Saturday’s primetime Olympics telecast was an interesting piece of work: It started on a surprising note with the Tom Brokaw-hosted WWII-themed short film Their Finest Hour. While fascinating, it probably went on too long (like, 30 or 40 minutes too long) for viewers who’d tuned in to see Usain Bolt anchor Jamaica’s 4 x 100m relay team to a new world record, or the U.S. women’s 4 x 400m relay team strike gold, or our Olympic Stud of the Day David Boudia become the first U.S. diver to win on the 10m platform since Greg Louganis in 1988. The broadcast ended with a Mary Carillo report centered on Shakespeare, presumably because NBC didn’t think we could handle seeing more of how exactly the U.S. women’s volleyball team buckled after winning the first set of the gold medal match against Brazil 25-11. In between, we got an obscene amount of shots of Britain’s 18-year-old diving superstar Tom Daley using the deck shower and Usain Bolt running his mouth. I’m not complaining, mind you.
THE TOM DALEY SHOWER SHOW: Now granted, my outdated cell phone added the soft lens quality, but I cannot take credit for NBC’s placement of its graphics or cameramen who kept cutting him off so he looked nude. The five most inappropriate screengrabs:
Bonus: Not a shower shot, but come on…
As for Daley’s diving, he was leading going into round 6 of the final but had a lower difficulty dive planned and took bronze behind Boudia and China’s Qui Bo. Daley had been granted a rare re-dive in the first round of the final because he was distracted by all the flash photography in the arena. He would have still finished third, by the way, even without those 16 points he picked up on the do-over.
NBC’s commentators thought Qui Bo got lucky with two sets of scores that weren’t as low as they’d expected them to be considering he was dangerously close to the platform on one dive and never reached vertical on another. He, however, didn’t handle silver well. Daley, on the other hand, celebrated bronze by being thrown in the pool. The only thing that would have made that better is if they’d gone after David Beckham, who was in attendance, as well.
Before we leave diving, let’s take a moment to thank David Boudia’s dad for filling the void left by Aly Raisman’s father.
And let’s also thank this guy from Great Britain, who hugged Australia’s Matthew Mitcham when the reigning 10m Olympic champ missed the final by one spot.
P.S. I wish there was a 24-hour backstage diver live cam we could have watched.
NEXT: Usain Bolt does Usain Bolt