Category Archives: Field Hockey

Days 11 & 12 in London: I’m in Love!

I know, I know.  I’m late on getting this blog post submitted.  Please bear with me!  I’m working a full-time job and watching the Olympics, and I don’t like to do anything else while I’m watching at home.  My attention while watching the games is undivided!

Day 11

I must make a confession:  I’m in love with these London Games.  I’m also in love with all of Great Britain.

Now, I already liked Great Britain quite much before these games.  Years ago I spent a few days in Wales and London.  The British people just tend to do a lot of things better than we Americans do:  reporting of news, healthcare system, respecting tradition….Well, now they’ve proven again how good they are at sport, and I’m in love with their darling stars of the men’s triathlon:  Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee.  Who wouldn’t be charmed by these adorable two?

An exhausted Jonathan Brownlee is embraced by older brother Alistair. (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images Europe)

I’d written briefly about the Brownlee Brothers during my preview of triathlon.  While the women’s triathlon proved to be disappointing for me (Neither Helen Jenkins, or Andrea Hewitt medaled!), I was super excited for the men’s, as I had one more opportunity to watch this grueling event that combines swimming, cycling, and running.  The  Brownlee brothers did not disappoint.  It was as if they’d rehearsed this race in their minds a thousand times, and it all played out magically, just like a movie.  Both brothers were in the top 3-5 racers from the minute they dove into the waters of Hyde Park until they crossed the finish line.  While they’re not shy about telling the media how competitive they are between each other, it was evident that they were working as a team during the cycling portion, relying on tactics to keep themselves in the top three.  And while Jonathan was penalized for getting off of his bike too early during the cycling-to-running transition, he made up the 15-second penalty, coming in third behind Spain’s Javier Gomez (silver medal) and his older brother, Alistair, who ran the last few feet draped in a GBR flag handed to him by a fan.  Alistair and Jonathan are the first British brothers to share an Olympic podium since the

Bronze and Gold for the brothers! (Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images Europe)

Dougherty brothers did so for tennis back in 1900!

As if Day 11 wasn’t already “happy and glorious” enough with the Brownlees’ medals, Sir Chris Hoy did not let down his kingdom with another gold medal in cycling, bringing Great Britain’s total cycling gold medals to eight!  What’s after Knighthood?  Is there a step up from Sir?  Maybe Baron, Viscount, or Earl?

Add to all of this a gold medal in team dressage for Great Britain, and its gold in the team jumping event on Day 10, and one must wonder if there’s any stopping the Britons!

While most of the track and field events have focused on British and American athletes, I’ve got to take a moment to recognize Australia’s Sally Pearson.  It’s not been a great Olympics for Australia.  Thus far, they’ve only won six gold medals, but at least one of them came from Pearson, who blazed past all of her competitors, clearing each hurdle with such quickness like I’ve never seen.  She became the first Australian to ever win gold in the 100-meter hurdles!

Day 12

AFP Photo (Source: Sports Keeda)

While NBC was fixated (again) on scantily clad women playing beach volleyball (Congrats to Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh-Jennings!), I found more interesting competition during Day 12 online, with a humdinger in both handball and (field) hockey.  I have to say I was pulling for Iceland in its quarterfinal match against Hungary.  How many times does one get to say they’re watching Iceland compete in the Olympics?  Not very often.  But alas, the country wasn’t strong enough to hold off the Hungarians, but the  match did go into overtime, with Hungary edging out Iceland by only one point!  In women’s hockey, Netherlands and New Zealand battled on a sopping wet pitch for a spot in the finals.  The Dutch seemed to have the advantage during most of the game, even though both teams remained tied and the game went into a shootout!  The New Zealand goalie just seemed too slow, and with a crowd that seemed to be majority Orange, the game ended with a victory for Holland.  The women’s final will be a doozie:  Netherlands versus Argentina!

If all of this isn’t exciting enough, I haven’t even touched on taekwondo, wrestling or canoe/kayak sprinting; Mo Farah will be running again in the 5,000 meters; and Modern Pentathlon starts tomorrow!  Do these games have to end?

Faster, Higher, Stronger

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under 2012 London Olympics, Athletics/Track & Field, Cycling, Equestrian Events, Field Hockey, Handball, Triathlon

London Preview: Field Hockey

Hockey then and now (1908, 1948, 2012)

What/When/Where:  Field Hockey, July 29-August 11

Think of someone hundreds or even thousands of years ago, turning a shepherd’s crook upside down and using it for a game.  Or, perhaps one would take a curved branch from a tree and use it for a game with others.  These are the scenarios from which many games like hurling and field hockey originated.  Versions of present-day field hockey date back to ancient times across most continents.  Evidence of similar games has been found in Egypt, Greece, Mexico, Ireland, and Mexico, followed by more modern and organized versions beginning in English sport clubs like Blackheath and Teddington.  Move forward to present-day, where field hockey, the world’s second largest team sport, is about to have its best players in world compete for Olympic gold.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under 2012 London Olympics, Field Hockey