Rio 2016 · Summer Olympics

Day 3: A Zillion Hours of Coverage? Bring It.

11:30 PM EDT

I don’t know about you, but I’m watching some Equestrian eventing. What’s killing me is that the coverage picks up a rider mid-course, and the announcers say, “She’s already had two refusals.” Wait, isn’t that a moment to show?

I’m not going to get into whether Equestrian is a sport–or is a sport that should remain in the Olympics (talk about expensive hobbies), but here it is, and it’s fun to watch (even the dressage), particularly this course, which looks insanely difficult. There are multiple jumps in a little body of water. What the what?!

And HOLY SHIT! I thought it was scary to see a gymnast fall on her head. That’s nothing compared with a horse doing a somersault on its neck.

10:35 PM EDT

After looking at SBNation for the Lilly King controversy, I got sucked into another one of their articles on the gymnastics all-around competition. Rodger Sherman does a great job of explaining why Gabby Douglas, even though she’s got high scores, can’t be in the all-around final, since she’s #3 in America. In the spirit of globalization, countries can only qualify two gymnast for the finals. It really sucks that this competition won’t be the best gymnasts in the competition, as Douglas actually has better scores than some of the others who made it through, but rules are rules, and here’s why.

10:15 PM EDT 

I’m back to rowing. Men’s single sculling heats. I know–why am I bothering to watch heats of rowing when I will happily skip swimming semifinals? Well, it’s because the entire sport of rowing doesn’t get as much coverage and press as say, Michael Phelps. NBC will tell me about 25 times tonight how well Phelps did. What I won’t hear 25 times is how Indonesia rower La Memo got into rowing after spending time in prison, how he “turned over a new leaf and discovered rowing,” according to NBC’s female rowing commentator.

Wait a sec! What?!?!? How do you not do some sort of profile on him?! Oh, I get it. He’s not on Team USA. But still. Prison –> Olympian. That’s a story.

10:00 PM EDT

It’s 11 PM in Rio. There’s a swimming final on. Man, that has to be tough to compete at that time of night. But, it’s the Women’s 100m breaststroke. This is my stroke, so I’m stoked about this race. And it’s got Lilly King, who never got the memo that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. Wait, that’s gold medalist and Olympic record holder Lilly King to you and me.

9:50 PM EDT

So I’m still catching up on Saturday’s coverage–mostly because I want to watch the rowing competition. I didn’t realize how open the rowing course was. I mean, I knew that Sunday’s competition was canceled due to high winds, but I didn’t realize just exactly how the course was pretty much in this lake, instead of the river/canal we’ve seen in past Olympics. Where are the people on bicycles riding down the course? The people cheering along the way? I can hear them, but there’s definitely something missing in this opening session.

9:40 PM EDT

Like most people, I have a day job, which I had to pay attention to today, so I recorded a whole bunch of stuff to add to the list on my DVR. Let’s see what we can get through, OK?

More swimming is on tonight. There’s semifinals (turn on the DVR) and finals (watch live), and it’s hard to know what to do when. But! People are winning medals, and that’s cool. Give it up to South African Chad le Clos whose “start hard, hang in there” strategy paid off for a silver medal in the 200m freestyle.

But hey! I see that Brazil has won its first gold medal of the Games! Good on you, judoka Rafaela Silva! I hope your event’s somewhere on my DVR! The Rio 2016 site has five things you don’t know about Silva (just five?). I think they’re proud…and really, they should be. This Olympics reminds me of Athens–host nation not particularly known for their gold medal prowress, so I’ll cheer for you to get medals. You deserve something for hosting this show!

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