What should have been a look back at the Olympic weekend has now shifted dangerously close to the middle of the week. Should we just take the easy way out and call it "weekend wrap-up on tape delay"? (If "tape delay" as a term is not familiar to you, gentle reader, because you have other sources than NBC to receive coverage of the Olympics, feel free to just ignore this statement and also my slight frustration because of this practice.)
Let's just look at some highlights from the last couple days (and let's do it in Dewey order):
Beach volleyball (796.32582): After an all-American final, veteran players Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings came up on top to win gold earlier today. Beach volleyball has been part of the Olympic summer program as an official sport since 1996. In the sense used in the DDC throughout 796–799, beach volleyball counts as a variant of regular volleyball, rather than a different sport. It is fundamentally similar to regular volleyball except for the team size (two players instead of six), the playing surface (sand vs. a hard court) and some other minor differences. Therefore, beach volleyball is classed in 796.32582 as a variant of volleyball (796.325).
Tennis (796.342): This a sport that is rather new in the Olympic program; it came back in 1988 (after it was dropped from the program in 1924) when the IOC finally decided that professional athletes were eligible to compete. Congratulations to Great Britain's own Andy Murray (he is Scottish) for winning gold after a gripping match! Great Britain has had amazingly succesful Olympics so far (22 gold medals, 48 medals total), the country's best result since 1908!
Artistic gymnastics (796.442): Events concluded yesterday, a disappointment for many fans, I am sure, who could have gone on watching these accomplished atheletes perform forever. (The men's horizontal bar event yesterday was downright riveting, with the Netherlands besting Germany for the gold medal!) But, alas, rhythmic gymnastics is still coming up (796.443)!
Weightlifting (796.41): The competition wrapped up yesterday with the super heavyweight event, during which defending champion Mathias Steiner of Germany lost his balance and a 196-kilogram barbell crashed down on his neck. Luckily, he seemed all right and left the arena under his own power! Gold and silver medals went to Iran.
Trampoline (796.474): Gold for China and Canada on Friday and Saturday, respectively. This is a new number that was published as part of an overhaul of gymnastics to WebDewey in 2008 and in printed form in 2011 for DDC 23.
Shooting (799.31): The shooting events came to a close on Monday. (As an aside, archery had its last event on Friday, and apparently had the highests cable ratings of all sports! An NBC spokesmen called it the "new curling." Could "Brave" or "The Hunger Games" have had anything to do with this?) NPR aired a brilliant feature on Monday about bronze medallist Matt Emmons and his efforts of overcoming the fear of the last shot (which he had botched a couple of times before). The piece reminded me why shooting is so different from any other sport on the program. In shooting, there is no way to turn adrenaline to your advantage. The whole point is to eliminate involuntary body movements (just look at the clothing: heavily padded leather jackets, shooting gloves, etc.). Reliance on muscle memory to help performing is very limited. For the whole series, a shooter will be in a silent dialog with her body to not move.
Well, lots of exciting events still to come in the next four days of competition. An event I particularly look forward to every "Olympiad" is modern pentathlon (it is in an including note at 796).