The five things you should know if you were only going to know five things about yesterday at the Olympics.
1. Usain Bolt won gold in the 200m, repeating his sweep of the Olympic sprint races because of course he did that. No man has ever repeated in the 200m, let alone the 100m and the 200m. And that still stands because Usain Bolt is not a man. He is some other kind of human-like creature which scientists have yet to discover. After the race, Bolt said: “I'm now a legend. I am the greatest athlete to live.” I will not deny anything Usain Bolt says, but I also hesitate to call him the “greatest sprinter ever” because if you’re including Bolt, you have to include cheetahs don’t you?
2. The U.S. men’s boxing team might be terrible, winning zero medals, but Claressa Shields made sure that at least one American won a boxing medal in London. The 17-year-old became the first American woman—this is the first Olympics with women’s boxing—to win an Olympic gold. Her reaction upon receiving the gold medal is, presumably, the point of the Olympics (other than the giant thumb-wrestling match between the U.S. and China). If you haven’t already, read Ariel Levy’s profile of Shields in the New Yorker.
3. Oh, the U.S. women’s soccer team won gold, beating Japan 2-1 and, I guess, avenging last summer’s loss in the World Cup final. The Americans were generally outplayed by Japan’s pass-and-move game, as the Japanese probably should’ve had a penalty kick and just had more chances than their opponents on the whole. But, as anyone who has watched soccer or lived on Planet Earth for more than five minutes knows, that doesn’t matter. The U.S. took their chances and held off the technically superior team, capping an insane two-year run that easily could’ve ended 12 different ways, but instead finishes with two straight major finals—and a gold medal.
4. Americans Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee finished first and second, respectively, in the decathlon. Eaton is awesome—and he’s objectively the greatest decathlete of all time—but no one really cares, which is weird if you think about it, because an American winning an event that is comprised of basically every other Olympic event would seem to be the kind of total American, USAUSAUSA domination our country loves. Instead, the most famous decathlete in the world has a plastic face and his current claim to fame is eighth-from-top billing on an E! Entertainment Television program.
5. The U.S. is officially back as the greatest country in the world. It was weird, not being able to close your eyes at night knowing that we’re the best, wasn’t it? Americans have now won 90 total medals (39 gold) compared to China’s 81 (37 gold). Also: the winner of the Olympics is given control of the sun for the next four years, which—if you know anything about astronomy—is really important.