MISTY EYED: Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings’ unbelievable saga came to its logical conclusion with a gold medal Wednesday. Photo courtesy Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

The sunrise this Thursday means that we have only five short days until the end of these London Olympic games. And, as we approach the closing ceremonies, there will be a flurry of very intriguing medal events starting tonight.

So consider yesterday the calm before the storm of sorts. This is not to say that Day 12 was by any means slow or lacking in noteworthy developments, but its lack of chaos will be highlighted only by the pandemonium that is sure to unfold in Great Britain this weekend.

Here is a look back at the hump day of the second workweek of these Olympics.

Misty and Kerry Finish Perfect, Retire with Gold

Misty and Kerry. The fact that I don’t need to give any further information on their identities is a testament to their success. On Wednesday night, though, they played what they’ve announced will be the last competitive match of their careers. If that’s so, they went out with a bang.

The duo faced the other American team in the tournament of Jen Kessy and April Ross, ensuring the states a gold medal in the event no matter who won. Even though both teams wore the red, white, and blue, their stories leading into last night’s final couldn’t have been more different.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh have been considered the ‘Michael Jordan’s’ of beach volleyball. Not only are they the best to have ever played the game, they put the sport on the map for thousands of casual fans. Kessy and Ross, however, watched the Beijing Games from home as they failed to qualify for the games. This time around, they were determined to not less disappointment strike twice, and it was that drive and determination that helped them knock off the top-seeded Brazilian team in the semis.

The two American squads played extremely competitive volleyball all night long. In the first set, the two tandems went back and forth, unwilling to give their opponents any kind of momentum. In fact, the first two-point lead of the game didn’t occur until May-Treanor and Walsh led 13-11, and even then Ross and Kessy stormed back to tie the game. But a 6-1 run by the defending gold medalists put the first game out of reach as Misty and Kerry took the first set.

The second set began much the same way the first did. The first two-point lead didn’t occur until a 7-5 split, and once again Ross and Kessy came back to even the game. The lead for either team wouldn’t balloon past that threshold until, again, Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh went on a late game tear — this time a 5-1 run from a 15-14 lead — to reach a commanding 20-15 lead. As they reached match point, a horde of photographers flooded the sidelines preparing for the inevitable. And two points later, it was over.

May-Treanor and Walsh’ gold medal cemented the twosome’s god-like status in the world of beach volleyball and ensured that they would end their careers much the way they existed for years: undefeated with gold around their necks.

 

AMERICAN GIRL: Allyson Felix finally conquered the last Olympic event that had been missing in her illustrious career. Photo courtesy Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Queen Felix: US Sprinter Beats Out Jamaicans for Gold

If Allyson Felix was Captain Ahab, the Women’s 200 Meters was her Moby Dick; or maybe Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown was. Either way, Wednesday was the day she’d fix all that.

Felix tore through the pack and won in a scorching time of 21.88 seconds. The next closest finisher, silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, was almost a quarter of a second slower. If you believe Lolo Jones when she said one hundredth of a second is an eternity in Track and Field, Allyson Felix absolutely browbeat her competition.

For Felix, the result was a supreme feel-good story. Not only did she finally win the one race that left a gaping hole in her resume of accomplishments, the woman responsible for stopping her time and time again, Campbell-Brown, finished fourth, just outside the medal podium. What made it even sweeter? Beating out Campbell-Brown for a medal was Felix’s American teammate Carmelita Jeter. No, she isn’t related to Derek.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, Allyson Felix, much like Lolo Jones, was hoping these London Games were her shot at redemption. In Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, she had settled for the silver medal in the 200 Meters, losing both times to Campbell-Brown. In fact, the second time she lost reduced her to tears. Trying to compose herself, she said it was “déjà vu, and not in a good way.”

But on Wednesday night, as she stood in the MIDDLE of the podium for once, the feeling was entirely new. She had the gold, and Campbell-Brown wasn’t even next to her. Compared to the last eight years, it must’ve felt like she had crossed into another universe.

 

TIME FLIES: Almost two days later, the Canadians are still sore they got penalized for holding the ball too long. Photo courtesy Stanley Chou/Getty Images

With Soccer Finals Set to Begin, Semis Still Causing Drama

The final two women’s soccer matches of these Olympic games will be played today, but fans are still having a hard time looking forwarded as some of the teams dwell on the past.

In the wake of their 4-3 loss to Team USA, the Canadians cried foul on behalf of the refs relentlessly and vociferously. Christina Sinclair said her team felt cheated. Goalie Erin McCleod accused the ref of deciding who would win the game before it began. And, of course, none of their team mentioned another major missed call where star scorer Melissa Tancredi stomped on the head of American Carli Lloyd.

Well, FIFA isn’t looking into the judgments of the head referee Christiana Pedersen — who is Norwegian, by the way — but they are looking at the conduct of the Canadian women after being eliminated. Staying true to form and being quite ambiguous, FIFA said they were investigating “incidents that occurred” but wouldn’t be able to make a judgment one way or the other before the teams had to play on Thursday.

So what’s the end result of all this? The US is still playing for gold and Canada is still playing for Bronze. However, Canada will be playing France with the uncertainty of whether or not disciplinary action will be levied against them.

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