Rio Roundup: Day Thirteen, Part Two
Bizarre day away from the fields of play and beach volleyball decides gold in the driving rain
After Team USA blew a great chance to play for gold in women’s indoor volleyball, China will get their chance to play upstart Serbia after upsetting the Dutch in four sets on Thursday night. The gold medal match will start at around 9:15 p.m. Eastern Saturday night on NBC. The Americans will play the Netherlands for the bronze much earlier in the day. Coverage begins at noon Eastern on MSNBC.
The women’s basketball team will play for their sixth consecutive gold medal after a nice 86-67 victory over France. Team USA had five players in double figures, led by Diana Taurasi’s 18 points. Credit the tenacious defense for jumpstarting the offense as a tense four point halftime lead suddenly swelled to 21 at the end of the third quarter. The Americans final opponent will be Spain, while France will take on Serbia earlier on Saturday for the bronze.
Finally, Alison and Bruno Schmidt delivered on iconic Copacabana beach where the women did not. Brazil has their gold medal in beach volleyball on their own soil, beating Nicolai and Lupo of Italy 21-19 and 21-17 on a very rainy and slick sand of Copacabana Beach. By contrast, this rain was not as driving as it was in smog-filled Beijing, China when Kerri Walsh Jennings and her longtime former partner Misty May Treanor sliced and diced the competition en route to the 2008 women’s gold medal (and I am sure most of you are probably sick of seeing the countless replays that NBC has been showing over the last two weeks).
Although there were not a lot of umbrellas in the crowd, but they were really getting into the match–full throat and all. Simply a magnificent performance.
And yes, Usain Bolt blew away the competition to earn his second gold in the 200 meter dash. Friday night hopes to see new history as Bolt goes for a triple triple in the always interesting 4 x 100 meter dash.
Thought of the Day:
While I was watching Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman on the Fox Business Network as the press conference with their key police official was going on Rio, my mind kept saying–what dumb things these swimmers have done. Not only have they ruined any future career aspirations, but more than likely–they have set back USA Swimming to a new low. Even worse, the whole world feels embarrassed just talking about it–on Twitter and other forms of social media and sports talk radio.
About three hours later, ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak interviewed a prominent criminal defense attorney in Brazil. He basically said that the false crime report mentioned by Ryan Lochte and the other three swimmers could be possible grounds for some “light punishment” (probable equivalent to a misdemeanor charge if similar conditions took place in the United States). Again, let us not put the cart before the horse.
Please, let all of the facts come out and hopefully the swimmers will learn their lesson big time.
What we do know is that there was a confrontation, but no robbery or assault took place early Sunday morning. Video surveillance and key witnesses painted a different picture outside the one Rio gas station than what Ryan Lochte originally told police at the time and later will tell Billy Bush on the Today show.
Remember the one dude that sat in the front row eating pizza during class time in the famous 1981 smash hit, Fast Times At Ridgemont High?
This definitely makes this Olympics the theater of the bizarre. Regardless how the Brazilian authorities do during questioning with the swimmers, there is clearly one thing we can learn from this sad and sorry episode:
People who drink and cause major commotion while most people are usually sound asleep usually will end up in major trouble.