5 Things to Know: August 7 at the Olympics


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Photo: Us Mission Canada/Wikimedia Commons

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

1. While last night might’ve been the most boring primetime night thus far in London, the U.S. and Canada women’s soccer teams made up for that with their semifinal match yesterday afternoon. The U.S. won 4-3 on a goal from Alex Morgan in injury time of the second extra-time period, minutes before heading to a shootout. As this team has a habit of doing, the U.S. shot itself in the foot enough to comeback numerous times and make this one of the greatest soccer games ever—men, women, or crab. Canadian Christine Sinclair scored three goals, and her coach John Herdman said the U.S. was “lucky” to win. What’s that, John? I can’t hear you because MY EARS ARE FILLED WITH 29 GOLD MEDALS.

2. It turns out Samuel L. Jackson is one of the USWNT’s biggest fans. After the game, he tweeted, “MASSIVE HEADER by Morgan in extra time for US Soccer WIN!!! THRILLING S**T!!! Go USA!!!!!” And if you haven’t been following him on Twitter during the Olympics, you’re missing out on … something. His tweets are basically a real-life mash-up of every movie character he’s ever played wrapped in an American flag and covered in Budweiser, which is great and all, but is he really like all those snake-vanquishing, what-hating characters he plays in real life? That Hotzpacho iPhone commercial has me confused—and it doesn’t really matter—but I don’t know what to believe anymore. 

3. After a few disappointing performances, some injuries, and the continued existence of Usain Bolt, there’s a chance the U.S. men’s track team doesn’t win any individual golds in London. Well, Aries Merritt is probably the favorite for gold in the 110m hurdles now that Liu Xiang didn’t advance past the preliminaries. (Watch this, and you will cry.) But even still, only one gold in men’s track? Is this a larger referendum on America’s slower progression within the global marketplace? No. It’s just an example of how quickly things can change in four years. 

4. Arthur Zanetti won gold in the still rings, which is the first medal of any color for a Brazilian man in artistic gymnastics. More than that, he beat a man they call the “Lord of the Rings,” which is maybe some kind of trademark infringement, but also a kind of accurate name. Chen Yibeng of China was the defending gold medalist and had only lost once in this event since 2006. He even made the “number one” gesture when he was introduced before the competition, which, not anymore. Now Zanetti is the champ. Commence crushing expectations and suffocating pressure to not disappoint your homeland for the 2016 Games in Rio.

5. The U.S. men’s basketball team beat Argentina, 126-97, to finish group play with a 5-0 record. They’re the overwhelming favorites to take home gold—and they should—but that, somehow, doesn’t make their games any less fun to watch. Also, they took a train home from the game, which is great because they’re all basically the wealthiest and most famous athletes at the Olympics. And if it was “too easy” for you to root for such a dominant favorite like the U.S., know that an Argentinean player punched Carmelo Anthony in the groin during yesterday’s game. Whenever you can give extra motivation to a team that completely destroyed you in an already-meaningless game, you have to do it, right?