1) Anyone watching the mens gymnastics? The US really is rising to the occasion. This is pretty cool to watch (two events to go).
2) Speaking of men, men’s synchronized diving was quite possibly the gayest thing I have ever seen in a “sport” venue and the Americans were the gayest of the gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it seems like if they want to add events why not just add more individual diving events from different heights rather than men in skimpy bathing suits giggling on the platform and then taking a shower together. Aesthetically speaking, certain sports are more appropriate for women, if you ask me. Two men on a platform should be doing a cannonball contest in cut-off jeans with stogies in their mouths and beers in their hands, nothing less.
3) NBC is doing a great job with this entire project. Much as I hate the MSM, this has to be one of the crowning achievements in broadcasting history. They just said that, on all the various channels and the Web, NBC is presenting more hours of programming this year than in every Summer Olympics since 1960 combined. The event coverage is substantive with just the right amount of human interest rather than the overwrought, soupy, weepy vignettes in broadcasts of Olympics past.
4) Key sponsors: McDonalds, Coke, Budweiser. Three brands I have never had a lick of passion for or loyalty to, and that won’t change after these Games. But they do nice commercials.
5) Much as I still plan to root against the Chinese throughout, just on principle, I cannot build up a head of animus for the kewpie-doll cute Chinese “womens” gymnastics team because for gods sake these little girls are like figurines; and frankly the Chinese mens team is a study in drama, tragedy and general emotional turmoil and their coach’s facial expression is like he must be downing a bottle of Maalox every hour. I want the US men to come through, but you have to feel for the Chinese gymnasts and the unbelievable expectations placed on them. They don’t seem like a particularly happy bunch.
UPDATE: On the third event, Jonathan Horton for the US is tearing up the floor exercise. The Chinese just body-slammed the field on the vault, the Japanese were solid on the parallel bars, but the US is hanging in there despite a few bobbles. After losing two key athletes to injury right before the Games, the US was not supposed to do anything, but they are now poised for silver going into the last event – pommel horse. Two of the three on this event were not even supposed to be on the US team a month before the Olympics. This Artemev kid supposedly can either fly like an eagle or fall like a rock and he is going last.
UPDATE II: Well, after the first two US men got basically pummeled on the pommel, Artemev just did an electrifying performance. Wow! The best they can probably get is bronze, but that would be a huge tour de force for this team.
UPDATE III: Cool, the US hung on for bronze, and China definitely deserved the gold. The first was not supposed to happen, the second was absolutely supposed to but was highly in doubt nonetheless.