- Joe Lago | Yahoo! Sports | Wed, Aug 1, 2012 6:55 PM EDT | Comments
LONDON – Yin Alvarez doesn't ever think the game is over.
Even when it's the bottom of the ninth inning, down by 11 runs, two outs and two strikes – "and the guy who's batting is the pitcher" – he lives and dies by that famous Yogi Berra line no matter how crazy you think he is, no matter how impossible the predicament.
"My wife gets mad at me," Alvarez said. "She says, 'It's impossible to win.' I say, 'We're going to win.' "
At the Olympic men's gymnastics all-around final on Wednesday, Alvarez watched his stepson and prized pupil Danell Leyva, America's top medal hopeful, fall into what figured to be an insurmountable deficit. Leyva lost his strength on his pommel-horse dismount, and the price for his suddenly weakened arms resulted in a nine-tenths deduction and a score of 13.500 – a disastrous result for someone hoping to challenge for the gold medal.
What followed was the most unex...Read More »
- Joe Lago | Yahoo! Sports | Wed, Aug 1, 2012 12:38 AM EDT | Comments
LONDON – Modelization.
It's not a word you will find in any dictionary. In fact, it only exists in the vocabulary of Bela Karolyi when it comes to describing how to win Olympic gymnastics team gold in dominating fashion.
"Practice, practice, and modelization…and doing the same thing you have to do in the most difficult times," the patriarch of U.S. Gymnastics said in helping provide the word's closest definition.
Mimicking the pressure-packed situations at the London Games – down to the deafening cheers of the sold-out crowd at North Greenwich Arena by piping in noise during pre-Olympic training – served as the blueprint for the U.S. women's spectacular gold-medal performance on Tuesday night.
America's new Fab Five of Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Kyla Ross stared down the daunting task of outperforming the defending Olympic champion China, plus the powerful Russians and Romanians, and weren't fazed one bit. They produced one clean routine af...Read More »
- Joe Lago | Yahoo! Sports | Mon, Jul 30, 2012 5:16 PM EDT | Comments
"I asked if we could pick up the medals now," joked Horton, USA's lone Beijing Games veteran, after the Americans surprisingly posted the highest qualifying score on Saturday to raise expectations for Monday's team final.
After poor showings in the first three rounds of Monday's final at North Greenwich Arena, Horton had another lesson for the kids: Keep fighting.
A disastrous showing on the pommel horse, the U.S.'s worst discipline, ended any hopes for gold – or any medal, for that matter – and dumped the Americans in eighth place of eight teams. There was no catching the Chinese, the runaway winners, so going into the final round, with his teammates' shoulders slumped, Horton decided to huddle up the squad for a p...Read More »
- Johnny Ludden | Yahoo! Sports | Sun, Jul 29, 2012 4:44 PM EDT | Comments
LONDON – It wasn't long into their opening game at these London Olympics that Team USA's stars realized they were being forced out of their comfort zone. Not so much by France. It was the Olympic basketball arena that made the Americans adjust.
The 12,000-seat facility is much smaller than NBA arenas, most of which hold 19,000 to 20,000 fans. Thefans also are set back from the court at the Olympic venue, giving it a more spacious feel and confusing the sight lines for the Americans.
U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said teams were only allowed to spend about an hour of time in the venue before the walk-up to the Games. And Team USA forward Kevin Love admitted that both teams' poor shooting in the opening quarter probably had something to do with them getting acclimated to the arena.
"The fans are pretty removed," Krzyzewski said. "You'd think they would want to put more people closer."
The facility is temporary and might even be used for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The unique exter...Read More »
LONDON – The cop who stays on past his retirement. The bank robber looking for "one last score." The boxer who fights well past his prime.
Popular culture is littered with tales of those who either rouse us with their determination in the face of logic or depress us for being oblivious about their ticking clock hitting zero hour.
After Saturday's 400 individual medley final, add Michael Phelps to that list. Heeither should have hung up his swim cap after the Beijing Games, or his journey in London has become all the more inspiring.
Phelps, the 14-time gold medalist, didn’t earn a medal in that event on Saturday in his first loss in two Olympiads. As Chris Chase wrote on Fourth-Place Medal: "Phelps vowed to retire from the 400 IM after winning the event in both Athens and Beijing." Heck, he could have retired from every event before the London Games, resting on his accomplishments as an American Olympic icon.
Buthe pushed ahead and qualified for seven events. One more fight. O...Read More »
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