Sunday at the Olympic Games: Can you guess the last event of the Olympics? All by itself, unless one of the team sports goes into quintuple-overtime. And then the competitors have about 2 1/2 hours to get over the closing ceremony. Unless you’re on NBC time.
Speaking of NBC, though, the day is so light that you may see just about everything on one of the networks. Given the “Olympic Event(s) TBA” on the schedule, you may see some things more than once. The only sad part is the knowledge that you’ll be watching some of this after the athletes have packed up and headed over for closing.
The awkward part for NBC and U.S. media in general: Not a lot of Americans here. The only team finalist is in men’s hoops, and there are no American boxing finalists. That leaves five individual events with Americans involved, and they’re not favored in any of them.
So this is it. Then I’ll start going through the highlights to see all the stuff I missed.
WHAT HAPPENED SATURDAY
Not a bad start for the USA on the final big day of competition. Georgia Gould took bronze on the treacherous mountain bike course, and U.S. wrestlers got into medal contention. Only one of the wrestlers, Coleman Scott, was able to convert the opportunity for bronze.
The marquee U.S. women’s teams split — gold in basketball, silver in volleyball.
The U.S. tracksters had a couple of agonizing near-misses, particularly the fourth-place finish for redoubtable veteran Bernard Lagat. But Brigetta Barnett took a surprising silver in the high jump. And the relays got around the track without incident, leading to a rather predictable gold in the women’s 4×400 and a close second to world record-setting Jamaica in the 4×100. The U.S. squad of Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey set an American record — a staggering achievement when you think back over the years.
Then came the shocker: David Boudia upset the Chinese divers to win on the platform.
Mexico kept Brazil away from its long-coveted soccer gold and perhaps made a few U.S. fans shudder at the thought of the future.
MEDAL PROJECTION UPDATE
Again, I nailed an eclectic batch of events — women’s 4×400 relay, women’s 20k walk, women’s high jump. I had the right medals but the wrong order (gold and silver reversed) in the men’s platform diving and men’s hockey. And yes, I nailed the rhythmic gymnastics all-around.
Britain won’t meet my ridiculously high projection, but it still has a shot at the 66 medals the Wall Street Journal projected. And hey — UK Sports itself only sought “a minimum” of 48.
The USA will fall a good bit short of my picks and just slightly short of the Wall Street Journal’s total of 108.
China is now only three medals ahead of projections.
Overprojected: Britain 13, USA 9, Australia 8, Germany 7, Greece 4, Azerbaijan 4, Russia 4.
Underprojected: Colombia 7, Ukraine 6, Spain 5, North Korea 5. Tied at 4: South Korea, Netherlands, Cuba, Mexico, South Africa, Georgia.
SUNDAY’S VIEWING RECOMMENDATIONS
Since nearly everything is televised at some point, I’m including some extra info about broadcast times.
- 3:00: Modern pentathlon, women’s fencing phase. (see 9 a.m.)
- 3:30: Wrestling, 66kg/96kg qualifications (MSNBC picks up at 7 a.m.)
- 4:00: Wrestling, 66kg/96kg round of 16
- 4:30: Men’s volleyball, bronze medal match, Bulgaria-Italy.**
- 5:00: Wrestling, 66kg/96kg quarterfinals
- 5:20: Men’s water polo, seventh-place game, USA-Australia.
- 5:30: Wrestling, 66kg/96kg semifinals
- 6:00, NBC: Track and field, men’s marathon. Picks: KEN-ETH-ETH
- 6:00, NBC Sports Network: Men’s basketball, bronze medal game, Argentina-Russia.
- 6:00: Men’s handball, bronze medal game, Hungary-Croatia. (NBC Sports Network at 7:45)
- 6:40: Men’s water polo, fifth-place game, Spain-Hungary.
7 a.m.: MSNBC will catch us up on wrestling. NBC Sports Network offers up men’s handball bronze at 7:45.
- 7:35: Modern pentathlon, women’s swimming phase. (see 9 a.m.)
- 7:45, MSNBC: Wrestling, 66kg/96kg repechage/bronze
- 8:00: Men’s volleyball, gold medal match, Russia-Brazil.** Picks: POL-USA-BRA
- 8:30, MSNBC: Cycling, men’s mountain bike. Picks: CZE-SUI-FRA
- 8:30, CNBC: Boxing, men’s fly final, Mongolia-Cuba. Picks: RUS-GBR-USA-ITA
- 8:30: Rhythmic gymnastics, group final. Picks: ITA-BLR-RUS
- 8:45, CNBC: Boxing, men’s light final, Ukraine-South Korea. Picks: UKR-ITA-KAZ-CUB
9 a.m.: NBC Sports Network catches us up on modern pentathlon (fencing and swimming).
- 9:03: Wrestling, 66kg final.** Picks: IRI-JPN-AZE-RUS
- 9:15, CNBC: Boxing, men’s welter final, Britain-Kazakhstan. Picks: KAZ-UKR-GBR-LTU
- 9:30, NBC Sports Network: Men’s water polo, bronze medal game. Montenegro-Serbia. Picks: SRB-ITA-CRO
- 9:35: Modern pentathlon, women’s riding phase.**
- 9:45, CNBC: Boxing, men’s light heavy final, Russia-Kazakhstan. Picks: ALG-CUB-AUS-IRL
- 9:48: Wrestling, 96kg final.** Picks: IRI-BLR-TUR-AZE
10 a.m.: MSNBC has “Olympic Events” (maybe U.S. game in water polo placement? Or rhythmic gymnastics?) from 10-11. And that’s the last broadcast on that network. NBC Sports Network will show men’s handball on slight delay; start set for 10:45.
- 10:00: NBC: Men’s basketball, gold medal game, USA-Spain. This will end after the CNBC boxing final and will therefore be the final live event broadcast on TV. Picks: USA-ESP-BRA
- 10:00, NBC Sports Network: Men’s handball, gold medal game, Sweden-France. Picks: DEN-FRA-ESP
- 10:15, CNBC: Boxing, men’s super heavy final, Italy-Britain. Picks: GBR-ITA-AZE-CUB
- 10:50: Men’s water polo, gold medal game, Croatia-Italy.**
11 a.m.: Nothing new, but you can stick with hoops, handball and water polo. Still not the last event of the Games.
Noon: Water polo might still be in progress. Men’s basketball would need to be in overtime. So you might have nothing live to watch, though some delayed broadcasts (see below) pick up during the hour. Still not the last event of the Games.
1:00 p.m.: Are you ready? Everyone flipping on their computers for one last live stream from the Olympics? OK, here you go …
- 1:00 Modern pentathlon, women’s shooting/running phase (final).** Picks: GBR-GER-LTU
4 p.m.: Closing ceremony. Not that I recommend illegal online streams.**
** Delayed broadcasts
- 12:30, NBC: Men’s water polo, gold medal game
- 12:45, NBC Sports Network: Men’s volleyball, bronze medal match
- 2:45, NBC: Wrestling, wrapup.
- 2:45, NBC Sports Network: Modern pentathlon, women’s wrapup.
- 3:45, NBC Sports Network: Olympic Events TBA. The only events I see that aren’t set for broadcast elsewhere are the handball final, rhythmic gymnastics final, water polo placement games and perhaps some early wrestling rounds.
- 4:00, NBC: Men’s volleyball, gold medal game.
- 7:00, NBC: Prime-time, focusing on closing ceremony.
Check the full schedule for time updates and results throughout the day: London2012.com
You know who actually has the best glance of how Americans are faring? Wikipedia.
I did this daily during the Games. As a reminder, you’ll also find my work at Bleacher Report — I should have a couple more pieces done Sunday. I also helped Trapit capture the best Olympic news sources. Follow @TrapitSports or all Olympic-related Trapit feeds on Twitter for more.