Is it possible the 2012 Olympics might’ve peaked on Day 4? There was Allison Schmitt’s Olympic record-setting Gold-medal performance in the 200 freestyle. There was the triumph of the U.S. “Fab 5” — oh those vaults! and oh the injustice of McKayla Maroney’s imperfect vault score! — in the Women’s Gymnastics Team Final. But for me, the most thrilling part of NBC’s primetime coverage had to be the finals of the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay.
Granted, NBC’s commentators did a great/slightly sadistic job of pumping up the suspense — heralding Frenchman Yannick Agnel as such an enormous threat to relay anchor Michael Phelps that it seemed like he’d be swallowed whole if his trio of teammates (Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, and Ricky Berens) didn’t give him a half a pool length’s advantage before he leapt off the blocks in an effort to make his record 19th Olympic medal a Gold one. But the threat never really materialized: Lochte led the U.S. to a long lead in Leg 1, while Dwyer and Berens maintained that sizeable advantage, setting Phelps up for a leg that was more an exhibition of his awesome power than a nailbiter of a finish. Not even dopey interview questions from poolside reporter Andrea Kremer (“what was your strategy as far as getting to the lead?”) could kill the buzz.
What was your favorite moment of Day 4? So many to choose from! That said, was anyone else annoyed by the relentless “Jordyn Wieber is relying on her teammates now?” mantra from the gymnastics commentators? Or the number of times they replayed Aly Raisman’s mom screaming support at the expense of showing actual other sporting events? Sound off in the comments!Follow @MichaelSlezakTV