Long awaited vote in Lima, Peru also confirmed Paris, France as 2024 host following Tokyo in 2020
Rejoice and gear up for lots of fun, to the families of Fabiana Passoni and friends of Monica da Silva.
For the first time since 1984, the land of bright lights, lipstick, and five lane Interstate highways will once again play host to a Summer Olympiad. Although Atlanta last hosted in 1996, it will break a long dryspell for the United States that has not been seen since 1932 to Squaw Valley when CBS televised those Winter Olympics in 1960.
Congratulations also to Casey Wasserman and the rest of the Los Angeles Olympic Committee for working tirelessly in bringing one of the grandest international sporting competitions back to the greatest country in the world.
And did you know, this will be a record ninth time that the United States will play host.
According to an article posted on the Olympics page at nbcsports.com, many well known gold medalists from Olympics past gave passionate speeches from the likes of Angela Ruggiero, Allyson Felix, and Janet Evans. Michael Johnson, who dazzled in the track at Atlanta 1996–was also there celebrating his 50th birthday. USOC chairman Larry Probst spoke about perseverance and it resonated very well by a simple show of hands that finally went America’s way.
After highly touted bids failed badly for New York City in 2012 and Chicago in 2016, Los Angeles initially lost out due to the fact that the original USOC choice of Boston dropped out in 2015. This was after serious lack of loyal support and the threat of increasing state taxes on suburban residents that would have housed the athletes.
What all started bouncing in L.A.’s favor was a January 2013 letter penned by former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the USOC expressing interest in bidding for the 2024 Olympics. That letter was also signed by Tom Hanks and Magic Johnson.
Once the bidding eventually settled on having Paris join L.A., other cities dropped out from the likes of Budapest, Hungary; Hamburg, Germany; and the 1960 site of Rome, Italy.
On a personal note, it is too bad we all cannot convert each one of our lifetime savings and make a time machine so we can then watch the fun again (but this time will take place more than likely on NBC on a Friday night), instead of what ABC did in their last ever Summer Olympics when those spectacular Opening Ceremonies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum took place on a Saturday night in early August of 1984.
For more information about the venues that will be hosting the many events during the 2028 events (including a few from 1984 that will be playing to different competitions), please kindly tap or click on the link below:
Announcement comes seven months after Tirico enjoyed nice 25 year career at ESPN
A record 11 Olympics in prime time including 157 straight nights from Barcelona 1992 to prior his eye infection at Sochi 2014 (which includes the last nine Olympiads consecutively), coupled with 27 Emmys for sports, news, and entertainment are records that will stand the test of time, no matter how we consume our media. Since 1980, Bob Costas has pretty much done it all for the one time Chicago Bulls voice for road games on WGN in Chicago. Even going back to his days covering DePaul in men’s college basketball and the wild Saturday afternoon staple of baseball’s original Game of the Week, he would go on to later do the NFL, NBA, horse racing, and of course the late night staple talk show, Later with Bob Costas.
According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Daily website, the announcement comes one year to the day when the next Olympics begins in PyeongChang, Korea. Costas, age 64, will still remain at NBC Sports in a limited capacity. According to a statement released by the network and posted on NBCSports.com, Costas reflected on a truly remarkable era in television history:
“It has been both a privilege and an incredible personal and professional experience to have been part of NBC’s Olympic coverage all these years. I’m especially appreciative of all the talented and dedicated people I worked for and with on those broadcasts. I always felt that, in a certain sense, I was carrying the ball for them. It’s been a wonderful run, but I just felt now was the right time to step away and I’m grateful that NBC left that decision to me.”
Consider the rigors of travel across several time zones, it wears out many people. His eye problem notwithstanding from Sochi in 2014, this announcement was not like the recent retirement of Brent Musburger leaving ESPN (of which that you can read more in my college basketball blog).
Costas has thought all along that Rio was the right time to say, despedida or farewell to the biggest staple of American sports programming. He will no longer be traveling to stadiums during Sunday Night Football and instead will cover the Kentucky Derby horse race (the New York Times reported that starting in 2018, he would only cover the Belmont Stakes if a horse has a chance to win the Triple Crown). He will file taped sports pieces on occasion and especially during future coverage of the NFL Playoffs. With Tirico, age 50, stationed in Korea, Costas will return as the primary host in Minneapolis for NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl XLII, which will air five days before the next Olympics. Costas will also continue to file taped pieces for NBC News on occasion. This announcement also means Bob will be doing his first love on MLB Network, and that is he will continue to broadcast baseball games in addition to voicing documentaries and hosting the long-form programs that he has been famous for.
The SBJ online article simply stated:
“NBC Broadcasting and Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus said Costas first brought up the idea of stepping down from the host role during his contract negotiations in 2012. At that point, according to Lazarus, Costas said, “I’m good to go through Sochi and Rio and do everything that I’ve been doing. After Rio, let’s reassess.” Fast forward to early in the fall before an “SNF” telecast this (2016) season, Costas told him that he decided to pass the torch. “I said, ‘Are you sure? Why don’t you think about it a little bit,’” Lazarus said. “He thought about it for another couple of weeks. We sat down again, and he said, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want to do.’”
It did not take long for Lazarus, NBC Olympics Exec Producer Jim Bell and NBC Sports Exec Producer Sam Flood to settle on Tirico as Costas’ replacement. NBC hired Tirico from ESPN in July 2016. He almost immediately traveled to Rio to help host some of NBC’s coverage. “It was always something we contemplated when we hired Mike,” Lazarus said. “After getting to know him and his work a little closer, it became clear to us that he was the guy. It wasn’t a difficult decision at all. We didn’t wrestle with it or contemplate it very long.”
In a full circle moment, Mike Tirico was the first recipient of the Bob Costas Scholarship Award while attending Syracuse in the late 1980’s. As we all found out with his rather unique pairing with the versatile Al Michaels on the pristine sand of Copacabana Beach in Rio this past August, Tirico is as smooth and prepared as far as covering several sports in a short amount of time.
Let this statement sink in for a while:
Mike Tirico will lead NBC’s Olympic coverage in 2018 and possibly all the way through the rest of the network’s current Olympics contract until 2028.
“The level and longevity of Bob’s tenure have left an indelible mark on American television and the Olympic Games. I am honored to call him a friend, humbled by this opportunity, and thankful to the many people who have helped make this possible.”
Statement by Mike Tirico on the NBC Sports Group website
What a remarkable run, which also included leading the late night coverage from Seoul, Korea way back in September 1988. Costas has that unique ability to cover many sports almost seamlessly and with seeing and hearing Tirico cover many sports from college football/basketball and the NBA to presently covering The Open and Ryder Cup golf tournaments and hosting Football Night in America, things will turn out fine.
Here is a great interview they both did with Niko Tamurian, which can be found on the CNYCentral page on YouTube:
The full article at Sports Business Daily can be accessed via paying for an online subscription, but the press release at NBC Sports Group and thoughts from the New York Times can be found here:
Move by IOC means that Usain Bolt will finish one gold short of both 1980’s American track star Carl Lewis and earlier Olympics legend Paavo Nurmi
The swift move by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday afternoon showed that Nesta Carter was stripped of his participation from the 2008 Beijing Games due to testing positive to the stimulant methylhexaneamine.
This means that eventually if and when the IAAF gets around to modifying the order of finish–it would mean that Trinidad and Tobago would earn the gold after missing out in the smog of Beijing, while Japan would take another silver, and Brazil would finally have another bronze–albeit a tainted medal.
For the record, former Olympic track star Usain Bolt finishes with eight golds which is one short of tying the record for most track and field gold medals all-time.
Even with NBCSN cable offering in prime-time along with live, exclusive streaming was not enough for most millennials to tune out altogether
My initial thoughts were that most Americans are still a curious bunch. We want to know who won and who lost. Combine that with the mostly negative and sad headlines out of Brazil, we often wondered if the Zika virus had any real impact affecting any of the outdoor venues? Did now suspended United States women’s soccer goaltender Hope Solo had to go far as if she was planning her next act in acting in some mega-blockbuster horror/science fiction tale (albeit the suspension announced by US Soccer on Wednesday is only for six months, which amounts to a handful of matches).
Leave it to NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus to say such glaring comments such as these on his teleconference with media members on Wednesday:
“Our planning, production and presentation of the Rio Games, across broadcast on NBC, our many cable outlets, our streaming on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app and our massive social media outreach is the most impressive undertaking I’ve seen in the media world. As a company, across Comcast and NBCUniversal, Rio has been another proud achievement among a list of many. This is the most ambitious task in the media business, and our team of thousands scattered among Rio (2,000-plus), Stamford (more than 1,000), Orlando and Hialeah all deserve a Gold Medal.”
78 percent of American homes actually tuned in to at least a portion of the Rio Games, but Lazarus put such a spin on things–you might be thinking he may be the 21st century version of The Joker of Batman fame and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell all rolled up in one package:
“The audience for these Games was enormous, encompassing almost 200 million Americans overall on television alone, not to mention those engaged on our other platforms. NBC’s primetime broadcasts were again the dominant form of consumption for Americans, accounting for about 95% of all of the primetime audience. But by putting events—for the first time ever in primetime–on NBCSN, Bravo, and at times USA Network, as well as streaming primetime in pattern, we learned a lot about consumption habits and attracted new audiences. We’ll use all of the data from all of our platforms to develop our plans for PyeongChang in 2018 and Tokyo in 2020.”
With tape delay being the word for the next three Olympics when you count Beijing again in Winter 2022 (didn’t they just do the Summer Games in 2008?), I wonder how many people will actually sit down and watch.
Bottom line is according to the website Sports Media Watch, the Rio Summer Games finished up with a:
“14.4 rating and 25.4 million viewers on NBC, per Nielsen fast-nationals — down 18% in ratings and viewership from London in 2012 (17.5, 31.1M) and down 11% and 8%, respectively, from Beijing in 2008 (16.2, 27.7M).”
Even with webstreaming and people checking out other sports online, those ratings were only marginally better than London but nearly matched Beijing with just the television channels alone.
As far as the top metered markets (the medium to large population centers), only the site of the 2002 Winter Games had the highest ratings once again. Only the Sochi, Russia Games of 2014 was the only time Salt Lake City did not have the top rating. This accounts for eight of the last nine Olympiads that the Peacock has covered.
Overall, not since the heavy promos hyping the one-time hit game show Deal or No Deal during the Turin, Italy Winter Games of 2006 have we not seen ratings this poor during the Olympics.
As for the Top 20 list, according to the NBC Sports Group website–that list can be found below and at this link:
The rest of the key details can be found here:
TOP 20 METERED MARKETS FOR FULL RIO OLYMPICS ON NBC PRIMETIME:
|1. Salt Lake City||20.4/39|
|4. Austin, Texas||18.0/33|
|5. Columbus, Ohio||17.8/31|
|6. West Palm Beach||17.5/29|
|T7. San Diego||17.2/34|
|T7. Richmond, Virginia||17.2/28|
|T9. St. Louis||17.0/29|
|T9. Fort Myers||17.0/28|
|T9. Norfolk, Virginia||17.0/27|
|13. Washington D.C.||16.9/32|
|14. Kansas City, Missouri||16.4/28|
First mentioned in Portuguese, followed by American English. Enjoy:
Felizmente, fora de um kayaker golpear um sofá – Estes jogos vão ser maioritariamente lembrado como tempos de paz e diversão hospedados por pessoas muito amigáveis.
Um dos meus MPB do favorito em Fabiana Passoni disse que é melhor quando os Jogos começou e cito:
“O legado dos Jogos do Rio é que os cidadãos do Brasil subiu para a ocasião e colocar seu melhor pé em frente e abraçou a oportunidade de apresentar o seu país no cenário internacional.”
De Michael Phelps e Katie Ledecky dominando na piscina para Simone Biles e Aly Raisman deslumbrante como parte de “The Final Five” na ginástica para a supremacia de ambas as equipas de basquetebol trazendo mais ouro de volta para os Estados Unidos, eles ganharam a contagem de medalhas vai longe.
Fiji ganhou o primeiro ouro capturando cada vez medalha da ilha minúscula nação no rúgbi, enquanto Usain Bolt e Jamaica surgiu enorme quando eles tinham que estar na pista. Claro, não podemos nunca esquecer a diversão com equipes de voleibol de ambos os homens que jogou dentro de casa e na famosa praia de Copacabana colocou tudo na linha e ganhou o ouro para seu país de origem. O mesmo não pode ser dito infelizmente para Larissa e Talita ea dupla hard-working de Agatha e Bárbara. Todos usavam seus corações em suas mangas todo o torneio na areia. Eu gostava de assistir o seu estilo de jogo – indo bola após cada soltas e ver seus braços agir como Plastic Wrap salvando muitas bolas de encontrar a areia. E sim, se qualquer uma das senhoras deseja aplicar um dia para Estados Unidos cidadania e juntar-se ao prestigiado passeio de AVP durante os meses de verão, você é mais que bem-vindos para participar da festa a qualquer momento.
E sim, quando a maioria dos brasileiros olhar para trás, Rio 2016 – eles provavelmente irá dizer-lhe em primeira mão onde estavam eo que estavam fazendo no início da noite de sábado, 20 de agosto Foi quando Neymar teve seu momento Pele-like e chutou em o penalty decisivo saltou para a borda fora os 2014 vencedores da Copa do mundo FIFA de Alemanha. A maneira que multidão quis seus compatriotas na era algo de se ver na finalmente ganhar o ouro olímpico no esporte que os brasileiros de norte a sul desfrutar ao máximo no futebol / futbol.
Mais importante ainda, a segurança e os voluntários ajudam a tornar esta Olimpíada memorável em muitos aspectos. Não houve “lobo solitário” Actualmente, graças a Deus. Fora do fiasco Ryan Lochte fora desse posto de gasolina de um Rio, a maioria das controvérsias que assolaram a cidade durante vários anos não subir à superfície. Claro, a água de mergulho se assemelhava ao famoso rio Chicago no dia de St. Patrick todo mês de março -, mas eu não vi qualquer mergulhador reclamar ficar doente. Os remadores e marinheiros desempenho admirável sob tais condições degradáveis.
E o que eu posso dizer sobre os pontos de vista – as pitorescas, vistas deslumbrantes, como este tiro impressionante da Praia de Copacabana.
Tome isso, Chicago!
Um dos artigos finais postados em 2016 website do Rio a partir de uma constatação feita pelo Ministério do Turismo mostrou que 83,1 por cento dos turistas estrangeiros e 98,7 por cento dos brasileiros mencionou que a sua experiência de Rio quer cumpriu ou excedeu suas expectativas. Os turistas dos Estados Unidos abriu o caminho de ter a maioria dos visitantes estrangeiros por país durante os Jogos em 21,2 por cento, seguido por Argentina em 14,8 por cento e Grã-Bretanha 4,8 por cento.
Mesmo que nenhum dos meus cantores favoritos conseguiu obter a oportunidade de uma vida para cantar na cerimônia de abertura, espero que tenham gostado de ler meus blogs a cada dia único.
Foi um verdadeiro trabalho em linha de amor. Em homenagem ao aposentado futebol ESPN comentarista Tom Jackson e logo-a-ser se aposentar ESPN locutor Chris Berman, eu decidi dar aos meus leitores do blog uma pequena surpresa como eu levá-lo dentro Os números do ponto de vista deste Reporter Blog.
Durante a Rio Jogos Olímpicos de 2016, Yours Truly on-line:
Dias passados cortar a grama – 2
Horas de cobertura televisiva perdeu devido a cortar a grama, juntamente com quaisquer outras actividades ao ar livre ingratos – 16
itens on-line vendidos no meu mundo real da empresa de pequeno porte – 7
itens on-line postadas no meu mundo dos pequenos negócios – centenas
Dias meu snailmail chegou tarde em minha caixa postal – 6, com um dia de chegada quase sete horas de atraso.
Vezes dizendo ‘Uau’ depois de um novo mundo ou recorde olímpico foi quebrado – too many to mesmo contar em uma mão
Vezes jogando CD brasileiros no meu aparelho de som durante os Jogos – 1, Sabrina Malheiros horas “New Morning” antes da cerimônia de abertura teve lugar
Vezes dizendo que eu estava cansado de ver os mesmos anúncios para United Airlines, Smucker de, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, e especialmente Comcast – durante o primeiro intervalo após a caminhada mais longa de Gisele Bundchen de sua vida.
Mais cedo eu me tornei instantaneamente entediado depois de ver os mesmos promos NBC para a comédia “Superstore” e o início das Alicia Keys / era Miley Cyrus em “The Voice” – durante a segunda hora do Ceremony Abertura
Últimas vez que eu postei um blog: 23:59 horário central em muitas noites, apenas para que eu pudesse fazê-lo carimbado antes do início do novo dia.
Novos seguidores ganhei no meu blog Jazz Brasileiro: One.
Novos seguidores eu estava esperando para ganhar durante os Jogos Olímpicos Rio: Pelo menos 10.
Eu vou ser feliz e contente de voltar o meu blog para o seu “propósito original apresentando um álbum on-line físico ou digital retomar novamente na semana de 5 de Setembro.
Obrigado a todos para leitura e criação de tais memórias especiais para todos os atletas, mídia e outras pessoas envolvidas. Sim, de fato, cidadãos do Rio, você provou que eu e os outros errados mais uma vez. Não foi fácil, mas tudo o que posso dizer é – mesmo com todas as críticas e os muitos milhares de opositores, é melhor para resumir dizendo simplesmente:
Trabalho bem feito.
The 17 days that comprised the Games of the XXXI Olympiad entered with a lot of unanswered questions. Was the Zika virus, murky waters at the sailing and rowing venues, and shaky transportation going to cause major headaches?
Thankfully, outside of a kayaker striking a sofa–these Games will mostly be remembered as peaceful and fun times hosted by very friendly people.
One of my favorite MPB’s in Fabiana Passoni said it best when the Games began and I quote:
“The legacy of the Rio Games is that the citizens of Brazil rose to the occasion and put their best foot forward and embraced the opportunity to present their country on the international stage.”
From Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky dominating in the swimming pool to Simone Biles and Aly Raisman dazzling as part of “The Final Five” in gymnastics to the supremacy of both basketball teams bringing more gold back to the United States, they won the medal count going away.
Fiji won the tiny island nation’s first ever medal capturing gold in rugby sevens, while Usain Bolt and Jamaica came up huge when they had to be on the track. Of course, we can never forget the fun with both men’s volleyball teams that played indoors and on famous Copacabana Beach when Brazil laid it all on the line and won gold for their home country. The same couldn’t be said sadly for Larissa and Talita and the hard-working duo of Agatha and Barbara. They all wore their hearts on their sleeves the entire tournament on the sand. I enjoyed watching their style of play–going after every loose ball and seeing their arms act like Plastic Wrap saving many balls from finding the sand. And yes, if any of the ladies wish to someday apply for United States citizenship and join the prestigious AVP tour during the summer months, you are more than welcome to join the party anytime.
And yes, when most Brazilians look back at Rio 2016–they will probably tell you firsthand where they were and what they were doing on the early evening of Saturday, August 20. That was when Neymar had his Pele-like moment and kicked in the winning penalty shot to edge out the 2014 FIFA World Cup winners of Germany. The way that crowd willed their countrymen on was something to behold in finally winning Olympic gold in the sport that Brazilians from north to south enjoy the most in soccer/futbol.
Most importantly, the security and volunteers help make this Olympics a memorable one in many respects. There was no “lone wolf” present, thank goodness. Outside of the Ryan Lochte fiasco outside of that one Rio gas station, most of the controversies that plagued the city for several years did not rise to the surface. Sure, the diving water resembled the famous Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day every March–but I did not see any diver complain about getting sick. The rowers and sailors performed admirably under such degradable conditions.
And what can I say about the views–those picturesque, breathtaking views such as this awesome shot from Copacabana Beach:
Take that, Chicago!
One of the final articles posted on the Rio 2016 website from a finding by the ministry of tourism showed that 83.1 percent of foreign tourists and 98.7 percent of Brazilians mentioned that their experience of Rio either met or exceeded their expectations. Tourists from the United States led the way of having the most foreign visitors by country during the Games at 21.2 per cent, followed by Argentina at 14.8 per cent and Great Britain 4.8 percent.
Even though none of my favorite singers managed to get the opportunity of a lifetime to sing at the Opening Ceremony, I hope you all enjoyed reading my blogs each and every single day.
It was a true online labor of love. In tribute to retired ESPN football commentator Tom Jackson and soon-to-be retiring ESPN announcer Chris Berman, I have decided to give my blog readers a little surprise as I take you
Inside The Numbers From This Blog Reporter’s Perspective.
During the 2016 Rio Olympics, Yours Truly Online:
Days spent mowing the lawn–2
Hours of TV coverage missed due to mowing the lawn, along with any other thankless outdoor activities–16
Online items sold in my real world of small business–7
Online items posted in my world of small business–hundreds
Days my snailmail arrived late in my mailbox–6, with one day arriving nearly seven hours late.
Times saying ‘Wow’ after a new world or Olympic record was broken–too many to even count on one hand
Times playing Brazilian CD’s on my stereo during the Games–1, Sabrina Malheiros “New Morning” hours before the Opening Ceremony took place
Times saying I was sick of seeing the same ads for United Airlines, Smucker’s, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and especially Comcast–during the first break after Gisele Bundchen’s longest walk of her life.
Earliest time I became instantly bored after seeing the same NBC promos for the sitcom “Superstore” and the start of the Alicia Keys/Miley Cyrus era on “The Voice”–during the second hour of the Opening Ceremony
Latest time I posted a blog: 11:59 p.m. Central Time on many nights, just so I could get it stamped before the new day began.
New followers I gained in my Brazilian Jazz blog: One.
New followers I was hoping to gain during the Rio Olympics: At least 10.
I will be happy and glad to return my blog to its’ original purpose showcasing one physical or digital online album resuming again on the week of September 5.
Thanks to all for reading and creating such special memories for all of the athletes, media, and other personnel involved. Yes indeed, citizens of Rio, you proved me and others wrong once again. It was not easy, but all I can say is–even with all of the criticism and the many thousands of naysayers, it is best to sum it up by saying simply:
Job Well Done.
United States wins gold in men’s basketball for 15th time and men’s volleyball takes bronze over Russia
Led by newly minted center Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors three treys during the first half, the United States turned a 19-15 deficit into a whopping 40-15 run to lead 52-29 at halftime. The Americans ended up clobbering Serbia to the final score of 96-66, nowhere near the ultimate margin of victory when Team USA pasted France way back in 1948.
Durant would go on to finish with a game-high 30 points along with four assists, three rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot. Ironically, this was the same point total he had in the gold medal game in London 2012–a mark he shares with former Notre Dame and Detroit Pistons great Adrian Dantley which he initially set in the Montreal Olympics of 1976.
Bottom line, Head Coach Mike Kryzezewski broke Henry Iba’s long-standing record for most Olympic golds as coach with three. What a way to go out on top after taking over the reins way back in 2005. That same number of medals is what Carmelo Anthony has while as a player. He finishes up his Olympic career with his seventh and final rebound passing Basketball Hall of Famer and inaugural Dream Team member David Robinson with 126 career rebounds in Olympic play. Couple that with what he did earlier in this tournament, he also has the Olympic scoring record all to himself.
Among the ten newcomers, two of them really shined on this final day:
DeMarcus Cousins provided a huge spark coming off the bench tabulating a double-double (13 points to go along with 15 rebounds), two assists and two steals. NBA All-Pro Klay Thompson from Golden State chipped in with 12 points and even Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls had a nice game as well. Everyone scored during this final game, with exactly half the team each finishing in double figures (six players in all).
The Serbians were led by Nemanja Nedovic, who came off the bench to compile a nice stat line of 14 points, two assists, two steals and also grabbed one rebound. Serbia ended up shooting only 38 percent for the entire game.
Spain edged out Australia by the slimmest of margins over Australia 89-88 led by the superhuman efforts of Pau Gasol. He scored 41 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Although financial reasons were a huge part on why he no longer will be playing with the Chicago Bulls, but I am sure he has very lofty shoes to fill for the San Antonio Spurs with the retirement of certain first ballot Hall of Famer to be come April 2022 in Tim Duncan.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was also on hand to see this gold medal victory.
Brazil men’s volleyball captures gold
With soccer hero Neymar in attendance at the crazy Maracanazinho Arena, Brazil earned their seventh and final gold medal of this Olympics beating Italy 25-22, 28-26, and 24 to win the country’s first gold since Athens in 2004.
In the bronze medal match, it took a tough five sets as Team USA outlasted Russia to finish this Olympiad with 46 gold medals with 37 silver and 38 bronze. The final total was an incredible 121 total medals, 18 more than both earned in London 2012 and Beijing 2008.
While most of you enjoy a special tribute to the late, great Carmen Miranda and the eventual extinguishing of the flame as the flag will be passed from Rio, Brazil to the site of the 1964 Olympics when indoor volleyball made its’ debut–Tokyo, Japan…I will have my general thoughts on what I will remember most about the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Thankfully, most of the fears that took place over these last few years were greatly diminished. I think at the end of the day, Rio can breathe a huge sigh of relief. No, the city did not come through with flying colors–but somehow, someway, the tireless work of those thousands of dedicated volunteers made this Olympics way more pleasant and along with all levels of security and intelligence, greatly helped prevent any major scale tragedies unlike what marred the Munich Games of 1972 and almost ruined the Centennial Games of Atlanta in 1996.
See you all tonight with my very special blog surprise!
In what would be the last ever Olympics assignment in prime time for veteran NBC Sports announcer Bob Costas, Allyson Felix shines once more and China outlasts Serbia to win women’s volleyball gold
What a cool moment for Jenny Lang Ping. Some of you might remember her way back in Los Angeles during those fabulous 1984 Summer Olympics. She and her Chinese teammates won the gold medal on American soil that year.
With a mediocre 2-3 record in pool play, China got hot when they needed it most as their head coach was having way too much fun (even though NBC showed more track and NBCSN was mostly showing film footage thanks to a very long rain delay from NASCAR’s annual race stop at Bristol, Tennessee).
China ended up coming from behind to stun Brazil and then get revenge from an earlier loss by the Netherlands. On Saturday night, the Chinese beat Serbia by scores of 19-25, 25-17, 25-22, and 25-23. With the silver, Serbia earned its’ very first medal of any kind in that countries’ Olympic history.
For the Chinese, this was their third gold medal in indoor women’s volleyball–their first since securing gold in Athens in 2004.
Track once more takes center stage on final night of competition
Both 4 x 400 meter relays were something to behold. The American men held their own against the likes of Jamaica and Great Britain to win going away, but the women again made more history. Allyson Felix and her teammates dominated as she won her sixth straight gold medal in the event. Only Jenny Thompson won more golds in swimming (eight overall), but the lone individual winner that can say they won the most golds in any individual event was the pride of Champaign, Illinois when Bonnie Blair used her speed skating skills to great use in powering her way to five individual medals between Calgary in 1988 and Albertville, France in 1992.
Also worth noting was the gold medal won by Matthew Centrowicz, as he became the first American to win gold in the 1500 meter relay for the first time since 1908.
Final day of competition starts early through the streets of Rio
NBC will finish its’ eighth consecutive Summer Olympics bright and early, 8 a.m. Eastern time to be precise.
It is the tenth and the final leg of the decathlon, aka the 26.2 mile run through many cobblestone streets leading up to the most unique venue to end a men’s marathon, the iconic Sambadrome. No American has won this grueling event since Frank Shorter managed to come through amidst the very tragic circumstances that plagued the Olympics of Munich 1972. And yes, it is hard to believe but the former Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner) captured the nation’s hearts during the country’s Bicentennial year in 1976 winning the decathlon in then cash strapped Montreal, Quebec.
Regardless of the outcomes, the United States has the most overall medals won since Los Angeles in 1984. What an outstanding accomplishment for everyone involved in the sports that everyone excelled in during these rather interesting two weeks.
Small Personal Note
It has been simply an amazing ride doing all of this blogging in what I have been calling an almost Herculean effort in posting some key highlights over all 16 days of this the XXXI Summer Olympiad.
I have had a lot of fun, and luckily for most of you–the final recap will occur just before the East Coast settles in for Sunday dinner. I will briefly highlight the second Brazil/Italy matchup in men’s indoor volleyball. Also, longtime Duke head coach Mike Kryzyewski will ride off into the Olympics sunset before passing the international reigns to five-time NBA championship coach Gregg Popovich as Dream Team VII looks to clinch their third straight gold medal and 15th overall since basketball began as an Olympic sport way back in 1936 as they battle Serbia beginning at around 2:45 p.m. Eastern in the final live event of the Rio Olympics. A small side note, Serbia’s women did claim bronze earlier on Saturday beating up on France for the country’s second medal in their country’s history.
Just like during the Opening Ceremony, the Closing Ceremony will also be carried via tape delay from Maracana Stadium. The major difference this time around, the coverage is scheduled to last only 2 1/2 hours so NBC can resume its’ prime-time programming as major music stars Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus sit on the high chairs in taking over from very popular judges Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams on the hit reality music show The Voice.
See you all tomorrow, as I close out my 16 consecutive days of Olympic blogging with a special little surprise to put a nice bow on things and close out my final post in not talking about Brazilian jazz for a long time to come.
Epilogue: This night was also the final time that Bob Costas anchored the prime-time coverage for American audiences on NBC Sports. The veteran announcer decided on Thursday, February 9, 2017 to pass the torch to fellow Syracuse alum and former longtime ESPN announcer Mike Tirico–who will take over starting in PyeongChang, Korea on Friday, February 9, 2018.
Thanks to NBC Universal’s massive photo library for this final cool shot inside Rio’s International Broadcast Centre:
No question about it, Olympic coverage for Americans has changed a lot since the NBA featured its’ mega-popular “Dream Team” in Barcelona in 1992. What a run it was and what a legacy Bob Costas leaves behind after covering a record 12 Olympic games, with 11 of them in primetime and four more than the former record holder when Jim McKay was a steady presence on ABC from 1968 to 1988.