Olympics Watch: What Was Your Favorite Moment from London 2012, Day 5?

nathan adrianI’ve come to realize over the last few days that I’m really partial to Olympic swimming events. Nobody purposely tries to throw a race to avoid tougher matchups down the pike (see badminton). There are no pesky judges to witness a thing of perfection — like McKayla Maroney’s flawless vault — then score it like there were hidden glitches only they could see. And swimming is straightforward: Eight people get in the water and start paddling, one of ’em touches the finish wall first. In other words, inconsistent folks at NBC don’t get to pick and choose which parts of the event we see or don’t.

Maybe that’s why, for me, the best moment of the network’s primetime telecast of Day 5 was Nathan Adrian’s seemingly impossible victory in the Men’s 100 Freestyle. The guy looked hopelessly beaten in the final lap of the race, but managed to dig deep in the final strides to nip James “The Missile” Magnussen by one-100th of a second and earn himself a Gold medal. The nail-biting nature of the race, combined with the mixture of shock and joy on Adrian’s face when he realized he’d triumphed on the world’s biggest stage, was simply awesome.

Take nothing away from ridiculously adorable Danell Leyva surging late to take home the Bronze in the men’s gymnastics individual all-around competition (his performance on the horizontal bars was so powerful, I thought those things might break in two), or the dominance of Japan’s Kohei Uchimura to get the Gold, or even the thrilling floor routine by Silver medalist Marcel Nguyen of Germany. It’s just that NBC showed us so little of the all-arounds — zeroing in on Leyva’s competitors only when they made huge errors, skipping the still rings altogether, ignoring the bulk of Nguyen’s rotations — that it was difficut to truly get engrossed.

What was your favorite moment of Day 5? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Patty Stamps says:

    Nathan Adrian winning the gold in the Mens 100 Free!

  2. Janey says:

    As a Brit, it was the moment we’d all been waiting for – a gold medal! And not only one, but two! And not only gold, but a gold medal in women’s rowing, followed by a dominant cycling gold from the reigning Tour de France champion.

    Sir Bradley of Wiggins, and Helen Glover and Heather Stannard – well done!

  3. Grant says:

    Agree with you on the swimming preference Michael but definitely the highlight of the Games so far was the South African swimmer Chad le Clos pipping Michael Phelps to the post and the reaction of Le Clos’s father who was as overwhelmed and tearful as his son. Lump in throat stuff …

  4. Jay says:

    Man, seeing that Japanese gymnast lose gold (and tumble all the way down to eighth) after that terrible balance platform routine was pretty horrendous to watch…

  5. Katie says:

    I don’t think the choice of what parts of an event are shown are up to NBC. At least here in Germany the commentators – especially in gymnastics – often complain that they get the material directly from the Olympics direction team and cannot choose themselves which competitors they focus on.

    • Julie says:

      NBC delays the coverage in the US and shows it in primetime (8pm-midnight). I’ve been vacationing in Canada and watching several events live on CTV where they show A) more than just the US athletes and B) more than just the Canadian athletes. They also don’t waste as much time cutting into exciting moments to show some interview (really annoying to “miss” things because of an interview when the events aren’t even on live). In fact I’m watching the women’s all-around now on CTV and will be interested to compare the coverage on NBC when they air it in prime time (in about 7-10 hours).

      • Kevin C. says:

        I’m expecting new levels of idiocy/jingoism/outrage based on not understanding how things work in tonight’s gymnastics coverage.

        It’ll be hard to beat the first two nights of NBC women’s gymnastics coverage, but I’m sure they can pull it off.

        • BTM says:

          Oh, NBC has been notorious for years on end. It’s the jingoism that irks me the most. Other people are doing beautiful work, too. Let’s see some of it!

      • Katie says:

        Ah, I did not know that. Gosh, if the original Olympics coverage of gymnastics is already this bad, how abysmal must NBC’s be??

  6. Nathan Adrian, that cutie-pie, who was all but overlooked by the NBC coverage going into the face, coming out with the victory. I find it so odd that the NBC prior to the race was about Magnussen, and we saw his parents in the crowd, but not the Adrians.

  7. Dino says:

    I remember when NBC actually had decent Olympics coverage. Now, they relegated the men’s all-around to the 10 o’clock hour, and only showed a handful of routines. For shame, NBC. For shame.

    That being said, Danell Leyva’s father is too adorable.

  8. George says:


  9. RUCookie says:

    Dino – I completely agree… last night was horrible again. I can’t believe that they can’t show the routines of the winners (and what about the other American, while he did not win, he dug himself out of a torture horse disaster). And there was nothing on the coverage that even spoke to the Badmitton scandal… that said, I loved the 100M win as well. I was rooting hard (even though I knew the outcome).

    Shame shame NBC. But we have time for Ryan Seacrest to give us a twitter update (ugh), and there was facebook update on late night. Show me the damn competition please!

  10. wtfnyc says:

    (1) My New Olympic Boyfriend Nathan Adrian winning and then being as adorable, charming and well-spoken as always (*cough*LOCHTE*cough*) (2) The host nation winning their first 2 gold medals! Go, Team GB!

  11. purplepjs says:

    Definitely Nathan Adrian! I’d never heard of the guy until last night. The sheer joy on his face was contagious!

    • Maggie says:

      Yeah Nathan!!! He seems like the nicest guy, super humble. So glad he has a gold after not making the team in the 50M Free

  12. Elena says:

    I loved watching Nathan Adrian take the gold in the 100 free! He was so underrated coming into these games, but he is a great swimmer. It was amazing seeing him win and his reaction afterwords.
    I’m glad I watched the gymnastics live because NBC’s coverage of the men’s all-around was abysmal. Watching it live actually built up a huge sense of suspense as about six guys were in contention for the silver and bronze. It was so amazing watching Danell Leyva come from way behind to take the bronze with HUGE routines on parallel bars and high bar!

  13. Emily says:

    The joy on Nathan Adrian’s face is one that I really hope Phelps will get to experience at least one more time before retiring. I feel so sorry for him that the media sharks keep reminding him that he’s “not at his peak” anymore. Same with Lochte after the 100 free relay. And stop overshadowing Team USA with Phelps’ “failures” and achievements. I could NOT believe that Andrea Kremer’s idea of a congratulations was “good job for being part of Michael Phelps’ historic 19th medal.” Jesus, that woman has a otherwordly gift for putting a derogatory spin on GOLD. Don’t even get her started on anything less. When swimming ends, I hope the whole team pushes her into the pool.

    But back to Adrian. Nothing better than a thrilling finish yielding a surprise gold. Go Bears!

  14. Julie says:

    Bradley Wiggins being able to carry the weight of a nation on his shoulders and make it look so easy! Also, though he didn’t medal, seeing my favorite cyclist Cancellara (Switzerland and 2008 Gold Medalist) try to defend his title with what ended up being a far worse injury than he had let on from the road race.

  15. Mína says:

    I don’t generally consider myself a shallow person and I watch these games strictly for the skill and honor, but holy hell is Nathan Adrian a perfect ten hottie. His face, body, personality, smile and existence might be the highlight of the Olympics for me.

  16. Eliza says:

    Agree with the posts about Nathan Adrian. My sister and I have become big fans of this very handsome, charming, and talented swimmer. His Gold was one of my favorite moments for sure!! Loved that smile and his sincere joy in winning. Adorable and sweet!

  17. Ali says:

    My favorite moments involved anything involving Nathan Adrian. Yowza. Me Likey.

  18. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Ridiculously adorable Danell Leyva indeed. I loved seeing the excitement on his face over getting the bronze. Yesterday was my favorite day of the Olympics because I made it through the day spoiler-free! Woo hoo! Not sure how I managed that. Pure luck, I guess. That didn’t happen today though. I’ve already had the women’s all-around event ruined for me just cuz I tried to google video on yesterday’s men’s gymnastics event. Apparently when I asked Google to show me videos of the men’s event, it thought I said women’s event. Screw you, Google. I think most news media outlets are putting spoilers in their headlines as a way of giving the finger to NBC for delaying their coverage. But that doesn’t hurt NBC, it just hurts the American viewing public.
    I do hate NBC for what they’re doing to the gymnastics coverage though. Last night I kept asking, where are the rings??? I had to ask people if the Olympics got rid of them. I really don’t understand what’s going on with NBC and why they’re butchering the coverage of certain events like that. It’s not like this is the first time the Olympics have been on delayed viewing because of time zone problems. But in previous years I’ve felt like we’ve gotten to see more of other country’s athletes, especially of those who go on to win medals instead of just the measly one or two performances we get to see of other medal-winning gymnasts this year. Also, what of the other U.S. gymnast? I only got to see 2 of his events in the all-around. I would have liked to have supported him right to the end even if he wasn’t going to medal. I suspect NBC is just trying to cram too many different things into their primetime coverage and that’s why we’re getting the shaft. I don’t think it’s necessary for them to show every single qualifying heat for swimming during the primetime. Can’t they sacrifice some of that for more gymnastics?

    • kcostell says:

      It’s part of the joys of NBC Tape-delay. If there’s an American gymnast who does well and one who doesn’t, they’ll show the winner. Showing too much of an American who came all the way down in 8th would ruin the feel-good patriotism they’re aiming for.

      Ditto for showing too many athletes from other countries doing well.

  19. forwarddad says:

    9:00 pm est Thursday and #nbcfail is showing damn volleyball again. Do they just want to drive viewers away?