, Missy Franklin and Gabby Douglas are a couple of my favorites. Let's hear yours!


bookworm said...

I haven't been first in a long time. :)

Faves: Oscar, the two British women that one the doubles rowing, Sarah Richards Ross.

I saw the race and exchange of bibs.I thought that was so cool and respectful of James to do that for Oscar.

PS, thought about TRD and her new leg the entire time while I watched. :)

Unknown said...

that was really cool to see! never seen something like that. i like misty my and keri (beach volley ball) and the china badminton players (dont know there names but like china) and i like to see the runners. My mom was happy to finally see some athletica and running. we both loved the running dream by the way :)

Jessica said...

Kirani James is my new favorite. BBC interviewed him after the heat, and when they asked him why he exchanged bibs, his reaction was basically, "Duh, who wouldn't want Oscar Pistorius's bib?" Considering other athletes' attitude, having one of the leaders in the men's 400m say "You belong" is huge. And he didn't even mean for it to be a huge gesture; it really seemed like a spontaneous action.

Louis Smith was very gracious about his silver medal in men's pommel horse (they tied in total points to the thousandth of a point, and so the tie-breaker was execution score). But Smith just acknowledged Berki's talent, calling him "one of the best pommel horse workers the world's ever seen."

Finally, Elisabeth Black, after face-planting on her first vault attempt, actually got up and tried to go again (despite already being out of medal contention) -- she pulled out at the last second when she realized she was more injured than she'd initially thought, but both actions took a lot of guts.

Kylie said...

I am absolutely, completely, obsessed with the Olympics. They are seriously on at my house all day every day from opening ceremonies until the ending ceremonies. In the past years my family hasn't seen as much of them as we have this year. And it is not like we are sitting on our buts all day and watching them. No, they are just on the TV and we are recording them so when something comes on that we want to see, we can.

I think that Oscar is just an amazing person to watch run. My sister and I have loved watching the running events. It was really sad because we watched this one event and this girl was the first girl ever to compete in the olympics for her nation and right as she began running she pulled a muscle and she can't compete anymore. I feel so bad! I mean she was so excited to be first women and just really proud and then she pulls a muscle.

And my family and I have watched every single women's US water polo game because we know someone playing and we are trying to see if we see her husband in the crowd. But we haven't. We did see my sisters Dopple-Ganger in the crowd (learned that from Phineas and Ferb). So that was cool.

My favorite sport to watch is probably gymnastics though. I feel sorry for McKayla too. Everyone kept building her up to win, but she didn't. Well she got silver but everyone was expecting her to get gold. But I find gymnastics so cool to watch. My Dad and I saw this little special NBC did on the womens 1996 gymnastics team, and I now have so much respect for Kerri Strug. She gave up her gymnastics career for her team to win gold. I think it was amazing what she did that night.

And pictures next week! Yay! So excited!


Madelyn Glymour said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madelyn Glymour said...

Reposting due to a silly mistake with one of the names. :)

I'm a fan of McKayla Maroney, and I feel really sorry for her--she's really unquestionably the best vaulter in the world, and it was sad that she fell when she did. Her demeanor's always struck me as kind of unconcerned, which I don't mind at all, and I thought her reaction to falling was very mature. But my favorite on the US Gymnastics team is probably Aly Raisman. (I feel bad for Kyla Ross, too--everyone overlooks her!)

I'm also a fan of Missy Franklin, Oscar Pistorius, and Kerri Walsh. I like Aliya Mustafina and Victoria Komova, from the Russian gymnastics team, as well. And John Orozco, from men's gymnastics--I'm a huge fan, and he did not have the Olympics that he wanted. Plus, I have to support Allison Schmidt and Cassidy Krug as a matter of hometown pride. And as a person with a bit of a problem with authority, I have a soft spot for Shin A-Lam. And I feel like I'm forgetting about a whole bunch of track and field people who I like.

And I know very little about her, but the woman who carried the flag for Iraq in the parade of nations made a big impression on me. Her name's Dana Hussein, and she's a sprinter. She just looked so overwhelmed to be where she was--she really seemed like she was about to cry.

So yeah. I kind of love the Olympics. :)

Anonymous said...

Oscar = <3 I was babbling about him to my sister today, my sister who could care less about the Olympics, and she was like "Oh cool"..Got that outta my system to her of course :)
Gabrielle Douglas, most definitely!! <3
I love watching track & field, soccer, and volleyball.
Though the Winter Olympics is when I'm super pumped. Even though I relate more to soccer and volleyball because I play those sports, there's some inner wild animal in me that only lets loose when it's witnessing ice hockey players doing hat tricks and owning power plays.
Anyway I haven't gotten to watch a whole lot/as much as I would have, because soccer just started and we're constantly out on the field running and conditioning.. But I usually still get into it even if I haven't first hand seen it. So I have some catching up to do.
..Ps I loved how the Vampire Diaries cast made a shout out to Gabrielle since she's a huge fan of the show. WINNING. :)

Kylie said...

Hey did you guys notice that if you rearrange the letters in Gabby's last name you get US Gold? I found that interesting because she got gold.

Unknown said...

kylie, yes i noticed that! i told my mom and she thought it was so cool! Shes like, how many last names can u do that with, cause our last name is Douglas. Ya, im glad she got gold, thats wat makes it awsome!
exact letters! i wonder wat other words u can make out with other last names...

Jessica said...

Kylie and Bella, you guys got me anagramming. "Wendelin Van Draanen" becomes "Revel in a dawn 'n' an end" (like the end of a morning run? -- I tried "ran" and "wend" and "read" but the "v" kept throwing me, so I started with it).

Jessica said...

Don't forget Oscar Pistorius still has the 4x400m relay; the first heat is tomorrow at 11:35am London time (6:35am EDT). The finals will bet at 9:20pm LT (4:20pm EDT) Friday.

I just found out that the IAAF has ruled that he can run any leg and is no longer required to be the lead -- this gives South Africa a much better chance because his start off the blocks is the weakest part of his race. (In the past, they had required him to run lead out of safety concerns, but he's run other legs in non-IAAF races, so they've left the decision up to South Africa.)

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Jessica, thank you for the OP info--I will be sure to pass it along!

And I am absolutely floored by the anagram--AWESOME!!!

Jessica said...

So much good Olympics today, but I realize that the West Coast might be delayed, so no spoilers.

But I have more favorites: Katie Taylor (boxing, Ireland), Yohan Blake, Jade Jones (Taekwondo, Wales -- and that sport is insane: who can kick the other person in the head the most times?), all the men's 800m finals runners... Oh, and I'm so proud that Irish fans set a new crowd noise level -- for women's boxing in its inaugural year, against a home-team (British) opponent, no less (on Tuesday, so not a spoiler). Dressage makes no sense to me. It seems like it's mostly dependent on the horse (though I can tell the rider is constantly signalling).

Can't wait to watch more track and field tomorrow (women's 5k and 1.5k, men's 4x400m finals).

Jessica said...

Again, no spoilers, but I just watched the finals on BBC. My favorite part: they didn't make a big deal of Oscar; this time, they treated him like any other runner. Respect. He's earned it.

Unknown said...

I agree =)

Anonymous said...

He did, didn't he? Although McKayla Maroney is not impressed. ;)