OT- Olympics Day 8 Thread (SPOILERS are alive and well and in this thread)

Submitted by MGJS SuperKick Party on August 3rd, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Today in a womans 100m dash heat, there were runners from both Libya and Afganistan. Neither woman qualified for the next round, but both have opened doors for girls and women in both countries, it was very cool to see.

Anyway, here is the thread for Olympic discussion, with spoilers.

Comments

sedieso

August 3rd, 2012 at 10:52 AM ^

JMDP is playing the match of his life and my boy Federer is mixing brilliant shots with shanks and missed opportunities. Fun yet frustrating match to watch. 

bacon1431

August 3rd, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

Del Potro is ranked 9th in the world, it's not like he's some average Joe out there. He's made his fair share of mistakes as well. He's won a major before and has made it to the QF in two of the majors this year. Granted Federer has dominated him this year (in terms of wins), but I don't think it should be a surprise that he's competing with him. They're very familiar with each other.

sedieso

August 3rd, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

I don't think I made any mention that he is an average Joe. Given the fact that grass is his worst surface, and Roger's best, I didn't expect this match to be this close. And DelPo has played well this year, but not to this level. The way he is playing this match, and hitting the lines consistently, and throwing his body around the way no 6'6 man should, I would say he is playing at the level that he was in the US Open back in 09.

bacon1431

August 3rd, 2012 at 12:00 PM ^

I know you didn't specifically mention he's an average Joe, but your surpise in that he is playing with Fed is unfounded IMO. He's been just shy of the QF at Wimbledon the past two years. He's playing like he did at the US Open in 09, ya know, before his wrist injury. When it was pretty much consensus that he was going to be a top 10 player for the forseeable future.

Raoul

August 3rd, 2012 at 1:21 PM ^

The Canadian women's basketball squad and former Wolverine Krista Phillips just knocked off a more highly ranked team from Brazil to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

Unfortunately for them, it appers likely that Canada will face the U.S. in the quarterfinals.

BlueDragon

August 3rd, 2012 at 12:04 PM ^

With threads like this I have no need to watch the coverage, saving me precious time. You all mine the best bits, especially those involving former Michigan athletes, which is what is most interesting to me.

M-Wolverine

August 3rd, 2012 at 12:27 PM ^

Someone asked "what sport would you eliminate", and I like some of the goofy sports, so I couldn't really think of any. Then I saw today that "Trampoline" is an actual Olympic sport.  And for this they eliminated softball and baseball.

goblue_jb

August 3rd, 2012 at 12:46 PM ^

while i think trampoline is a ridiculous 'sport' to earn an olympic medal, i dont think that had anything to do with softball n baseball getting booted.  if i recall correctly (and i probably dont) it had more to do with those sports not having a global following, and so a small handful of countries were completely dominant.  ie, usa, some latin american countries, canada and some asian countries.  if either sport were more popular in europe it would still be an olympic sport IMHO.

goblue_jb

August 3rd, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

im not saying its fair or accurate, but yes i think thats basically what happened.  the IOC president at the time of the decision was european and was hell bent on removing softball and baseball.  i actually think baseball is pretty global.... maybe not so much softball but there sure as sh*t are other olympic sports out there that arent truly global.  a real shame... i'm pretty sure for womens softball an olympic medal was really the highest level of prestige attainable.

BlueinLansing

August 3rd, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

was indeed elimnated along with softball because it does not have 'world appeal'.  Also MLB has been pretty adamant about not allowing its players to participate thus leaving baseball as a less attractive amateur sport in the Olympics.

 

Softball was in the same boat but was about 1000x's less competitive with the USA, Australia and Japan dominating everyone.

 

Baseball and Softball were replaced by the 'world appeal' of Golf and Rugby.

Alton

August 3rd, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

Money is a pretty big reason as well.  London didn't really want to build 2 Olympic-quality baseball fields plus a softball field just to have to tear them down (or find a new use for them) after the Olympics are over.

Unlike baseball & softball, they can put trampoline, rugby and golf in facilities that already exist in London or Rio.  They don't have to build a new facility, and they don't have to try to figure out what to do with it once the Olympics are over.

Alton

August 3rd, 2012 at 1:57 PM ^

Yes, I know that they don't have golf or rugby in the London Olympics, although it certainly wouldn't have been hard to find appropriate facilities for those sports in the UK.

I did not know that Rio was making a new golf course for 2016; thanks for that link.  I guess my point about money still stands; I assume that the course will eventually pay for itself after it becomes a public course in 2017, but a baseball facility would certainly have been repurposed once the Rio Olympics ended.  I know that Beijing's main baseball stadium was demolished to build a shopping mall.

 

y2mh

August 3rd, 2012 at 4:16 PM ^

The IOC adopted more flexible rules to add new Olympic sports in 2007. Giving renewed hope to many sports that have been on the waiting list for many years. Such sports include Rugby, Golf, Karate, Squash and Roller Sports. In 2009, Rugby and Golf were selected to make a comeback to the Olympic program for Rio in 2016. The new system consists of 25 core sports with three “floating” sports. There is usually a two Olympic games "exhibition" for new sports as trial, (like baseball and softball previously). This new system will start from the 2020 Olympics. However, it is not all good news, as all sports would be up for review after each Olympics. New sports will be included or others dropped by a simple majority vote (compared to currently requiring a 2/3’s majority)

y2mh

August 3rd, 2012 at 4:28 PM ^

Lack of MLB support is a real factor in baseball elimination at the Olympics. They don’t want their stars or future stars competing and pulled from their system and control.

NBA has the same idea regarding Olympic men’s basketball at this moment. They want to remove their players from participating and it looks like a compromise is being worked out between NBA and FIBA, which would limit players’ ages to less than 23-25 y/o.

stephenrjking

August 3rd, 2012 at 5:46 PM ^

This is the real reason, IMO. The "Euro-Centric" complaint earlier is hogwash; Europeans aren't significant sprinters anymore, but the 100m dash continues to be the signature event.

Baseball does have a reasonable global following, but it's not nearly as widespread or accessible as other sports. Still, the problem is that the league that has most of the best players in it doesn't support Olympic Baseball. And without that support, nobody much cared about it.

If MLB closed down for two weeks every four years and we got to see Albert Pujols bat against Cuba and Justin Verlander in the bullpen next to Jared Weaver, it would be back in. And it would be fun.

snarling wolverine

August 3rd, 2012 at 6:00 PM ^

I can understand MLB not wanting to shut down in the middle of the summer, when its attendance peaks (and it'd probably be more like a month when you factor in training camp), but I don't understand owners' reluctance to let minor league players in.  It could be an opportunity to introduce them to a nationwide audience.

 

M-Wolverine

August 3rd, 2012 at 2:10 PM ^

 

http://www.freep.com/article/20120802/COL38/308020284/Jeff-Seidel-Olympic-dream-taken-away-from-ex-Michigan-softball-star-Amanda-Chidester?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Sports|s

(Freep, but about a former Michigan player)

How many are "competing" in trampoline? And I don't mean "have kids out in the backyard."  And how many were there before it became an Olympic sport?

 

They may not be quid pro quo, but the logic for eliminating one goes directly against adding the other.

MGoPatio

August 3rd, 2012 at 2:32 PM ^

I think you're more right on the second part than the first. Dominance by select countries probably had more to do with the baseball/softball drop than number of countries in competition or number of competitors across all borders. I don't think there's anyone that would claim that there are more trampolinists, archers, rythmic gymnasts, or handballers than there are baseball or softball players. Of course, I can't really speak to the global following of any of those

Either way, it doesn't speak well for general Olympic ideals of "compete to the best of your abilities" or "strive to improve/excel" when the IOC is willing to drop big time sports because a few teams dominate. 

snarling wolverine

August 3rd, 2012 at 3:42 PM ^

I don't know if dominance really matters.  China dominates table tennis so thoroughly that a large number of its competitors in the Olympics are Chinese-born athletes who became naturalized elsewhere.

Basketball is another sport that is extremely dominated by one country (the U.S., of course).  From 1936 to 1988 - before NBA players were even allowed in - the U.S. men lost a total of two games (and one was extremely controversial).  Women's basketball is no less lopsided in our favor.  

There doesn't seem to be any really logical explanation.  It seems to just go on a case-by-case basis.  In this one, I think London just didn't want to build the stadiums.  Or maybe their cricket federation cried foul, since cricket isn't an Olympic sport either.

MGoPatio

August 3rd, 2012 at 3:00 PM ^

In trampoline news: the gold medal in men's trampoline was just awarded to the Chinese athlete Dong Dong. Yes, really. I believe the lucrative endorsements for a tramp gold include a walk-on role on Law & Order.

Gotta love global appeal.

justingoblue

August 3rd, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

high school teammate of mine and former Wisconsin runner qualified for the Steeplechase finals with the second fastest time today. He's the first truly elite runner America has sent in the Steeple for many years, and is looking to upset the Kenyan dominance in the sport in the final Sunday.

snarling wolverine

August 3rd, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

The distribution of medals in the medal count is interesting.  You might theoretically expect countries to have about an equal number of golds, silvers and bronzes, but that's not really the case.  Japan currently has 21 medals but only two golds.  Russia is in a similar position - 20 medals but only 3 golds.  OTOH, South Korea has eight golds for 15 total, and Kazakhstan (!) has four medals - all gold!