Five Olympic Thoughts: Saturday, July 28
Wrapping up the first day of action from London with five quick thoughts.
|The U.S. archery team provided a whole series of thrills on their way to the silver medal. (AP)|
Wrapping up the first day of action from London with five quick thoughts:
1. Don't bury Michael Phelps just yet. There's no sugarcoating it: Saturday was the worst day of Phelps's Olympic career, and there's not even a close second. But it's not smart to assume Phelps will be a paper tiger in the rest of his Olympic slate, either. The 400 individual medley was his weakest performance at the U.S. Olympic Trials -- he didn't seriously challenge Ryan Lochte -- and his exile to Lane 8 for the final didn't let him pace himself against the eventual gold medalist.
Maybe expecting him to only lose one or two races in these Games was optimistic. But the guess here is that we're still going to see plenty of Phelps on the podium when all is said and done.
2. Abby Wambach is cooler than you. Why has this U.S. women's soccer team captured the interest of the American public? Being really good helps, but also because, via SBNation, their stars celebrate goals like this:
What is that celebration about? Wambach had been slugged by a Colombian defender earlier in the 3-0 win, and was showing her -- and the world -- her eye was still fine ... as are the U.S.'s gold chances as long as Wambach's on the field.
3. The Olympic archery final was the highlight of the day. It didn't end the way the Americans wanted -- particularly Brady Ellison, the world No. 1 archer whose failure to hit a bullseye for the duration of the final hampered the U.S. efforts -- but no other moment from Saturday carried as much dramatic punch as Italy's Michele Frangilli firing his final arrow with the gold medal on the line. The U.S.'s massive upset of top-seeded South Korea in the semifinals didn't make for half-bad viewing, either.
4. The Great Britain Olympic honeymoon is already over. The euphoria for the host country after their impressive opening ceremony didn't even last 24 hours, as gold-medal contender Mark Cavendish failed to make any impact in the cycling road race and swimmer Hannah Miley surprisingly failed to medal in the 400 individual medley. The tabloid pages will not be a happy place in London Sunday morning.
5. We're not sweating the U.S. women's volleyball or hoops golds ... yet. Neither gold-medal favorite was at its best Saturday. The basketball squad held only a six-point lead over Croatia -- a team they'd hammered by 55 points only days ago -- after three quarters, and the volleyball team dropped the third set to a South Korean team that ranks among the competitition's weakest. There's no reason to sound the alarm bells yet, but the sloppiness bears watching.
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