LOOKING DOWN FROM THE TOP: Gabby Douglas’ Gold Medal in the All-Around Finals is just another highlight for perhaps the best US female gymnastics team of all time. Photo courtesy Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

A week ago today, we were eagerly anticipating the opening ceremonies of this thirtieth installment of the Summer Olympic Games. Now, just seven days later, so much has happened that just thinking about all of it seems like a dizzying task and yesterday was no exception. So, once again, let’s take look back at yet another day at this Olympiad:

The Gift of Gab: Douglas Wins Gold, Wieber Left Only to Wonder

Gabby Douglas’ nickname as ‘The Flying Squirrel’ appeared to fit her quite nicely. Like the rare animal (which also is found in Virginia), Douglas time and time again appears to have defied both logic and the laws of gravity.

Take yesterday, for example. Gravity, the aforementioned opponent Douglas battles every time she takes to an event, appeared to be just as mortal as the Russian and Chinese gymnasts that were left befuddled by the 16-year-old’s awesome performance.

In fact, the best way to measure just how “on” Gabby Douglas was last night might be to look at the runner up, Russia’s Viktoria Komova. For Komova, there was no major fall or catastrophic error. There was nothing that held her back. To be honest, Komova’s all-around routine was pretty damn good. But Gabby’s 62.232 score was darn near perfect.

The bittersweet note to Douglas’ victory last night of course is the saga of Jordyn Wieber. Eliminated in the preliminary round solely on the basis that two of her teammates cashed in better scores than her, Wieber was forced to watch from the stands as a common spectator as she rooted on two of women she had helped win a Gold Medal in the Team Finals just a couple days before.


MURKY WATERS: Ryan Lochte said the London Olympics were “his time”. With the swimming events almost over, it’s clear that these 2012 games have been anything but. Photo courtesy Clive Rose/Getty Images

Lochte’s Dream Games Quickly Turning Into a Nightmare, Phelps Only Getting Better

When I talk about just how far away the opening of these Olympic Games seem to be, no one might agree with me more than US swimmer Ryan Lochte. After dismissing his teammate/rival Michael Phelps in the 400-Metre Individual Medley to win Gold, Lochte’s London meet has gone from bad to worse to almost disastrous.

Lochte entered the Games’ Olympic swimming facilities Thursday night hoping to add two Gold Medal to his trophy case. Instead, he left with just as many as he had beforehand as, in both cases, US teammates  stood atop the podium where he imagined he would be.

In the 200-Metre Backstroke, Lochte led for the first half of the race, but as the swimmers turned down the final 50, USA Swimming teammate Tyler Clary ran him down and nabbed the gold medal. In the lane on Lochte’s other side Japan’s Irie Ryosuke also caught the Floridian and beat him out by 16 hundredths of a second to steal Silver.

Then, in the 200-Metre Individual Medley, Lochte faced his familiar foe Michael Phelps perhaps for the last name. Phelps led the race pretty much from the start and at no point did Lochte ever appear to really threaten the Olympics most-decorated man. Instead, he settled for silver as Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh took the Bronze.

Lochte referred to these London Games as “his time”, but after his first swimming final the trip to Great Britain has been anything but as his marginal success has sort of fallen in the crowd amongst the scores of other great stories that have come out of these Olympic Games.

Red, White and Black and Blue

A United States team scored 156 points. What sport was it? Archery? Gymnastics? No, it was basketball. And, shockingly, the Americans STILL lost. What?! No, I’m kidding. They obliterated Nigeria.

Along the way, the U.S. men broke SIX Olympic records. A half dozen. In one game. This isn’t Team USA anymore, this is Team Guinness Book. Coach K played all 12 players and half of them delivered with double-digit performances. Carmelo Anthony had 37 (one of said Olympic records), Russell Westbrook had 21, Kobe Bryant had 16, Kevin Love had 15, Kevin Durant had 14, and Deron Williams had 13.

Did you get all that?

Before Thursday night, most would have given the 1992 Men’s US Basketball team the benefit of the doubt that they were still the original dream team. But now? After the 2012 squad more than doubled up a team that scored 73 points? That may be in doubt.


DIRTY BOXING: A sport not unfamiliar with scandals has brought its cumbersome baggage to the world’s most prestigious games. Photo courtesy Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Amateur Boxing Body KO’s Olympic Officials

In an update from a story we talked about here yesterday, the AIBA (amateur boxing’s governing body) has now expelled two officials and suspended a third following a pair of controversial bouts on Wednesday.

The two officials whose heads rolled Thursday were International Technical Official Aghajan Abiyev of Azerbaijan and referee Ishanguly Meretnyyavoz of Turkmenistan. Although there was no immediate reason given for Abiyev’s dismissal, Meretnyyavoz, the referee who oversaw the Shimizu-Abdulhamidov bout, was clearly reprimanded for failing to count out Abdulhamidov once in a handful of opportunities where Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu had knocked him down.

The third official, German referee Frank Scharmarch, was handed a five-day suspension after his debatable disqualification of Iranian boxer Ali Mazaheri for “persistent holding”. Accordingly, he will be reinstated after August 6th.

AIBA’s suspension of Scharmarch is very intriguing for two reasons. First, even though they disciplined him, the organization has upheld the disqualification in doubt. If you recall, the AIBA overturned the decision in the Shimizu-Abdulhamidov bout after the judges had originally handed the fight to Azerbaijani boxer Magomed Abdulhamidov. Second, it had appeared that the AIBA was originally on Scharmarch’s side following the fight. When the press originally inquired, the association replied via email by saying that Mazaheri had been verbally warned about the holding three different time and, by their own rules, a trio of warnings must automatically result in a boxers disqualification.

After he was disqualified, Mazaheri had initially lashed out and called the fight “a fix”. While officials have been disciplined here, no such allegations have been found to be substantiated.

NOTE: This story was also published on SportsHead. To read this article and others, click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure you follow him for Olympics updates and other shenanigans @bclienesch!