5 Things to Know: August 8 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. Artistic gymnastics is over. The U.S.—men and women, combined—leaves with six total medals and three golds. China finished with the most golds (4) and the most total medals (8). Aliya Mustafina of Russia goes home with the most total medals (4), but really, you only care about Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman. They’ve each got two golds, and Raisman also has a bronze. Gabby Douglas winning gold is the defining gymnastics moment of these Olympics, and rightfully so. But Epke Zonerland’s gold-medal-winning high-bar routine is something everyone needs to see. FYI: Gravity still exists; I just checked—still can’t dunk a basketball.

2. Lolo Jones came in fourth in the 100m hurdles, which is actually pretty good! Two Americans, Kellie Wells and Dawn Harper, finished ahead of Jones, while Australia’s Sally Pearson took gold. Pearson and Harper swapped spots from Beijing, with Pearson edging Harper by 0.02 seconds en route to an Olympic record. Jones ran her fastest time of the year after coming to London with only the 20th fastest time in the world in 2012. So: Lolo Jones ran-and-jumped as fast as she could, which, I think, is the point of the track events at the Olympics.

3. Track cycling is the weirdest sport at the Olympics. The riders all dress like aliens/astronauts, and they all ride bikes that are basically two giant pizza cutters glued together. That’s not why it’s weird, though. It’s weird because more than half the time the riders are just, like, balancing on their wheels and slowly rolling forward. Based on some previous rulings in London, every track cycling competitor should be expelled from the Games for not giving a “bona fide effort” at all times. Great Britain has seven gold medals in track cycling (no other country has more than one), so, sure, that’s fine. The host nation is allowed to cheat. In Rio 2016, there will be 15 events where you win gold by not having a last name.

4. Ivan Ukhov, y’all. The world’s best high-jumper lost his jersey and had to jump in a t-shirt, which means that Ukhov had his jersey on, jumped in it, then somehow misplaced it during the competition. It didn’t matter, though, as Ukhov cleared his jump in the t-shirt, eventually found his jersey, and still won gold. Ukhov also competes in ordinary sprinting spikes rather than high-jump spikes. Rendering all high-jump equipment completely pointless, Ukhov is Nike’s worst nightmare.

5. There is an equestrian competitor named Rich Fellers. Your sport is now complete, equestrian. The horses can be released into the wild.