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Discussion: yup

in: Spike; Spike > 2016-08-07

Aug 9, 2016 2:07 AM # 
Like distance running events, heats are pretty sleepy affairs. The terrible conditions didn't help. Finals will be better. Still a distance event though so not always very explosive.
Aug 9, 2016 3:54 PM # 
Those bike road races were crazy. Felt so bad for the American woman who finished 4th.
Aug 9, 2016 4:39 PM # 
The crashes were very unfortunate but they did make for exciting finishes.

I'm not expert enough to know if those crashes should have been expected but that road did not allow for any error. My analogy is to motorcycle racing where crashes are relatively common. In moto GP the have long slide out zones and guys generally make out fine. In the Isle of Man race they just hit a stone wall and die. That's not so good.
Aug 9, 2016 5:07 PM # 
Last summer I was chatting with Canadian Tara Whitten at a BBQ here in Ottawa after she had been down to Rio to test the course and she thought it was insane back then.

Big issues around the pavement, lots of small rolls that might not show up on TV, plus way more rougher sections than what the final course was.

Mike Woods from Ottawa (former UMich runner) describes it here:
Aug 10, 2016 12:34 AM # 
I don't know enough about cycling to judge the course. I wonder if Annamiek (sp?) had just taken that one corner more carefully if people would be wondering about the course.

Last night my Olympics watching was focused on Angola-Montenegro team handball. I like watching team handball. No question that I'd pick team handball over rowing.
Aug 10, 2016 1:17 PM # 
Is Handball the number one sport in the world in which it is strange the US don't dominate? If only there would be a sport in which skills learned through baseball, basketball and maybe football could be applied!
Aug 11, 2016 1:32 AM # 
I wonder how good a handball team you could put together if you started with a good college basketball team and had 6-months to practice. The skills seem so comparable (once you got used to being able to travel). My dream handball team would start with Mario Chalmers.

Tonight, I watched a re-run of the women's time trial and I've got live table tennis on right now.

It is interesting that someone went to arbitration about Kristin Armstrong's selection to US Olympic team.
Aug 11, 2016 1:53 AM # 
On the subject of road cycling (the only subject in this thread I know anything about), that for the course to determine the outcome by actually taking out competitors is at odds with the sport's ethos. I've never really agreed with this - I think bike handling is a skill worth testing - but there's no question that the prevailing view is that you should win because you are the fitter contestant, not because your opponent went down in a crash. The extreme form of this is the self-imposed rider conduct to actually wait for a fallen rider to get back in the group before recommencing hostilities. Can you imagine all the NASCAR drivers pulling over and waiting while a driver who had hit the wall got a new car? It's just the way the game is played.

In contrast, the two disciplines on either side of road riding (super-controlled track racing and free-for-all mountain biking) generally take the attitude of rolling with the punches. But, for road racing, the course in Rio appears to be one that would generate legitimate complaints, even if only because it does not conform to cultural norms.
Aug 12, 2016 7:18 AM # 
Several years ago I looked into playing handball and ran across a recruiting announcement for USA Handball. Lots of specific requirements, almost all of which could have been eliminated had they simply said you had to be a talented basketball player. (I am too short, for starters.)
Aug 18, 2016 7:10 AM # 
a sport in which skills learned through baseball, basketball and maybe football could be applied

You just have to invent a new one and enter the World Games ;)

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