Laura Trott killing it in the omnium
Hands up who else is obsessed with watching the Olympics? Here are our best bits from yesterday's action.
Thursday 18th August
You’ll remember Jade Jones from London 2012 – she won gold aged just 19 in the taekwondo…which you’d probably never watched before but soon realised was absolutely brilliant. Well, the Welsh 23-year-old retained her title in a nail biting final with a very evenly matched Eva Calvo Gomez of Spain. If you didn’t stay up until 2am to watch it we highly recommend catching up on the iPlayer. It’s only three 2 minute rounds, and it’s totally worth it.
The Brownlee Brother strike again
It was gold AND silver for Team GB in the triatholon. Alistair Brownlee became the first triathlete to ever retain their Olympic gold medal, while younger brother Jonny finished shortly behind him. They were so far ahead of everyone else that Alistair has time to collect a Union Flag and slow down to watch his brother finish. Talk about cool…
Sailing (finally) wins
Best friends Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark were finally able to claim their gold in the 470 sailing. They knew they’d won two days ago but had another round to complete, which was postponed yesterday due to bad weather. Team GB’s medal gold medal total now stands at a whopping 22.
Wednesday 17th August
Jolly hockey sticks
Team GB’s amazing hockey team have made it into the final – for the first time ever! The girls smashed their way there by beating New Zealand 3-0, and will face the Netherlands on Friday. They are the absolute epitome of girl power; such brilliant team spirit, support for each other and heart-warming celebrations at the end of the match made us want to take up the sport immediately.
While we’re on the subject…
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny aren’t the only golden couple in Rio; hockey’s Kate and Helen Richard-Walsh are the first same sex couple to compete together in an Olympic games. They’ve been playing hockey together since they were teenagers and have been married for three years. Let’s hope they follow in Laurson’s success and pick up a gold medal each on Friday!
Wait, what? We’re STILL second in the medals table?!
Yep. Only the USA ahead of us. And we’re still beating China. Go us.
Tuesday 16th August
The Golden Couple
All eyes are on Laura Trott and Jason Kenny this morning, the engaged couple who won two more gold medals last night to add to their growing collection (they now have 10 between them). First Laura absolutely killed it in the omnium’s final events – no other competitors were close to catching her, such was her grit and determination to win. Then Jason won the keirin after a nail-biting final. It had to be restarted twice after a very complicated mess up with Derny Guy (a man on a little moped) which I won’t go into detail about now…the main thing is, he won! Incredible fact: if Laurson (yes, we’ve made them a collective) were a country, they would be 13th on the medal table, above Spain, New Zealand and Brazil. Wow.
How much do we love little Amy Tinkler?!
LOADS is the answer. The youngest member of Team GB, who missed the European Gymnastic Championships in June because she was busy studying for her GCSEs, won a surprise bronze in the floor exercise yesterday. That’s only the third medal in gymnastics ever won by a British woman. The 16-year-old’s next thing to look forward to? Getting her results when she returns from Rio.
Simone Biles is so amazing Zac Efron flew to Rio to see her
Apparently when asked what her dream was earlier this year, American superstar gymnast Simone Biles didn’t say it was to win five Olympic medals (she bagged four golds and a bronze). No, her dream was to meet Zac Efron. Turns out they are mutual fans as following his tweets to wish her good luck, he flew out to Rio to congratulate her in person. What a nice guy!
Monday 15th August
Laura Trott is a total badass
Team GB is GREAT at cycling, and we’re pretty obsessed with total badass Laura Trott, who is on course to retain her gold medal in the omnium. The what?! Basically, it’s a multi-discipline cycling contest, and our Laura is in the lead after smashing it in the scratch race, individual pursuit and the elimination round (she was the last woman standing). She has three more races to go – GO LAURA!
The great-grandma coach with all the skills
Setting Team GB aside for a minute, let’s take a look at the 74-year-old great-grandmother who is breaking records at the Olympics in Rio. Anna Botha is the coach of South African sprinter Wayde Van Niekerk, who set a new world record in the 400m. We want to be like Anna when we’re in our seventies please!
How to swap ballet for hammer throwing
What happens when you decide to swap ballet for athletics? Sometimes, it means you win a bronze medal in hammer throwing. Sophie Hitchon wasn’t expected to pick up a medal yesterday, but she broke the British record and is the first Brit to win an Olympic medal in the discipline since 1924; the first EVER woman to win an Olympic hammer throwing medal. Nice one, Sophie.
Horse dancing: it's a thing
Charlotte Dujardin and her horse Valegro retained their gold medal in the individual dressage, which is, amazingly, horse dancing. Valegro trotted his way through a samba routine (we’re not making this up, honest), which is even more amazing when you consider he had to fly half way across the world for the privilege. Do horses like flying? Doubt it, but it sure looks like they love dancing!
Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August
(AKA Super Saturday and Even More Super Sunday)
Max Whitlock was a total boss
23-year-old baby faced Max Whitlock won Britain’s first EVER gold medal in the gymnastics yesterday…and quickly won another just 75 minutes later. BOOM! The first came on the floor, where he tumbled to victory, and the second on the pommel horse, where he beat fellow Brit Louis Smith into silver. Yep. That’s two golds and a silver in the gymnastics in less than two hours. Whatever next?
Coming first AND second becomes A Thing for Team GB
As well as Max and Louis, cyclists Jason Kenny and his roommate Callum Skinner went head-to-head in the sprint final. Kenny won the gold – his 6th Olympic medal and 5th gold. Sadly it didn’t pan out the same as hoped in the Heptathlon, where Jessica Ennis-Smith won silver while Katarina Johnson-Thompson finished in sixth.
Andy Murray continues in ‘best year ever’
First he became a dad, then he won Wimbledon, and after being chosen to be Team GB’s flag bearer he said it was ‘by far my proudest moment’. But last night he won his second Olympic gold medal after beating Juan Martin del Potro in the tennis singles final. Andy, a self-proclaimed feminist, also slammed BBC presenter John Inverdale for saying that he was the first person to win two gold medals. ‘Venus and Serena [Williams] have won four each’, Murray shot back. Touché!
Mo-ing for gold
It was a tense 10,000m race for Mo Farah on Saturday night, after he fell over on the track half way through the race. Proving why he’s the best in the world, though, he picked himself up, dusted himself off and stormed to victory to retain his title in a thrilling sprint finish. Watch out for Mo in the 5,000m on Wednesday.
Second in the table
With all that medal winning (plus a load more including from cyclists Laura Trott and Bradley "Funny Face" Wiggins and Co, long jumper Greg Rutherford and golfer Justin Rose), Team GB now find themselves in the extraordinary position of second in the medals table, behind the USA. And in front of EVERYONE else. AMAZING!
Wednesday 10th August
More diving delights
GOLD! Jack Laugher and Chris Mears won Britain’s first EVER gold in a diving event in the 3m springboard yesterday. The pool was still green and it was dark and raining, but that only worked to the advantage of the Brits (apparently hot favourites China HATE diving in the rain, poor lambs). The pair, who live together in Leeds, have two empty picture frames at home. They’ve been waiting to fill them with photos of themselves on the podium. Talk about believing in yourself…
Obsessed with gymnastics
We literally can’t get enough of watching the gymnastics. Why isn’t it on TV more often?! Last night was the men’s all-round, which basically means you have to be dead good at all six of the apparatus; rings, high bar, vault, parallel bars, floor and pommel horse. Skills. We’ve traditionally not been that good at it. In fact, the last time a Brit won a medal in the all-round was 108 years ago, when they still classed ‘climbing up a rope’ as one of the disciplines! So massive props to Max Whitlock for his bronze medal win.
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Joe Clarke managed to bag us another first place in the canoe slalom (it’s a crazy exciting game to watch that one, highly recommend catching it on the red button). Plus there were bronze medals for Chris Froome in the cycling time trial, Steven Scott in the double trap shooting and Sally Conway in the judo. Woo hoo!
Tuesday 9th August
In what has been described as the most talented set of competitors in any Olympics, kudos to Team GB’s girls (which included the brilliantly named Claudia Fragapane and Amy Tinkler) who came a close 5th in last night’s team final. But all eyes are on Simone Biles from the USA, who is set to be the first gymnast ever to win 5 gold medals in a single Olympics if she carries on in the individual events the way she did last night. And she’s only 4ft9”!
More synchronised diving last night and this time it was the turn of the women, but the talk turned more to the colour of the water in the pool than the actual diving. For some reason, it was a murky shade of green. EW! Officials are yet to explain why it wasn’t the same crystal blue as the previous evening (though rumours varied from algae to fake tan – LOL - being the cause) but it didn’t stop the competition. Britain’s Tonia Couch and Lois Toulson came 5th in what was a nail biting contest. Hope everyone’s feeling OK this morning!
Another swimming medal for Team GB
A fantastic silver medal win for Siobhan-Marie O’Connor in the 200m medley, and at only 0.3 seconds off gold too. The men’s relay team also bagged us another silver. Yay!
Monday 8th August
Olympic poster boy Tom Daley and his new diving partner Dan Goodfellow won bronze in the sychronised 10m diving. Yay! They were up against it though, having to go last in a really close group, which meant that their final dive counted for everything. No pressure, then! They nailed it though, so no wonder they celebrated by hugging their way into the pool! Tom now has a little over a week to relax in Brazil before he competes in the individual event.
We came fourth in a bunch of events...
We didn't half enjoy watching our guys and gals compete in the rugby, swimming and gymnastics, but you've really got to feel for them when they come so close to winning a medal. Special shout out to our boys in the artistic gymnastics - how do they even do all that amazing spinning and tumbling stuff? Skills.
...but we did win another bronze
Congratulations to Ed Ling, who bagged a bronze in the trap shooting event. Not going to lie, it was a little less exciting to watch but every medal counts!
Love on the rugby pitch
Rugby sevens was a new sport at the Olympics this year, and although host nation Brazil finished 9th, they were the first to have a proposal on the pitch. Marjorie Enya, a volunteer manager at the Deodoro Stadium where the rugby took place, proposed to her girlfriend, Brazilian rubgy player Isadora Cerullo, saying "she is the love of my life. I wanted to show people that loves wins". Congratulations, ladies!
Sunday 7th August
There’s something about swimmers’ relatives that just makes them the BEST supporters – who remembers Burt Le Clos totally stealing the show at the Aquatics Centre in London 2012? But there’s a new mega-fan in town in the form of ‘Olympic Nan’, AKA gold medal winner Adam Peaty’s granny, Mavis Williams, aged 74. To say Mavis is proud would be an understatement – just look at her Twitter feed. Legend!
Which brings us nicely on to Adam Peaty himself, who not only won our first medal of the games in the 100 metre breaststroke – a gold no less – but smashed the world record in the heats and then AGAIN in the final. And he’s only 21! More good news in the pool came from Jazz Carlin who won silver in the 400 metre freestyle.
An unexpected interest in rugby
‘I’m really enjoying watching the rugby’ was a sentence I never thought I’d hear myself utter, but how great were Team GB’s ladies in the rugby sevens yesterday? Having beaten Brazil, Japan, Canada and Fiji already, they face New Zealand in the semi-final today at 7pm. And don’t be put off watching if you’re not usually a rugger fan – the sevens games are much quicker and the rules easier to understand.
Our totally badass teams of girls
As well as the rugby girls, we’ve got some inspirational ladies in our hockey team (they beat one of the favourites, Australia – keep up the good work!) and in gymnastics, too. Special shout out to Ellie Downie who, after landing on her head during a tumble and injuring her neck, got up and carried on competing in the vault. What a girl!
The 41-year-old gymnast. Yes, FORTY ONE!
Of course, I’m mostly concentrating on Team GB, but I couldn’t not mention Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan who is competing in her seventh Olympic Games. When you consider that many gymnasts are just teenagers, how amazing is it to be competing aged 41? Really amazing.