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Your Non-Spoiler Olympic Primetime Guide: August 10

Sunset_falls_bridge
Photo: ianpatterson99/Flickr

Everything you need to know about tonight's Olympic primetime coverage—without knowing what actually happened.

MEN’S POLE VAULT
As with all throwing events, you don’t really have a choice whether or not you want to watch this. It actually ends up being a pretty good competition, though, between Renaud Lavillenie of France and the German duo of Bjorn Otto and Raphael Hozdeppe. Just three guys, sticking a giant pole into the ground, and seeing how high they can leverage themselves. If pole vaulting isn’t a metaphor for capitalism, then I clearly don’t know what a metaphor is.

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5 Things to Know: August 10 at the Olympics

Sunset_falls_bridge
Photo: markhillary/Flickr

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?

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Wanted: A Few Olympic Role Models

ZippDitty PhotoPhoto: Gary Bembridge/Wikimedia Commons

Like the rest of the world, I’ve been obsessed with the Olympics these past two weeks. I’m a sucker for stories of human will and triumph, and the London Summer Games, like all Games, don’t disappoint. Sure, the time-delay sucks and you have to all but bury yourself in a cave all day to avoid the spoiler reports trickling in from London, NBC’s coverage is too U.S.-centric, the gymnastics announcers are cattier than ever, beach volleyball’s getting too much airtime, and Bob Costas needs a good tan, etc. But despite the usual host of complaints (grousing about the Olympics should be its own sport), there’s still so much to inspire.

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Your Non-Spoiler Olympic Primetime Guide: August 9

ZippDitty PhotoPhoto: Erik van Leeuwen/Wikimedia Commons

Everything you need to know about tonight's Olympic primetime coverage—without knowing what actually happened.

WOMEN’S 10M PLATFORM
The Chinese diving team will be looking to bounce back from yesterday’s “disappointing” silver medal in the men’s 3m springboard competition. As is always the case when people jump off boards into water, the Chinese are favored and expected to take gold. Nineteen-year-old Chen Ruolin is the defending champ in this event, and she already won the 10m synchronized competition in London, which she also won in 2008. That means that a 19-year-old has a chance to become a two-time, two-time gold medalist. I can’t even....

MEN’S TRIPLE JUMP
American Christian Taylor comes in as the lone favorite after the other pre-tournament favorite, Great Britain’s once-missing Phllips Idowu, failed to qualify for the finals. Will Claye, Taylor’s teammate at the University of Florida, won bronze in the long jump and is expected to challenge for a medal here as well. Can the Americans make it a second straight day with a gold-silver result in track and field? Or will another jump-jump-jumper spoil those plans? The effort you’d have to go through not to watch this, which should be interspersed through NBC’s coverage, is not worth it.

MEN’S 800M
David Rudisha of Kenya is the defending world champ and the favorite. He’s also the world-record holder with a time of 1:41.01. This race is just straight-up amazing. More than one person runs a ridiculously fast time in the context of Olympic history. If you actually chop the time up and see how fast they’re running each 100m, you will immediately cease to exist. So, don’t do that, but definitely watch this race. Basically, everyone who runs is better than everyone else, ever.

MEN’S 200M
You’re going to watch this race, so here is a theory: Usain Bolt never runs as fast as he can because if he does, he’ll explode into a million tiny Usain Bolts, and since they have the same DNA as him, they’ll then run as fast as they can, and they’ll explode, increasing the number of Usain Bolts by a factor of a million, and then all those Usain Bolts will do the same thing, and so on and so forth. Eventually, the world would just be Usain Bolts. I think this means Usain Bolt is the God Particle, which, you’re welcome, science.

WOMEN’S JAVELIN THROW
Barbora (cool name!) Spotakova of the Czech Republic is the world’s best repurposed-hunting-paraphernalia thrower. She has the world record, and no one’s close. So your decision is whether or not you want to see Barbora Spotakova compete against younger versions of Barbora Spotakova because she’s pretty much only competing against her personal bests. I’d suggest maybe including an accuracy component in the future, Mr. Olympics, but what do I know? I’m just a guy who happened to get TWO BULLSEYES IN ONE SINGLE GAME OF DARTS.

MEN’S DECATHALON
Ashton Eaton enters the second and final day of the decathlon competition as the leader and somewhat overwhelming favorite, after setting the world record at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Trey Hardee, two-time defending world champ in the event, is behind Eaton in second place. Today’s events include 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1,500m. If American domination is your thing, sorry about globalization, but you should definitely check this out.

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5 Things to Know: August 9 at the Olympics

ZippDitty PhotoPhoto: Erik van Leeuwen/Wikimedia Commons

The five things you should know if you were only going to know five things about yesterday at the Olympics.

1. The U.S. moved back ahead of China in the medal standings, currently leading the way with 82 medals compared to China’s 77. However, China still has more golds, outnumbering the Americans 36 to 34. If the U.S. is the “best country in the world,” but China has more gold medals, China is “The New America.” While, indisputably, winning is all that matters, the U.S. still leads China in things like Having Basic Human Rights, Being Able to Have as Many Children as You Want, and Telling Athletes That Their Grandparents Are Dead.

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