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Lebron James of the U.S. dunks against Tunisia during their men's preliminary round Group A basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games on Wednesday. (MARK BLINCH/REUTERS)
Lebron James of the U.S. dunks against Tunisia during their men's preliminary round Group A basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games on Wednesday. (MARK BLINCH/REUTERS)

Usual Suspects

New Canadian deal no guarantee of star power in future Olympics Add to ...

While the public was happy for the medal winners, they really wanted to talk about the Raismans, now ubiquitous meat puppets in media coverage.

@danielstrauss: NBC is really nailing it by focusing on the two most important things in the #Olympics: Aly Raisman’s parents and Jordan Wieber crying.”

@papermagazine: Watch gymnast Aly Raisman’s parents react to her bar routine. There is something VERY Kristen Wiig about the mom”.

Droll Golf TV star David Feherty perhaps summed it best on Twitter. “@Fehertwit: Watching the gymnasts. Each of them someone’s beautiful baby girl. Can’t imagine their courage, or how proud their parents must be.”

As long as the gymnastics lasts, NBC will live by its next Raisman sighting.

The Raismans have strong competition in the parent category from a weeping Bert Le Clos, father of Chad, who hid his head in tension in the South African flag as his boy got the gold in a heartstopper versus Michael Phelps. Afterwards, Bert made the most of this barely intelligible BBC interview.

As for Aly Raisman she could only say, “@alyraisman: I love my parents.”

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Going The Extra Milos: Call it Breaking Bad, because neither payer could break the other in the third set. It’s early days, but it will be hard to top the epic tennis match between Canada’s Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as the most compelling Canadian event of the Games. There was no medal at the end, no anthems played when the Olympic record match ended in a loss for Raonic. But for sustained drama and media attention, it will be etched in many memories.

The endless match lasted 3 hours, 57 minutes, and there were 257 points, 91 winners, and 45 unforced errors and more plot twists than a season of Breaking Bad.

The match was called from a monitor back in Toronto on TSN by veteran Jim Van Horne and a largely unintelligible analyst Steven Warboys. Thank goodness words were not needed to sum up the challenge of the upstart Canadian trying to usurp the veteran Tsonga.

As the two men traded games in a third set that stretched to 25-23 for Tsonga, Twitter exploded with awe, mirth and admiration.

@tsnjamesduthie: Olympic Closing Ceremony will now include live cut-ins to Raonic/Tsonga match”, joked TSN’s James Duthie.

jstuffco Only Snoop Dogg has been on the grass longer than Raonic and Tsonga today”.

@dowbboy Raonic/ Tsonga to be released as box set in time for Xmas.” (You can follow our complete tweet stream @dowbboy.)

Raonic may or may not learn how to finish out matches against elite players, but if he does many will look back to the long day’s rally into night as a turning point.

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Rowdy Gaines of NBC with the final word on China’s 16-year-old Ye Shiwen posting a faster 50-metre freestyle time than the male Olympic champion Ryan Lochte. Many have raised the spectre of a drug scandal. “You can’t condemn her, there’s no proof,” said Gaines. Somewhere Justice Charles Dubin whispered a silent “bull feathers” in heaven.

Then there’s another way to cheer lead for the Olympics as Consortium rowing analyst Barney Williams showed after young Canadian double sculls duo Kevin Kowalyk and Michael Braithwaite were smoked in their heat. ““A valiant effort,” proclaimed the former Canadian rower. “Can you think of the motivation three years from now when you’re on Elk Lake and wondering ‘how hard do I have to train?’ They now know how hard they have to train.” When you out it that way...

Quotes that could only come from a Canadian. After failing to qualify by a large margin, sculler Kowalyk summed up the failed effort in a way only a native son could manage. “We gave her, and then we gave her some more. But it wasn’t enough.” Pass us a donut.

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Tweet Nothings: Having covered Olympics, we can tell you that fatigue will make Twitter fools of us all. That’s what a distracted Denver Post writer John Henderson learned when he inadvertently issued this tweet: “@johnhendersondp That was fun. First time I’ve been horny watching the Olympics. Thank you.”

The, ahem, personal observation followed Henderson tweets about teenage Olympic swimmers. Sending Henderson into damage control, explaining that his libidinous remark was meant to be a private note to a mature friend who’d gotten his repechage in gear.

“Good Lord, that came on the heels of a blog about a 16-year-old girl?” Henderson told Denver Westward. “I really hope nobody made that connection.” No, no, never. Course not. Okay, maybe.

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