Just past the halfway point of the Olympics, here are a few “David Citations,” for the interesting, inspirational and weird:
HE APPARENTLY THOUGHT IT WAS A REGULAR ‘POTLUCK’: Nick Depopolo, an American judo athlete who was disqualified after marijuana was found in his system, said the positive test was “caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize had been baked with marijuana.”
MOST HEARTWARMING GESTURE: Kiani James, who won the 400-meter hurdles, after the race immediately went over to Oscar Pictorius, the South African double amputee who reached the semifinals and asked to trade name bibs with him as a salute the perseverance and courage shown by the South African athlete.
WHEN A BOTTLE IS MEAN A ‘DUTCH TREAT’: English spectator Gil Webb was ejected from the Games for tossing a bottle onto the track before the men’s 100 meters. Edith Bosch, a Dutch star in judo, later tweeted she was sitting behind Webb and roughed him up after he threw the bottle. “I’m not suggesting vigilantism but it was actually poetic justice that he happened to be sitting next to a judo player,” said Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London organizing committee.
MOST DRAMATIC MOMENT: Alex Morgan’s looping header gave the U.S. women’s soccer team a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory against Canada in the semifnals to end a back-and-forth match rated as one of the greatest ever played in Olympic competition.
IT WAS HEADED FOR THE RAMPARTS: As the Star-Spangled Banner was played during the gold medal ceremony for tennis player Serena Williams, right before the msic came to the part “and our flag was still there,” a gust of wind blew the American flag off the pole.
MOST TOUCHING MOMENTS: Eric Barrondo, who won Guatemala’s first gold medal in the Olympics, pleaded for peace in his country. Felix Sanchez, after winning the 400 meters, pulling a picture of his late grandmother that was attached to his racing outfit, placing it onto the track and kissing it.
MOST APPROPRIATELY NAMED ATHLETE: Usain Bolt
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO?: Germany, which used to be right at the top of the medal standings.
MOST MARKETABLE ATHLETE: U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin, who has four gold medals, a brilliant smile and a captivating personality,
BEST ANALYST: Former U.S. swim star Rowdy Gaines, who has a great knack to telling you exactly what you are about to ask.
STRANGEST SPORTS THAT MANY VIEWERS ASK ‘WHERE DID THEY COME FROM’: Synchronized swimming and team handball.
BEST EXPLANATION OF TEAM HANDBALL: What is created when hockey, basketball and soccer have a major collision.
GOOD QUESTION: Why, in the equestrian events, doesn’t the horse, who does at least half of the work and must be as disciplined as any of the human athletes, get something?
(Sports columnist David MCCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)