Sunday, July 15, 2018
The Magnificent Five.

US Olympic Team Set

Last weekend saw the preamble to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games finally come to an end. With the exception of the United States Women’s Field Hockey Team playing in their send-off series on July 18, all the prelims are done and the United States Olympic Team has been selected and is ready to head down to the Zika and human refuse-laden streets of Rio.

But even now as the games draw ever closer, there are still some issues and controversies. The latest just happens to be Team USA Men’s Basketball forward Draymond Green, who was just arrested on assault in East Lansing, Mich. Sunday.

Green, a member of the Golden State Warriors, got in an altercation at a restaurant, Conrad’s Grill, with a man. The police arrested Green but according to ESPN, aren’t too concerned about the incident.

“It was basically an altercation between two guys,” police told ESPN. “There’s no injuries. He (Green) was released with a $200 bond Sunday.”

USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo released a statement via text on Green.

“We are still awaiting details,” the text said. “No comment at this time.”

Since the cops don’t seem too worried about it, it’s doubtful Team USA or the Warriors will punish Green at all.

Team USA Women’s soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo may not get off so lucky. Solo is probably the best women’s goalkeeper in the world, but she’s also a menace who’s been arrested multiple times for alcohol and violence-related incidents. Back in June Solo tried to avoid a trail for assaulting her sister and nephew in 2014 where she reportedly punched them both repeatedly in their face, even re-entering their home once they’d kicked her out.

Still none of that kept USA Soccer from picking Solo for the team, her third Olympic squad. If this year’s team wins gold it will be Solo’s third at the Olympics. Hopefully she won’t beat her sister over the head with it. Just last year Solo and Team USA won the World Cup.

As it is, Solo has made the recent news not for her domestic violence issues, but from her fear of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. She’s pledged to stay in her hotel room except for games and practices, which is probably good news for anyone she’d bash in the head while she’s down there.

Team USA Women’s Gymnastics might be the strongest ever

We all knew that Simone Biles was going to make the team. She’s one of the most dominant female athletes on the planet and probably already the greatest female gymnast to ever live. She’s won the last three world championships and the last four United States Championships. The only reason she didn’t go to the Olympics in 2012 is that she was too young. So, yeah, she’s in.

But just wait until you see who she’s bringing with her.

First up there’s Gabby Douglas. You might remember her as the phenom with the million-watt smile from the London Olympic Games that won the all-around gold and led Team USA to a team gold medal. Yes, she’s back and she’s not even the second best gymnast on this team.

That honor belongs to Aly Raisman who was on the gold medal winning team in 2012. She also won gold in the floor excercise and bronze on the beam. Since Biles’ emergence Raisman seems to always be a step behind her, finishing second at the recent P&G championships and third at the Olympic Trials that wrapped up Sunday.

If you watched all these trials, and I did, you saw announcer Al Trautwig and color analysts Tim Daggett and Nastia Luikin debate who would be on the five-woman team throughout the P&Gs and the Olympic Trials. And just like me you were frustrated that they didn’t automatically assume Laurie Hernandez was going to make the team, because it was so obvious she nearly leapt out of the TV and into my living room.

Hernandez just turned 16 and this is her first year competing as a senior. All she did was finish in third place at the P&Gs and second at the Olympic Trials. The idea she would somehow be left off the team was ridiculous.

The wild card is Madison Kocian. She’s the current world champion on the uneven bars and that is Team USA’s weakest overall event. Only three gymnasts can compete in each event (Bars, Floor, Beam and Vault) and it’s likely Kocian will only help out on the bars in the team round. She could also be the reason the USA wins another team gold.

Randall Cunningham’s daughter is an Olympian

Randal Cunningham was a great athlete who was once touted as the NFL’s Ultimate Weapon. While he never quite lived up to that moniker, he might have sired an Olympic high jump medalist. Vashti Cunningham, Randall’s 18 year-old daughter, qualified for the U.S. Track and Field Team Sunday, finishing second in the women’s high jump with a height of 1.97 meters.

Vashti is the youngest Olympic Track and Field athlete since 1976 and if she wins a medal, she will be the youngest to do that since 1972.

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