Olympics Day 4-5: Fired Up

Last night, having avoided all Olympic news during the day, I summoned from the genie cave of my DVR the videos of the events.   I watched, of course, Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky win gold medals.  He was pretty fired up after the 200m butterfly.

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I also watched the gymnastics gals from these USA crush the opposition.

Today I’ve enjoyed a little Rugby, which I’m still working on grasping.  There are a few fine points of turn overs that I don’t quite get.

I also saw the nail biting defeat of the US men’s team by Italy in Volleyball.

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There was more women’s sabre today.  The field is getting culled.

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The really interesting winner today was Fehaid Al-Deehani of the Independent Olympic Athletes team “refugees” who marched in under the Olympic flag.  6th time in the Olympics for him.  He is an officer in the Kuwaiti military.  Kuwait was suspended from the Olympics for some reason.  He refused to carry the Olympic flag, because he is an officer.  He picked up shooting from his sister, who was a world-level competitor.  My experience is that women are often better shots than men, depending on the type of shooting.  They can keep very still and they often don’t have the same sort of ego in it.

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He bested Italy’s Marco Innocenti in the double trap final to win the first gold medal for the IOC team.   The double trap shooting is incredibly fast.  I’ve done some trap and it’s tough enough with one, but two so quickly is amazing.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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7 Responses to Olympics Day 4-5: Fired Up

  1. Adeodata says:

    I am fired up about Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles who are not only champions in their respective sports but are also solid Catholic women of faith. It is heartening to see such genuine role models.

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    I said here the other day I would not be watching the Olympics and I got hooked anyway. Michael Phelps captivated us on the 200m butterfly, his intensity was, well, intense. If I swim 15 feet I’m exhausted, how on earth do they do that! It really is a beautiful thing to watch, and it’s fun to root for our athletes. I enjoyed the Christian witness from the US swimmers and apparently there are some dedicated Catholics.

  3. rtrainque says:

    “My experience is that women are often better shots than men, depending on the type of shooting. They can keep very still and they often don’t have the same sort of ego in it.”

    They are certainly better students. Guys usually have a lot of nonsense from action movies and video games to unlearn.

  4. jkking says:

    Best way to understand rugby is as football in real time like soccer (no downs or gridiron). So when the ball goes down, instead of lining up at the line of scrimmage, the bigger players grapple over the ball to decide possession and then get it out to the finesse players.

  5. stuart reiss says:

    Fr Z
    Rugby is easy. Can’t pass the ball forward needs to be passed back. Like the deacon stands behind the priest. Ball is Worked along a line. Like a communion rail. Can kick it forward. If accedentally knocked forward or passed forward penalty to the other side. Idea is to gain territory and keep possession of the ball. When a player with the ball is tackled he ‘lays’ the ball to his team side and protects it with his body like a wall. Think of it as the gospel side and the epistle side. Can’t hang on to the ball on the ground. Opposition can’t grab the ball over him. That’s why when a man is tackled there’s an attempt to turn him so the ball is on the oppositions side and the player falls towards his team. Only four set plays. Start. Line outs. Penaltys and scrums. Two neck less props Dangle a shorter man called a hooker who tries to hook the ball with his feet when it’s put into the scrum by the fly half who then goes behind the scrum to collect it when it emerges behind the second row of players pushing the props and the hooker. When the ball emerges it’s worked along the line till the man on the wing who is the fastest runner and aims at the corner flag of the opposition and legs it.

  6. Andy Lucy says:

    And let us not forget Daryl Homer’s silver medal in men’s sabre. He is from the fencing salle that Peter Westbrook set up for underprivileged youth in NYC after he won the bronze in 1984 in men’s sabre. His was the first US fencing medal since the men’s épée gold in the 1904 St Louis Games. And now Homer has bested his mentor’s performance. US fencing has made some serious strides forward, starting with Westbrook, and then Zagunis’ individual golds in Athens and Beijing, then the women’s foil team’s silver in Beijing, as well as the women’s sabre team’s bronze in Beijing. Quite a shift in the 80 year drought of medals.

  7. Y2Y says:

    Ahh, rugby. A game for barbarians, played by gentlemen. Soccer, on the other hand, is a game for gentlemen played by barbarians.

    Keep in mind that what you are seeing here is rugby “sevens” (ie, seven-a-side). The standard rugby union game is 15 players-a-side and has a very different dynamic than the wide-open, finesse-driven sevens game.