Most Intense Coach
Who is that crazy man who slapped the holy hell out of Cuban weightlifter Ivan Cambar’s face before the snatch and clean & jerk competitions? Whoever he is, he’s good at what he does. Cambar ended up winning a Bronze medal for his country in the 77 kg weight class.
Best Celebration By An Olympic Medallist
German discus champion Robert Marting who, after ripping off his jersey like a maniac, tied his country’s flag around his neck like a cape and proceeded to do the 110 metre hurdles as officials were finishing setting up for that particular race. He wasn’t fast but he cleared every one he jumped.
Best Way To Ruin That Same Celebration
While basking in his moment of glory with friends and family later on that night onboard a boat on the Thames River, Harting’s Olympic Village credentials went missing. Without them, he was refused entrance into the building. So he slept outside. At 6 a.m. It was all sorted out the next day.
Worst Journalistic Faux Pas
During a press conference with members of the Jamaican sprint team, a daft questioner accidentally referred to them as “the Jamaican drug team”.
The Jesse Ventura “Tell It Like It Is” Award for Best Colour Commentary
Hands down, Russ Anber. The longtime boxing analyst offered plenty of entertaining comments about the often questionable officiating and occasionally dirty tactics of fighters in the most reliably controversial sport of the Olympics. He also rightly praised talented fighters who legitimately won their matches (and in some cases, got screwed) and clearheaded referees (a rare breed) who did their jobs properly.
The Dolph Ziggler “It’s Not Showing Off If You Can Back It Up” Award
American freestyle wrestler Jordan Burroughs was so confident he would win a Gold medal at the 2012 Olympics he changed his Twitter account to “All I See Is Gold”. In 2011. After working his way to the final in the men’s 74-kg weight class, the 2011 World Champion posted this tweet which ended with this bold statement: “My next tweet will be a picture of me holding that Gold medal!!!”
True to his word, after beating Iranian grappler Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi in two straight rounds on points, he tweeted this.
Best Name For A Female Olympian
Destiny Hooker who won Silver as part of the American female indoor volleyball team.
Best Name For A Male Olympian
Brent Newdick, a New Zealand decathlete.
The Danny Davis Award For Biased Officiating Against Canada (tie)
The Norweigian referee in the Canada/U.S womens’ soccer semifinal for the questionable free kick in the box (due to goalkeeper time wasting which usually results in a warning or a yellow card) and the even more debatable hand ball that led to the penalty kick which tied up the game. (America won it with a pivotal header late in extra time.) And the third man in the ring who screwed welterweight Custio Clayton out of a much deserved Bronze medal.
Olympic Sport In Dire Need Of Review
35 Years Later And They Still Scare America, But Not Canada
When The Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant started playing during the tribute to British music section of the Opening Ceremonies, NBC took the opportunity to take a commercial break. When they came back, the song was pretty much over. CTV, on the other hand, aired it in full.
Least Likely Venue To Hear A Marching Band’s Version Of A Turtles Song
During the Gold medal womens’ field hockey match between The Netherlands and Argentina, the familiar sounds of Happy Together could be heard in the stands reverberating throughout the Riverbank Arena.
Best Alternate Play-By-Play Commentary
If you weren’t happy with the Australian commentary team covering the field hockey competitions, not a problem. During some games, another announcer could be faintly heard in the background doing a much better job calling the action.
Best Spontaneous Commentary
At the conclusion of an interview with CTV anchors James Duthie and Jennifer Hedger, Jamaican athletics play-by-play man Lance Whittaker (who excitedly called Usain Bolt’s races) was offered the opportunity to call Sydney Crosby’s game-winning goal in the hockey final of the Vancouver games. His best line: “The Americans are beaten!”.
Silliest Random On-Air Confession
Womens’ volleyball colour analyst Emily Cornier who admitted to having a childhood crush on Ernie from Sesame Street.
Most Incredibly Useless Fact
After the surprise reinstatement of Alex Bruce and Michelle Li, the previously eliminated badminton duo better known as Bruce/Li, overly excitable TSN anchor Michael Landsberg took to Twitter to post this important revelation:
“As Canada’s ‘Bruce/Li’ play 4 medal, we’ve uncovered a real movie called ‘Bruce Lee Played Badminton Too'”.
It’s a 15-minute comedy short that no one has seen.
Best Recovery After A False Start
Chinese swimmer Sun Yang jumped the gun in the mens 1500 metre final but was allowed to stay in the race because of an apparent misunderstanding. When the race was re-started he ended up winning his second Gold medal of the London games in world record time.
Best Show Of Respect For A Silver Medallist
After winning a Gold Medal in the heavyweight Tae Kwon Do final by decision (it was 9-9 after three rounds and stayed that way after a sudden death fourth round), Olympic Champion Carlo Molfetta of Italy voluntarily untied Gabon native Anthony Obame’s chest protector and removed it for him. By that point, both men had already raised each other’s hands and embraced numerous times. Molfetta hugged Obame’s coach so warmly you thought he was his own cornerman.
Winner…By A Pair Of Blue Balls
Defending Olympic Gold medallist Carol Huynh won her Bronze medal 48 kg freestyle match in a most unusual fashion. After two consecutive scoreless rounds against Senegal’s Isabelle Sambou, each wrestler (Huynh in the first, Sambou in the second) reached into a bag hoping to pull out a ball in a purple cylinder that matched the colour of their wrestling attire (Huynh wore blue, Sambou wore red). Whoever’s colour ball was drawn would receive an advantage to score a point (the opposition would offer up a free leg) within 30 seconds and win the round. Both wrestlers each pulled out a blue ball, Huynh’s colour, and she quickly executed takedowns to secure the victory.
Best Involuntary Reaction To Winning A Bronze Medal
American rower Henrik Rummel looked more than a little excited to win third place in the, ahem, coxless 4-man rowing final.
Best Tribute To Janet Jackson (tie)
During a water polo match between the United States and Spain, American Kami Craig pulled down the top of an opposing player’s one-piece swimsuit, as revealed in an instant replay aired during NBC’s live coverage. Meanwhile, Spanish diver Jenifer Benitez accidentally revealed, in a split second, her right nipple while briefly adjusting her own one-piece suit in a hot tub after a terrible dive in the womens’ three-metre springboard competition.
What Harry Potter Will Look Like In 40 Years
NBC broadcaster Bob Costas in his new, oddly familiar-looking glasses.
Best Usain Bolt Impression (tie)
Italian heavyweight Tae Kwon Do champion Carlo Malfotta after winning his semi-final fight against Mali’s Daba Modibo Keita and the mens’ French handball team, who won Gold, at their victory ceremony.
Most Heartbreaking Canadian Losses
The womens’ soccer team going down 4-3 to the United States late in the second half of extra time of their semi-final thriller. The mens 4 X 100 relay team who finished third in the finals and celebrated for several minutes before a replay revealed they had been disqualified during the last baton exchange for a lane violation. And tennis player Milos Raonic who forced a third and deciding set in his second round match against Frenchman Jo Wilifred Zonga only to go down 25-23 in what became the longest tennis match in the history of the Olympics.
Biggest Missed Opportunities
Once again, a lack of a tribute to the 11 murdered Israeli athletes of the 1972 Munich games, NBC’s insistence on saving exciting morning and afternoon live events for taped primetime replays and a rebuffed offer by retired Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina, an 18-time Olympic medallist, to personally present American swimmer Michael Phelps’ record-breaking 19th all-time medal (he ended up with 22) because it was against IOC rules.
Borat Would Be Proud
Kazakhstan won 13 medals, seven of which were Gold.
Best Fashion Accessory
Those blue bowler hats with light bulbs sticking out the top that security volunteers wore during the Closing Ceremonies.
Canadian trampoline Gold medallist Rosie MacLennan to Bronze medallist Christine Sinclair:
@sincy12 for being selected as flag bearer! She lead the women’s soccer team to making history- what an athlete!!”
Didn’t We See Him In The Thriller Video?
Ugandan marathoner (and Michael Jackson-as-zombie look-a-like) Stephen Kiprotich who won the Gold medal in the mens’ race, the only achievement for his country this year.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, August 12, 2012