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Monday, August 22, 2016

CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE 2016: Day #14--From Rio 2016 to Tokyo 2020

Donald Trump keeps saying that he will make America great again.  Turns out we are, already, great, as Hillary Clinton has been reiterating.  We won more Olympic medals than anyone else in Rio, by far:

  USA             121
  China             70
  Great Britain  67

For a team with nearly a third of their athletes banned for doping, Russia did okay with 56 medals.

Rio de Janeiro could well be the happiest and most exciting city in the world, as I reported five years ago. Rio is only the second largest city in the country, 12 million to 21 million for San Paulo.

The most satisfying victory in the entire games?  Clearly, Brazil's men's team edging Germany in soccer. 1-1, but 5-4 on penalty kicks. It was two years ago that Germany embarrassed host-country Brazil in the FIFA World Cup semifinals, 7-1.  Seven to one!  Neymar was injured for that match, but scored Brazil's only goal in this gold medal final:


In most ways that triumph symbolized the success of these games in Rio de Janeiro.  Zika?  This is winter in the southern hemisphere, and any Zika mosquitos are located away from Rio anyway.  Crime?  Well, one British athlete did get robbed at gunpoint, but no American swimmers, who were the perpetrators.  In most important ways the Games were well organized and even the people of the country were impressed.

Usain Bolt's triple-triple was dominant.  Here, his viral grin in the 200 meter semifinals.


Alistair and brother Jonny Brownlee of Great Britain getting gold and silver in the Triathlon:


Why is this team called Great Britain instead of United Kingdom?  Well, it is a combination of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  Anyway, take that, Brexit.

The biggest victors were the medalists of the 22 countries with one medal.  A model example is Joseph Schooling, a third generation Singaporean Eurasian.  He won the Gold in the 100 meter butterfly, setting an Olympic record.  Guess who came in #2 to win the Silver?  Michael Phelps.  Schooling's grand uncle was Singapore's first Olympian in 1948.  At the age of 21, Joseph now attends the University of Texas.  He is also now rich, for Singapore gave him $741,000 for his gold medal, the very first for the country.  U.S. gold medalists only get $25,000.

The 121 medals by the U.S. is a world record for the Summer Olympics. 
  • The USA won the first gold medal (shooter Ginny Thrasher) and final one (men's basketball team).
  • The swimming team won 16 gold medals and 33 total
    • Michael Phelps was phenomenal, upping his all time total to 23 golds and 28 overall
    • Katie Ledecky set two world records en route to winning four golds and one silver in these games alone
  • The track and field athletes also did well, with 13 golds and 32 medals
    • Adam Eaton tied Bob Mathias (1948 and 1952) by repeating in the decathlon
    • However, track and field were all Bolt's
  • Women's gymnastics won nine medals, most ever, four by Simone Biles
  • Kayla Harrison (judo) and Claressa Shields (boxing) became the first Americans to successfully defend their Olympic titles in their sport
  • Hawai's Patsy Mink's Title IX paved the way for success by our women
  • The women's 400-meter medley relay team won our 1000th gold medal since 1896
  • So the men's basketball team got a couple of anxious moments.  They demolished Serbia by 30 points in the finals to gain gold, and the women thrashed Spain by 29 for gold.
  • 213 Americans earned medals, 85% by those who competed in NCAA collegiate athletics, headed by Stanford University with 27 medals, which would have placed the Cardinals in 10th place among all nations.
Officials insisted that they sold 82% of the 5 million seats available, but many venues showed a lot of emptiness.  More than half the tickets cost $17 or less, while London in 2012 had double those prices.    The London Games sold 96% of 8.5 million seats.  The Rio opening ceremony was sold out.  While the gold-medal soccer match seats at Maracana with a top ticket value of $300, all went, the expensive tiers ($437, $655 and $936) for the closing ceremony in this stadium were readily available, as you could see if you watched the ending.  However, it was raining.


But we're quibbling.  Most thought these Rio Games would be a monumental disaster, and the fact of the matter is that almost everything went very well.  

  • Rio (2016)  $12 billion
  • Sochi (winter 2014)  22 billion
  • London (2012)  $15 billion
Next Tokyo 2020.  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe showed up at the Closing Ceremonies dressed as Super Mario, although not quite sure why.  I guess it had something to do with appealing to youths and the fact that this character was invented in Japan. Yuriko Koike, governor of Tokyo, waved the Olympic flag.  I'm surprised she didn't somehow show the Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo.



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Typhoon Mindulle was at 78 MPH when it went right over Tokyo dumping considerable rain.  Both major airports were shut down, the first time a typhoon has done this.


Humphrey Bogart (you need to click on this to find out why), also known as Tropical Storm Lionrock, after dawdling around a bit, could soon strengthen into a typhoon and head in the general direction of Okinawa:


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