1 September, 2012 - It’s hard to explain how much goes on so quickly at the Games. In some venues, like swimming, there’s only one pool, of course, so the races take place one after the other, with just very short breaks in between them.
The daily schedules are marked off in minutes: this race at 12:11, the next at 12:26. They keep pretty close to time, too, something I would not have believed.
In other venues, like the Olympic Stadium, multiple events happen at once. MEDAL QUEST spent the morning at the stadium and saw multiple heats and some finals of men’s and women’s sprints, men’s long jump, men’s shot put, and women’s javelin, all going on at once in the space of perhaps 3 hours. And there were breaks for several medal ceremonies, too! That’s the only time the action pauses, to watch the athletes receive their medals and bouquets, and see them salute their national flags.
We were watching for two of our MEDAL QUEST athletes, Rudy Garcia-Tolson competing in the 200m sprint (T-42) and Scott Winkler competing in the shot put (F54-55-56). Neither of them medaled, but they clearly gave their all. Rudy’s race was especially hard fought, with the winner, “hometown hero” Richard Whitehead breaking the world record — the British crowds roared! And as an additional plus for Team USA, Rudy’s teammate Shaquille Vance took silver in the race. His medal was the second for the U.S. in the track and field events, following a bronze medal won by Scot Severn in the men’s F52/53 shot put on Friday.
Simultaneously, in the morning, we were taping at the judo qualifying rounds and we were thrilled when MEDAL QUEST’s two judokas, Myles Porter and Dartanyon Crockett both advanced. Judo, like swimming, has heats in the morning and finals in the afternoon/evening – how do they do it?? We get exhausted just covering the competitions!
Final results, two medals, a silver for Myles in the -100 kg category, beating his rival and former gold medalist Antonio da Silva (bronze), and a bronze for Dartanyon Crocket in his first Games in -90 kg. MEDAL QUEST was there and will have photos and video coming soon!
Judith Vecchione, for MEDAL QUEST