Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Round Up: Day 3

Contributed by Emma Booth.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

With the London Olympics now in full swing, here is a roundup of my top three sports in days 1, 2 & 3.

Just Dive In
So the hopes of Britain were on the shoulders of 18 year old Tom Daley and his partner Pete Waterfield in the 10m synchronized platform competition today. Looking good up until their fourth dive, they unfortunately just fell short of the medal positions, but it went right down to the wire. The Chinese look phenomenal, winning gold (easily) in both events so far; (women’s 3m synchronized and men’s 10m synchronized). Their perfect execution or incredibly tricky dives is something to be admired, even if you don’t like the sport. The USA have medaled in both events as well so far, the most surprising result of those probably Daniel Boudia and Nick McCrory claiming the bronze in the 10m, at the expense of the Daley & Waterfield. However it is the Mexicans who seem to be the greatest shock of the competition – claiming a silver medal position in the 10m, and seem to be using the ‘do or dive’ philosophy which is go big, or go home

Aiming for Gold
Archery has taken the Olympic by storm, the close points scoring, the precision of the arrows, and the camaraderie between the teams, has all provided us with an exciting and interesting weekend. First up was the Men’s Team Event. Korea looked strong contenders before falling to the United States in the semi-finals, whereas it was too close to call between Italy and Mexico. Italy scraped through to meet USA in the finals, and took gold by one single point. USA finished with silver, and Korea with Bronze. The Women’s Team Event was equally as compelling. All four finalists competing for medals were from the Asian continent; Russia (please don’t quibble, technically a lot of the country is in Asia!), Japan, Korea and China. All incredibly tight medal matches; the margin of victory just two points as Japan took bronze over Russia, and just the one point as Korea beat China into second place.

Opening Ceremony
Okay, so not technically a sport, but I couldn’t let a post go by without mentioning the great show that London put on, at the hands of Oscar winning director Danny Boyle (and of course, hundreds of thousands of others) on Friday night. The appearance of British greats such as JK Rowling (Harry Potter), Kenneth Brannagh (Harry Potter) and Sir Paul McCartney (Harry… Oh no, The Beatles) brought a sense of pride to the nation. With The Queen & James Bond parachuting out of a helicopter, a huge number of NHS staff dancing around with Mary Poppinses (not sure that’s a word) and the scenes surrounding the two World Wars, and the bombings on July 7th 2006 – every emotion was hit as you watched it. And the biggest surprise – the lighting of the torch, with much discussion beforehand, by our future Olympians, was a fitting end to an amazing ceremony.
Well done London.

Olympic Round Up: Day 6

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