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#pounditFriday, January 28, 2022

Articles tagged: 2020 Summer Olympics

Video: Kelsey Stewart hits walk-off home run to beat Japan

Kelsey Stewart walk-off

The US national softball team finished pool play undefeated at the 2020 Summer Olympics thanks to a walk-off home run by Kelsey Stewart on Monday in Yokohama, Japan.

The US was facing Japan with the game tied at one in the bottom of the seventh. Stewart was leading off the inning against Japanese pitcher Yamato Fujita. Stewart pulled a first-pitch changeup foul to go down 0-1. Fujita then tried to go inside with the 0-1 pitch, but Stewart turned on it and sent it over the right field wall for a walk-off home run.

What a shot by the former Florida Gator!

That was the US’ second walk-off win in pool play, as they also had one to beat Australia. Team USA went 5-0 in pool play and will rematch with Japan in the gold medal game. The Japanese squad went 4-1.

The US team started No. 3 pitcher Ally Carda in the game. Co-ace Cat Osterman relieved Carda in the sixth. Ace Monica Abbott pitched a scoreless seventh and got credit with the win.

Either Abbott or Osterman is likely to be in the circle when the team’s rematch in the gold medal game. Ace Yukiko Ueno will likely start for Japan.

Video: Ariarne Titmus’ coach Dean Boxall had incredible celebration

Dean Boxall

If you ever play competitive sports, try to have a coach like Dean Boxall in your corner.

Ariarne Titmus won the gold medal in the women’s 400 meter freestyle swimming event on Monday in at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She narrowly beat Katie Ledecky in the race. The way she pulled ahead over the final 100 meters had her coach all fired up.

Take a look at Boxall going bananas as Titmus was racing towards gold in the event:

That was awesome. The fire, the energy, the celebration. That is what it’s all about!

Boxall had some serious Ultimate Warrior energy as he grabbed the railing:

That was the best part.

Oh man, you love to see that. And in case you’re wondering why he had such a huge celebration, the win was a milestone. It was the first time Ledecky had been beaten at the Olympics in an individual event.

Here is video of the race’s finish:

Damian Lillard explains how facing foreign NBA players internationally is ‘completely different’

Damian Lillard

The USA men’s basketball team is expected to win every game it plays in the Olympics, which is why Sunday’s loss to France in the opening game was so jarring. The talent gap is clear, even though France has solid NBA players in its own right.

USA guard Damian Lillard pointed out after the game, however, that playing these players internationally is very different than facing them in the NBA. Lillard said these international players have more freedom and comfort playing internationally, and seem to raise their game at that level.

“And you know who we see each night sometimes in the NBA, they are completely different when they play for their countries,” Lillard said, via Eurohoops. “They got more freedom, and the comfort level is obvious. So we put ourselves in a dogfight, and they made plays to win it.”

The French have one of the NBA’s best defenders in Rudy Gobert, as well as a solid starter in Evan Fournier. Still, few are going to feel that even playing at a higher level, players like that should be able to lead their team to a win over the Americans. Everyone knows that. So do the players, some of whom apparently feel that the coach isn’t getting the most out of them.

Team USA can still advance to the knockout stage with wins over Iran and the Czech Republic, two teams they are expected to beat handily. Still, the questions are mounting at this stage, and even if Lillard is right, it hardly explains everything.

Team USA players reportedly frustrated with Gregg Popovich’s offense

Gregg Popovich

Team USA Basketball lost to France in their first official game of the Olympics on Sunday despite being a huge favorite. That has led to even more questions about whether Gregg Popovich is the right person to lead the team, and there may be some frustration with the coach’s system.

USA blew a late lead against France to lose 83-76 in their first game of group play. Several players, including Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard, had poor shooting nights. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, players were grumbling on their way back to the locker room about “running the San Antonio offense.”

Vardon also said Popovich is “horrified” by his own coaching record with Team USA, which is now 6-3 in games that count. Team USA went 73-3 in meaningful games from 1996 through 2016.

There was no need to panic after Team USA lost exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia, and the same holds true now. They can advance to the knockout stage with wins over Iran and the Czech Republic, and they are heavily favorite in both games. Still, the pressure is mounting.

Popovich said he was more “disappointed” by Sunday’s loss than “surprised.” He has repeatedly accused the media and fans of underestimating Team USA’s opponents and not giving them enough credit.

It doesn’t matter what you want to call it. Team USA has by far the best collection of talent in the world, and for some reason that is not translating to quality play. Popovich had said the team’s offense will be based on “concepts” rather than set plays because of the limited preparation time, but apparently that is not working for players.

Durant didn’t sound all that concerned after Team USA’s two exhibition losses, as he felt they were easily explained. Popovich will have even more explaining to do if it happens again.

Team USA mocked with memes following loss to France

Team USA

Team USA Basketball got off to a rough start at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, and the Twitter world was more than happy to laugh at their misfortune.

After two stunning losses in exhibition games leading up to the Olympics, Team USA blew a late lead to France and fell 83-76. Gregg Popovich’s team was a 13-point favorite in the game. The loss was Team USA’s first since Argentina defeated them in the semifinals in 2004. The Twitter memes were ruthless.

Some of the best memes were about Carmelo Anthony, who has one of the strongest Olympic resumes of all time. Carmelo was with Team USA in 2004 when they won a bronze medal, and he then helped the team win three consecutive golds. Fans think Popovich should consider giving the 37-year-old a call.

The loss is hardly a death sentence for Team USA. They now need to beat Iran and the Czech Republic to advance to the knockout stage, and they will be heavily favored in both games. Still, it was not the start they were hoping for.

Some NBA players have also taken shots at Team USA, so the pressure is building in a hurry. Anything less than a gold medal would result in a lot of criticism.

Team USA blows lead against France for first Olympic loss since 2004

Team USA

Team USA Basketball has been under a microscope in Tokyo after surprisingly losing two exhibition games prior to the Olympics, and the subpar play continued in their first official game on Sunday.

Team USA blew a late lead against France to lose its first game of the group stage by a score of 83-76. USA had a 74-73 lead with less than a minute remaining before Evan Fournier hit a 3-pointer and France never looked back. France finished the game on a 16-2 run.

The loss was Team USA’s first since the 2004 Olympics, when Argentina beat them in the semifinals. They had won 24 straight games.

Team USA is not exactly in trouble. They now have to beat Iran and the Czech Republic to advance to the knockout stage, and they will be heavily favored in both games. Though, they were favored by 13.5 points against France.

France has a good amount of NBA talent led by Fournier and Rudy Gobert. They are one of the better teams in the tournament, but their win over Team USA was yet another shock.

Fournier scored a game-high 28 points. Jrue Holiday led Team USA with 18 points after coming off the bench. No one else scored more than 12 points for Gregg Popovich’s team.

Team USA lost exhibition games against Nigeria and Australia ahead of the Olympics. Bradley Beal had to head home from Tokyo due to COVID protocols, but the assumption was that Team USA would overcome all of those setbacks. Kevin Durant explained why the two exhibition losses were not all that alarming, but Sunday’s loss to France will only add to the pressure Team USA is facing.

Video: Skateboarder crashes into railing during botched stunt

Angelo Caro Narvaez

A skateboarder made the blooper reel with a painful looking crash at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Angelo Caro Narvaez, a skateboarder from Peru, was competing in the men’s street skateboarding event. He ended up finishing fifth with a 32.87 score.

During one of his runs in the competition, Caro Narvaez lost his balance skating down a stair rail and crashed into another railing.

That looked painful. But Caro Narvaez shook it off like nothing and kept competing, eventually finishing fifth.

You won’t get anywhere in skateboarding if a little crash is going to deter you. Caro Narvaez showed us that he won’t let it bother him.

Bryson DeChambeau replaced by Patrick Reed at Olympics after positive COVID test

Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau will not be able to compete for Team USA at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo due to a positive COVID-19 test.

DeChambeau’s positive test was announced by USA Golf on Saturday. They shared that Patrick Reed will replace him.

According to USA Golf, DeChambeau tested positive in the final testing protocol before he left for Japan. Reed will now undergo testing on Saturday, Sunday and Monday before being cleared to travel to Tokyo. The first golf competition at the Olympics will take place on Thursday.

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to represent our country and be a part of Team USA in Tokyo,” Reed said in a statement, via USA Golf. “I wish Bryson nothing but the best, and I know how disappointed he is to not be able to compete, and I will do my best to play my best and represent our country.”

“I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA,” said DeChambeau. “Representing my country means the world to me and it was a tremendous honor to make this team. I wish Team USA the best of luck next week in Tokyo. I will now focus on getting healthy, and I look forward to returning to competition once I am cleared to do so.”

The US men’s Olympic golf team will now include Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Reed.

Dan Hicks, Rowdy Gaines form awesome duo calling Olympic swimming

Michael Phelps Rowdy Gaines Dan Hicks

The US took gold and silver in the men’s 400 meter individual medley swimming event at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Sunday. The fantastic finish for the Americans was punctuated by a great call from the NBC announcing duo of Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines.

Hicks and Gaines expressed electric energy during the event, getting fans pumped up and excited as Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland pursued the 1-2 finish in the event. They were also joined by Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps, who added his touch as well.

Here is the great call from Hicks as Kalisz and Litherland chased gold and silver:

The entire call of the event was excellent, but that final clip from Hicks shined. Between him and Gaines, they had me all ready to jump into the pool.

Kalisz and Litherland were training partners at the University of Georgia and pushed each other to the gold-silver finish at the Olympics. Kalisz said winning gold in the event was a “dream come true.”

Video: US swimming team gathers for inspiring ‘America the Beautiful’ song

USA Swimming Olympics

Members of the U.S. swim team gathered on Friday for an inspiring moment of unity and patriotism.

Swimmers for both the men’s and women’s swim teams were unable to attend the Opening Ceremony for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Friday due to their competitions taking place the next day. Instead, they found an alternative.

Members of Team USA swimming gathered in a circle and sang “America the Beautiful” before joining together and chanting “USA! USA!”

Take a look at the video:

The Olympics are a time for unity, competition, and pride. Nothing conveys that message better than seeing a video like that.