Your daily Olympic wrap-up. Apologizes for the delay...I was taping a podcast at The Score this afternoon (more on that later).
Notable Canadian performance: Mike Brown –Yes, he was fourth. Yes, that’s not a medal. But, Jesus people…what are you fourth best in the world at?
Notable international performance: Yang Wei – Yes, I’m getting a little sick of all the gymnastics too, but you have to acknowledge how impressive the Chinese team has been, most recently with Wei’s all-around gold. Can any other nation win a single gold? It’s beginning to seem less and less likely.
The Maple Leaf Gold: The entire Canadian fastball team - No matter what happens in the final three innings of the rain delayed game, the Canadian fastball team served notice that it will compete with anyone, by scoring a run against the US. It’s just the second they have allowed in two Olympics.
Maple Leaf silver: Ron McLean – Yes, that Ron McLean. He’s come a long way as a reporter since 1996 when the NBC crew managed to push him out of the way for the first Donovan Bailey interview after he won the 100m. Last night he refused to drink the Kool-Aid Mark Tewksbury was dishing out about the overall performance of the swimmers. Yes, there have been a lot of Canadian records set, but everyone is swimming fast. Canada’s performance in the pool has been much better in 2008 than in Athens. But, it’s still not good enough.
Maple Leaf bronze: Nick Weglarz – It would have been nice if the Canadian baseball team could have held on against Cuba (but, you only have to beat them once—when it counts in the medal round), but Weglarz’s 450-foot blast reminded me of why I like baseball.
Maple Leaf tin medal: Les Gramantik – Canada’s head track and field coach is going all old school in preventing the athletes from seeing their friends and family during the Games. I’m sure it’s been that hug from mom that has been holding us back all these years. Treating athletes like babies has always worked well, don’t you think?
The WTF was the Ceeb thinking award: While showing Canada’s water polo game against Australia, the Ceeb broke for commercial three times in the middle of a play. In all three cases, Canada was going on the attack. We all realize that they have to pay the bills (although aren’t they tax funded? Sorry, different topic), but could you imagine the outrage if they went to break just as Team Canada broke across the blueline in Vancouver. Show some respect, please.
Honorary Canadian award: The Aussie 4X200m women’s freestyle relay blasted to a new world record and handed the US its first ever loss in Olympic history at the distance. We all try to be mature about our sports watching…but beating the US is kinda fun ya gotta admit!
Canadian highlights for day 7: The women’s soccer team’s game against the US will either be a Great Canadian Sports Moment, or bloody awful. It could go either way, really. So, let’s go outside the box. Weightlifter Jeane Lassen has an outside shot at a medal (she’s the only Canadian ever to medal at the world championships). And, she’s from the Yukon!
International highlight for day 7: Track starts! When you break it down to its essence, the Olympics are really just a big track meet. The rest is just bonus coverage.