Disappointed USA Women’s Volleyball Team Settles for Silver

The American women were untouchable through seven matches, winning each one en route to the Gold Medal Match and an anticipated first-ever Olympic gold medal.

But it was not meant to be.

Team USA won the first set handily and perhaps got ahead of themselves before running into a Brazilian buzzsaw and dropping three straight sets to the defending Olympic champions from Beijing in 2008. Brazil reclaimed the gold medal, defeating the United States 11-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17.

The second set proved the turning point of the match, as Brazil look bewildered at the American onslaught in the first set. However, the Americans’ power game deserted them, as Brazil managed to handle nearly every American spike and break through each block attempt. Without the benefit of the block from Destinee Hooker and others in the front row that the USA relied on throughout its first seven games in London, libero Nicole Davis was nearly helpless, and the USA back row foundered.

Service errors compounded the Americans’ issues on offense, as did errors up front, with a couple of net touches and seemingly open scoring chances being powered out of bounds or into the net antenna (also out of bounds). Even veteran Logan Tom, for many the face of USA Volleyball, succumbed to uncharacteristic errors.

Team USA put on a handful of small runs to try to get back in the match in the last two sets, but Brazil never surrendered the lead to USA from the first point of the second set, allowing the Americans to only tie once. At times, it seemed like the Brazilians had ten women on the court, each seven feet tall, the Americans were so defenseless against their attacks. Fabiana was magnificent on the block, earning all of her team’s blocks with seven and contributing 14 points. Jaque led her team with 18 points on 18 spikes, and Sheilla was also a force, scoring 15 points. Brazil outspiked USA, totaling 61 spike points to USA’s 46.

Hooker and Tom led Team USA with 14 points each, followed by Foluke Akinradewo’s 11, but the U.S. missed Hooker’s blocking ability as she finished the match with none. Team USA finishes with the silver medal for the third time in the Olympics, having also won a bronze medal.

2012 Summer Olympics – August 11 Schedule

As we wind on down the road…

The Games end tomorrow, and there is much left to be decided. Today is a huge medals day for Team USA in track and field and other sports, so let’s get right to it!

Team USA Women’s Basketball hasn’t lost in the Olympics since God knows when, and they look to continue ownership of the Olympic gold medal when they take on France at 3 p.m. CT, live on NBC Sports Network. Team USA also has a shot at its first-ever Women’s Volleyball gold medal if they can get by Brazil at 12:30 p.m. CT. Track and field largely finishes up today, with Team USA going for medals in five major events during the afternoon and the women’s and men’s long walks, both “run” in the morning. The only event remaining will be the men’s marathon, run Sunday.

We’ve also got Americans competing for gold in women’s cycling, men’s canoe/kayak and the Men’s Modern Pentathlon – an interesting combination of events like fencing, swimming and riding. Americans are also competing in earlier rounds in three weight classes of men’s freestyle wrestling and in the men’s 10m platform diving event that culminate in medal rounds today, I’ve listed all times below so keep tabs on them if you wish.

And in high-profile world events, Brazil faces Mexico in the men’s soccer Gold Medal Match, Thailand has possibly its last shot for gold at these Games in men’s boxing, medals are awarded in men’s field hockey and women’s handball, and the bronze medal finals of women’s basketball and volleyball feature Australia vs. Russia and Japan vs. South Korea, respectively.

Enjoy!  After tomorrow, the Games will be gone for two years until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

(ALL TIMES CENTRAL)

Team USA 

* – Medal Event

  • 2:45 a.m.: Modern Pentathlon, American Dennis Bowsher competes in the Men’s Fencing event
  • *3:00 a.m.: Track and Field, American John Nunn “races” for gold in the Men’s 50km Walk
  • *3:30 a.m.: Canoe/Kayak, American Tim Hornsby rows for gold in the Flatwater Men’s K-1 200m Sprint Finals
  • 4:00 a.m.: Diving, Americans Nick McCrory and David Boudia dive in the Men’s 10m Platform Semifinal
  • *6:30 a.m.: Cycling, Americans Georgia Gould and Lea Davison race for gold in the Women’s Mountain Bike Final
  • 7:18 a.m.: Wrestling vs. EGY Egypt, Round of 16 – American  Tervel Dlagnev wrestles in the Men’s Freestyle 120kg/264.5 lbs
  • 7:20 a.m.: Modern Pentathlon, American Dennis Bowsher competes in the Men’s Swimming event
  • 7:27 a.m.: Wrestling vs. KOR South Korea, Round of 16 – American Coleman Scott wrestles in the Men’s Freestyle 60kg/132 lbs
  • 8:03 a.m.: Wrestling vs. CUB Cuba, Round of 16 – American Jake Herbert wrestles in the Men’s Freestyle 84kg/185 lbs
  • 8:30 a.m. Wrestling, American  Tervel Dlagnev may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 120kg/264.5 lbs Quarterfinals (pending earlier results)
  • 8:39 a.m.: Wrestling, American Coleman Scott may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 60kg/132 lbs Quarterfinals (pending earlier results)
  • 8:03 a.m.: Wrestling, American Jake Herbert may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 84kg/185 lbs Quarterfinals (pending earlier results)
  • 9:06 a.m. Wrestling, American  Tervel Dlagnev may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 120kg/264.5 lbs Semifinals (pending earlier results)
  • 9:15 a.m.: Wrestling, American Coleman Scott may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 60kg/132 lbs Semifinals (pending earlier results)
  • 9:15 a.m.: Wrestling, American Jake Herbert may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 84kg/185 lbs Semifinals (pending earlier results)
  • 9:20 a.m.: Modern Pentathlon, American Dennis Bowsher competes in the Men’s Riding event
  • *11:00 a.m.: Track and Field, American Maria Michta “races” for gold in the Women’s 20km Walk
  • *11:45 a.m. Wrestling, American  Tervel Dlagnev may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 120kg/264.5 lbs Bronze Medal Match (pending earlier results)
  • *11:45 a.m.: Wrestling, American Jake Herbert may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 84kg/185 lbs Bronze Medal Finals (pending earlier results)
  • *11:45 a.m.: Wrestling, American Coleman Scott may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 60kg/132 lbs Bronze Medal Finals (pending earlier results)
  • *12:30 p.m.: Volleyball vs. Brazil Brazil, Team USA looks to win its first-ever Olympic gold medal in the Women’s Gold Medal Match
  • *12:45 p.m.: Modern Pentathlon, American Dennis Bowsher competes in the Men’s Combined Run/Shoot event (final event)
  • *12:46 a.m.: Wrestling, American Coleman Scott may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 60kg/132 lbs Gold Medal Finals (pending earlier results)
  • *1:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans Chaunte Lowe and Brigetta Barrett leap for gold in the Women’s High Jump Final
  • *1:21 p.m.: Wrestling, American Jake Herbert may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 84kg/185 lbs Gold Medal Finals (pending earlier results)
  • *1:30 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans Bernard LagatLopez Lomong and Galen Rupp race for gold in the Men’s 5000m Final
  • *1:56 p.m. Wrestling, American  Tervel Dlagnev may wrestle in the Men’s Freestyle 120kg/264.5 lbs Gold Medal Match (pending earlier results)
  • *2:00 p.m.: Track and Field, American Alysia Johnson Montano runs for gold in the Women’s 800m Final
  • *2:25 p.m.: Track and Field, Team USA runs for gold in the Women’s 4 x 400m Relay Final
  • *2:30 p.m.: Diving, Americans Nick McCrory and David Boudia may dive in the Men’s 10m Platform Final (pending earlier results)
  • *3:00 p.m.: Women’s Basketball vs. France France, Team USA looks to continue its unchallenged dominance in Olympic play in the Women’s Gold Medal Game
  • *3:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Team USA runs for gold in the Men’s 4 x 100m Relay Final

 

World Notables

  • *5:30 a.m.: Volleyball, Japan Japan vs. South Korea South Korea, Women’s Bronze Medal Match
  • *9:00 a.m.: Soccer, Brazil Brazil vs. Mexico Mexico, Men’s Gold Medal Match
  • *9:30 a.m.: Field Hockey, Australia Australia vs. Great Britain Great Britain, Men’s Bronze Medal Match
  • *11:00 a.m.: Basketball, Australia Australia vs. Russia Russia, Women’s Bronze Medal Game
  • *11:00 a.m.: Handball, South Korea South Korea vs. Spain Spain, Women’s Bronze Medal Match
  • *2:00 p.m.: Field Hockey, Germany Germany vs. Netherlands Netherlands, Men’s Gold Medal Match
  • *2:30 p.m.: Boxing, THA Thailand’s Kaeo Pongprayoon boxes CHN China in an attempt for his country’s first gold medal in London in the Men’s Light Flyweight Gold Medal Final
  • *2:30 p.m.: Handball, Norway Norway vs. Montenegro Montenegro, Women’s Gold Medal Match

 

Medal Events

* – Team USA participation pending

  • 3:00 a.m.: Track and Field, Men’s 50km Walk
  • 3:30 a.m.: Canoe/Kayak, Men’s Flatwater K-1 200m Sprint Finals
  • 3:47 a.m.: Canoe/Kayak, Men’s Flatwater C-1 200m Sprint Finals
  • 4:14 a.m.: Canoe/Kayak, Women’s Flatwater K-1 200m Sprint Finals
  • 4:41 a.m.: Canoe/Kayak, Men’s Flatwater K-2 200m Sprint Finals
  • 5:30 a.m.: Volleyball, Women’s Bronze Medal Match
  • 6:00 a.m.: Sailing, Women’s Elliott 6m Bronze Medal Match
  • 6:30 a.m.: Cycling, Women’s Mountain Bike Final
  • 7:05 a.m.: Sailing, Women’s Elliott 6m Gold Medal Match
  • 7:30 a.m.: Rhythmic Gymnastics, Final (rotations begin at 7:30 a.m., 8:03 a.m., 8:37 a.m., and 9:10 a.m.)
  • 9:30 a.m.: Field Hockey, Men’s Bronze Medal Match
  • 9:00 a.m.: Soccer, Men’s Gold Medal Match
  • 11:00 a.m.: Handball, Women’s Bronze Medal Match
  • 11:00 a.m.: Basketball, Women’s Bronze Medal Match
  • 11:00 a.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 20km Walk
  • *11:45 a.m. Wrestling, Men’s Freestyle 120kg/264.5 lbs Bronze Medal Match
  • *11:45 a.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Freestyle 60kg/132 lbs Bronze Medal Finals
  • *11:45 a.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Freestyle 84kg/185 lbs Bronze Medal Finals
  • 12:30 p.m.: Volleyball, Women’s Gold Medal Match
  • 12:45 p.m.: Modern Penthathlon, Men’s Final Event (Combined Run/Shoot)
  • *12:46 p.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Freestyle 60kg/132 lbs Gold Medal Finals
  • 1:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s High Jump Final
  • 1:20 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s Javelin Throw Final
  • *1:21 p.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Freestyle 84kg/185 lbs Bronze Medal Finals
  • 1:30 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s 5000m Final
  • *1:56 a.m. Wrestling, Men’s Freestyle 120kg/264.5 lbs Gold Medal Finals
  • 2:00 p.m.: Field Hockey, Men’s Gold Medal Match
  • 2:00 p.m.: Taekwondo, Women’s Heavyweight Bronze Medal Finals
  • 2:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 800m Final
  • 2:15 p.m.: Taekwondo, Men’s Heavyweight Bronze Medal Finals
  • 2:25 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 4 x 400m Relay Final
  • 2:30 p.m.: Handball, Women’s Gold Medal Match
  • 2:30 p.m.: Boxing, Men’s Light Flyweight Final
  • *2:30 p.m.: Diving, Men’s 10m Platform Final
  • 2:45 p.m.: Boxing, Men’s Bantamweight Final
  • 3:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s 4 x 100m Relay Final
  • 3:00 p.m.: Basketball, Women’s Gold Medal Game
  • 3:15 p.m.: Boxing, Men’s Light Welterweight Final
  • 3:45 p.m.: Boxing, Men’s Middleweight Final
  • 4:15 p.m.: Taekwondo, Women’s Heavyweight Gold Medal Final
  • 4:30 p.m.: Taekwondo, Men’s Heavyweight Gold Medal Final
  • 4:15 p.m.: Boxing, Men’s Heavyweight Final

Horsing Around: Equestrian Events Explained with 2012 Results

BY: BRITTANY FISHER, DVM CANDIDATE AT MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE

McLain Ward on Antares - London 2012 Olympic Games
Famed American rider McLain Ward, recovering from a broken kneecap injury from January, rides Antares in the Equestrian Jumping event August 7 in London. (Source: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe)

Editor’s Note:  I know next to nothing about equestrian events other than they feature horses. That’s why I outsourced my equestrian coverage to Brittany Fisher, a former schoolmate of mine from Ocean Springs who is an avid, long-time horselover and equestrian competitor. She is currently studying for her DVM at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. Consider this a definitive explanation of all things equestrian at the Olympics.

Editor’s Second Note:  I am assuming that, when Brittany says “non-horse people,” she is referring to people who don’t consider themselves horse aficionados and is not referring to regular people as opposed to centaurs. 😉

Equestrian disciplines are the only Olympic events that allow men and women to compete equally in the same divisions. There are three equestrian disciplines that compete in the Olympics: eventing, dressage, and show jumping. While to most non-horse people these just look like people sitting atop horses as they jump over obstacles or dance in an arena doing movements that look funny, these equestrian events have their roots in military cavalry.

Eventing

What is now known as “3-day eventing” was a trial for horses to see which ones were brave enough and had the stamina to stand up in battle going “across country” terrain –  jumping ditches, banks, fallen trees, or anything that stood in their path for days on end and being “fearless” to anything they may come across. Until 1952, only active military officers were allowed to compete in the event. The eventing sport has gone through several phases over the last half century, gradually excluding parts of the competition such as the steeplechase and roads and track phases. Today, what you will see in the Olympics is considered the “short” format and is known as a triathlon for horses and the ultimate equestrian sport.

Day 1 – Dressage

On day one of the competition, riders will compete in dressage. This is considered “ballet on horseback,” as riders must memorize a test in which they must execute certain maneuvers at very specific points in a 20- x 60-meter arena. They are judged on each movement by a panel of judges scoring them from zero to 10, with zero being not performed, and 10 being perfect.

These points are collected into an equation and the final score is a collection of penalty points, so the goal in the whole competition is to get the lowest score possible, or the lowest amount of penalty points. The point of dressage in eventing is to show the horse’s obedience and overall classical training.

Day 2 – Cross Country

Day 2 is cross country day, the most exciting and exhilarating of all the phases, even for those that aren’t horsey people. It tests both the horses’ and riders’ stamina and bravery, as riders must navigate a course of immoveable jumps over varying terrain, much like the cavalry horses used to encounter. These horses must jump over ditches, up and down banks, and into and out of water. These jumps at maximum are 4 feet high and 11 feet wide, and the down banks or drops are 6.5 feet that the horse must jump down.

Talk about ultimate bravery! These riders approach these jumps with the horses going up to 30 mph sometimes, and the horse has to clear the jump…that’s a long way in the air for the rider, who must really have ultimate trust in his or her horse. The course will be several miles long and have up to 30-40 jumps on course, and if that isn’t enough, this must be done within a certain time limit. Riders collect penalty points for any refusals towards jumps (20 points per jump) and any time over the optimum time limit given. Any fall by the horse or rider, and the pair is eliminated from the competition.

Day 3 – Stadium Jumping

The third day is stadium jumping. This phase is to show the horses’ willingness to go on after a grueling test of cross country the day before. There is an obstacle course set up of pretty fences with poles that, if touched even in the slightest way by the horse, will fall down. Riders collect penalty points for every rail down (4 points) and any refusals (4 points). There is also a time component here too, as any seconds over the optimum time given will collect as penalty points. The team or individual with the smallest score at the end of competition wins.

2012 London Olympics – Eventing Results

This year, Germany won gold in team eventing, as they tend to dominate the sports of eventing and dressage. Host nation Great Britain came home with silver, and New Zealand won bronze. Team USA finished seventh overall, with the highest individual ranking U.S. team member being Karen O’Connor riding Mr. Medicott in ninth place. Germany’s Michael Jung took individual eventing gold, with Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Ostholt taking silver and Germany’s Sandra Auffarth the bronze.

Dressage

Dressage is a separate competition also with roots in military. All military horses were trained in dressage, and the most advanced movements -“airs above ground” – were movements performed by the horse in battle the fend off enemies. In the olympics, the airs above ground are not performed. Instead, horses compete at the highest level of ground work:  Grand Prix. Horses that compete in only dressage are considered specialists and will perform more complex maneuvers than those seen also in the dressage phase of eventing. These maneuvers include: piaffe, passage, piroeette, half pass, and tempi changes.

  • The piaffe is a movement where the horse trots in place.
  • Passage is a forward moving trot, but slower and with more suspension in the air phase of the movement. It used to be considered the king’s march.
  • A pirouette is a turn the horse does at a canter (a controlled, three-beat gait, a natural gait for horses), turning a circle with the hind legs staying in the same place.
  • The half pass can be performed at a trot or canter, and the horse travels both forward and sideways across the arena at the same time.
  • Tempi changes are done at a canter. Torse changes leads, or what leg is leading, every other stride or every stride. It looks like a the horse is skipping.

These movements, along with extension and collection of the walk, trot, and canter, are all combined into a test that the rider must memorize and execute at specific areas of the arena. It is judged the same way as dressage in eventing, with judges scoring each movement performed from zero to 10. The difference in scoring, however, is that the points collected are not penalty points. When plugged into a specific equation, they are execution points, or rather can be compared to grading a test in school and how well the test was performed. The rider with the highest score wins.

As far as the Olympics go, each horse and rider compete in the Grand Prix – the specific test given to them they must memorize and perform to perfection. In the Grand Prix Special, the Grand Prix movements are rearranged. There is also a free style portion, or Grand Prix Freestyle. In the freestyle, the riders can create their own test as long as the special movements are performed somewhere in the routine. They choreograph these maneuvers to music the horse performs to. This is where dressage gets the nickname “horse ballet,” as it does look like the horse is just dancing to music while the rider sits atop the horse looking like a passenger.

However, do not be fooled, the riders are working as hard as the horses are. It takes years or decades to achieve the level of riding where it looks like you’re “doing nothing” up there. The same with the horses too. most horses competing in dressage are in their mid to late teens, as it takes years of training and strength building to reach the ultimate level of Grand Prix. So try to watch it and see if you can pick out some of these maneuvers. Maybe after a little understanding of the sport it’s not like watching paint dry, as I’ve been told.

2012 London Olympics – Dressage Results

This year, dressage has gained a little more publicity than usual, as Ann Romney’s mare, Rafalca, ridden by Jan Ebeling, competed. The pair was the first ride for USA and had a magnificent test in the Grand Prix, earning a 70.243 before being eliminated in the Grand Prix Special. Tina Konyot also qualified for the Special but was eliminated, riding Calecto V. Adrienne Lyle, riding Wizard, failed to advance past the Grand Prix.

Great Britain won two individual dressage medals, with Charlotte Dujardin winning gold and Laura Bechtolsheimer winning bronze. Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen won silver. The highest-ranked individual American at the finish was Steffen Peters aboard the famous Ravel, finishing in 17th place with a 77.286 in the Freestyle. Steffen and Ravel have gained numerous titles together, including individual fourth place at the Beijing Olympics.

In team Dressage, Team USA sat in fifth place after the Grand Prix and finished sixth overall. Great Britain won gold, Germany won silver and the Netherlands won bronze.

Show Jumping

Show jumping is the last of the equestrian disciplines performed at the Olympics. It’s a lot like the stadium jumping in eventing, except the jumps are higher and more technical, as these horses are jump specialists. The jumps are a colorful arrangement of gates, walls and poles decorated to the extreme to distract the horse or rider. Maximum jump size in the olympics is 5’3″ in height and 6’6″ in width…..that’s a big jump! These jumps are set as an obstacle course that involves quick turns, lead changes and precise navigation by the rider.

Types of Jumps:

  • Vertical – a jump with a gate or poles in a straight vertical line the horse jumps over
  • Oxer- a jump that is spread in width so that the horse must not only jump up, but the emphasis is getting over the spread of the jump
  • Combination fences known as a double and triple combinations- a set of two or three jumps set as a combination together and can be any arrangement of verticals or oxers, with 1-2 strides in between them
  • Water jump – a giant spread of water up to 13 feet the horse must jump over. If a foot lands in the water, it’s considered the same as knocking a rail down.

Scoring is based on whether or not the rails stay up. Any rail down or any refusal is a 4-point penalty. After three refusals, the horse and rider pair are eliminated. Again, like with eventing, the riders and horses are racing against the clock, and any seconds over the optimum time given are collections of penalties.

There are several rounds in show jumping. The first is the qualifying round, where everyone jumps. After, the best 60 rides go on to Round 2. Here, the best 45 rides using combined scores of round 1 and 2 can proceed to the Round 3. Here, the best 35 rides, using combined scores from all three rounds, can go on to Round 4. Again, same rules apply until the fifth and Final Round, where the best 20 horse and rider pairs compete for the win. If there is a tie, there is a jump off. This is where riders and horses jump only selected fences from the course and still race against the clock.

The difficulty in show jumping is being able to navigate the course and ride your horse to each jump in perfect stride and timing to not knock down any rails, and yet still be quick enough to make the clock. It’s a lot harder than it looks! The horses must be bold, athletic, quick and have a lot of scope.

2012 London Olympics – Jumping Results

Show jumping is usually a strong point for Team USA; however, a few rails down kept us a little lower in the competition. This year, Reed Kessler and her mare, Cylana, joined the USA’s show jumping team as the youngest member of an Olympic equestrian team at the age of 17. Special interest came with American show-jumping superstar, McLain Ward, who shattered his kneecap hitting a jump this past January.

Swiss rider Steve Guerdat won the individual jumping gold medal. Gerco Schroder of the Netherlands won silver, and Ireland’s Cian O’Connor won bronze. Ward, riding Antares, was eliminated after Final Round A, finishing in 29th place. American Rich Fellers, riding Flexible, finished eighth. Kessler finished 37th, and fellow American Beezie Madden finished tied for 72nd on Via Volo.

Great Britain again flexed its equestrian might, winning the Team Jumping gold medal. The Netherlands won silver, and Saudia Arabia won bronze. Team USA tied for sixth place with Sweden.

2012 London Olympics – Total Medals

Great Britain nearly ran the table in medals, winning three golds, a silver and a bronze in five of the six total equestrian events. Germany and the Netherlands each won four medals, with Germany taking two golds. Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand each won a single equestrian medal. The United States was shut out of the medals, but here’s looking ahead to Rio de Janeiro in 2016!

 

2012 Summer Olympics – August 10 Schedule

The fun is winding down as we head into the last weekend of Olympics action. *tear*

Real tears by the way.

Team USA is comfortably in the lead for medals but still has a shot to break 100, and there’s plenty of action left in these Games for the Americans, and for the rest of the world. Here’s what’s on tap for today.

LeBron, Kobe, CP3 and Team USA Men’s Basketball take on Manu Ginobili and Argentina at 3 p.m. for a shot at the gold medal against either Russia or Spain, who also play today. In track and field, USA goes for gold in men’s pole vault, women’s 1500m and 5000m, the women’s 4 x 100m relay and the men’s 4 x 400m relay. We also have a shot to go for gold in BMX Cycling and Taekwondo events today if they qualify and will be competing for medals in sailing and the men’s open water swimming event. (YEP, SWIMMING IS STILL HERE!)

Team USA will also have qualifying events in diving, rhythmic gymnastics and canoe/kayak (flatwater), final matches in women’s field hockey and men’s water polo for bragging rights.

In world events, the men’s soccer bronze will be decided, as will medals in women’s field hockey. Semifinals in men’s boxing, water polo, volleyball and handball are all today (none featuring Team USA). Wrestling will also award men’s freestyle medals today.

 

(ALL TIMES CENTRAL)

Team USA 

* – Medal Event

  • 2:30 a.m.: Field Hockey, Team USA takes on Belgium Belgium for final bracket placement in the Women’s Field Hockey Tournament
  • 3:00 a.m.: Taekwondo, American Paige McPherson competes in the Women’s Welterweight Preliminary Round
  • 3:15 a.m.: Taekwondo, American Steven Lopez competes in the Men’s Welterweight Preliminary Round
  • 3:30 a.m.: Canoe/Kayak, Tim Hornsby competes in the Men’s Flatwater K-1 200m Sprint Qualifying Heats
  • 4:19 a.m.: Canoe/Kayak, Carrie Johnson competes in the Women’s Flatwater K-1 200m Sprint Qualifying Heats
  • 5:16 a.m.: Canoe/Kayak, Tim Hornsby may compete in the Men’s Flatwater K-1 200m Sprint Semifinals (Pending earlier results)
  • 5:51 a.m.: Canoe/Kayak, Carrie Johnson may compete in the Women’s Flatwater K-1 200m Sprint Semifinals (Pending earlier results)
  • *6:00 a.m.: Swimming, American Alex Meyer swims for gold in the Men’s Open Water
  • 6:00 a.m.: Rhythmic Gymnastics, American Julie Zetlin competes in the Individual All-Around Qualification
  • *7:00 a.m.: Sailing, Americans Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan race for gold in the Women’s 470 Medal Race
  • #8:00 a.m.: Sailing, Team USA’s match-up against Netherlands in Women’s Elliott Classification Racing was cancelled.
  • 8:20 a.m.: Water Polo vs. Spain Spain, Team USA plays its final men’s water polo match for classification
  • 9:00 a.m.: Cycling, Americans Brooke Crain and Alise Post ride in the Women’s BMX Semifinals
  • 9:00 a.m.: Taekwondo, American Paige McPherson may compete in the Women’s Welterweight Quarterfinals (Pending earlier results)
  • 9:08 a.m.: Cycling, Americans Connor Fields and David Herman ride in the Men’s BMX Semifinals
  • 9:15 a.m.: Taekwondo, American Steven Lopez may compete in the Men’s Welterweight Quarterfinals (Pending earlier results)
  • *10:30 a.m.: Cycling, Americans Brooke Crain and Alise Post may ride for gold in the Women’s BMX Finals (Pending earlier results)
  • *10:40 a.m.: Cycling, Americans Connor Fields and David Herman may ride for gold in the Men’s BMX Finals (Pending earlier results)
  • 11:00 a.m.: Taekwondo, American Paige McPherson may compete in the Women’s Welterweight Semifinals (Pending earlier results)
  • 11:15 a.m.: Taekwondo, American Steven Lopez may compete in the Men’s Welterweight Semifinals (Pending earlier results)
  • 1:00 p.m.: Diving, Americans Nick McCrory and David Boudia dive in the Men’s 10m Platform Prelims
  • *1:00 p.m.: Track and Field, American Brad Walker leaps for gold in the Men’s Pole Vault Final
  • 1:10 p.m.: Track and Field, Team USA runs in the Women’s 4 x 400m Relay Round 1
  • 1:45 p.m.: Track and Field, Team USA runs in the Men’s 4 x 100m Relay Round 1
  • *2:00 p.m.: Taekwondo, American Paige McPherson may compete in the Women’s Welterweight Bronze Medal Finals (Pending earlier results)
  • *2:05 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans Molly Huddle and Julie Culley run in the Women’s 5000m Final
  • *2:15 p.m.: Taekwondo, American Steven Lopez may compete in the Men’s Welterweight Bronze Medal Finals (Pending earlier results)
  • *2:40 p.m.: Track and Field, Team USA runs for gold in the Women’s 4 x 100m Relay Final
  • *2:55 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans Shannon Rowbury and Morgan Uceny run for gold in the Women’s 1500m Final
  • 3:00 p.m.: Basketball vs. Argentina Argentina, Men’s Semifinal
  • *3:20 p.m.: Track and Field, Team USA runs for gold in the Men’s 4 x 400m Relay Final
  • *4:15 p.m.: Taekwondo, American Paige McPherson may compete in the Women’s Welterweight Gold Medal Finals (Pending earlier results)
  • *4:30 p.m.: Taekwondo, American Steven Lopez may compete in the Men’s Welterweight Gold Medal Finals (Pending earlier results)

 

World Notables

  • Note:  Men’s Boxing Semifinals will commence in all weight classes beginning at 7:30 a.m. and continuing throughout the day, with the super heavyweight matches closing the day beginning at 4:30 p.m.
  • 9:00 a.m.: Volleyball, Bulgaria Bulgaria vs. Russia Russia, Men’s Semifinal
  • 9:30 a.m.: Field Hockey, New Zealand New Zealand vs. Great Britain Great Britain, Women’s Bronze Medal Match
  • 9:40 a.m.: Water Polo, Croatia Croatia vs. Montenegro Montenegro, Men’s Semifinal
  • 11:00 a.m.: Basketball, Spain Spain vs. Russia Russia, Men’s Semifinal
  • 11:00 a.m.: Handball, Hungary Hungary vs. Sweden Sweden, Men’s Semifinal
  • 1:30 p.m.: Volleyball, Brazil Brazil vs. Italy Italy, Men’s Semifinal
  • 1:45 p.m.: Soccer, South Korea Korea vs. Japan Japan, Men’s Bronze Medal Match
  • 1:50 p.m.: Water Polo, Italy Italy vs. Serbia Serbia, Men’s Semifinal
  • 2:00 p.m.: Field Hockey, Netherlands Netherlands vs. Argentina Argentina, Women’s Gold Medal Match
  • 2:30 p.m.: Handball, France France vs. Croatia Croatia, Men’s Semifinal

Medal Events

* – Team USA participation pending

  • 6:00 a.m.: Swimming, Men’s Open Water
  • 6:00 a.m.: Sailing, Men’s 470 Medal Race
  • 7:00 a.m.: Sailing, Women’s 470 Medal Race
  • 7:30 a.m.: Boxing, Men’s Light Flyweight Semifinal
  • 8:00 a.m.: Boxing, Men’s Bantamweight Semifinal
  • 8:30 a.m.: Boxing, Men’s Light Welterweight Semifinal
  • 9:00 a.m.: Boxing, Men’s Middleweight Semifinal
  • 9:00 a.m.: Synchronized Swimming, Team Free Routine Final
  • 9:30 a.m.: Boxing, Men’s Heavyweight Semifinal
  • 9:30 a.m.: Field Hockey, Women’s Bronze Medal Match
  • *10:30 a.m.: Cycling, Women’s BMX Finals
  • *10:40 a.m.: Cycling, Men’s BMX Finals
  • 11:45 a.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Freestyle 55kg/121 lbs Bronze Medal Match
  • 11:54 a.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Freestyle 74kg/163 lbs Bronze Medal Match
  • 1:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s Pole Vault Final
  • 1:03 p.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Freestyle 55kg/121 lbs Gold Medal Match
  • 1:35 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s Hammer Throw Final
  • 1:45 p.m.: Soccer, Men’s Bronze Medal Match
  • 1:50 p.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Freestyle 74kg/163 lbs Gold Medal Match
  • 2:00 p.m.: Field Hockey, Women’s Gold Medal Match
  • *2:00 p.m.: Taekwondo, Women’s Welterweight Bronze Medal Finals
  • 2:05 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 5000m Final
  • *2:15 p.m.: Taekwondo, Men’s Welterweight Bronze Medal Finals
  • 2:30 p.m.: Boxing, Men’s Flyweight Semifinal
  • 2:40 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 4 x 100m Relay Final
  • 2:55 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 1500m Final
  • 3:00 p.m.: Boxing, Men’s Lightweight Semifinal
  • 3:20 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s 4 x 400m Relay Final
  • 3:30 p.m.: Boxing, Men’s Welterweight Semifinal
  • 4:00 p.m.: Boxing, Men’s Light Heavyweight Semifinal
  • *4:15 p.m.: Taekwondo, Women’s Welterweight Gold Medal Finals
  • *4:30 p.m.: Taekwondo, Men’s Welterweight Gold Medal Finals
  • 4:30 p.m.: Boxing, Men’s Super Heavyweight Semifinal

2012 Summer Olympics – August 9 Schedule

Hey Y’all! Mornin’!

I’m on the road back to DC today so I’m unable to post a full schedule, but here’s what you need to know today.

Team USA women’s soccer goes for gold today against Japan at 1:45 pm CT – and retribution for the heartbreaking loss in last year’s World Cup Final in penalty kicks. Stream it live or watch on NBC Sports Network or NBC.

Also, Team USA is in the gold medal match in women’s water polo against Spain at 2 pm CT. The women’s basketball team plays for a shot at the gold medal in the semifinal at 11 am CT against Australia.

Women’s volleyball is also in the semis against South Korea at 9 am CT, and middleweight boxer Claressa Shields goes for gold at 11:15 am CT against Russia’s Nadezda Torlopova in the inaugural Olympics for women’s boxing.

We’ll be back later tonight with content, including a guest post on equestrian and recaps of women’s soccer and track and field. Stay tuned!

2012 Summer Olympics: Schedule for August 8

The Games are winding down, and I know all of you are as sad as I am. But why cry when there’s plenty of fun left!

Some events have already completed, but here are the times for the rest of today’s events. All Times Central.

Team USA right now on the court against Italy in an elimination quarterfinals match in men’s volleyball and plays an elimination quarters match against Croatia later in men’s water polo. The premier event today is the all-USA women’s volleyball gold medal match, pitting Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh against April Ross and Jen Kessy for the gold medal (the loser takes a silver). Team USA men’s basketball also battles with Australia in an elimination quarterfinal match, and track and field competition is highlighted by the women’s  long jump finals, as well as the 400m hurdles and 200m finals, where Team USA threatens to sweep both.

Team USA 

* – Medal Event

World Notables

  • NOW: Basketball, France France vs. Spain Spain, Men’s Quarterfinals
  • 1:00 p.m.: Beach Volleyball, BRA L. FRANCA / J. FELISBERTA  vs. CHN XUE C. / ZHANG X, Women’s Bronze Medal Match
  • 1:30 p.m.: Volleyball, Poland Poland vs. Russia Russia, Men’s Quarterfinals
  • 2:00 p.m.: Basketball, Brazil Brazil vs. Argentina Argentina, Men’s Quarterfinals
  • 2:00 p.m.: Field Hockey, Argentina Argentina vs. Great Britain Great Britain, Women’s Semifinal
  • 3:30 p.m.: Volleyball, Bulgaria Bulgaria vs. Germany Germany, Men’s Quarterfinals

Medal Events

* – Team USA participation pending

  • 11:45 a.m.: Wrestling, Women’s Freestyle 48kg Bronze Medal Finals
  • 11:45 a.m.: Wrestling, Women’s Freestyle 63kg Bronze Medal Finals
  • 1:00 p.m.: Beach Volleyball, Women’s Bronze Medal Match
  • 1:03 p.m: Wrestling, Women’s Freestyle 48kg Gold Medal Finals
  • 1:03 p.m.: Wrestling, Women’s Freestyle 63kg Gold Medal Finals
  • 2:00 p.m.: Taekwondo, Women’s Flyweight Bronze Medal Finals
  • 2:05 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s Long Jump Final
  • 2:15 p.m.: Taekwondo, Men’s Flyweight Bronze Medal Finals
  • 2:45 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 400m Hurdles Final
  • 3:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 200m Final
  • 3:00 p.m.: Beach Volleyball, Women’s Gold Medal Match
  • 3:15 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s 110m Hurdles Final
  • 4:15 p.m.: Taekwondo, Women’s Flyweight Gold Medal Finals
  • 4:30 p.m.: Taekwondo, Men’s Flyweight Gold Medal Finals

2012 Summer Olympics: Schedule for August 7

Whew, what a day yesterday was!  An absolute thriller of a game by Team USA, and Team Canada for good measure!  A 4-3 treat in extra time, can that be topped? We’ll see what Team USA has in store for us today.

Today sees the culmination of gymnastics competition, huge matches in volleyball, beach volleyball and water polo, the finals in equestrian dressage and track stars including Lolo Jones going for gold in track and field.

Some events have already completed, but here are the times for the rest of today’s events. All Times Central.

Team USA 

* – Medal Event

World Notables

  • 10:15 a.m.: Basketball, Australia Australia vs. China China, Women’s Quarterfinals
  • 11:00 a.m.: Soccer, Mexico Mexico vs. Japan Japan, Men’s Semifinals
  • 1:45 p.m.: Soccer, South Korea Korea vs. BRA Brazil, Men’s Semifinals
  • 2:00 p.m.: Basketball, Turkey Turkey vs. Russia Russia, Women’s Quarterfinals
  • 4:15 p.m.: Basketball, France France vs. Czech Republic Czech Republic, Women’s Quarterfinals

Medal Events

* – Team USA participation pending

  • 9:30 a.m.: Table Tennis, Women’s Team Gold Medal Match
  • 10:23 a.m.: Gymnastics, Women’s Floor Exercise Final
  • 10:53 a.m.: Track Cycling, Women’s Omnium final event
  • 11:26 a.m.: Track Cycling, Women’s Sprint Finals
  • 11:57 a.m.: Track Cycling, Men’s Keirin Finals
  • 1:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s High Jump Final
  • 1:00 p.m.: Diving, Men’s 3m Springboard Final
  • 1:00 p.m.: Weightlifting, Men’s +105kg/+231lbs Final
  • 1:45 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s Discus Throw Final
  • *3:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 100m Hurdles Final
  • *3:15 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s 1500m Final

LIVEBLOG: Team USA Women’s Soccer Semifinals Vs. Canada

Liveblogging the game here!  Match has just kicked off, USA retains possession first.  Team USA has never failed to make the gold medal match.

Lineups:

Team USA

G – 1 Hope Solo
D – Rachel Buehler
D – 3 Christie Rampone
D – 6 Amy LePeilbet
D – Kelley O’Hara
M – 17 Tobin Heath
M – 15 Megan Rapinoe
M – 10 Carli Lloyd
F – 12 Lauren Cheney
F – 13 Alex Morgan
F – 14 Abby Wambach

Canada

G – Erin McLeod
D – 4 Carmelina Moscato
D – Rhian Wilkinson
D – Marie-Eve Nault
D – 10 Lauren Sesselmann
M – 13 Sophie Schmidt
M – Diana Matheson
M – Desiree Scott
F – 12 Christine Sinclair
F – 14 Melissa Tancredi
F – Jonelle Filigno

4′ – Megan Rapinoe played the ball into the right corner and fired a nice cross that was in danger of going in the goal, but Lauren Cheney was too tied up to put in a score. Rapinoe sent another cross in but it was reclaimed by Canada.

7′ – Alex Morgan had a chance to put in a shot, but the ball was sent out for a corner. Wambach headed the ball out off a Canadian, so a second corner is in the offing.

8′ – Rapinoe’s second corner is cleared.

11′ – Tancredi took a strong run down the left side on a counterattack, but was overwhelmed by USA defenders.

12′ – Tancredi makes another run but the ball is cleared for a corner. US clears ball to the other side for another corner.

13′ – Second corner clears. This is the’ first real action in on the US side of the field this whole match.

18′ – Ball is changing hands but no real work being done getting into the penalty areas. Rapinoe just took a shot from past the 18′ line but was wide to the top left of the box.

20′ – Rampone called for shoving, so Canada takes a free kick near the baseline. The ball floated dangerously in front of goal before it was cleared by Rampone.

20′ – Solo finally puts her hands on the ball, corralling a loose shot from Canada before it threatens the goal.

21′ – Sinclair scores one-on-one in front of the box against Solo after dancing around defense. First goal allowed by Team USA in seven matches against Canada.

26′ – Oh my, Sophie Schmidt placed perfectly on a header by the USA Goal, but so is Hope Solo. Crucial save. US goes downfield and O’Hara takes shot on goal from the baseline, saved by McLeod.

28′- Rapinoe waits for a call that never comes on an apparent foul, then gets the ball back after Wambach forces it to her, then draws a foul. Free kick for USA deflected back to Rapinoe, then lost on throw-in.

30′ – Rapinoe free kick in prime placement to left of Canada’s goal, backheaded by Morgan and just wide.

33′- LePeilbet is all over the field, playing stingy defense and drawing a foul in Canadian territory. Rapinoe puts yet another great long pass into the box for a Wambach header, but it goes wide and she’s called for hands on the back anyway.

36′ – Morgan crosses left to Wambach in front of the box, header wide.

38′ – Heath and Morgan showing awesome footwork in the penalty area, cross goes wide to Rapinoe, Cheney’s shot is just short.

41′ – Rapinoe free kick straight into McLeod’s hands.

42′ – O’Hara gears up for a shot but is blocked by a diving Desiree Scott.

44′ – Cheney gets free in front of the 18′ and fires a shot, wide left.

HALFTIME

49′ – After a wasted free kick by Rapinoe, Heath steals the ball, gets it to Rapinoe who puts the ball in to Wambach with a good look at goal, but Wambach’s volley sails over the goal.

50′ – Wambach goes down hard on a foul, setting up a corner kick which USA fails to convert.

52′ – USA is playing very aggressively on the ball, keeping the attack on Canada’s side of the field and in front of goal.

53′ – Team USA aggression pays off! Rapinoe’s corner gets credit for the goal though it looked like it bounced off a Canadian player in front of Rachel Buehler. Just squeaks in for the equalizer.

58′ – Wambach and Morgan circling like “sharks” as the announcers call them, McLeod saves a goal.

59′ – Rapinoe playing double duty today, playing defense in front of a vulnerable US goal, with the clearance.

60′ – YC – 11 Desiree Scott

62′ – Solo comes out past the 18′ on a fast break by Canada with the clearance.

 67′ – Substitution Canada: Faligno Out, Kaylyn Kyle in

68′ – Canada leads 2-1, header by Sinclair.

70′ – Megan Rapinoe with the magic foot again!  Brings the ball just inside the 18′, crosses off the left post and the ball rolls in over the line near the right. Fantastic, fantastic clutch play by Rapinoe today. Tied 2-2.

72′ – Sinclair is just insane today. Header to the near post, LePeilbet leaves way too early and Solo was in no position for the save. Hat trick for Sinclair. Canada 3-2.

76′ – Substitution USA: LePeilbet Out, LeRoux in.

76′ – USA Corner straight to McLeod, but she holds the ball too long and USA gets a free kick.

78′ – USA draws Canada into a handball in the penalty box on the free kick!  Wambach will take the shot.

80′ – GOAL USA!  Wambach converts. Tied 3-3.

81′ – Morgan goes down in the box, looks like a penalty but USA settles for a corner kick. Rapinoe tries a long kick, but it sails overhead.

82′ – Kyle overlooks Sinclair open at center, shoots on target but right to Solo for the save.

84′ – Morgan gets free and looks to have the winning cross to Wambach, but Abby is JUST wide of the goal with a sliding shot to the right. She wants that one back.

86′ – Tancredi trying to get into it with Rapinoe, but we have a “talk to the hand” moment. Rapinoe in full battle mode.

87′ – Morgan on the right side this time, gets fancy with the footwork and almost side kicks one in, McLeod is there though.

88′  – Schmidt beat multiple defenders and almost scores the winning goal but Solo in position for a great kick save. Canada fails to convert the corner.

90′ – Morgan’s shot on goal wide left. Three minutes stoppage time.

90′ +3′:  USA corner fails as time expires. Going into extra time.

Full Time

Extra Time, 91′: Canada opens with possession but gives it up immediately. Rapinoe moves it up and launches a shot, over the goal.

99′ – Wambach’s header just too weak, right to McLeod on a scoring threatening chance.

103′ – Matheson’s free kick for Canada clears the penalty area and out the back for a USA goal kick.

104′ – Buehler tackles Sinclair and clears a scoring threat, Canada’s corner.

105′ – Solo brings the ball out herself, living on the edge, but pushes it up to the attacking Americans who put a free kick into a scrum of players in front of goal before McLeod snags it.

End of Extra Time 1.

106′ – Canada honors the age-old sportsmanship tactic of kicking the ball out when an opponent is injured, but they certainly didn’t have to while on the attack there. Rachel Buehler was down on the ground. USA returns the favor and sends it right back to McLeod. One of my favorite traditions in sports.

SUBSTITUTION USA:  Buehler Out, Sauerbrunn In

110′ – Rapinoe about to take USA’s 12th corner.

112′ – Schmidt is off the field right now with a lower leg injury. Wambach made contact with her competing for a ball. No substitution just yet.

113′ – McLeod comes to the front of the box and corrals a deep shot from USA for the save. The Americans are keeping the ball on Canada’s half of the field, playing to a tiring Canadian squad. Morgan falls in the box, but no penalty is called. The referees will let this game go unless there’s a blatant violation.1

114′ – Scott also off the field for now. Painful to play this long, but nobody is complaining. This is for an Olympic medal.

116′ – Solo brings ithe Canadian heat.n a a free kick for a save, starts the counter-attack which culminates with a Morgan cross JUST missing Heather O’Reilly in front of goal.

117′ – USA scrapping for the ball, Morgan dances into the penalty box and crosses but the ball floats aimlessly in front of goal with no American in the area.

118′ – Sinclair brings the ball on a run but into the teeth of the US defense, the ball gets back to Morgan wide left, who sends a clean cross into Wambach who puts a header JUST too high, off the crossbar.

120’+ – US Defense feeling the Canadian heat, but the defenders pressure the ball out of bounds.

120’+ NO NEED FOR PENALTY KICKS!  ALEX MORGAN WITH A BEAUTIFUL WINNING GOAL SECONDS BEFORE TIME EXPIRES!  USA WINS 4-3! Morgan breaks the hearts of willing suitors and Canadians everywhere with that winner. This game was an all-time classic. USA advances to the finals to get vengeance over Japan for last year’s World Cup final.

2012 Summer Olympics: Schedule for August 6

The schedule is back after a day off!  I apologize if you were looking forward to it yesterday. To make up for it, here are today’s important events!

Team USA kicks off women’s boxing, faces Canada in a crucial women’s soccer semifinal match and plays Argentina in men’s basketball. We’ve also got athletes going for gold in women’s pole vault, women’s shot put, women’s steeplechase and men’s 400m hurdles, as well as some track and field semifinals and huge men’s volleyball matches, with Team USA against Tunisia indoors and Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal in an elimination match on the beach against Latvia.

Team USA 

* – Medal Event

  • NOW:  Water Polo vs. Hungary Hungary, Men’s Group Play; Gymnastics, Sam Mikulak vaults for gold in the event final; Equestrian, Team Jump Final
  • 9:45 a.m.: Boxing vs. SWE Sweden, Women’s Middleweight Qualifying – Claressa Shields vs. Anna Laurell
  • 10:00 a.m.: Sailing, Erik Storck and Trevor Moore sail in the Men’s 49er
  • 10:08 a.m.: Track Cycling, Sarah Hammer rides in the Women’s Omnium 250m Time Trial
  • 11:06 a.m.: Track Cycling, Sarah Hammer rides in the Women’s Omnium 20km Points Race
  • 12:18 p.m.: Track Cycling, Sarah Hammer rides in the Women’s Omnium Elimination Race
  • 1:00 p.m.: Beach Volleyball vs. LAT Latvia, Men’s Quarterfinals – J. GIBB / S. ROSENTHAL vs. PLAVINS M / SMEDINS J
  • *1:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans Becky Holliday and Jenn Suhr go for gold in the Women’s Pole Vault Final
  • 1:00 p.m.: Diving, Americans Troy Dumais and Chris Colwill dive in the Men’s 3m Springboard Prelims
  • *1:15 p.m.: Track and Field, American Michelle Carter throws for gold in the Women’s Shot Put Final
  • 1:20 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans Allyson FelixCarmelita Jeter and Sanya Richards-Ross run in the Women’s 200m Round 1
  • 1:45 p.m.: Soccer, Team USA vs. Canada Canada, Women’s Semifinals
  • 2:00 p.m.: Volleyball vs. Tunisia Tunisia, Men’s Group Play
  • 2:15 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans T’erea BrownLashinda Demus and Georganne Moline run in the Women’s 400m Hurdles Semifinals
  • *2:45 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans Kerron ClementAngelo Taylor and Michael Tinsley run for gold in the Men’s 400m Hurdles Final
  • *3:05 p.m.: Track and Field, AmericansShalaya KippEmma Coburn and Bridget Franek run for gold in the Women’s Steeplechase Final
  • 4:15 p.m.: Basketball vs. Argentina Argentina, Men’s Group Play

World Notables

  • 11:00 a.m.: Soccer, France France vs. Japan Japan, Women’s Semifinalsa
  • 2:00 p.m.: Basketball, Spain Spain vs. Brazil Brazil, Men’s Group Play

Medal Events

* – Team USA participation pending

  • 8:00 a.m.: Equestrian, Team Jump Final Round
  • 10:00 a.m.: Shooting, Men’s Trap Final
  • 11:00 a.m.: Equestrian, Team Jump Final Jump-off
  • 11:43 a.m.: Track Cycling, Men’s Sprint Finals
  • 11:45 a.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Greco-Roman 60kg Bronze Medal Finals
  • 11:45 a.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Greco-Roman 84kg Bronze Medal Finals
  • 11:45 a.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Greco-Roman 120kg Bronze Medal Finals
  • 12:46 p.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Greco-Roman 60kg Gold Medal Finals
  • 1:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s Pole Vault Final
  • 1:15 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s Shot Put Final
  • 1:00 p.m.: Weightlifting, Men’s 105kg/231lbs Gold Medal Finals
  • 1:21 p.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Greco-Roman 84kg Gold Medal Finals
  • 1:56 p.m.: Wrestling, Men’s Greco-Roman 120kg Gold Medal Finals
  • 2:45 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s 400m Hurdles Final
  • 3:05 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s Steeplechase Final
  • 3:30 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s 400m Final

Getting another SHOT at life: Reese Hoffa’s Path to Greatness

Reese Hoffa

“If you’re a loving, caring mother and father looking for a child, adoption is an incredible option.” “I’m definitely a testament to that.” – Reese Hoffa after winning 2012 Shot Put Bronze medal

Thirty years ago Reese Hoffa and his older brother Lamont were playing around with a cigarette lighter and accidently lit his house on fire. Weeks after the fire, their mother drove them to the St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage in Louisville, Kentucky and said good bye. Reese believed it was his wrongdoing that led to their adoption. What Reese did not know is that his mother was a teenager struggling to make ends meet. To provide them with a better life, she took them to the orphanage.

Eighteen months later, Reese would be adopted by Cathy Hoffa. Being separated from your mother and brother, joining a new family, and holding the burden of separating your family has to be very tough on one’s mind, especially a 4-year-old’s. Only the heart of a champion could extinguish these flames. Reese Hoffa would later locate his brother and mother and learn the truth of why he was adopted.

Reese Hoffa said,”The only request my parents gave is if you’re going to do something, work as hard as you possibly can for it and never give up.” Reese would take this to heart and at the 2012 Olympics, he would achieve the pinnacle of his career, a bronze medal in the Shot Put. The path from the orphanage to the podium is an extraordinary feat, and Reese is a testament to second chances.

Fun Facts about Reese Hoffa:

  1. Reese is able to solve a Rubik’s cube in 30 seconds.
  2. Reese’s name was changed from Maurice Antawn Chism to Michael Reese Hoffa. He chose Michael after his favorite character on Knight Rider.
  3. Reese graduated from the University of Georgia.
  4. In 2012, he threw farther than 21 meters in competition for the 100th time, putting him in rarefied air in the throwing community.

2012 Summer Olympics: Schedule for August 4

We continue on into the second week of competition in London!  Swimming is on its way out, giving way to track and field and the medal rounds of team sports including soccer, volleyball, beach volleyball, water polo and basketball.  Here’s what Team USA is up to today. (All Times Central)

Team USA has its hands full of Russians today, meeting the superpower in the Women’s Tennis Gold Medal Match (Serena vs. Sharapova), Women’s Doubles Tennis, Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, while Team USA Men’s Basketball meets possibly its first true test in Lithuania. Swimming concludes with Michael Phelps’ last-ever Olympic race – the 4 x 100 medley relay – and the women’s race featuring Missy Franklin and Rebecca Soni. Track and Field will see medals given to the winner of the women’s heptathlon and the crowning of the World’s Fastest Woman in the Women’s 100m Final. Team USA is also up for three rowing medals, shooting medals and men’s tennis doubles gold, field hockey vs. New Zealand and battling for placement in track cycling, sailing and equestrian jumping. LOTS to watch today, so check the schedule!

Team USA 

* – Medal Event

Note: Sailing events race beginning from 6:00 – 9:40 a.m., click here for the schedule.

  • *3:00 a.m.: Track and Field, Americans Laura BennettSarah Groff and Gwen Jorgensen compete in the Women’s Triathlon
  • 3:00 a.m.: Shooting, Americans Amanda Furrer and Jamie (Beyerle) Gray shoot in the Women’s 50m Rifle, 3 Position Qualification
  • 3:00 a.m.: Shooting, Americans Corey Cogdell and Women’s Skeet gold medalist Kim Rhode shoot in the Women’s Trap Qualification
  • *3:30 a.m.: Rowing, American Gevvie Stone rows for gold in the Women’s Single Sculls Finals (Final Heat B)
  • *4:00 a.m.: Rowing, Americans Kristin Hedstrom and Julie Nichols row for gold in the Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls Finals (Final Heat B)
  • 4:00 a.m.: Track and Field, Team USA runs in the Men’s 100m Prelims
  • 4:00 a.m.: Track Cycling, American Jimmy Watkins races in the Men’s Spring qualifications (elimination races will continue at 5:01 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 10:35 a.m., 11:34 a.m. and 12:20 p.m.)
  • 4:05 a.m.: Track and Field, Chantae McMillanSharon Day and Hyleas Fountain complete the Long Jump in the Women’s Heptathlon
  • 4:20 a.m.: Track and Field, Becky HollidayJenn Suhr and Lacy Janson compete in the Women’s Pole Vault Qualification
  • *4:30 a.m.: Rowing, Americans Charlie Cole, Glenn Ochal, Henrik Rummel and Scott Gault row for gold in the Men’s Four Final (Final Heat A)
  • 4:30 a.m.: Fencing vs. ITA Italy, Women’s Team Epee Quarterfinals (competition continues Saturday and culminates in medal rounds beginning at 12:00 p.m.)
  • 4:30 a.m.: Equestrian, Team USA rides in the Individual and Team Jumping Qualifications (McLain Ward rides Antares, Reed Kessler rides Cylana, Rich Fellers rides Flexible and Beezie Madden rides Via Volo)
  • 4:30 a.m.: Track Cycling, American Bobby Lea begins competition in the Men’s Omnium with the 250m Time Trial
  • 4:35 a.m.: Track and Field, Americans Bryshon NellumTony McQuay and LaShawn Merritt run in the Men’s 400m Round 1 Heats
  • 5:35 a.m.: Track and Field, Americans Shalaya KippEmma Coburn and Bridget Franek run in the Women’s Steeplechase Round 1 Heats
  • 5:40 a.m.: Track and Field, Chantae McMillanSharon Day and Hyleas Fountain complete the Javelin Throw in the Women’s Heptathlon
  • 6:00 a.m.: Fencing, Women’s Team Epee Semifinals (TBD)
  • 6:30 a.m.: Track and Field, Team USA runs in the Men’s 100m Round 1 Heats (TBD)
  • *6:45 a.m.: Shooting, Team USA in the Women’s 50m Rifle, 3 Position Final (TBD)
  • *8:00 a.m.: Tennis vs. Russia Russia, Serena Williams faces Maria Sharapova in the Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match
  • 8:00 a.m.: Trampoline, Savannah Vinsant jumps in the Women’s Trampoline Qualification
  • 8:30 a.m.: Basketball vs. Lithuania Lithuania, Men’s Group Play
  • 8:30 a.m.: Diving, Americans Cassidy Krug and Christina Loukas dive for the finals in the Women’s 3m Springboard Semifinals
  • *9:00 a.m.: Shooting, Team USA shoots in the Women’s Trap Final (TBD)
  • *9:26 a.m.: Trampoline, Women’s Final (Savannah Vinsant TBD)
  • *10:00 a.m.: Tennis vs. FRA France,  Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan face Llodra/Tsonga in the Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match
  • 10:11 a.m.: Track Cycling, Sarah HammerDotsie Bausch and Jennie Reed race in the Women’s Team Pursuit Round 1 for a chance to race in the Finals (to be held at 11:42 a.m.)
  • 10:30 a.m.: Tennis vs. Russia Russia, Women’s Semifinals – S. Williams/V. Williams vs. Kirilenko/Petrova
  • 10:45 a.m.: Volleyball vs. Russia Russia, Men’s Group Play
  • 10:54 a.m.: Track Cycling, American Bobby Lea continues competition in the Men’s Omnium with the 30km Points Race
  • *11:00 a.m.: Track and Field, Trevor Barron races for gold in the Men’s 20km Walk
  • *11:42 a.m.: Track Cycling, Team USA in the Women’s Team Pursuit Finals (TBD)
  • *12:00 p.m.: Fencing, Women’s Team Epee Bronze Medal Match (TBD)
  • 12:25 p.m.: Track Cycling, American Bobby Lea continues competition in the Men’s Omnium with the Elimination Race
  • 12:30 p.m.: Tennis, Mixed Doubles Semifinals – L. RAYMOND/M. BRYAN vs. TBD
  • 1:00 p.m.: Field Hockey vs. New Zealand New Zealand, Women’s Group Play
  • 1:00 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans Kerron ClementAngelo Taylor and Michael Tinsley race in the Men’s 400m Hurdles Semifinals
  • *1:15 p.m.: Fencing, Women’s Team Epee Gold Medal Match (TBD)
  • *1:30 p.m.: Track and Field, Stephanie Brown Trafton throws for gold in the Women’s Discus Throw Final
  • *1:30 p.m.: Swimming, Jessica Hardy swims for gold in the Women’s 50m Freestyle Final
  • 1:35 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans Carmelita JeterAllyson Felix and Tianna Madison run to become the World’s Fastest Woman in the Women’s 100m Semifinals
  • *1:36 p.m.: Swimming, Connor Jaeger swims for gold in the Men’s 1500m Freestyle Final
  • 1:40 p.m.: Water Polo vs. Serbia Serbia, Men’s Group Play
  • *1:55 p.m.: Track and Field, Will Claye and Marquise Goodwin jump for gold in the Men’s Long Jump Final
  • 2:05 p.m.: Track and Field, Sanya Richards-RossFrancena McCorory and Dee Dee Trotter run in the Women’s 400m Semifinals
  • *2:07 p.m.: Swimming, Missy FranklinDana Vollmer, Rebecca Soni and Jessica Hardy swim for gold in the Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final
  • *2:27 p.m.: Swimming, Michael Phelps, Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian swim for gold in the Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final, which will be the final swim of Phelps’ Olympic career
  • *2:35 p.m.: Track and Field, Chantae McMillanSharon Day and Hyleas Fountain complete the 800m, the final event in the Women’s Heptathlon
  • 3:00 p.m.: Beach Volleyball vs. NED Netherlands, Women’s Round of 16 – May-Treanor/Walsh Jennings vs. Van Iersel/Keizer
  • *3:15 p.m.: Track and Field, Americans Dathan RitzenheinGalen Rupp and Matt Tegenkamp run for gold in the Men’s 10,000m
  • *3:55 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 100m Final (Team USA TBD)
  • 4:00 p.m.: Beach Volleyball, vs. Russia Russia, Men’s Round of 16 – J. Gibb/S. Rosenthal vs. Semenov/Prokopyev

 

World Notables

  • 4:00 a.m.: Water Polo, Montenegro Montenegro vs. Romania Romania, Men’s Group Play (Group B rivals with USA)
  • 5:15 a.m.: Basketball, Russia Russia vs. Spain Spain, Men’s Group Play (top two teams in Group B)
  • 6:00 a.m.: Soccer, Japan Japan vs. Egypt Egypt, Men’s Quarterfinals
  • 6:00 a.m.: Tennis, BLR Victoria Azarenka vs. RUS Maria Kirilenko, Women’s Singles Bronze Medal Match
  • 8:00 a.m.: Tennis, FRA BENNETEAU J/GASQUET R vs. ESP FERRER D/LOPEZ F, Men’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match
  • 8:30 a.m.: Soccer, Mexico Mexico vs. Senegal Senegal, Men’s Quarterfinhals
  • 11:00 a.m.: Soccer, Brazil Brazil vs. Honduras Honduras, Men’s Quarterfinals
  • 1:30 p.m.: Soccer, Great Britain Great Britain vs. South Korea South Korea, Men’s Quarterfinals
  • 4:00 p.m.: Volleyball, Brazil Brazil vs. Serbia Serbia, Men’s Group Play (Group B rivals of USA)

 

Medal Events

* – Team USA participation pending

  • 3:00 a.m.: Track and Field, Women’s Triathlon
  • 3:30 a.m.: Rowing, Women’s Single Sculls Finals
  • 3:40 a.m.: Rowing, Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls Finals
  • 4:00 a.m.: Rowing, Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls Finals
  • 4:30 a.m.: Rowing, Men’s Four Finals
  • 4:30 a.m.: Badminton, Women’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match
  • 6:00 a.m.: Tennis, Women’s Singles Bronze Medal Match
  • *6:45 a.m.: Shooting, Women’s 50m Rifle, 3 Position Final
  • 7:30 a.m.: Badminton, Women’s Singles Bronze Medal Match
  • 8:00 a.m.: Tennis, Men’s Doubles Bronze Medal Match
  • 8:15 a.m.: Badminton, Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match
  • *9:00 a.m.: Shooting, Women’s Trap Final
  • *9:26 a.m.: Trampoline, Women’s Final
  • 9:45 a.m.: Badminton, Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match
  • 10:00 a.m.: Tennis, Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match
  • 11:00 a.m.: Track and Field, Men’s 20km Walk
  • *11:42 a.m.: Track Cycling, Women’s Team Pursuit Finals
  • *12:00 p.m.: Fencing, Women’s Team Epee Bronze Medal Match
  • 1:00 p.m.: Weightlifting, Men’s 94kg/207lbs Final
  • *1:15 p.m.: Fencing, Women’s Team Epee Gold Medal Match
  • 1:30 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s Discus Throw Final
  • 1:30 p.m.: Swimming, Women’s 50m Freestyle Final
  • 1:36 p.m.: Swimming, Men’s 1500m Freestyle Final
  • 1:55 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s Long Jump Final
  • 2:07 p.m.: Swimming, Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final
  • 2:27 p.m.: Swimming, Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final
  • 2:35 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s Heptathlon Final Event (Women’s 800m)
  • 3:15 p.m.: Track and Field, Men’s 10,000m Final
  • *3:55 p.m.: Track and Field, Women’s 100m Final

The Champions of Cancer: Olympic Athletes Facing the Greatest Hurdle

Editor’s Note:  Laura Weems Ybarra, a former classmate and fellow alum of the PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition and LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, is one of my closest friends from my time at LSU. An Army wife and PR professional living in Austin, Texas, Laura was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma and has been kicking cancer’s butt ever since. Laura blogs about her own test of fortitude over at www.TheLymphomaLetters.com. Be sure to visit and join Team Laura!

This is a guest post syndicated from The Lymphoma Letters.

 Team Laura - TheLymphomaLetters.com

I just had my fifth chemo treatment out of six yesterday, and I’m feeling okay all things considered. My fourth chemo treatment probably went the best out of all of them so far, and I was able to work an unprecedented four days last week and three days this week! I’ve also received approval to telecommute, so that should help me put a few more hours under my belt and keep my brain more active.

In other news, how about those Olympics? I’m completely obsessed. Not as obsessed as my good friend over at www.ParkerWishik.com, but so obsessed that I’m inspired to dedicate my whole entry to this topic today. Instead of focusing on the amazing achievements demonstrated by Olympians such as U.S. all-around golden gymnast Gabby Douglas (love her!) and record-breaking U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, I wanted to focus on a few Olympians that have claimed victory over cancer. I mean seriously, how awesome is that? I know at a time when I feel like my body is rebelling against me and it takes all the motivation I have to walk down the block, its amazing to see these cancer-defeating Olympians go on to achieve what other, completely healthy people only dream about. I think being sick during the Olympics has been a huge blessing and has really helped me evaluate what I want to achieve physically during and after treatment.

Some nice folks at the American Cancer Society helped me compiled a list of current Olympians who have dealt with the Big-C.

One of the most notable is Jake Gibb, a U.S. beach volleyball player, who is both a two-time Olympian and two-time survivor of skin and testicular cancer. U.S. swimmer Eric Shanteau, a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, also defeated testicular cancer and is very involved in cancer awareness now. He cites his cancer as one of the reasons he keeps competing; he wants to set an example for other cancer survivors out there. Petr Koukal, a Czech badminton player, also overcame testicular cancer to compete in this year’s Olympics in London.

U.S shooter Matt Emmons, a 2004 Athens Gold Medalist and 2008 Beijing Silver Medalist in the prone position, successfully battled and won against thyroid cancer in 2010 and is back for his third Olympics. As a fellow shooter myself, I really love Matt’s story because his career is full of highs and lows, and he has a great attitude about it. Emmons’ philosophy is that it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes – your dream is still there and is still achievable – but at the end of the day there’s more to life than sports. I think it’s an attitude we can all learn from, whether it’s athletic, academic or professional setbacks we’re obsessing over.

Some former Olympians have also battled the Big-C.

This almost goes without saying, but to start with famous U.S. cyclist and fellow Central Texan Lance Armstrong placed 14th in the 1992 Olympics. In 1996, he discovered he had Stage III testicular cancer that spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain. He not only survived, but went on to become a seven-time Tour de France champion. He also founded Livestrong, a charitable foundation that has become a tremendous resource for cancer patients around the country and world, including myself. Obviously he’s been marked by controversy in recent years, but no matter how I feel about him personally, I think his story still serves as an inspiration to many, and he’s done a lot to help the cancer community.

Scott Hamilton participated in the 1980 Winter Olympics and won gold in men’s figure skating in 1984. He also went on to found and perform in Stars on Ice, which is how I know him from my childhood. I was completely enthralled by his signature back flip. What makes his story even more impressive is that he survived both testicular cancer and a benign brain tumor on his pituitary gland. In this video from I am Second, he discusses how he actually considers his health problems blessings because they shaped who he is as a person. I’m not sure if I’m quite there yet with my own diagnosis, but I will say it has taught me an appreciation of how many blessings I do have.

Last, but certainly not least, is this blog post’s only female spotlight: Shannon Miller. If you know of any other female cancer-surviving Olympians please share! Shannon was one of my idols growing up and I find her a great inspiration today as well for different reasons. While most female gymnasts are lucky to have one shot at the Olympics due to grueling training requirements and a young peak age for the sport, Shannon competed in two and became the most decorated American gymnast ever. She earned the all-around individual silver, beam silver, floor bronze, bars bronze and all-around team bronze in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She also famously lead the “Magnificent 7” to Team USA’s first defeat over Russia in female gymnastics for the all-around team gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, a victory that I’m sure is seared on every 20-30 year old woman’s brain. She also landed the beam gold that year. Shannon went on to become a law school graduate, entrepreneur, wife and mother. She also became an outspoken, cancer-surviving advocate for women’s health.

Shortly after Shannon launched Shannon Miller Lifestyle & Fitness in July 2010, she was diagnosed with a rare germ-cell cervical cancer known as “the silent killer” in January 2011. She subsequently had a baseball-sized ovarian tumor and ovary removed, and underwent nine weeks of chemotherapy. She bravely and openly documented her illness through her website, blog and media interviews. She’s partnered with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition to create awareness and encourage early detection for cervical cancer through PSAs. She also wrote an eBook called Competing With Cancer that is downloadable free from her website. I could go on and on about how much she has done for women’s health in recent years, but I’m sure you can find that information for yourself.

The common thread among these great Olympians is they didn’t let their cancer stop them from achieving further greatness. They used their disease as an opportunity to continue to inspire others. I hope you feel as inspired by them as I do.

Team USA Medals Through Day 7

At the conclusion of competition on Day 7 of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, Team USA leads the overall standings with 43 medals, one ahead of China and 20 ahead of third-place Russia. The U.S. also leads with 21 gold medals to China’s 20 and 12 bronze medals to Japan’s 11. Only China (13) and Russia (12) have more silver medals than the United States (10).

Here are the top five nations in the medals standings:

NATION MEDALISTS Gold Medal Silver Medal Bronze Medal TOTAL
See names 21 10 12 43
See names 20 13 9 42
See names 3 12 8 23
See names 8 6 8 22
See names 2 8 11 21

 

Here is a list of all American athletes who have medaled thus far in the Olympics:

* – World Record
^ – Olympic Record
# – American Record

Archery (1)

 

Cycling (1)

 

Diving (3)

 

Gymnastics (3)

 

Judo (2)

 

Rowing (2)

 

Shooting (2)

 

Swimming (28)

Note: swimmers who medaled for swimming in relay qualifiers are denoted after semicolons.

 

Track and Field (1)

Gabby Douglas – America’s Latest Golden Girl – Wins Gymnastics All-Around

Gabby Douglas, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, Women's Gymnastics Individual All-Around
Gabby Douglas joined Mary Lou Retton, Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin in winning the Olympic Gold Medal in the Women’s Individual All-Around (photo belongs to BleacherReport.com)

Again, you’re already well-aware, but the United States was treated to a historic and enthralling performance in the women’s gymnastics Individual All-Around Final Thursday, when 16-year-old Gabby Douglas became only the fourth American woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal.

“The Flying Squirrel” flew into the hearts of fans worldwide when she posted a top overall score of 62.232, just over a quarter of a point more than silver medalist Viktoria Komova of Russia. Komova had posted the top overall qualifying score. Her countrywoman Aliya Mustafina – a global force on the uneven bars – took the bronze in a tiebreaker over American Aly Raisman, with both scoring 59.566.

Douglas joined Mary Lou Retton (1984, Los Angeles), Carly Patterson (2004, Athens) and Nastia Liukin (2008, Beijing) as the only four American women to win the Individual All-Around, and she is the first African-American woman to win gold.

Team USA Pair Qualifies for Individual All-Around, and the Amanar Vault Demonstrated

Vault

The Americans reiterated that they are the best in the world on the vault, nailing their Amanars for the top two overall scores. Douglas posted a meteoric 15.966 – nearly flawless – for the best performance, and Raisman continued her excellence as well, posting a 15.900. Komova, Romania’s Sandra Izbasa and Mustafina finished third through fifth on the apparatus, respectively.

Scores through Rotation 1:

USA Douglas – 15.966
USA Raisman – 15.900
RUS Komova –  15.466
RUS Mustafina – 15.233

Uneven Bars

It was Raisman’s next two rotations that doomed her to finish off the podium. She posted a 14.333 on the uneven bars, struggling and tying for ninth on the apparatus. The Russians are dominant on the bars, with Mustafina and Komova finishing 1-2 with a 16.100 and 15.966, respectively. Douglas is sensational on the bars as well, however, and posted a 15.733 to maintain the lead going into the balance beam.

Scores through Rotation 2:

USA Douglas – 31.699
RUS Komova – 31.432
RUS Mustafina – 31.333
USA Raisman – 30.233

Balance Beam

Raisman struggled again on the beam, which is normally one of her best events, posting a 14.200, good for tenth in the field but within striking distance on the final rotation for a medal. She used her hands to support herself when she leaned over on the beam. Douglas, however, was in good form and scored tops on the beam with a 15.500, putting the pressure on the Russians heading into the floor exercise. Komova held strong in second place with a 15.441, second also on the apparatus. Mustafina fell, scoring a 13.633. China’s Deng Linlin posted the third-best beam score but was not a threat for the medal standings, barring a collapse from one of the contenders on the floor.

Scores through Rotation 3:

USA Douglas – 47.199
RUS Komova – 46.873
RUS Mustafina – 44.966
USA Raisman – 44.433

Floor Exercise

Izbasa ended up having the best performance on the floor exercise, but her scores on beam and bars kept her out of the top four. Mustafina made things interesting, scoring only a 14.600 on the floor, good for sixth overall and leaving the door open for Raisman. The American performed very well, scoring a 15.133 (second-best) with the highest difficulty level among the contenders, but that was just enough for a tie with Mustafina for third. Douglas had a difficulty of 6.100, higher than either Russian, and scored a 15.033, the fourth-best score on the apparatus.

Komova was the final performer on the floor exercise, needing a 15.359 to tie Douglas. Indeed, she had the third-best floor routine, but it was not enough to launch her above Douglas. Her 15.100 was the silver lining on her evening.

Tiebreaker Explained

Mustafina and Raisman completed their all-arounds with the same score of 59.566. Many in the arena, including Raisman and Mustafina themselves, did not realize, then, how the latter was awarded the bronze medal and the former was left off the podium.

The International Gymnastics Federation rules do not provide for dual bronze medalists in the event of a tie. Instead, the tiebreaker totals the gymnasts’ top 3 scores across the four apparatus performances and compares them to determine who places first. Mustafina’s fantastic bar routine, with a 16.100 score, was the edge in the tiebreaker. Mustafina’s total of 45.933 from the bars, vault and floor were just 0.567 points better than Raisman’s 45.366 on the same three apparatuses, clinching her the bronze medal.

Raisman, who found out about the tiebreaker from the media, told the Associated Press she was not mad about the result. “I’m more sad than angry,” Raisman told the AP. “[Mustafina] didn’t do anything wrong. She had a good competition, too.”

Final Standings:

Gold Medal 1.  USAGabby Douglas – 62.232
Silver Medal 2.  RUS Viktoria Komova – 61.973
Bronze Medal 3. RUS Aliya Mustafina – 59.566
4. USA Aly Raisman – 59.566
5. ROU Sandra Izbasa
6. CHN Deng Linlin

Remaining Gymnastics Competition

Raisman will seek redemption on the balance beam, joining Douglas in the event final on the apparatus. Raisman and Jordyn Wieber will also compete in the floor exercise final, while Douglas will go for gold on the uneven bars, and McKayla Maroney will seek to again wow spectators on the vault.

Olympic Tennis Roundup: Federer, Serena Williams, Bryan Bros. Into Finals

Team USA has a chance to sweep the tennis gold medals in women’s singles and doubles play, with the world’s top men’s doubles team also going for gold and the men’s singles final featuring a match-up of international intrigue.

Serena Williams is in the women’s singles gold medal match tomorrow against Maria Sharapova, after Serena beat world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in straight sets and Sharapova defeated her countrywoman Maria Kirilenko. Serena dominated Azarenka, 6-1, 6-2. Sharapova, serving as Russia’s flag-bearer in her first Olympics, won in straight sets as well, 6-2, 6-3.

Roger Federer will meet Britain’s favorite son, Andy Murray, Sunday in the men’s singles final. Federer went deep into to the decisive third set with Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, with neither men able to break the other’s serve until Federer took the 18th game, then held serve in the 19th to advance. Federer had come back to win the final two sets, 3-6, 7-6, 19-17. Murray won his semifinal match with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in straight sets, 7-5, 7-5.

Federer had eliminated the last American men’s singles hope, John Isner, in the quarterfinals.

Bob and Mike Bryan also advanced to the men’s doubles finals tomorrow where they will take on Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra after beating the other French pair today in straight sets. The Bryans took down Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet, 6-4, 6-4. Tsonga and Llodra went to the third set against Spain’s David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez, 6-3, 4-6, 18-16 and winning an epic third set.

The Williams sisters have yet to play their semifinal match against Russia’s Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova after it was postponed due to rain. Team USA’s other women’s doubles pair – Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond – lost their semifinal match with Czechs Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova, 1-6, 6-7. They will meet the loser of the other semifinal in the bronze medal match.

In mixed doubles, Raymond and Mike Bryan have advanced to the semifinals after defeating a tired del Potro and fellow Argentine Gisela Dulko in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5. They await the winner of a quarterfinal match between India and Belarus on Saturday.