Honestly, that may have been the best night of the games so far! What an incredible evening for Team USA and really for anyone who loves the world of athletics, as swimming and gymnastics were just unbelievable last night, and I left duly impressed by pretty much everyone (and relatively hoarse toward the end of the endeavor). Here are some of my best moments:
Is it just me or is Michael Phelps more fun this year than he's been, well, ever? Honestly, and I count myself as a longtime, ardent fan of his, but as also a big fan of Andy Murray's, I clearly have a thing for dour athletes, and Phelps is usually the cranky one when compared to his hang-loose partner Ryan Lochte. This year, though, perhaps because he knows that it's not just his pronouncement but his age that is ensuring that he will be retiring after Rio, he's more relaxed, and even seemed to revel in his defeat of Chad le Clos' whose bizarre antics prior to the 200m fly, which he didn't even medal in, baffled swimming analysts and the announcers and perhaps even Phelps himself.
If you haven't gotten on the Katie Ledecky train yet, I honestly don't know what to do with you. Undefeated at the Olympics so far, she got yet another gold yesterday in the 200m free, and seems to be a really lovely human being, hugging her opponents and humbly amassing fans (while inspiring a generation of young women and men to get into the pool the way Michael Phelps did for her so many years ago). Truly a class act, and I'm excited to see her continue her streak as the week moves on.
So the United States gets another team of immortal gymnasts to be on the cover of every Wheaties Box between her and Tallahassee, and arguably this is the best group ever, with Americans dominating the competition, particularly led by Team Captain Aly Raisman and gymnastics wunderkind Simone Biles. In a lovely tribute to her decades of excellence in the field, the team named themselves the "Final Five" in honor of Marta Karolyi's retirement, a move that brought the famously stoic coach to tears.
I was a little worried, I have to admit. My imaginary Olympics boyfriend (well, one of the top ones), barely made it to the 100m free in swimming, coming out of the Heats in last place and nearly missing the semifinals, but Nate Adrian rebounded in a spectacular fashion, dominating his semifinals and is heading into tonight as the favorite to repeat his gold medal from the London Games. Also, Nate Adrian is adorable. Like, the most adorable.
Finally, and I know this is a thirsty way to end this post (though, really, isn't thirstiness kind of the point of the Olympics at this juncture?), but look at Marcelo Chierighini, Brazilian swimmer. That's obscene. No one should be allowed to be that good-looking. But I'm glad he got license to anyway.