5 Things to Know: August 9 at the Olympics


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Photo: 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.

2. A big reason why the U.S. moved ahead of China in the medal total was last night’s dominant track and field performance. They won seven medals in a 90-minute span, taking more than half of the 12 available medals and three of the four possible golds. Aries Merritt took gold in the men’s 110m hurdles, while Allyson Felix won the 200m, and Brittney Reese finished first in the long jump. Americans: still really fast, still able to jump really far, and still able to run really fast while jumping over things.

3. The U.S. also won gold and silver in women’s beach volleyball, with Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings claiming their third straight golds. Some people complained about the U.S. being able to have two teams in the final, which, yeah, it’s super-unfortunate that the second-best beach volleyball team in the world (Jennifer Kessy and April Ross) was awarded second-place in a competition that is supposed to determine the three best beach volleyball teams in the world. Stop making sense, Olympics!

4. The Netherlands advanced past New Zealand in the semifinals of the women’s field hockey tournament. In addition to New Zealand’s team being known as “The Black Sticks,” this is extra-notable because the match was decided by a shootout. If you’ve never seen a field hockey shootout, you’re living a partial life. Watch this (fast forward to the 1:59:00 mark), and become whole. Everything in the world should be decided by a field hockey shootout.

5. Apparently punching your opponent in the groin has become a thing in the men’s basketball tournament? Two days after an Argentinean guard (whose name does not matter) socked Carmelo Anthony in the crotch, Nicolas Batum of France, who is an average-to-occasionally-good NBA player, wound up and basically tried to ensure that Spain’s Juan Carlos Navarro would lose the ability to procreate. There are no appropriate jokes for this unsettling trend, so stop trying to make them.