The five things you should know if you were only going to know five things about yesterday at the Olympics.
1. Bradley Wiggins became the first man to win the Tour de France and follow that up with a gold medal in the same year. The 32-year-old Brit won his fourth gold and seventh total medal—making him the most decorated British Olympic athlete ever—with a dominant performance in the cycling time trial, beating World Champion Tony Martins by 42 seconds. His sideburns were each offered a half-gold medal—kind of like those broken-heart necklaces—but they declined.
2. An American woman, 38-year-old Kristin Armstrong, won her second-straight gold in the women’s time trial—but you, the average Olympic watcher, probably wouldn’t know it. Cycling’s a sport Americans tend to care about when an American does well. And when that American is a repeat winner—and a 38-year-old winner, no less—we tend to care even more. Except—sigh—when that winner is a woman.
3. The best men’s gymnast of all time won his first gold medal? Or did he become the best men’s gymnast of all time once he won his first gold medal? I don’t really know, but everyone’s saying that 23-year-old Kohei Uchimura of Japan, who won all-around gold yesterday, is the greatest men’s gymnast ever, so sure. How much better is he than everyone else? He wiped out on his floor routine, but still won by 1.5 points. American Danell Levya won bronze, while is also a pretty big deal.
4. American Nathan Adrian won the 100m freestyle, edging out Australia’s James “The Missile” (more like MISS-ile, right?) Magnussen by one one-hundredth of a second. Adrian becomes the first American to win gold in this event since 1988. The bigger point, though, is that Australia has yet to win an individual gold in swimming. "It is a pretty tough time to learn you are human," Magnusson said after the race. Maybe if you all stopped naming yourselves after things that kill humans (the “Thorpedo”), that wouldn’t be a problem.
5. The quarterfinals are set for men’s and women’s soccer. For the men, pre-tournament favorites Spain (as previously mentioned here) and Uruguay have been eliminated. If Brazil doesn’t win gold, it’ll be a big deal. We should all probably root for Egypt since they technically don’t even have a professional soccer league right now.
On the women’s side, all the favorites are still alive, and the big quarterfinal match will be Japan, defending World Cup champs, against Brazil. The U.S. should beat New Zealand in the quarters and could meet Great Britain in the semifinals, which would be must-watch because the Olympics are actually taking place in London, which is in Great Britain. (Yes, the game would be played in Manchester, but that’s also in Great Britain, smart person.)