Daily Olympian: Women's Gymnastics Highlight Day 2, Gruesome Men's Gymnastics Injury Dominated Day 1
The new Fierce Five open the team competition after men's competitor Samir Ait Said broke his leg on the vault. And the U.S. could score a rare medal in men's fencing.
Day two of the Rio Olympics features more swimming and the start of the women's gymnastics team competition. During day one, the U.S. won a gold medal in shooting and three silvers in swimming, but the thing that had everyone talking was French gymnast Samir Ait Said's injury.
What to Watch Today
Women’s gymnastics and swimming dominate the second full day of events. In women’s gymnastics, the team competition begins. Stream it live starting at 4:30 p.m. or watch on tape on NBC at 7 p.m. Swimming also will be on in primetime with the women’s 100-meter butterfly final (about 9:03 p.m. ET), men’s 100-meter breaststroke final (9:53 p.m.), women’s 400-meter freestyle final (10:01 p.m.) and men’s 4x100 freestyle relay final (10:54 p.m.) all showing up. In the men's freestyle relay, the top contenders are the U.S., France and Australia. In the women's butterfly, the favorite is Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom, but American Dana Vollmer also is a contender.
(And if you’re watching in primetime, keep an eye on the score of the Brazil-Iraq men’s soccer match that starts at 9 p.m. The Brazilians tied a mediocre South African side in their opening game and need a good result here to appease local fans of the country’s national game. Traditional power Brazil is in a bit of a slump, having only won silver in London and then getting blown out — on home turf, no less — by Germany 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup semifinal.)
The U.S. women's basketball team begins its quest for a sixth straight gold medal with a game vs. Senegal (NBCSN, 11 a.m. ET). There’s also beach volleyball (see the U.S. women’s team of Fendrick and Sweat at 10 a.m. ET and the men’s team of Dalhausser and Lucena at 4:15 p.m., both on MSNBC) and women's rugby. The U.S. Eagles — that’s the nickname of the American rugby teams — play powerhouse Australia for a spot in the quarterfinals at noon on USA.
Keep an Eye on Men’s Fencing ... Yes, Fencing.
American fans should pay attention to the the men’s individual foil fencing competition (preliminaries at 12 ET and gold medal at 4:15 p.m. on MSNBC). All three of the men have been ranked No. 1 in the world (Alex Massialas is the current No. 1) and all are medal contenders. Miles Chamley-Watson, the 2013 world champion, even has a sick move named after him. (Watson and teammate Race Imboden also are models.) This is the best men’s fencing team in U.S. Olympic history.
Day 1 Recap
Story of the Day: Joe Theismann Redux
During the men’s gymnastics team preliminaries, French gymnast Samir Ait Said, a four-time European medalist on the rings, missed his landing on the vault, breaking his leg in a gruesome fashion. (Don’t click to watch unless you have a strong stomach. The break is gnarly.) To add insult to injury, the paramedics carrying him out to the ambulance dropped the stretcher, landing him hard on the ground. Ouch. (For those that don’t remember, it was as graphic as former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann’s injury, the gold standard in gruesome injuries).
The first (and only of the day) U.S. gold medal was won by a 19-year-old West Virginia University sophomore in the 10-meter air rifle. She’s the reigning NCAA champion but only began shooting five years ago. Her original Olympic dream was to be a figure skater.
In swimming, the U.S. women’s 4x100 freestyle team beat the world record in the finals. Unfortunately, the Australians also beat the world record and the Americans by 1.24 seconds to win the gold. Katie Ledecky, who is expected to be one of the stars of this year’s Games, picked up her first medal. More impressive, teammate Dana Vollmer also picked up her first medal, becoming just the second American swimmer ever to medal after giving birth.
Love is in the air for the British team, which features four couples on its roster. Something else was in the air for men’s basketball players DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan and DeMar DeRozan, who were caught by TMZ going to a brothel, though they claimed later that they thought it was just a nightclub. (USA Today just shrugged, "Who cares?")