A Fair and Imbalanced Rio Recap (In Technicolor!)

You know what I find amazing about the Summer Olympics? The fact that very few people know what a fortnight means. It’s Old English and it means fourteen nights, but since it has nothing to do with live streaming or loaded nachos, Americans are oblivious. Granted, this ain’t the most patriotic way to begin a post about the Summer Games, but I really dig the word fortnight so you’ll have to excuse my delayed red, white and blue holler.

If asked to recap the Rio Games in five words or less, I would probably go with “A Fortnight of Kicking Ass.” We won 121 overall medals- with zero help from the Clinton Foundation. That’s the most since Russia was, well . . . Russia. We won the most gold, silver and bronze medals and one of our top swimmers ignited an international incident, so really, we accomplished everything we set out to do. I’d like to think we sent the rest of the world home hating on us just a little bit more. Let’s face it, nobody hates Turkmenistan, other than the peeps who call it home.

Admittedly, I thought Rio was going to be a disaster, what with the sulfuric acid quality of the water and the specter of a Zika Virus. Not to mention, the IOC blew most of its back room coin on added security measures for an event whose threat level was higher than Joe Namath at a Monday Night Football game. If the Summer Olympics had been a television pilot, it would’ve been canceled in May.

Thankfully, the Summer Olympic Games of 2016 happened. And they happened bigger and brighter than most any fortnight’s worth of games I can remember. Every day possessed a forever quality, every medal a validation of hard work and persistence, every moment possessed the glorious quality of limitless possibilities.

Michael Phelps pocketed five golds and a silver. His continued dominance is all the more amazing when you consider he eats ten pounds worth of McDonald’s a day. While the majority of Americans might be able to match his Big Mac intake, they’d have a hard time making it from one side of a hot tub to the other after doing so.

And what about Katie Ledecky? She scored four golds and a silver, smashing her world record time in the 800 meter freestyle. She was so far ahead of the rest of the field that she grabbed some Mickey D’s with Michael before making it back in time to see the other swimmers finish. Her competition for the 2020 Games in Tokyo should petition for a five second head start.

Sports/Activities/Silliness I would love to see attached to the Olympics? Sure, why not.

A top five or so list of sports I want to see Olympicized

1-Beer League Softball
2-MMA
3-Cooking
4-Motorcycle Jumping
5-Shin Kicking
6-Turnstile Jumping

Our lady gymnasts, led by Simone Biles, were a delight. Not only did they take gold in floor, vault, all around and team, they had me watching gymnastics. Not to mention, using delight in a sentence . . . and meaning it. Our lady ballers were just plain dominant as they rolled to another gold while proving to me that someday? We’re gonna see a lady in the Association. Fo Sho. And I would be remiss if I left out the US women’s soccer team. The defending gold medal winners failed to reach the finals for the first time in their history, but Hope Solo aside, they’re golden just the same. Most of the inroads soccer has made in this country over the past few decades is because of the girls.

The NBA won a gold medal, and so now I guess all the pressure is off Kevin Durant. Just kidding. The US men’s track and field team tried to sign Usain Bolt as a free agent, but failing that, still matched Jamaica’s 11 medals. We failed to medal in ping-pong, handball and badminton . . which is actually something to be really fucking proud of.

Rio Scene Stealer- Same dude who has been atop my Olympic marquee since he broke in with three world record times at the ’08 Games in Beijing. Usain Bolt. If there is life beyond this planet, they can’t have him back.

We won our first ever gold in the triathlon thanks to Gwen Jorgensen, and it’s really kind of odd to contemplate the dichotomy of the Summer Olympics events, where a ping-pong champ gets the same medal as someone like Jorgensen . . . so I won’t.

Rio Bravo Moment- US runner Abbey D’Agostino imploring New Zealander Nikki Hamblin during their 5,000 meter race to “Get up!” after the two collided, basically cancelling each other out. Despite being hurt in the crash, Abbey D made sure Hamblin was gonna finish the race with her.

Goddamn, I’ve been talking up America as if I’m Sean Hannity busting a Happy Hour nut at Applebee’s. So lemme spend my last few thoughts on shit that made me go hmmmm.

Like, is Bob Costas ever going to get old and die? . . . And what’s the deal with Rio water? It’s either so antiseptic as to render pool water green, or toxic enough to peel flesh . . . Golf at the Olympics has been a thing? . . . Baseball at the Olympics hasn’t? . . .

And last because it’s least, we really didn’t need “Convenience Store-Gate” to let us in on the fact that Ryan Lochte is a complete fucking idiot. The buzz this story generated really does speak to our astounding inability to separate news from just plain stupid shit. For one thing, he’s Ryan Lochte. For another, he lied to Matt Lauer in an interview. Who doesn’t lie to Matt Lauer in an interview? Did he embarrass our country? Hells no. It’s Ryan Fucking Lochte we’re talking about! Hope Solo was a lot more embarrassing after that loss to the Swedes. And don’t get me started on how this makes Rio look bad, because them peeps do a solid job of that without any help.

Giselle called. She wants her sexy back.

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27 thoughts on “A Fair and Imbalanced Rio Recap (In Technicolor!)

  1. Hysterical…(natch)! As a native New Yawka, I would love to see a turnstile competition. Ever see Hillary “try” and use a metro card in the N. Y. subway?!?!
    As for my man Bolt, rumor has it that he might end up as a wide receiver for Belichick’s Patriots…
    And as for Bob (I ain’t ever getting old) Costas, he turned 64 last March, and is six years older than Matt Lauer…
    Great stuff, as usual, my friend!

    • Remember Hank, I’m a native New Yawka as well. So I know what I’m talking about when I list turnstile jumping. In my junior year of high school I was first in my class. Actually no, check that . . I was last in my class, first in turnstile jumping.

      I DO remember that turnstile moment with Hil! I think she thought the turnstile reader was simply going to see her farecard and be like “You may enter.” But I will give her this, she DID know how to use that card. Bernie Sanders didn’t even know we were using farecards now, lol.

      Bolt on the Patriots? They’ll have to let some air out of the football with that guy. Sorry, had to. So here’s one more . . . Sheriff Goodell is going to fine Bolt for speeding. Okay. I’m done. Until he signs.

      64?! Costas looks fifteen, wow. Matt Lauer looks his age.

      Thanks my man

    • Words I have never said. But you are now the second person who has given me some badminton love as a rebuttal to my smack talk on the sport/activity/tea time muscle stretcher. I was told that badminton is a physically demanding sport/activity/tea time muscle stretcher, and hey! I’m not arguing that point, I’ve played it! Really, really, really badly. I know!

      Badminton gained points in my book when I learned there was a match fixing scandal.

  2. all about sports and I understood every word….
    true story.

    but you had me at fortnight.
    which i have known the meaning of forever and enjoy using whenever i can.
    fortnight and gobsmacked may be my two favorite words. oh, and albeit.

    • Mish,

      True! Stuff!

      I learned fortnight when I was a young lad, watching Wimbledon. It was magical. I mean, the Brits took a couple weeks and transformed it into this mystical alignment of vowels and consonants out of Shakespeare’s finest thought. If the Revolutionary War would’ve been weighted heavily on grammar and usage, we’d be sipping tea and Benny Hill would our Bob Hope.

      Gobsmacked is perfect. Accepted anywhere at anytime, no head turning when you say it. Albeit, the kids have probably repurposed the word to mean something much less dramatic, but I’m undeterred. I shall use the word gobsmacked today, Mish. Just for you.

      Thanks!

  3. Another fine job, Pilgrim. Ryan Fucking Lochte is losing sponsors like fleas in a dip. Makes me want to avoid those sponsors for even thinking this dope was worth a sponsorship in the first place. Had to laugh out loud at this line” Let’s face it, nobody hates Turkmenistan, other than the peeps who call it home.”

    • You’re so right Sheriff. I love it when the sponsors get all righteous with a guy like Lochte AFTER he does what they knew full well he was entirely capable of doing before he signed on their dotted line. It’s like when the sports networks hire these controversial athletes- most of whom offer nothing in the way of insight or intelligence- and then express dismay when they ‘gasp!’ do something controversial on their dime.

      Fleas on a dip . . . love it.

      I have a feeling the Turkmenistan Chamber of Commerce is a pretty cake job. Sorta like being the speechwriter for Trump. Only, those peeps in Turkmenistan are getting paid in smoked cheeses and home made ferment.

  4. I loved the Olympics this year. Loved them. I was out of commission with a bad sinus infection for a while, luckily got to watch the majority of the olympics.

    Lochte…ugh. I’ve never ever ever liked him. Punkass whiny bitch. Excuse me, I mean, punkass whiny lying bitch. I’ve heard he’s doing Dancing With the Stars. He’ll be the first one voted off. Smug little idiot. (I really don’t like that guy.)

    But who I do like? … Helen Maroulis.

    http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/helen-maroulis-wins-team-usas-first-ever-gold-medal-womens-wrestling

    It took some time, but the United States now has a gold medalist in women’s wrestling.

    And to earn it, Helen Maroulis had to beat a woman who knows a thing or two about gold medals: Japan’s Saori Yoshida, a 13-time world champion and three-time reigning Olympic champion.

    And when asked if she was upset about Lochte “taking” her limelight, she replied:

    Not surprisingly, Maroulis is as poised and comfortable off the mat as she is on it. She was asked whether she was bothered that the controversy surrounding swimmer Ryan Lochte overshadowed her big day, and her answer was a reminder of what drives most Olympians to compete at this level. Hint: It’s not mega-sponsorship checks and primetime interviews with Billy Bush.

    “I didn’t come here to win a gold medal for the media attention,” she said. “I didn’t come here to win a gold medal in order to find something within myself or some peace within myself. I found that self-worth before I stepped on the mat. I think that’s why I won the gold medal.

    “Yesterday was about stepping on the mat and just wrestling to the best of my ability and really taking joy in what I do. If they covered Ryan Lochte over my match, well, I think that’s a poor decision on their part, but I’m not running the show. My job is to be a wrestler, and I stepped on the mat and did what I needed to do. I’m happy with the results.”

    Enjoyed this post, Cayman! Great job!

  5. I loved them too, most definitely. A fortnight that felt like a couple days. A locked and loaded couple days, no doubt, but once again the Summer Olympics are here and gone much too soon. Rio, on the other hand, was a good riddance proposition as far as I’m concerned.

    As for Ryan Lochte, he’s gonna be the really bad gift that keeps on giving, I’m afraid. I thought his fifteen minutes would burn themselves out after that dumpster fire of a reality show he was on a few years back in which he made the mistake of opening his mouth and letting us know what was inside his head. But it seems as if we have more Ryan where that time and this one came from. Stupidity, as we have seen in basically every forum, has value.

    Yanno, I hadn’t heard about this Helen Maroulis until just now. That was one hell of a path she took, and to not even be the favorite on your own squad, and then to go up against a legend and to take her down that way. And then, after all that, to receive the adulation with a grace and perspective befitting a gold medal champion? It’s the kind of novelty you just don’t see enough of. Sadly.

    Thanks for the props and the 411 C!

  6. I asked you to bring it and you SO brought it.

    C-man – you captured the magic. Bolt, Katie, Simone. You can’t make these amazing stories up!
    I personally loved watching the women’s swim relay teams in the ready room. So relaxed and clearly supportive of each other. I laughed at empathized with Aly Raisman’s parents – I do the same bleacher bob and weave when I watch Dane wrestle.

    I have loved the Olympics since 1976. And now, my kids share the same enthusiasm. What mom wouldn’t love watching gymnastics with her 16 year-old snuggled in on the couch right beside her? Come to think of it, he watched beach volleyball with me, too. Hmmm…perhaps we had different reasons, but nonetheless – it was magic. Rio was magic. Your writing? Always magic. xo

    • Top 5 Things I learned during these Rio Olympics:

      1- Rio has nothing on Chicago when it comes to green water.
      2- The reason sand doesn’t stick to those beach volleyball peeps is because of the synthetic nature of its composition. Which, no doubt, will be proven to cause cancer.
      3- If Bolt ran the entire race rather than posing for photographs at the end, he could meet up with Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky for some Mickey D’s and still get back in time to catch the end.
      4- MMA belongs. Eventually. And I’m not just saying that because I happen to crush on Ronda Rousey or because McGregor v Diaz convinced me to do so. Okay, it’s for those reasons entirely. But it still counts.
      5- The convenience stores in Rio are more exciting than anything Hilary Clinton has said or done, like ever.

      Yanks and Royals. This week. Should be fun. I hope it’s fun. God….let it be fun!

      Peace sistah

      • Oh yes! More to love ❤️
        I’m still in awe over Lidecky.
        I’m obsessed with MMA (and McGregor’s style)
        You rock, Cayman

        Ps: this baseball season is getting interesting. Cue the Journey…

        • Ledecky was one of those refreshing faces, and thankfully there were plenty to choose from.

          Ditto on MMA and McGregor. He’s a throwback showman who sells the sport like few others and then makes you happy you signed on once you get there. And Diaz, it just seems as if that dude actually digs getting hit. There will be a third go round with these two and I cannot wait.

          PSS to your PS- This has been a terrific season by and large. So many teams in contention, and I mean LEGIT contention. The Cubs might actually break through for the first time since the Titanic was a rumor. The Dodgers and Giants are going to have at it down the stretch. The Nats and Marlins and maybe even the Mets will have something to say about the NL. The Blue Jays are a 2K version of the old Milwaukee Brewers teams of the early ’80s. The Orioles are right there, and so are the Sox. Even the Yankees have wild card dreams, still. The Tigers and Indians and Royals . . oh my, my, my. And the Ranger look solid but the Astros and Mariners ain’t dead yet.

          That’s a LOT of life going on across the league. Which is a great thing.

  7. Great stuff, per usual. I have to say I knew nada about Ryan Lochte before the Olympics, and after his stunt, I’m happy if I never hear his name again. I’m disappointed with Hope Solo–what was she thinking? Honestly, the egos of some of these people floor me. Do they not realize they can be replaced (and forgotten) inside of a New York minute? No matter how popular they might be after a winning championship, there is ALWAYS another championship to be played. Status, popularity, fame — all very, very fragile.

    • Never? Like. . . you had zero idea who Lochte was? Like , , , you wouldn’t have been able to pick him out of a lineup that included a shoe box, toaster, crock pot and mannequin? (I’d STILL have a hard time distinguishing between the mannequin and Lochte).

      Seriously, you’ve got your priorities exactly as they should be. I’m ashamed of myself for knowing THIS much about Lochte. Just kidding, I’m never ashamed of myself.

      Hope Solo is (was?) one of my favorite US players for a long time. Dynamic, edgy player who made goalkeeping something worth watching for more reasons than the one. Alas, it soon became impossible to separate her personal life from the rest of her. No small feat considering as how I root for and watch and listen to a myriad of celebrities whose personal lives are messier than Hilary’s inbox.

      And you’re right, of course, about egos and their ability to drive someone off a cliff. There’s a huge difference between confidence and arrogance. The former is necessary in ANY competitive field, but the latter will bury you if you’re unable to harness it. There is always someone ready to take your locker, because next year is always at hand which means there is indeed always another championship to be played.

      Status, popularity and fame are so fleeting, they wouldn’t even rate their own parking spaces if they were part of a hot new startup. To the buyers of such things . . . beware.

      Keep it real Bahstan.

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