Walik Edwards Presents: Rocky Would Be Proud
For 2012, it's good to be an American watching the Olympics. Seriously, there have been countries just mailing it in. If you watched Romania and China's women gymnasts stumble their way towards TV time on Sunday night, you would think "America's Funniest Videos" got traded to NBC, and thought AFV has suddenly become more tragic than funny.
Then there's the USA.
We, of course had to watch Jordyn Wieber break down putting her chalky hands over her face as she missed the All-Around competition because of the "two per country" rule. This is Olympic gymnastics' kin to the "one team represented in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game" rule, which had Bela Karolyi burning doin' The Neutron Dance.
(This is actually my personal highlight of Olympic coverage when Bob Costas asks Karolyi about this rule and Bela starts to go off on it, then Bob goes into "It's like if the third best team in the SEC and ACC get into the NCAA Tournament", which meant absolutely nothing to Bela, who sat there with a dazed "I'll sit here and smile, he'll be done, and I can go back to my room and watch 'The Artist' in my hotel room." Costas, however, kept his smug look and continued to feel good about himself.)
(By the way, did anybody see a version of "The Dark Knight Rises" were you understood at least thirty percent of what Bane said? Just asking.)
Anyway, after all the sadness was gone, then came Thursday night where NBC was must-watch once again for the night. Someone named Gabby Douglas won the All-Around gold medal, and there was unfortunate history made.
Before anyone e-mails Russ Cohen with hate mail (because that's where the responsibility lies with letting heathens like me on family websites like Sportsology), the accomplishment is great. Gabby blew 'em all away, and hopefully, for a little while, she will be someone other African-American girls can look at as someone who accomplished something practically unheard of from someone of her ethnicity, and someone positive, period.
The unfortunate part is that I had to spend good word space talking about her ethnicity, and not her being a champion. It's a shame that most of the media has jumped on the story being one of ethnicity, with skill and the Rudy-esque value of the story second.
I guess we can't sweep under the rug that she became the first African-American to win a team and individual gymnastics medal, but hopefully when the dust settles, we can crown as just a champion, and possibly do something about the unfortunate nickname of "The Flying Squirrel."
Really, they're probably getting drunk of their bottoms in Frostbite Falls right now led by Bullwinkle Moose doing funnels of Moosehead Beer (if there is such a thing, but let's believe it so for comedy's sake), leading the masses in a continuous chorus of "Tubthumping" by Chumbawumba.
(Sorry, I'm hearing Bullwinkle sing that song in my head and I just spit out my juice. One second please.....)
Instead of having the girl have to carry around a name which is synonomous with short, no-neck evil Russian dudes plotting beeg tra-bool for Moose and them, is there no other nickname we can come up with? You know, if the girl needs a nickname and all.
The point being, Gabby Douglas, I think, saved the gymanstics portion of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Lots of it was bad, with the ladies stumbling after doing their somersault passes, not making one complete spin during their dance numbers on the floor exercises, and how many fell off the side of the mat after doing their saults off the pommel horse? 5? 17? It looked like too much partying the night before, and since all of the ladies average about 86 pounds in weight it wouldn't be hard to believe, if almost all of them weren't underage of course.
Congratulations Gabby Douglas. We'll find you a nickname.