Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Women's Beach Volleyball

Maybe the most amazing thing I’ve seen in these Olympics was Australia’s Natalie Cook (and, of course, teammate Nicole Sanderson) beat Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs in game two of the bronze medal game for women’s beach volleyball. If you didn’t see it, Cook dove, right arm extended, for a dig in mid-game 2. Only she’s got a torn rotator cuff, taped up and ready for reconstructive surgery. She had to call a medical time out, and was thereafter almost unable to raise her right arm over her head—she even ended the match serving underhand. And still the Australians won game 2. I’m proud of the Americans and the first U.S. medal ever in beach volleyball, but I’m stunned at Cook’s pain threshold.

Speaking of women’s volleyball, did you notice that the station-which-must-not-be-named (why not? See below and my post that Blogger ate before it posted which would have complained about the poor coverage and child-audience-precluding lateness of the broadcasts) started showing game 1 on the gold medal round at 13-8 U.S., and game 2 at 9-7? This is the GOLD MEDAL ROUND of women’s beach volleyball and the U.S. team is in it! Would you start coverage of the 100 m only after the athletes had completed the first 43 meters? Or the vault only after the gymnast’s hands had left the vault?