April Ross and Alix Klineman asserted their dominance on the sand in Japan, winning the gold medal in women’s beach volleyball with focus and execution. They went undefeated at the 2020 Summer Olympics, going 3-0 in pool play and 4-0 in the knockout round. They only dropped one set in the entire event.
April and Alix teamed up to form “The A-Team,” and they picked up numerous fans along the way. One of their most notable fans was ’80s pop culture figure “Mr. T.”
Mr. T became well know for his role in the television show “The A-Team.” When he found out about the beach volleyball team having that nickname, he jumped on as a huge supporter.
He first shared support of the team on Tuesday:
Then he watched them play in the semifinals the following day:
And Mr. T cheered them on for the gold medal match, which the women won over an Australian team in straight sets.
Ross and Klineman dominated on the sand like Mr. T dominated all of the fools he beat up on in tough-guy competitions. The women’s team really played more like the A+ team in Japan. Kudos to them on the standout performance.
The International Olympic Committee may have to look into the way some athletes have been treating members of the media in Tokyo.
NFL on FOX sideline reporter Laura Okmin shared some troubling information on Twitter this week about messages she has received from female members of the media who are covering the Olympics in Tokyo. Okmin says multiple women have reached out to her for guidance on how to deal with athletes making sexual advances toward them and not being respectful.
Okmin said reporters have been sharing the names of athletes who have harassed them, so it’s possible that information could make its way to Olympic officials. If the allegations are substantiated, there would likely be consequences.
H/T Egotastic Sports
Carl Lewis blasted Team USA for its awful performance in the men’s 4x100m relay at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Thursday.
The men’s relay team finished sixth in its heat with a time of 38.10 and failed to qualify for the final.
They made some serious blunders, including a botched baton pass between Fred Kerley and Ronnie Baker.
Lewis, who won nine gold medals including two in the 4x100m relay, ripped the team over its terrible performance. He criticized their passing system and the order of the relay team. He called the performance a “total embarrassment” and “completely unacceptable.”
Lewis is right. Nothing about that performance was acceptable.
Trayvon Bromell, Kerley, Baker and Cravon Gillespie are all excellent sprinters in the 100m, but they need to put it together for a cleaner relay.
This is the first time since 2008 that the US will not make the final. They had baton pass issues in 2008 and 2016 as well. According to the AP, this is the 10th time since 1995 that the men have botched a relay at a world championships or Olympics.
Noah Lyles was a contender to win the gold medal in the men’s 200m sprint at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The 24-year-old came close to winning but ultimately settled for the bronze for his first career Olympic medal.
Lyles was running in lane 3, while winner Andre de Grasse was in lane 6 and second-place finisher Kenny Bednarek was in lane 7 (lane 1 was not used). De Grasse running adjacent to Bednarek likely helped. He saw Bednarek was in front of him and was able to catch him.
Lyles wasn’t so lucky.
Lyles said after the race that one of his issues was not knowing where he was.
“I knew I was going to have to get out really hard. And I’ve been doing a really good job of that in practice, so I really wanted to show it off. I came off the turn. Unfortunately, I had no idea where I was, so I just felt like I was running for my life,” Lyles said in an interview with NBC after the race.
Having de Grasse and Bednarek in his sights might have given Lyles the extra push he needed to beat them. Unfortunately for him, that didn’t happen.
Some wondered whether Lyles’ blunder in the semifinals would come back to hurt him. It did with a worse lane assignment in the final.
Andre de Grasse took advantage of Usain Bolt’s retirement from competition in the biggest way.
The Canadian sprinter won the gold medal in the men’s 200m at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo on Wednesday. He posted a Canadian record time of 19.62 and came from behind to beat Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles, who won silver and bronze, respectively.
The win marked de Grasse’s first Olympic gold medal, and his celebration was great, leading to some wonderful photos.
De Grasse won silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, finishing behind Bolt. He even messed with Bolt in the semifinal of the race, leading to a viral photo.
This time around, there was no Bolt to steal the thunder. De Grasse is now the fastest in the world in the 200m and earned the title with a great effort.
Caeleb Dressel drew some headlines for giving his gold medal to a teammate, and he has explained his actions.
Dressel won five gold medals during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. His first gold came in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
After receiving his medal for the event, Dressel was seen giving the gold to teammate Brooks Curry.
So what was the deal? Curry swam on the team in the preliminary round and helped them qualify for the finals. Curry’s 48.84 time was the slowest split, so Dressel replaced him in the final and swam the second-fastest split on the team.
Though he did not swim in the final, Curry still received a medal for being part of the team helping them qualify. However, prelim swimmers did not receive their medals until later. So Dressel thought it would be nice to let his teammate enjoy it for some time until he got his the following day.
“Everyone thought I was just giving my medal away,” Dressel explained in an interview with Mike Tirico. “The prelim swimmers get medals. But I had the easiest job on that relay. Normally the US takes six guys. We only took five this year. So only one guy got the boot — it just so happened to be Brooks. The fast four move on. So I had the easiest job the night before — I got to watch them on TV. They put the work in to get me a lane to be a part of that relay. So I wanted him to have his moment. I wanted him to get his medal a little earlier. I had my fun with it, I had it on the podium, and I thought he deserved to have it for a couple hours.”
Though Dressel, who is a captain on the US swimming team, was being thoughtful and respectful of Curry, Curry graciously turned down the medal.
“[Curry] actually gave it back. He said, ‘you need to take this.’ That just goes to show how Team USA works,” Dressel said.
Curry eventually got his medal. Dressel went on to win four more gold medals, thanks in part to the rest Curry helped provide him. That’s some selflessness from a couple of Team USA teammates.
Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson saw her Olympic medal hopes come to a disappointing end when she suffered an injury in the heptathlon 200 meter heat on Wednesday. She was not going to let that stop her from crossing the finish line, however.
Johnson-Thompson was in fifth position overall heading into the race, but she fell to the track in pain during the first 100 meters. Medical staff immediately rushed over to her with a wheelchair and supplies. Johnson-Thompson stayed down for a while and then got to her feet and jogged to the finish line.
Unfortunately, Johnson-Thompson was disqualified for leaving her lane. She would have come in last, anyway. That doesn’t make what she did any less admirable.
Johnson-Thompson suffered a ruptured Achilles before the Olympics and had to work her way through a long recovery to make it to Tokyo. While it’s crushing to see the journey end that way, her toughness was one of the highlights of the Olympics.
Tamyra Mensah-Stock on Tuesday night became the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling, and she was incredibly proud to do so while representing the United States.
Mensah-Stock defeated Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu by a score of 4-1 in the women’s 68kg final to win the gold medal. She had an American flag draped around her neck during an interview with NBC after the match and spoke enthusiastically about how much she loves the United States.
The patriotism from Mensah-Stock probably would not be noteworthy in years past, but we have seen less of it from Americans at the Tokyo Olympics. There has been a lot of social and political turmoil in the U.S. over the past year or so, and that may have been a factor in some of the country’s disappointing performances.
Mensah-Stock overcame a great deal of adversity to win a gold medal. She failed to qualify for a spot on the 2016 Olympic team. The 28-year-old also lost her father when she was in high school. Her success is one of many feel-good stories from Tokyo.
Simone Biles’ Tokyo Olympics did not go at all as expected.
Biles entered the 2020 Summer Olympics as the favorite to win gold medals in multiple gymnastics events, just as she had done at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Instead, she ended up with two medals, and withdrawing from four competitions, citing mental health issues.
Biles did not have an easy time, but was proud of herself for rallying to win a bronze medal on the balance beam.
After winning the bronze medal at the conclusion of her games, Biles gave an interview to NBC’s Mike Tirico. She discussed her mental issues during the interview.
Tirico asked Biles how hard it is to be labeled the greatest gymnast of all time and have to prove it time and time again. Biles then gave an odd response where she invoked sexism.
“I feel like it’s hard, but it’s harder being a female athlete,” Biles said. “Everybody prays for your downfall and wants you to mess up and all that stuff.”
Seriously, I have to ask where Biles is getting this from. Where is her proof that people are praying for her downfall? Moreover, where is her proof that these supposed haters are hoping to see her fail more than they hope to see male athletes fail? Worse yet, why would she even think people want her to fail, much less be concerned with these unimportant opinions?
Biles entered the Tokyo Olympics as a beloved figure. She was painted by NBC as one of the faces of the Olympics. She was deemed by many the greatest gymnast ever, heavily hyped, and people were excited to see her greatness in action once again.
What on earth would make her think people want to see her fail because she is a woman, and what would even make her concerned with this? If she is concerned about people wanting her to fail, that could be the root of some of her mental issues. She’s a world-class athlete and should not be concerned about anyone’s opinion, except for maybe her coaches, family, and teammates.
She seems to be convinced that she is a victim because she is a female. She should instead view herself as an incredibly talented and blessed individual who is pursuing greatness and cannot be stopped. If the best gymnast ever thinks she is a victim of what people who do not matter think about her performances, then she needs to completely regroup about her mental process. She needs to stay off social media, stay away from media consumption, and block all that out. Because none of it matters.
Biles further emphasized with Tirico that she wants people to see her as a vulnerable victim.
“And I don’t think they take into consideration our mental health,” Biles said. “Because what we do isn’t easy. At the end of the day, we’re not just athletes or entertainment; we’re human too and we have emotions and feelings and things that we’re working through behind the scenes that we don’t tell you about.”
If I had four Olympic gold medals, I’d want people to view me as a great athlete who rose to become the best performer in my sport during the highest level of competition. It’s odd that Biles instead is so desperate for people, whose opinions do not matter, to recognize how much she overcomes day-to-day in order to achieve her heights. Does she think people think it’s easy to do what she does? They don’t, which is why they are so impressed when she wins multiple medals at the Olympics.
Biles has everything backwards if she is viewing herself as a victim and feeling that people want to see her fail because they are sexist. That sort of thinking impairs performance rather than improves it.
Simone Biles and Taylor Swift traded some love on Twitter ahead of the balance beam final on Tuesday in Tokyo.
Biles’ 2020 Summer Olympics have gone anything but expected this year. Viewed as a favorite to dominate the gymnastics field in Tokyo, Biles instead dealt with some mental issues called the “twisties” that prevented her from competing in several events.
Biles withdrew from the team competition and the finals of all the individual events, except for the balance beam. The beam, which was the final individual event, was going to mark her return at the Olympics.
NBC had Taylor Swift narrate a video promoting Biles’ return. Biles responded to the video and said she was “crying” over how special it was.
Swift replied and said she cried too while watching Biles.
Biles ended up winning the bronze medal at the event.
After winning four golds and a bronze in 2016 at Rio, Biles won silver in the team event and bronze on the balance beam in the 2020 Games at Tokyo. She now has seven medals in her Olympics career.