Usain Bolt makes history as first ever triple triple man
Welcome to Rio Roundup, Day Fourteen and what a historic day it was.
SMALL NOTE #1: Albeit I started typing this when the new NBC sitcom Superstore premiered with a very strange Olympic themed episode, featuring three former U.S. Olympic greats as guest stars–McKayla Maroney, Apolo Anton Ohno, and Tara Lipinski very briefly pretending to hold a bunch of shopping bags going about her merry way.
Marvelous. Magnificent. Incredible. Sensational. True Master of his craft.
Those are the first words that came to my mind as Usain Bolt of Jamaica pulled away to nip Japan at the tape to secure Jamaica’s third consecutive gold medal in the men’s 4 x 100 meter relay.
* (PLEASE SEE NOTE BELOW) At the time this blog was posted, Bolt joined Paulo Huber from the 1920’s and former American track star Carl Lewis from 1984 and 1988 as nine-time track Olympic gold medalists.
That’s a triple triple for you, my online friends–rarely heard in basketball when it comes to points, rebounds, and assists in a game, but we witnessed amazing history on Friday night. Glittering Olympic history.
And just like Michael Phelps did with true flair earlier in the week at the swimming pool, Usain Bolt retired from Olympic competition on top. What a way to go out!
Women’s water polo repeats as gold medal winners
The final score was 12-5 as Team USA repeated their gold medal performance in a convincing way Friday afternoon against Italy.
The bigger story was after the medal ceremony, when Team USA head coach Adam Krikorian, had to leave Rio prior to the opening ceremony after his brother Blake passed away. Krikorian managed to return to Brazil the day before the tournament began, and somehow–the ladies became more than an inspiration to him.
The image of each player taking their hard earned gold medals off their respective necks and adorning it over the coach’s shoulders will be a memory I will take away from these Olympics.
Men’s basketball beats Spain, again
But it wasn’t for the gold medal, like it was in Beijing 2008 and again in London 2012. It was a nip-and-tuck semifinal and play actually did get chippy at times. Feeling like an NBA playoff game instead of an Olympic semifinal, Team USA emerged victorious 82-76 behind the excellent play of Klay Thompson and Carmelo Anthony.
They will play Serbia for the gold on Sunday beginning at around 2:45 p.m. Eastern time in the final event of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. Serbia pounded the Boomers of Australia 87-61 in the second semifinal that featured lots of stifling defense. Australia only managed to score five points in the first quarter and nine more in the second.
Australia will play Pao Gasol and Spain Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Eastern, which you can see on NBCSN for the bronze–which will air opposite of the finish to the men’s marathon at the Sambadrome.
Men’s volleyball has Brazil playing Italy…again
It happened on rainy Copacabana Beach, and it will happen indoors for gold on Sunday. Italy came from behind scoring six unanswered points to stun Team USA in the fourth set before proceeding to win going away 15-9 in the fifth tiebreaker set. Brazil got revenge for their loss to Russia in London 2012 in three close sets. The gold medal will take place shortly after the last events in rhythmic gymnastics. It will air live at approximately 2:15 p.m. on NBC.
Final weekend as the world finally exhales from Team USA swimming fiasco
Saturday will feature the American women looking for gold for the sixth straight time in basketball against Spain (2:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC).
Earlier in the day, Karch Kiraly and Team USA will try to beat the Netherlands for the seventh straight time in international competition as the winner will claim bronze starting at noon Eastern on MSNBC. China will battle Serbia at night for the gold (9:15 p.m. Eastern on NBC).
Depending on the weather situation during the day, I will try my best to blog during the afternoon. If not, expect my final late night blog on Saturday.
Plus…looking ahead briefly to Sunday: I will have one very special surprise of a different sort. And no, it does not involve that Filipino store associate pretending to think that “America is great at what?”
Thought of the Day:
So glad each of the afflicted swimmers said what they did and they all arrived home safe and sound. If only we as Americans are so lucky to pony up to our favorite charities to avoid time in jail anytime someone with a badge catches anyone with a crime that technically shouldn’t be a crime.
As one film I used to recall seeing when I was in college, I recall the title to this day:
Do The Guilty Go Free?
Hope to see you then. Please have a good night, everybody.
* SMALL NOTE #2: As of Wednesday, January 25, 2017–Usain Bolt is no longer tied with Carl Lewis for most Olympic track and field medals, as originally reported above. You can read more about the IOC’s findings stemming from the 2008 Jamaican relay team here: