When last we checked in on the preparations for the Olympics, we had just learned that Saudi Arabia had changed its mind and denied female athletes an opportunity to compete in the London Olympics. Well, guess what, the country changed its mind again. This sort of flip-flopping is usually reserved for American politicians but in this case, it is really good news. In order to compete female athletes will have to be accompanied by a male guardian at all times, to adhere to strict dress requirements, and are not to mix with men during the event. Those restrictions might seem stifling but for a country that has no women’s sports program at any level and in which women are not even allowed to drive a car this is a huge step.
Now a bit of bad news for those who, like Noah Puckerman, think a hot mom and a pool is a great combination. Olympic caliber hottie Dara Torres failed in her bid to make it to her sixth Olympics. She came in fourth place in the 50 meter freestyle and missed a spot on the team by .09 seconds. Torres is 45 years old and already has 12 medals to her name and insists she is retiring for good this time (she’s said that twice already). If this is really her last swim, I will certainly miss seeing her swim in London and that has
Michael Phelps qualified for another boatload of events for London but he’s not the only one. Missy Franklin, who is just 17 years old, qualified in seven events. No other female swimmer from the U.S. has ever qualified for more than six. Franklin, who is still in high school, is fun to watch. She races hard and expects to win but in interviews during the trials she was funny, engaging, and endearingly awkward. She is definitely one to watch for in London.
Finally, this weekend, the U.S. Women’s National Team took to the pitch in their Where’s Waldo kits to face Canada in its last tune up before heading off to London. The U.S. scored early on an own goal by Canada (off a nice cross by everybody’s favorite out, blond bomber, Megan Rapinoe). Hope Solo made a nice save off a misdirection to keep the U.S. ahead going into the break. Rapinoe and Abby Wambach had a couple of other close calls before Canada tied the game. The U.S responded when Amy Rodriguez put the ball in off a nice backheel from Wambach. The game was a great hors d’oeuvre before the feast that will be soccer in the Olympics. The U.S starts off with a match against France in Glasgow on July 25.
Who are you looking forward to watching when the games start on July 27?