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Olympics Recap: Week 1

Megan, Alix, and Erin are here as your Summer Olympics experts! Our Highly Scientific Coverage continues with a recap of the Olympic Games thus far.

Olympics Recap: Week 1

The Olympics have been going strong for about a week now, and it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s happening. For those of you who have jobs or social lives that don’t revolve around olympics viewing, don’t worry! I have neither! I’ve got you covered with the highlights.


In Men’s Gymnastics, the United States sucked. China took the team gold, followed by Japan and Great Britain. This is extra sad because I was lulled into a false sense of security during the preliminaries, when China was abysmal and the US was awesome. I’m glad that GB made it on the podium, though.

Women’s Gymnastics was both awesome and horrible, because the United States won, but at the cost of ALL the gymnasts crying ALL the time. It was really hard to watch. The Russians were perpetually in tears, and Aly Raisman started crying in the middle of her floor routine, when she knew she’d clinched gold for her team. The saddest crying, though, was from reigning World Champion Jordyn Wieber, who cried during the preliminaries when she failed to qualify for the all-arounds, based on a stupid new rule in which only two gymnasts can compete per team. Speaking of stupid rules, can we talk about how insane the scoring is now? I appreciate that higher difficulty leads to higher scores, but gymnasts should still be able to get a perfect score based on their start values! Vault specialist McKayla Maroney had the most amazing vault I’ve ever seen on two functional legs, and she STILL didn’t score perfectly. Deadspin slowed it down so everyone could play Where’s Waldo with her deductions, and I, for one, can’t find any. I hate gymnastics judges. This is why Stick It is one of my favorite movies, even though it’s kind of terrible.

The Atlantic has an amazing breakdown of the women’s gymnastics team finals, which raises the question, “why haven’t we always been doing gif recaps of sports?”


Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte win some and lose some. The French come from behind to beat us in the 4x100 free, and I’m very unhappy about it. My fave Missy Franklin wins lots of things. Michael Phelps becomes the most decorated Olympian of all time, bla bla bla you already know all this. Let’s talk about what’s really important! RYAN LOCHTE! Or as I have accidentally started calling him lately, Ryan Latke.

Ryan Latke is a very attractive human, this we all know. But what I didn’t realize coming into this Olympics is just how stupid he is. Seriously, he’s charmingly idiotic. Take this set of tweets, captured just a few hours after a lost race (via Gawker):

The other thing is, he’s coming off increasingly crazy in interviews. Did anyone else see that NBC spot where he is like, throwing around tires and showing you his closet? It was actually kind of depressing, because in it, it was clear that he has some sort of Inigo Montoya obsession with Michael Phelps. I’m wondering what he’s going to do now that he’s fulfilled his lifelong goal of beating Phelps at the Olympics. Have you considered a life of piracy, Mr. Potato Pancake? I think you’d look fabulous in a mask.

I couldn’t find the interview online, but Megan did find this gem:

And of course, no recap would be complete without mention of Ryan's American flag grill.

NBC Coverage

One of the biggest stories stateside is not Michael Phelps winning the most medals ever (duh), nor is it the US women’s gymnasts taking gold (we were the favorites). No, it’s that NBC’s coverage of the Olympics surprised us all by being worse than our already low expectations. Seriously, it is TERRIBLE.

First of all, there’s the fact that they decided to replace the Opening Ceremonies memorial segment to the London Tube Bombing with an interview of Michael Phelps, because, you know, our terrorist tragedies are so much more tragic than everyone else’s. This after Bob Costas was kvetching about how the olympic committee didn’t include a tribute to the 1972 Munich Olympics. Keeping it classy, NBC.

NBC was not satisfied with their mediocre footage of the Opening Ceremonies, though. They have been doing their best to parade the world’s worst collection of commentators and interviewers around London all week. If there was a gold medal in journalistic douchery, it would go to that lady who is covering swimming. One of my roommates called her "Rita Skeeter of the Olympics," and HE IS NOT WRONG. She goes up to the athletes after every race and is generally horrible. Here is where I would insert a video of her awfulness, except that NBC only lets you watch clips of the olympics online if you have an American cable subscription, even though they are a broadcast network. THANKS NBC! I’ll just have to paraphrase her interview with Michael Phelps after he failed to medal in his first race, the 400 im:

Lady: So michael, this must be a very foreign feeling for you, losing. You must be SO disappointed right now. Now that you’re a LOSER and all.
MP: Yeah, of course it’s disappointing, but I have a lot of events and so I’m just trying to put it past me.
Lady: Yeah, but you LOST.

Ugh, GO AWAY. You are making me feel sorry for Michael Phelps, which is not a position that I ever wanted to be in!

Other Events

The award for most unexpectedly dramatic sport goes to Badminton. I know, right? Generally, I try to ignore sports the US hasn’t medaled in so as not to wound my nationalist pride, but this is too juicy to pass up. If there’s one thing I enjoy more than watching the US win, it’s watching China lose. Or in this case, be disqualified for throwing matches. Hahaha, assholes.

In Water Polo, NBC flashed a bare breast, and in Princess Zara Phillips gets a medal in team Dressage. There was also some drama in fencing in the women’s individual epée semifinal, which The Guardian has documented in spectacular fashion:

Coming up today (or what has already happened, depending on where you live), we have Women’s Gymnastics all around finals, Jennifer Lawrence’s Archery coach competes for a medal, and an epic battle for the gold with US vs. Britain in women’s Judo. Both competitors have tragic pasts, and both are competing for the first gold for their country in their sport. I’m excited to see the match.

Also, this is my favorite thing that has ever happened, ever.

Michelle Obama picked up by U.S. Olympic Wrestler Elena Pirozhkova

Lastly, have you been watching the Olympics wondering which sport you can become really good at in the next four years so that you can go to Rio? Well, BBC has this helpful guide for you. I get to play handball, apparently.

Even the funemployed among us can’t catch all the events. What were your favorite olympic moments of the week? What events should we be watching more?

Alix West's photo About the Author: Alix is a writer and illustrator who spends way too much time reading Jane Austen retellings of varying quality.