When competition in London was over the United States had won the overall medal count for the fifth straight time and with 46 golds took back the overall golds total from China, who had won it as the hosts in 2008. It was the most medals ever for the United States in a foreign games. Golds wise, the key for the United States from Beijing to London was consistency: already a strong team across the board, the U.S. was able to maintain that level over the course of the four years and their two biggest medal winners, swimming and track, saw improvements. In fact, the swimming team led the United States with a +4 margin:
Gold Medal Increase
Track & Field (+2)
Boxing, Diving, Gymnastics, Judo, Shooting, Water Polo, Wrestling (+1) Read more…
Assuming Michael Phelps doesn’t race in Rio, he will end his Olympic career with 22 medals. His 18 golds will surely not be caught until I and everyone reading this are long gone, if ever. But it is possible that 22 medals could be caught by an athlete who starts young enough, wins young enough, and has as many opportunities to win a medal as swimmers have.
Enter Missy Franklin. The 17 year old won 5 medals in London (4 golds) and narrowly missed out on two others, placing 4th and 5th in her other two events. Franklin has one major disadvantage in the chase to 22: her program is limited to two strokes, the backstroke and the freestyle, thus limiting the total medals available. Of course, seeing how Ryan Lochte broke down under the challenge of swimming such a daunting program, perhaps it is best for Franklin to pick and choose her spots. Besides, if she keeps her same program that gives her a shot at 7 medals per Olympics.
Considering she finished 6th in the 100 freestyle by a long margin she may want to ditch that (then again, at the 2011 Worlds she swam the second fastest split in the 4×100 relay). She also swam the fastest freestyle leg of the medley relay at the 2011 Worlds. And though she finished 5th in London in the 200 free her relay split at the 2011 Worlds would have won the 200m gold medal there. There’s obviously a lot of difference between a relay split and individual race, but the talent for medals are there.
In 4 years, Franklin will be 21. I am confident in saying she will medal in both backstrokes, the medley relay and the 4×200 relay for sure. As for the other events, let’s investigate further: Read more…
the first ever youth winter olympics start today in Innsbruck, Austria today. I’ll have fairly comprehensive coverage of the proceedings, starting today with a look at the US boys U-16 Hockey Team.
Logan Halladay (Cary, North Carolina) – Halladay plays for the Junior Hurricanes, and took part in the prestigious Strelow Camp last year, where he was reportedly very impressive. He has been described as a very good butterfly goalie who also is great on his skates.
Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pennsylvania) – Minney also took part in the Strelow Camp, and had a .928 save percentage at a USA Hockey invite camp in New York. Read more…
Well, technically it’s 199 now, but yesterday London marked it being 200 days until the 2012 Summer Games with a cabinet meeting at Olympic Park. Prime Minister David Cameron noted that both the Aquatics Center (or, Centre) and Handball Court will be owned beyond the Olympics thanks to new ownership agreements.
Chief Organizer Sebastien Coe noted that there was still some work to be done on the overall atmosphere, noting that he “never wanted an athlete telling me that he did not make a final because the Olympic Village did not create the right atmosphere, or he did not get the right service or the transport did not work.”
When the Opening Ceremonies commence on July 27th London will be the first city to host the Olympics three times.
Kurt Angle, who is probably best known for his exploits in the WWF, wants to make a comeback to real wrestling. That’s right: the 43 year old is going to attempt to make the 2012 US Olympic team. Angle is actually an incredibly accomplished wrestler, winning the heavyweight division of the freestyle wrestling event at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.
Angle also has numerous other wrestling exploits, winning a Junior World Championship, an NCAA national championship and the 1995 World Championship.
The United States had one medal winner, a bronze from Adam Wheeler, but that was in Greco Roman wrestling. Angle will be attempting to make the team in freestyle, where no American finished in the top 18 in 2008. He’ll have to win the qualifying event in April in Iowa City to make it, but he seems optimistic about doing just that.
Denver won the rights to the 1976 Winter games, but in 1972 the public decided to not devote public funds to the games, which resulted in the IOC moving the games to Innsbruck. Now almost 50 years later Denver might want a re-do:
the first meeting Saturday of a committee exploring a new Olympic bid. The group of Colorado business, health care, tourism and political leaders will consider whether Denver should bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Although competing cities will probably try to remind the IOC of the calamity caused by Denver in the 70s, there is only one remaining member from those days, so many of those concerns should be long gone.
The time might be ripe for an American games as well: it has been since 2002 since the United States hosted an Olympic games, which would be 9 games between visits to America. It would also be four games in between Winter Games in America. The longest stretch is five, but that includes when the Olympic calendar was switched, alternating the winter and summer games to every two years, which forced winter games in both 1992 and 1994. That, plus how well run the Salt Lake City games were (absent the bribery scandal) would probably make Denver the favorite in 2022.
In an awesome gaffe, London organizers accidentally oversold tickets to the Synchronized Swimming competition to the tune of, oh, 10,000 tickets. I am assuming this means they sold a total of 10,010 tickets, but I digress. (the actual mistake was about twice more than should have been sold). So instead, they’ll get upgrades to events they previously applied for but were unsuccessful:
The alternate tickets will come from the pot of 1 million for all events that are to go on sale in May once the seating configuration has been finalized at all venues.
Some ticket buyers took to Twitter on Wednesday to reveal their delight at the administrative blunder.
“Just exchanged our Olympics synchronized swimming tix for men’s & women’s medley finals & freestyle finals,” London-based author Stella Duffy tweeted. “Sorry synchros, but woo hoo!”
About 200 more people will get to see the 100m dash final, which, given that it lasts under 10 seconds, doesn’t seem like a major upgrade, but what do I know.
This isn’t the first ticket snafu, as in July 2011 around 700 people were charged twice for tickets they had purchased.