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My Top Five Olympic Moments

August 16, 2012

Now that the Olympics are over – and boy did that sneak up on me – I’m seeing a lot of “Top Olympic Moments” and “best picture of the Olympics” articles all over the place.

And: blah, blah blah. Michael Phelps. Gabby Douglas. USA Basketball. Usain Bolt. Blah. And I’m thinking: really? I mean, sure, records and gold medals are awesome and all, but…really? Isn’t that fruit hanging just a little bit low?

I can do better. In no particular order, my top five Olympic Moments:

  • One: Lochte and Phelps Peeing in the Olympic Swimming Pool

The story:

Ryan Lochte is like every other competitive swimmer who’s donned a Speedo and goggles: He sometimes uses the pool as a restroom. Unlike every other competitive swimmer who’s donned a Speedo and goggle, Lochte has done it on the sport’s biggest stage: At the Olympics.

Asked about it later, all-time winningest Olympian Michael Phelps said: well, yeah, I kinda do that, too.

And if that wasn’t funny enough, Prime Minister David Cameron waded into the disturbingly warm water:

David Cameron reacted angrily to reports US swimmers had been urinating in the Olympic swimming pool yesterday, warning decorated athlete Michael Phelps not to “pee in the pool”.

But, y’know:

Cameron also complained about the loud music coming from the beach volleyball courts “just down the road at Horse Guards Parade,” near Downing Street where he stays.

So basically he’s just a crotchety old man who wishes these damned kids would pipe down.

  • Two: the Mars Rover reaches Mars

Yeah, I know, this isn’t an Olympic event, but it happened during the Olympics, so, the internet:

Admit it, you’re glad I included that one.

  • Three: the Lego Fencing Scandal

The story: a semifinal match between South Korea and Germany was tied with one second left in overtime, when what appeared to be a clock malfunction gave the German fencer extra time to score the winning point. The victory was upheld on appeal.

The South Koreans were just a little pissed.

This can hardly be the only controversial finish and/or screwup that occurred during the Games. I include it here only because of this Lego re-enactment, one of several Olympic re-enactments available at the same website:

  • Four: Jere Longman is a jerk.

Lolo Jones, American hurdler, wasn’t expected to medal in this year’s 100 meter hurdles – as the New York Times’ Jere Longman pointed out, at least 19 other hurdlers worldwide have posted faster times than Jones this year.

So Longman must have been a little dismayed to see Jones take fourth, barely out of the medals, but far above expectations. Why dismayed? Because earlier in the month, Longman pummeled her with nasty rhetoric:

Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.

You’d think Jones was a Republican or something. Longman clearly longs to be Maureen Dowd.

Ricochet’s Tim Groseclose had Jones’ back. I add only: Jere Longman is an asshole, and so are his immediate superiors.

In related news: Jones is reportedly in talks to play the title role in the upcoming movie adaptation of “The She-Hulk,” based on the popular Marvel comic:

  • Five: Badminton teams trying to lose

What kind of friggin’ sport gives you an easier tournament opponent if you do worse in the seeding rounds? Badminton, apparently.

Eight female badminton doubles players were disqualified from the London Olympics after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament, Indonesia’s team leader said Wednesday.

And four of those players were playing each other when it all came clear – that’s right: both teams were trying to lose.

In the Olympics.

  • Honorable mention, because you know I can’t limit myself to only five:

The U.S. swim team, and their rendition of “Call Me, Maybe:”

Impatient female readers may want to click directly to the 1:00 mark. Male readers will particularly enjoy the twenty seconds immediately afterward.

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