Saturday, August 13, 2016

Grace, and ... well, not

OK. So maybe Katie Ledecky is not a cyborg.

This after she showed real human emotion after wrapping up her Olympics with a fourth gold medal last night, a gold medal that ironically sealed her rep as some sort of computer chip-based lifeform for all time. Yes, of course she won the 800, and, yes, of course she shattered the world record, finishing in 8 minutes, 4.79 seconds. Twelve seconds later -- 12 seconds! -- Jazz Carlin touched the wall for the silver.

Olympic officials immediately tested Ledecky for evidence of the banned substance Evinrude. OK, they didn't.

No, here's to Ledecky, along with the ageless Michael Phelps (another cyborg) the star of these Olympic Games so far. It's not often you see true historic greatness and realize in real time you're seeing true historic greatness, but this was one of those times.

And then there's the flip side of all that.

The flip side you could find on the soccer pitch, where Sweden upset the vaunted American women's team on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals. It marks the first time the U.S. women will not medal in an Olympic Games, and if it was kind of a Miracle-On-Ice in reverse, it was notable as much for the graceless way America's most graceless Olympian responded to it.

That Olympian, of course, is goalkeeper Hope Solo, longtime jackwagon and possible sociopath. She ought to be in jail for beating up one of her relatives, but she was in goal, instead, and later went full sore loser, whining that the best team didn't win and that Sweden had played like "cowards" because, horror of horrors, the Swedes played defensive position soccer.

Um, Ms. Jackwagon, that's not gutless. That's smart. And a winning strategy.

Not that the Swedes cared a whit what Ms. Jackwagon thought, anyway. When asked about Solo's comments, Swedish coach Pia Sundhage, who used to coach the U.S. women, gave the only worthy response.

"I don't give a crap," Sundhage said. "We're going to Rio, and she's going home."


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