Your daily Olympic wrap-up.
Notable Canadian performance: Stubby Clapp –The team I’ll get to in a minute, but first let’s celebrate Clapp who hit a home run in what was his last competitive baseball game of his career. Every athlete should be so lucky to go out like that. Clapp was a mediocre ball player (by professional standards), but he rose to notoriety by blooping a single in 1999, loving his country and always giving it his all. It’s a bit cliché, really, but we’re all saps for it when you get right down to it. Thanks Stubby.
Notable international performance: – There could be three today. I touched on Bolt below, Natalie du Toit, the amputee swimmer is truly inspiring and, as regular reader Dennis Prouse points out in the comment’s section from yesterday, there is no shame in admitting that you had a lump in your throat after watching German superheavyweight weightlifter Matthias Steiner hold up the photo of his late wife after he captured gold (by going nearly 20 lbs higher than he had ever done before).
So, you pick.
Maple Leaf gold: Thomas Hall The man that Neate tipped for a possible medal a month ago rebounded from a tough heat to win his semi-final race this morning. He’s in the hunt.
Maple Leaf silver: Emilie Heymans - Another diver that has “pulled a Canada” a few times in her career. But, not yesterday where she placed third in qualifying and is in the hunt for bronze (no one is touching the Chinese).
Maple Leaf bronze: Gary Reed: But, by default really as it was a quiet day for Canada. Reed made it through to the 800m semis as a fastest loser, but will need to improve greatly to move forward.
Maple Leaf tin medal: The baseball team. It was a bit like watching the Jays, wasn’t it.
The WTF was the Ceeb thinking award: So. Much. Dead. Time. It being a quiet day for the Canucks the Ceeb decided that replaying old events and interviewing former Olympians about those events was the way to fill the air rather than, say, showing sports.
Honorary Canadian award: The Jamaican track team. As Canadians we can only dream of having the type of day that Jamaica did on the track, taking two gold medals (Bolt and 400m hurdler Melaine Walker) in less than 20 minutes.
Canadian highlights for day 11: Heymans – Hopefully the maturity of another four years will help her perform to her abilities in the platform final. If she does, she’ll grab Canada’s 14th medal, equaling Sydney.
International highlight for day 11: The women’s gold medal match in beach volleyball. Yes, they have nice bums (most athletes do, they just aren’t in bikinis), but more importantly the beach volleyball players are great athletes. Added for its sex appeal and TV potential no doubt that doesn’t mean that beach volleyball isn’t an amazingly entertaining and compelling event. Tonight the American’s Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor try to extend their wining streak through two Olympics. And that would be impressive even if they were wearing an old pair of track pants.