The Daily Bongo
2012 Summer Olympics
Sunday, August 12, 2012 -- Evening
Closing CeremonyThe Olympics were fun this time around. Team GB did a good job of brining the gold home, winning 29 gold medals, 17 silver, and 19 bronze. Mo Farah won gold for Britain in the 5000 and 10000 meter races. The US basketball ball team won gold this morning in the match agains Spain. That was a much closer match than soem expected. It was time for the closing ceremony, and all of the athletes walked into the stadium together, in a sign of unity brought about by the events at the Olympics. The ceremony had lots of British music. Madness sang Our House, and One Direction sang one of their hit songs. After the athletes entered the stadium, we had John Lennon singing Imagine. Then George Michael sang Freedom. Some of the band mates from Pink Floyd were there. Annie Lennox, my doppelganger, performed. Russell Brand lip synced to the Beatles I am the Walrus. Then Fat Boy Slim had an appearance. I really like Fat Boy Slim. Check it out now, Funk Soul Brother! When the Spice Girls reunited for a brief performance, Boris Johnson, the London mayor, unsuccessfully tried his hand at dancing. I loved Liam Gallagher singing Wonderwall. Eric Idle was fun with Always Look on the Bright Side of LIfe. One of my favorite moments was Queen's We Will Rock You. I would rather have had Freddie Mercury's hologram singing with the group instead of female singer, Jessie J. When the show moved to the handover of the flag to Rio, the show became very boring. The Brits had David Beckham at the hand over from Beijing, and Brazil sent Pele to take things from London. The cauldron came apart, and the Olympic flame went out, ending the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012 -- Evening
Misty and Kerri Three-peat!I haven't been commenting much on the Olympics, but I have been watching it. The sports have been fun to watch, but nothing really struck me as stand-out. However, that changed today when Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh won the beach volleyball gold medal for the third time. That pair is just unbeatable, and today, they beat fellow Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy to get the gold. The pair won in straight sets: 21-16, 21-16. Of course, Misty and Kerri hugged on the sand. They are my favorite athletes because they always give their all. They only lost one set this Olympics. My heroes!
Sunday, August 5, 2012 -- Late Afternoon
Murray Wins GoldI am a huge Andy Murray fan. I don't think I started out to be a fan of his, but there's something about the way he just keeps on plugging away that I admire. Also, hie current coach, Ivan Lendl was my favorite back in the day when I first started to really get into professional tennis. I just know that a Grand Slam win is in Murray's future, and I was really disappointed at his recent Wimbledon loss. Well, you can imagine my joy today when Murray routed Roger Federer at Wimbledon in the Olympic Men's Singles gold medal match today. The scores were 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Murray showed a calm demeanor throughout, and he mentioned after the match that Lendle told him after the Wimbledon loss that it would be the most pressure that Murray would ever face. Since Murray made it through, even with the loss, it helped him calm down. Murray called today's win the biggest win of his life. Let's hope that there are more huge wins in his future! Go, Murray, Go!
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 -- Evening
Team Silver for Zara and Team GBZara Phillips won a silver medal as part of the Great Britain Eventing team. When I got up this morning, and turned on the TV, there Zara was, starting her show jumping portion of the three-day event. Unfortunately, she wound up getting 7 penalty points, 4 for High Kingdom knocking down a rail on one of the first jumps. Then she went over the time limit. The others on the team had clean runs, which helped them get the silver. This isn't meant to diminish Zara's effort. Yesterday, in the cross country, she had one of the few clean rounds. It's a team effort, after all!
Phelps and US Women's GymnasticsMichael Phelps got two medals today for a total of 19 overall. That makes Phelps the person with the most medals. Phelps tied the record of 18 with a silver in the 200 meter butterfly. Then later on, Phelps got gold as part of the 4X200mm relay team. Phelps has 19 medals so far, and counting.
The women's gymnastic team won the team gold. This after Jordyn Wieber was in tears on Monday after losing out on an opportunity to go for individual all-around gold. The rule is that only the top two members from a country can go on to the individual. Jordyn finished fourth over all, but two other Americans were ahead of her. Jordyn was bawling her eyes out over the loss. It doesn't seem fair to me because it should just be the best. It one, or a few, dominate, that's okay. After all, you get the opportunity to get your players to the Olympics, and their performances should determine if they get a medal.
Monday, July 30, 2012 -- Evening
Zara PhillipsZara Phillips has been competing in the individual Three Day Event. As some of you may know, I'm a huge British royalty fan, and Zara is the Queen's granddaughter, the daughter of Princess Anne. On Sunday, Zara completed the dressage portion of the competition, and she was tied for 24th. Today, Zara and High Kingdom, her horse, competed in the cross country portion, and they are now tied for 10th place. The only part left now is the show jumping portion. I'm going to be rooting for Zara and High Kingdom.
General OlympicsElsewhere at the Olympics, Ryan Lochte finished fourth in the 200m free style. Michael Phelps hasn't distinguished himself at the games this time. The US Men's Gymnastic team didn't get a medal even though they were favored. Best news: Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings won their beach volleyball match today, and continued their unbeaten streak at the Olympics. So far, they have not lost a set at the Olympics.
Saturday, July 28, 2012 -- Evening
Lochte and Misty/Kerri WinI only plan on commenting on sports or stories that interest me, and only two stories were interesting to me today. Ryan Lochte won the gold in the 400 meter individual medley while Michael Phelps finished without a medal in fourth place. People had been talking about the Lochte/Phelps matchup, saying that even though Phelps had been waning of late that he would manage to get up for the games. But it seems that is not the case. You go, Lochte!
Meanwhile, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh started their fight for Olympic gold. The temperatures were pretty cold in London for beach volleyball, with the temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The concession that the girls made to the temperature was to wear a shirt over their bikinis. Fortunately, the pair were able to beat Australia's Nat Cooke and Tamsin Hinchley to win two sets with the scores of 21-18, 21-19. So far, Misty and Kerri haven't lost a set in Olympic competition. Let's hope they can keep it up.
Friday, July 27, 2012 -- Evening
2012 London Olympics Opening CeremonyFinally, it's time for the 2012 Summer Olympics to start. It's in London, and we all know that the British know how to put on a show. I'm recording my impressions as I watch the show "live." That means that the ceremony happened 3.5 hours ago, but we are just seeing it here in the US.
First up is Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France winner. A child's choir sings British songs as various aspects of British life are acted out on the center of the stadium, moving through history from pastoral times to the Industrial Revolution. If you have watched any James Bond movies or read any British books, you know that the Brits always see themselves in the main picture. The percussion music and imagery are fantastic. Things quiet down, with a whistling melody, to remember the war dead from WWI. It is amazing how the participants in the pageantry have changed the display from pastoral to an industrial, recent layout of the city of London. The Olympics rings are forged and take to the sky.
The Queen arrives in a totally awesome way. Daniel Craig, as James Bond gathers the Queen from Buckingham Palace. They fly by helicopter to the stadium. Then they both leap from the helicopter and parachute into the stadium to the Bond theme! Really, lots of fun! And the Queen looks a bit disheveled. Great job by Danny Boyle, who organized this.
Next up, they honor British literature, like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, 101 Dalmatians, Harry Potter, and Mary Poppins. it is a really cool representation of pleasant dreams and nightmares.
Then we have a musical interlude that was from Chariots of Fire. Rowan Atkinson steals the show as he acts up as he plays the keyboard. Rowan Atkinson is put in the scene of the group running down the beach, from the beginning of the movie.
Next up is a review of the British music scene: the Beatles, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, the Kinks. Sometimes I think we forget how many acts are British.
To make up for David Beckham getting the shaft over being on the England soccer team, he gets to bring the Olympic fame down the Thames. Becks is "steering" the boat, while a girl holds the Olympic torch.
The athletes enter the stadium, starting with Greece. The rest of the countries come in alphabetical order, based on English spelling, with Great Britain bringing up the rear. The Czech Republic athletes all wear knee high rain boots and carry umbrellas. What else would you do in rainy London? The athletes move through the parade quickly, probably because of the beat of the music, with songs like Stayin' Alive. The Independent Olympic Athletes are those without a country affiliation. One of them is Sudanese, but refuses to participate for them because his family members were killed there. The IOC denys a request from Israel to honor the 1972 killing of Israeli athletes and coaches in Munich.
Unfortunately, I have to get up early tomorrow, so I'm bailing on the telecast as Poland comes into the stadium.