Okayyyyyy, so the coverage -finally- came on. As a commentor pointed out, the coverage was LIVE which is why it got the nosebleed timeslot…I am pretty sure it was about 12:30a EST when I saw the first race. No worries…staying up late isn’t that tough.
Basically, Mike Day freakin dominated. He just tore through the course. All the American men made the transfer to the medal round, I am not quite sure how to interpret the results for the ladies though. Jill Kitner is listed as 7th after first round seeding…I suppose that means she will make it to the medal round.
Overall the speeds were pretty sick. I had sort of expected it to be an event where the Americans came in 1, 2,3 every race, but man was I WRONG. The international field is blazing fast, good bike handlers, and kept the pressure on in every round. BMX gets promoted all the time as an “American” sport, but after watching these races I think of it much differently now. I don’t even think I had heard of “Latvia” before watching the races, but I sure as hell have heard of it now. Strong riders from that country..wherever it is.
Things didn’t go so well for Kyle Bennett. He did make the medal round, and will race Thursday, but this crash in one of the late heats landed him a dislocated shoulder. Kyle has been the Shawn Johnson of the BMX events, the media practically jizzing themselves silly over his feel-good down home backstory. I mean, lets be honest Kyle is a badass, but if Kyle is the Shawn Johnson, Mike Day is the Nastia Liukin…and so far has put down a better performance. The media want Kyle to get gold because his backstory has that huge touch of Americana that would be perfect fodder for pre-race video montages, rankin him up there with other Olympians we see EVERY time their event runs. What would gymnastic be without those montages of Kerri Strug rinsing it in her final vault with a broken ankle, sealing up the Team Gold for USA in 96? If Kyle pulls out a win with the bad shoulder on Thursday, the clip will be shown before every other Olympic BMX race that happens or like the next 20 years (if BMX stays in the Olympics that long).
Overall the coverage seemed pretty good. Good camera angles of the whole track. The races were run in pretty quick succession, and there were enough thrills and spills to make it exciting. Those guys make clearing the HUGE gaps they have to jump very easy, but we all know it isn’t. In fact a lot of riders opted out of the big gap which made them jump OVER the womens track line if they were already too far back to win the race. Why risk casing a whel and gtting injured?
So then, Thursday is medal rounds…GO USA!