Mike Sorensen: Great, good, bad and awful things about the Olympics

Published: Sunday, Aug. 5 2012 6:00 p.m. MDT

Georgia's Luba Golovina performs during the qualifying round of the women's trampoline at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)


SALT LAKE CITY — After a week of watching a lot of the Olympics in London, here are a few bests, worsts, mosts and dumbests . . .

MOST INTERESTING EVENTS I'VE NEVER PAID ATTENTION TO BEFORE: Trampoline, synchronized diving and archery. I can't tell you who won these events, but they were fascinating to watch — the trampoline because of how high they go, the diving because of how they can replicate each other's moves so well and the archery because of the way you can see the arrows fly through the air to the target.

EVENTS I CAN DO WITHOUT: Whitewater kayaking, equestrian and field hockey. Sorry if you like these, but I just couldn't get into them. The field hockey wasn't bad, but I couldn't handle the blue carpet they played on, reminding me of watching Boise State football games.

MOST SURPRISING NUMBER: As one old enough to remember Bob Beamon's incredible long jump (29 feet 2 inches) at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, I was shocked to learn that the winning jump of Great Britain's Greg Rutherford Saturday night was a mere 27 feet, 3 inches, the shortest winning Olympic long jump in 48 years.

I guess Olympic athletes are faster and stronger and go higher, but they just can't go farther.

SHADES OF '72: Many remember the 1972 Olympics when the USSR basketball team was given two "do-overs" in the final three seconds in the gold-medal game against the U.S. and on the third, they scored off a length-of-the-court pass and basket to beat the U.S. by one point and claim the gold medal.

South Korea's Shin A Lam can relate. She thought she had beaten Germany's Britta Heidermann in a semifinal fencing match. But one second was put back on the clock and Heidermann scored a do-or-die hit in that second to win the match and advance to the gold medal. This was the match where Shin sat on the floor and cried for an hour while the South Koreans protested to no avail.

BIGGEST SCANDAL OF WEEK 1: Eight women's badminton players from China, South Korea and Indonesia getting kicked out of the Olympics for tanking matches in the round robin portion of the tournament in order to get a more favorable draw in the quarterfinals.

The tanking was so obvious, with players deliberately hitting shots into the net or wide, that the fans were booing the competitors throughout the match and chanting "Off, off, off."

JUST ANOTHER BOXING SCANDAL: It wouldn't be an Olympics without some fishy stuff going on in the boxing ring.

A boxer from Azerbaijan, who was knocked down five times in one round and assessed a two-point penalty to boot, was somehow awarded a decision over Japan's Satoshi Shimizu in a bantamweight bout.

Then there was American Errol Spence, who dominated a bout with India's Krishan Vikas, only to lose a decision.

Thankfully, both decisions were overturned and one of the referees was sent home and the other might be.

BEST EXCUSE FOR THE MARGIN OF USA'S 83-POINT MEN'S BASKETBALL WIN OVER NIGERIA: They didn't want to be accused of not trying their best, which is what got all those women's badminton players chucked out of the Olympics.

DUMBEST RULE: That only two contestants per country can make the gymnastics all-around finals.

Because of that, one of the best gymnasts in the world, the USA's Jordyn Wieber, who had one of the five best scores in the preliminaries, didn't get to compete among the 24 gymnasts in the finals

Wieber may never have beaten teammate Gabby Douglas, who was sensational in winning the gold, but she should have had a chance to compete for a medal.

FEEL-GOOD STORY OF THE WEEK: You could say it was Great Britain's Jessica Ennis handily winning the women's heptathlon in front of a delirious home crowd.

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