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Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

USA’s Gold Medal Match to be “All About Soccer”

They nearly lost a match to opponents that they never lose to. Then after obtaining victory against Team Canada on Monday afternoon, instead of celebrating they had to deal with Canadian players crying foul over a game they said should have been theirs. But now, for the women of the American soccer team, all of that drama is behind them. Today they face Japan in the gold medal game; and as Abby Wambach put it, today’s game will be “all about the soccer.”

Hearing Wambach’s words, you may think she was going to meet old friends. “Our teams respect each other so much,” she said. “The Japanese team is so good, and we are so good, and that’s what’s going to be so awesome.” But not all her teammates feel that way.

Carli Lloyd, who had said after the game with Canada that one of the women on the opposing team had stomped on her head, may be bringing some of that residual anger with her. Respect, yes; but Lloyd isn’t forgetting that now they’re up against the team that beat them in the World Cup last year.

“It’s definitely redemption,” said Lloyd. “But it’s also the opportunity to show that we’re the No. 1 team in the world. This game is going to be different. We’re a different team. Japan’s a different team, and we’re ready to bring it.”

And even though the drama of their soccer game against Canada may be somewhat behind them, there’s no doubt that the American team has a lot of revenge to go on. And that it might be just enough to bring home the gold.

Douglas and Raisman the Talk of the Beam

After the balance beam competition yesterday, all the talk is about Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas — but for completely different reasons.

Douglas was the talk of the Olympics last week, and had instantly become America’s sweetheart after making history in getting gold during the all-around gymnastics competition. But her tired performance on the uneven bars — an event that she’s usually got cornered — had many wondering what awaited for her on the balance beam yesterday. Unfortunately, it was more of what was seen on the bars.

Gabby just about screamed that she wanted to go home after slipping during her performance on the balance beam; showing that for young athletes, giving your all for two weeks straight is just too much. But if there was anyone that challenged that line of thinking, it was Aly Raisman.

While Raisman may not have put on an obvious gold medal-winning performance, she clearly outperformed many of her competitors; yet she came in fourth place after the final scores were in. Everyone was surprised by the announcement, but none more than Raisman and her coach, Mihai Brestyan. Brestyan immediately filed a protest and after the judge’s revisted Raisman’s performance, she was awarded the bronze.

The beam was a big day for China, as well. Deng Linlin won the gold while her teammate, Lu Sui, took home silver. Still, there’s no talk bigger than the disappointment, and the determination showed by Team U.S.A. on the beam.