Oh, we will get to gold-medalist in douche-baggery Ryan Lochte’s shenanigans in a moment, trust. But first! After ELEVEN (11!) long days and nights of Olympic coverage, NBC finally unlocked the closet door they had shoved her behind and allowed Mary Carillo to do what she does best: a tangentially-related cultural tape piece! MARY CARILLO IS FREE! PRAISE TO THE HIGH RIO OLYMPIC MASCOT VINICIUS, OUR PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED AT LONG LAST!
Late into last night’s broadcast, Bob Costas welcomed our long-forgotten hero into the studio where he set the bar high, saying that what Mary Carillo was about to present was his “favorite piece she’s ever done.”
And then it turns out that Mary Carillo’s whole piece — the one we waited for breathlessly for almost two weeks — is about that song, “The Girl from Ipanema.”
Things I learned about “The Girl from Ipanema”:
- The Girl from Ipanema is still alive and well and in her 70s
- The Girl from Ipanema has a gooooood plastic surgeon, like, the BEST plastic surgeon in Brazil
- “The Girl from Ipanema” is a bossanova tune
- Bossanova is a mix of samba and jazz
- Brazil was very sad until the 1950s but then bossanova and soccer happened
- Carmen Miranda — I don’t know, just “Carmen Miranda”
- “The Girl from Ipanema” is the second-most recorded song of all time
- “Yesterday” is the most recorded song of all time
- Bob Costas knows all the words to “The Girl from Ipanema”
THANK YOU, MARY CARILLO! THAT WAS DEFINITELY WORTH THE WAIT, MARY CARILLO!
In other, more hilarious news: Ryan Lochte.
Sooooooooo, last week, swim brah Ryan Lochte claimed that he and some other American swimmers had been robbed at gunpoint by men posing as police officers. As Lochte so eloquently explained in an interview with Billy Bush: “And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’”
Lochte then got onto an airplane, flew back to the States and retired to his JEAH! palace, where he expected to be forgotten until the 2020 Olympics, or in the event that E! suddenly had a vacancy on its Kardashian-swollen schedule. As it turns out, Lochte was not that lucky.
Before last night’s primetime coverage, a Brazilian judge had become suspicious of Lochte and the swimmers’ stories when some of the facts didn’t line up. Notably: the swimmers claimed they were stopped by the robbers around 4 a.m., but the people they were at the party with claimed they didn’t leave until nearly dawn AND security footage of the swimmers returning to Olympic Village seems to have been taken around 7 a.m. Additionally, the security footage shows Lochte and the other swimmers remarkably calm for having just had a cocked gun waved in their faces. And, also, too, did some of them have their wallets in their hands as they passed through security? The wallets that were supposedly stolen? Because all these things didn’t add up, the Brazilian judge ordered all of the swimmers’ to stay in the country and have their passports confiscated so that they could be questioned further.
By the time NBC had gone on the air, things had become even crazier. Halfway through the Olympic coverage, Bob Costas and Matt Lauer inform us that two of the other three swimmers had been yoinked off their flight back to Houston by Brazilian authorities, and no one had any idea where the third swimmer even was. INTRIGUE! Matt Lauer also told us that he talked to Ryan Lochte, still safely in the United States, who was like, “BRAH, I’M NOT LYING, SERIOUSLY, JEAH. I mean, maybe the robbers didn’t pull us over, maybe they robbed us at a gas station, but otherwise, I’M NOT LYING, BRAH.” And this is where NBC had to leave the story last night.
As of this morning, things had become a lot more clear. The three other swimmers were taken in for several hours of questioning before being released — so there all fine. They’re all lying liars, as it turns out, but they’re fine. Security footage from the gas station in question was obtained by Brazilian police, and it showed that the swimmers pulled over to use the bathroom. Apparently something –GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT — happened in said bathroom and a door was damaged. The swimmers got into an argument with the manager and a security guard over the door and the security guard pulled a gun on them. Eventually, the Americans paid for the damage before returning to the Olympic Village. And then, FOR NO GOOD REASON, Ryan Lochte got on twitter and agreed to be interviewed by Billy Bush and Matt Lauer and lied and lied and lied and lied for no good reason, inciting an international incident.
So, way to go, dum-dums! Thanks for representing us on the world stage, guys! Gold medals all around!
As far as the actual sports coverage itself, last night was mostly about track and field events, some of which were actually interesting.
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The Men’s 200m semifinals were last night, which I would normally not even bother discussing except that Usain Bolt was running. After turning himself into an instant meme on Saturday when he grinned at the cameras as he crossed the finish line first during the 100m:
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…this mofo goes on to share a laugh with his fellow runner (and training partner) Andre de Grasse as they’re crossing the finish line together:
I mean, look at those poor guys behind them who are RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES — AND FOR WHAT? This is just a semifinal! It’s not like it’ll even be remembered that they participated! They are literally some of the fastest human beings on the planet! All those years training for this! Their big Olympic moment! And not only do Bolt and De Grasse blow past them as though they don’t exist, completely eliminating their opportunities to come in 8th in an Olympic final, THEY’RE GIGGLING WHILE THEY DO IT.
Elsewhere, the Women’s 200m final happened, and Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson won, because Jamaica just owns all of the sprints now, everyone else shouldn’t even bother, just stay home. Team USA’s Tori Bowie came in third, edged out by the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers — whom the announcers solemnly declared was “desperate not to go home empty-handed.” You know, as opposed to everyone else at the Olympics who don’t care much one way or the other. Fortunately for Schippers, she took the silver and can let go of her desperation already.
The Women’s Long Jump also took place last night, of which we saw bits and pieces, hardly enough to fit together what was actually happening. The ladies? They jumped far? And the Americans, they jumped the farthest? Google tells me that Team USA’s Tianna Bartoletta won the gold after jumping some 7.17 meters, or 23.52 feet, which seems like a really long way to jump. Not that I have any context, though. I couldn’t jump 2 feet, so the mere idea of jumping 23.5 feet is comical to me.
The other event last night that was a Big Deal was the Women’s 100m Hurdles, in which Team USA swept the medals, making history.
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Brianna Rollins won the gold. Fun fact about Brianna: today is her 25th birthday! Happy birthday, Brianna!
Nia Ali won the silver. Fun fact about Nia: her son’s name is Titus Maximus! Which is a lot of name for a 15-month-old! He’s adorable!
Kristi Castlin won the bronze. Fun fact about Kristi: she wears bindis when she runs, giving her a signature look! Also, her father was shot and killed when she was 12 years old. Also, she was at Virginia Tech during the horrific mass shooting, and often dedicates her runs to victims of gun violence.
I suppose those last two facts aren’t “fun,” exactly.
In any event: U!S!A! U!S!A! U!S!A!
NBC does a better job of covering the first night of the Men’s Decathlon than they did of the Women’s Heptathlon, actually showing us some of each of the five events (100m; long jump; shot put; high jump; and 400m) that took place yesterday. I’m sure a large part of this was thanks to the fact that the leader in the Decathlon is Handsome American Ashton Eaton. He incidentally happens to be married to Canadian Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who won bronze in said Women’s Heptathlon the other night, and the couple star together in that one VISA commercial that has been running incessantly during these Olympics.
ANYWAY. As of last night, Eaton was leading the Decathlon thanks to winning the long jump and the 400m, and chances are he’ll probably win the whole shebang tonight. But before we move on, can we just talk about how the most dangerous job in these Olympics has to be Shot Put Judge? These guys stand out in a field and wait for giants to lob 16 lb. metal balls in their general direction. That is not a safe job! They should get hazard pay! It makes me so nervous to watch! DON’T STAND THERE, DUMMIES, YOU’RE GOING TO GET BRAINED!
NBC also briefly — and somewhat confusingly — discusses the Men’s Steeplechase final, which had you asked me before yesterday I would have sworn was only an equestrian event, not a people event. Apparently, someone looked at a horse race that involved jumping over tall hurdles called steeples and splashing through water hazards and thought to themselves, “You know what would make this race better? Do away with the horses.” And that’s how ponyplay became an Olympic event.
Two notable things happen in this Steeplechase: 1. One Ugandan runner failed to leap over the steeple, and instead just ran right into it face first, which seems like a poor strategy. And 2. American Evan Jager wins the silver. This is remarkable because the day before, the man-bunned Jager lent his hair tie to Team USA’s women’s Steeplechase runner, Emma Coburn, and she went on to win bronze. And so basically, this hair tie deserves its own medal.
We then go to the diving pool for Women’s 10m Platform preliminaries, and let’s just save us all some time here: NOPE.
And we end the night with Women’s Beach Volleyball, where Team USA’s Walsh and Ross competed against Brazil’s top seeded team for the BRONZE. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. When we catch up with the game, USA has already lost one set, and things aren’t looking too promising in the second. However, somehow, Walsh and Ross are able to climb out of a deficit and win the second set 21-17. They then go on to win the third and final set, snatching the bronze out of the Brazilians’ tanned hands. And now I don’t have to think about beach volleyball for another four years, goodnight.
In his last night of the Olympics, Bobby will be covering Usain Bolt going for the gold in the 200m and memes; as well as the women’s beach volleyball final, maybe some diving, who knows. Who knows!