Rio Roundup: Day Six, Part Two

Michael Phelps wins gold medal number 22 and Fiji does something that the tiny island nation has never done since 1952

Final Rugby Sevens update:

Fiji pounded Great Britain by a final score of 38-7.  It wasn’t even close as the tiny island nation claimed its’ first ever medal in any Olympics.  Huge congratulations to the country of over 9 million people located 1,300 miles northwest of New Zealand.  As for the bronze medal, it went to South Africa beating Japan and the Americans ended up finishing in ninth place.

Beach volleyball match for the ages

Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena have been through close matches before in their many years on the AVP tour.  However, as day turned to night in Rio on Wednesday afternoon–this match had everything and then some.

Several times, a team from Italy had the American duo on the ropes.  Each time led to a side out.  Likewise, the same thing happened for the Americans leading by a point.  Seven match points, seven times denied.  But finally on the eighth attempt, a spike was knocked out of bounds and the American team remained undefeated in a three set thriller for the ages.

And this just in from late night while most of the nation was watching the tape of gymnastics and the ladies’ All-Around competition:

The indoor men’s volleyball team shocked the number 1 team entering this tournament in host Brazil.  The American team needed at least three points to stay alive for a possibility of earning a medal and they got it.  Thanks to superb serving which led to plenty of aces after being back on their heels earlier in the week, the likes of star player Matt Anderson, setter Micah Christenson, and captain David Lee stepped to the fore.  They are currently tied with Canada for fourth place with two matches to go in pool play.

What else can we say about Michael Phelps?

“It wasn’t even close.”

Veteran play-by-announcer Dan Hicks during the NBC live telecast as Michael Phelps made more history on Thursday night

The 200 meter medley was Michael Phelps’ coming out party once again.  Sure, he is 31 but he has that unique killer instinct that blows everyone else out of the water–and I mean literally and figuratively out of the water.

Rowdy Gaines simply had the line of the night after showing a diagram with one simple line across the entire eight lanes of the pool and nobody was within 10 yards of him:

“Wow!”

He was especially solid in the final 50 meters, shortly after touching the wall in completing the breakstroke portion of the program.  It was something special to watch as Phelps won his 22nd overall gold medal and in the process became the first ever Olympian to win in the same event four consecutive times (dating back to Athens in 2004).  To put this win in historical perspective, his 15 individual medals are six more than four other past Olympians.  Ryan Lochte tried his best but only finished fifth.

Gold also went again to Ryan Murphy as he won in the 200 meter backstroke, sweeping such disciplines.

For the ladies however, it is a passing of the torch.  Maya Ridano finished second in her semifinal heat of the 200 meter backstroke, as 2012 gold medalist Missy Franklin says good bye to Olympic competition finishing up in a meager ninth place.

Thoughts of the Day:

I heard on ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago during the Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic show (commonly known simply as Carmen and Jurko, heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon Central Time) the famed college, golf, and Olympics sportswriter Teddy Greenstein comment on how he is being careful in traveling around Rio, but he basically said over the phone that:

  • The running water in the shower is working fine.
  • The air conditioning in his hotel room is working well.

And he had to this to say as well in regards to the host nation’s hospitality:

“The Brazilian people are so very nice.”

I guess Brazil is showing more than their true colors.  Again, so far so good.

Also, is everyone being sick and tired of the Superstore promos–especially the ad where one guy pretends to be working at a Best Buy type store and knocks off several boxes that would have contained several 50 inch HDTV sets inside them?

It is a bit surprising that there will be even some prime time shows following some nights of the Games.  Normally, you would go to your local news (except for those people living on the West Coast).  Super Bowls have had later endings since 1999 when John Elway finished his Hall of Fame career on top winning back-to-back Super Bowls as star quarterback of the Denver Broncos.

Finally, I bet the party in Fiji is going to be HUGE!

Winning the nation’s first ever Olympic medal in history has to be one inspirational and truly remarkable story.

If I get some time over the weekend, I will try to post some kind of YouTube clip of either the locals celebrating in their own unique way or if they show the players exiting the airport and greeting their anxious fans.

Basketball and volleyball continue on Friday.

If the weather doesn’t impact my computer, I hope to post a blog sometime during the afternoon or evening.  If not, I will catch up sometime over the weekend.  Please have a good night.

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