|Liu Xiang kisses a hurdle after injuring himself in the mens 110m hurdles heats. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)|
Five thoughts to match the five Olympic rings for what transpired Tuesday in London.
1. Liu Xiang gives us a true Olympic moment on the track. We have these so-called 'Olympic moments' when the pinnacle of a sport is achieved at the Games every four years, such as when the U.S. Women's soccer team was completely exhausted but still found a way to get a game-winning goal late in the match on Monday or Andy Murray caps off a golden run for the host nation with a win on Centre Court at Wimbledon. Yet we also find moments that are just as impactful -- maybe more so -- when a woman competes for a nation for the very first time or two training partners put in the same finishing kick at the end of a long race to finish 1-2.
On Tuesday we had one of the latter moments, when Olympic record-holder and former gold medalist Xiang Liu was running in the 110 meter hurdles. Unable to defend his title in his home country when Beijing hosted the Games four years ago, London was supposed to be redemption and a final shot at gold for Xiang. Instead he hit the first hurdle and re-injured himself. Remarkably however, he limped out of the tunnel, made it down the track to kiss the final hurdle and was later carried off by his competitors. Watch the video in this post and tell me that's not what the Olympic spirit is all about.
2. So long Lolo. No American track athlete had more build up, at least in terms of marketing, than hurdler Lolo Jones. There were endless commercials, she got plenty of coverage at the trials and marketing sponsorships with companies like McDonalds and Red Bull will ensure she'll likely stick around after these games. To be fair, she was not considered to have a good chance at medaling in 2012 and that seemed to look accurate when she barely made it into the finals. Still, the former LSU Tiger star ran an impressive race to narrowly fall short of the podium in 4th place. It was a better than expected result for Jones, who hopefully will go back to tweeting the inside secrets of the track world now.
3. Aly's sweet revenge. It's tough for a teenager like Aly Raisman to handle the heartbreak of losing out on an Olympic medal due to a complicated tiebreak, looking up at her fellow competitors on the podium and knowing one of them didn't score higher. Despite that, the tough American gymnast who helped the team win gold in the all-around competition followed things up with a big time rebound on Tuesday to take home two more medals. Although turned in an impressive performance on the beam, she received a disappointing score that forced her coaches to challenge the result. Raisman was later given an improved score and ended up snatching bronze from the very gymnast, Romania's Catalina Ponor, that bumped her from the podium in the all-around.
Things hit a high note however when Raisman twisted, flipped and turned as perfectly as can be on her floor routine to capture individual gold in that event later in the day. It was no doubt a highlight for the 18-year-old from Massachusetts, who goes home from London with two golds and a bronze. Not bad at all for the team captain.
4. Again fair ladies. If there's one thing beach volleyball has been associated with for the past several Olympics, it's Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings. The American duo has won back-to-back gold medals and after winning their semifinal, will be looking for a three-peat on Wednesday. It's a win-win for most in the good ol' U-S-of-A as April Ross and Jennifer Kessy are their opponent in a red, white and blue final. As we've seen with Michael Phelps, it's possible but hard to win an event three straight times and May-Treanor/Walsh Jennings are hoping things tilt their way on the sand one more time this year.
5. Make it happen Sir Alex. Olympic legend Usain Bolt has already stolen the spotlight with his blistering fast 100 meter gold medal but it appears he wants to stay in said spotlight by playing soccer for Manchester United. The Jamaican sprinter says he could be a difference maker for the club and it appears there's at least some interest in staging an actual tryout. We have only one comment on this story and that it must happen.
Biggest non-story of the day: South African Cameron van der Burgh set a world record a week ago in the 100 meter breaststroke but admits that he may have cheated a little. It's ok, everybody in the race, pretty much, cheated. So if everybody does it, is it really that big of a deal? It is the Olympics but might be time for this one to blow over.
In case you missed it: An Olympic superfan died of apparent heart attack after attending race at the Velodrome ... Team U.S.A. survived a last-second Aussie penalty shot in women's water polo to win in overtime and will play for the gold medal ... Where are seven Cameroonian Olympians at the moment? Nobody knows ...
GIF of the Day:
Video of the Day:
Check out the discus retrieval system ... pretty sweet, I think I want that job in Rio.