The Olympics are a week away, and pressing questions remain: Will Rio be such a disaster that it makes Sochi look like a precious vacation? Will Bob Costas’s eyes catch something? Will NBC remember how to cover the Olympics without neutering both the emotion and the actual sports? (I feel like the only event it handles well is swimming.) Will a member of the Refugee Team win a medal? (PLEASE!)
In that vein….
– I cry every single time I watch it: The defining sports moment of the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta was when gymnast Kerri Strug sealed gold for the Magnificent Seven by vaulting on essentially one leg — and then of course Martha Karolyi helped her off the mat, and Bela carried her to the medal stand. But did you remember that it was so crucial because poor Dominique Moceanu underrotated and fell on both her vaults? The Magnificent Seven have been giving interviews about it, now twenty years later, and your heart will break for poor Moceanu when she remembers worrying that her dad would be mad at her. [Elle.com]
On that tip, in fact, you should watch it and cry with me. The original coverage of the ENTIRE finals — 98 minutes long – is on YouTube, led by… wait for it… John Tesh. I’ll give you the times for the final vaults, so you can skip to them if you don’t have an hour and a half to burn.
Moceanu vaults just after the 1:25:00 mark (Dominique Dawes, or as Tesh says, “Awesome Dawesome,” goes right before that), and then Strug’s first vault is at 1:28:00. Her mother’s glasses are SPECTACULAR YOU GUYS, and the moment they realize she got hurt on her first vault… I start welling up right then. And when she lands on one leg and then collapses, I lose it. That’s not just the Atlanta moment; that’s all-time, right there. What that little girl did… and then you see the swarm of people around as they try to get her out of there, and then the Russians — young Svetlana Khorkina! — start weeping…
This does make me miss a) the 7-person team, and b) NBC’s better coverage, which — amazingly – actually paid attention to the whole event and let the theatrics breathe. NBC has taken all the breath out of the Olympics now and often tips its hand by montaging things or clipping them the way it does, especially with track & field (javelin, pole vault, decathlon… they all suffer). With all its bragging about using its channels, and streaming… y’all maybe worry less about stupid virtual-reality stuff with Samsung and concentrate harder on giving the athletes — not just of our nation but of all of them — their due. THANKS.
Phew. I had feelings. Let’s get to other links.
– Speaking of the Refugee Team, S.L. Price wrote a beautiful piece about them for Sports Illustrated. The entire lead anecdote is a gut punch. If this doesn’t make you want to open your arms to your fellow man, nothing will. [SI.com]
– A couple people have compiled lists of Olympians to follow on Instagram. This one offers 15; this one, 20. John Orozco is on both lists, but he may not be present, as he hurt himself during training and won’t be able to compete. You probably CAN’T control spoilers on there, though, which is totally why I’m unfollowing USA Swimming and NBC once the Games start. [Men's Journal and Boston.com]
– At Celebitchy, here are your VMA nominees!
– The wonderful Kim France has a great post up on Girls of a Certain Age, in honor of her 2000th post. (I’m not just saying that because of her very kind shout-out to us, I promise.)
– There is a warehouse in Virginia full of patriotic parade floats. Atlas Obscura paid them a visit.
– Have you watched Stranger Things yet? I’m going to watch it this weekend. At Revelist: #WeAreAllBarb: ‘Stranger Things’ fans reveal why this unexpected character won their hearts
– Via Lainey, I am happy to bring you your Weekly John Cho.
– This headline at Washingtonian speaks for itself: Best Job Ever: The Smithsonian Is Hiring a Craft Beer Historian
– A male author wrote a totally condescending piece about two female lit agents who did not swoon over his book pitch; you can read screen shots of it here, to avoid giving that dinkface’s own blog any hits. I think my favorite commenter handle shown is Hello This Is Your Mistake Calling. [In The Inbox]
– This is interesting, at Refinery29: Exactly What Women Spend To Compete On The Bachelor
– At Pajiba, this is really good. Part of their 52 Films By Women series: The Astonishing Integrity of Gina Prince-Bythewood’s ‘Beyond the Lights’. If you haven’t seen that movie, I highly recommend it. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is fantastic in it, as is Nate Parker and — to be briefly shallow, as I often am — also often shirtless and REAL HOT.
– This piece at the New York Times, about young artists currently on display at the Met, will make everything better for you. It is absolutely wonderful.
And, if you missed anything here at GFY this week, some highlights:
- We covered SO MUCH Comic-Con, including the very very very hot cast of Black Panther
- And Swinton and Cumberbatch together at last!
- Check out these fabulous UK magazine covers.
- Jenna Dewan Tatum’s street style is super cute.
- We bring you The Biggest Style WTFs of the Summer (So Far)
- It’s the Gilmore Girls trailer!
- Brad Pitt MIGHT be in a cult now?
- FLOTUS looked fab at the DNC this week.