|Usain Bolt: indomitable Olympic icon that's for sure. (US Presswire)|
Five thoughts to match the five Olympic rings from Thursday's Olympic action.
1. Beginning with Bolt.
OK. So, first, read this.
Thanks to all my real fans and people who believe in me. I am now a living legend that's for sure.— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) August 10, 2012
Hilarious. You can hear him say it, too. Whatever Ricky Henderson didn't quite have when he was calling himself the greatest ... well, Bolt has it. Because, at first you think, How is he able to pull it off? Is it the never-seen-before greatness? Is it the cheeky personality, the one that just takes a photographer's camera and starts clicking to his heart's desire? With most athletes, if they acted the way Bolt does, I think I'd find it to be a turn-off. But there's something in his personality that seems to mix. Jocularity, reasonable cockiness, indisputable talent and the necessary edge needed to achieve what we used to think was physically impossible.
Look at this GIF and tell me you don't at the very least find Bolt affable.
Even after his comments about Carl Lewis, I am now one of Bolt's biggest fans that's for sure.
2. Claressa derails them all. Claressa Shields' story is worth spreading. Spread it far and wide. A 17-year-old just became a gold medal winner in the heaviest boxing class available in the first Olympics to offer female boxing. From Bolt to the U.S women's soccer team to all the big stories we've seen in the past few days alone, I worry that Shields will get overshadowed. In fact, I know she will. But she's a barrier-breaker. And she seems to be a new level of female fighter. Women's boxing will never be a huge draw, but if it's got someone like Shields as the face of the sport, it can have some marketing appeal and a positive future.
3. The U.S. women soccer team just got paid. Amid covering other things this afternoon, I didn't get a chance to watch the second half of the U.S. women against Japan. So, here we are again. Three gold medals in a row for the Americans in Olympic competition. And now it looks like Alex Morgan can be a star of the future. Even Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach, though not as young, can be mainstays for the foreseeable future.
But amid all this winning, you know what surprised me, and what will uplift real soccer honks out there? The country got really into this team's run. There's been a sense of appreciation and pride in American women's soccer ever since Brandi Chastain scored the biggest penalty kick in U.S. history, but now it's more than that. Now it feels like the women could be on their way to forming an actual, even if small, national soccer league. Doesn't that seem like the next step?
4. Belgian boozin'. The story I didn't get to blog on today but wish I had? Belgian cyclist doesn't even come close to winning a medal. So what does he do? Goes out and acts like a Belgian; gets hammered. Belgian Olympic officials find the photos in the press. And like that, our happy-go-lucky Olympian is on his way back to the homeland. C'mon, Belgian brass! After all that training, just a little letting loose is all!
5. Eaton no crow. Ashton Eaton won the beastly decathlon for the United States Thursday. I spoke about how Shields should be more celebrated above. The same goes for Eaton, who owned the event, never trailing from the start. This is a huge story in Oregon, where Eaton's from, but I'd like to wake to a few more headlines and pieces about Eaton/the mentality of the decathlete. Taking on 10 track and field events is just grueling.
Biggest non-story of the day: Well, you know what? I'm not sure I can find anything worthy for today. Which is great! The Lolo stuff died off pretty quickly, which was nice to see, and, yeah ... seems we're good here. Can we go two days in a row?
In case you missed it: Did you catch this world record getting set? ... A swim marathon finishing this close really is unusual ... the dream appears to be alive and well for future NBA stars playing in the Olympics ... it was a great day for the U.S. in general, by the way. Golds abound and the country is in the medal lead ...
GIF of the Day:
This piece of trickery was disallowed.