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Posts Tagged ‘Soccer’

Dara Torres clinched the silver medal in the 50m freestyle event on Sunday, losing by 0.1 seconds to Britta Steffen of Germany. “Holy crap” is the only thing that came to mind when I saw that finish. She exited the pool with watery eyes. She deserves nothing but congratulations for her efforts this year, and she was successful in her efforts to steal earned attention internationally as the oldest woman to compete in the Olympics. She brought home three three medals from Beijing.

In the semifinals, Torres showed great sportsmanship as she held the race when Sweden’s Therese Alshammar tried to rectify her torn swimsuit. Torres warned officials to wait. I guess wisdom really does come with age and experience. I wonder how many other Olympic athletes would hold the race for a competitor.

Also, I read this morning on Women Play Sports that our U.S. Women’s soccer team is headed to the finals after beating Japan, 4-2.

The US will be facing Brazil, who beat Germany earlier today by a score of 4-1.

“The US has a chance to win their third gold medal ever in women’s soccer. They’ve had much success here in the Olympics, only losing one gold medal final. The US has a chance to show their soccer dominance to the rest of the world, once again,” Andrew said.

It’s going to be exciting to watch that game. It will be broadcast live on NBC at 9am on Thursday.

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An exciting weekend in international sports as Beijing gets started. It’s only been just over three days and we’ve already seen some incredible performances. Below are some highlights of what’s happened for the women over the weekend, broken down by sport.

I thoroughly enjoy the positive impact that Wikipedia has made on my life, as well as to the quality and access of information available. Therefore, trusting the online contributors, I took what’s there and compiled a list of updates on women’s performances from the weekend. If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments field at the bottom of this post.

Friday, 8/8

Soccer:

Norway beat defending champion United States 2–0 in group G for soccer (women’s football).

Norwegian striker Leni Larsen Kaurin‘s second-minute goal was the fastest-ever goal in the women’s Olympic football tournament.[2] Meanwhile, reigning World Cup champion Germany drew 0–0 with Brazil in group F.[3] Host China won its opening game by beating Sweden 2–1 in group E.[4]

Saturday, 8/9

Archery:

South Korea set an Olympic record in the ranking round of women’s team archery.

Weight lifting:

Chen Xiexia of China won the Women’s 48 kilogram (that’s 105 lbs) Weightlifting competition, successfully completing all her attempts winning the gold with 95kg (209 lbs) in the snatch and 117kg (257.4 lbs) in the Clean and Jerk for a total of 212kg (466.4 lbs) a new Olympic Record.

Fencing:

The United States swept the medals in the women’s sabre event, the first U.S. podium sweep of a fencing event since 1904. Mariel Zagunis took gold.

Soccer:

Norway qualifies for the quarterfinals of the women’s football tournament with a 1–0 win over New Zealand.

Air Rifle:

Kateřina Emmons of the Czech Republic wins the first gold medal of the games, setting an Olympic record for both the qualifying (with a perfect 400) and final scores, in the women’s 10 m air rifle.

Sunday, August 10

Archery:

South Korea set a world record for a 24-arrow team match, in their victory over Italy in the quarter finals of the women’s team archery event.

Air Pistol:

Guo Wenjun of China wins gold in women’s 10 metre air pistol and sets a new Olympic record for final score with 492.3 points, after Natalia Paderina of Russia had bettered the Olympic qualification record to 391.

During the medal ceremony, Pederina and bronze medalist Nino Salukvadze of Georgia shared a symbolic embrace as their two countries continued to war; the two had been friends since they both competed for the Soviet Union. (see picture to the right)

Swimming:

Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice sets a new world record in women’s 400 m individual medley, winning Australia’s 400th Summer Olympics medal. Second place Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe also finished below the previous world record.

The Netherlands team wins women’s 4 x 100 m freestyle relay final with a new Olympic record of 3:33.76.

Darra Torres won the silver in the 400m Free Relay.

Weight lifting:

Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon of Thailand wins gold in women’s 53 kg weightlifting and sets a new Olympic record for clean and jerk. This is Thailand’s first medal in the 2008 games

Cycling:

Nicole Cooke of Great Britan took the gold medal in the Women’s Road race.

Women’s Springboard:

Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia of China took the gold medal in the women’s synchronized springboard competition.

Judo:

Xian Dongmei of China took the women’s Judo gold medal.

Swimming:

Inge Dekker, Ranomi Kromowidjojo,Femke Heemskerk, Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands took the gold medal in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

… and much more to come later.

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This morning, Christie Rampone, captain of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team, led our country’s finest soccer players to compete in the preliminaries against Norway at 7:45am ET.

But back in 1997, Christie Rampone was not the leader of Team USA. In fact, she was a senior at Monmouth University facing a very difficult decision.

Before attending Monmouth, Rampone had graduated Point Pleasant Borough High School as finest female athlete ever in Ocean County history and was named the New Jersey Female Athlete of the Year. She received a full scholarship to play basketball for Monmouth University, a small-division one school in West Long Branch, NJ. At Monmouth, Rampone competed in two sports, basketball and soccer. But she was a point guard, and basketball was her number one sport.

So why had she just received a fax from U.S. soccer inviting her to training camp?

Turns out then U.S. head coach Tony DiCicco had seen Pearce play in a college match, and he was looking for attackers that he could convert into backs. He decided to take a chance on the 5-foot-6 striker from the Jersey Shore.

But she was right in the middle of her conference basketball season as a senior captain. How could she abandon what she had been working hard on for three years?

She talked to a lot of people at Monmouth, who advised her that his is an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. So she went – and she hung in there with gold medalists. DiCicco called her two weeks later and invited her to travel with the USA to Australia that February.

She said,

“I was committed to two teams. One is your dream, and one is your scholarship, your senior year. Sometimes you are faced with life choices that have long-term consequences, but you just don’t know it at the time. It was scary going into that first camp, but to accomplish great things you have to be brave.”

And from there, she only got better and better.

Rampone went on to make the historic 1999 Women’s World Cup Team, which played its first match of that tournament in front of a sold out crowd at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. Now, eleven years lated, at 33 years of age, Rampone has achieved more success than anyone back in NJ could have dreamed.

I couldn’t say it any better than Center Circle,

“[Rampone] is a mother to precocious three-year-old daughter Rylie and an excellent role model for her teammates and the thousands of girls and women playing across the USA, especially those who play at small schools on the New Jersey coast.”

Congratulations, Christie. New Jersey, Monmouth (and the rest of the country) are extremely proud of you.

(Last I checked on today’s game, it was 2-0 Norway, but I don’t have an official score yet).

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Check out the size difference between ESPY winners Candace Parker and David Beckham. Parker was awarded “Best Female Athlete” and Beckham was awarded “Best Male Athlete.”

I thought this picture from a recent USA Today article was priceless. Special thanks to Rob Mars from Athletic Women Blog for calling attention to it.

I seriously wish that in the same article, they’d call attention to not only their physical differences, but also to the difference in the size of their wallets.

Candace Parker earns a base salary of $44,064 + endorsements (which aren’t much in the USA).

David Beckham earns $250 million (he signed a record $1 million-a-week five-year deal for MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy in January 2007), making him the highest paid athlete in North America.

Hmmmm…. do we see any difference in values here? We have a long way to go, ladies.

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I read on the Pretty Tough blog [one of my new favorites in the blogosphere] that the US women’s soccer team played Brazil the other night for a friendly game. Only it didn’t turn out to be a regular night. Amy Wambach rushed to try to reach a ball defended by Brazilian player Maria Rosa late in the game, collided with her and suffered a midshaft oblique fracture on both her tibia and fibula [aka, she broke her leg and can’t play in the Olympics].

As you can read in one of my earlier posts, Wambach is the strength of the USA team’s offense. This is a severe blow to a team who is picked to bring home the gold.

This really sucks for Wambach, too, who was at the high point of her career.

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If you’re just out of college and you’re trying to get in shape but can’t seem to motivate yourself to get to the gym every day, I’ve got an answer for you. Try rec sports.

As a former athlete, I didn’t really know what to do with myself when I realized it was all over. I took a few months off to recuperate, but soon got bored. So in an effort to get active and meet some people, I joined Head First Sports Leagues, in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area.

Through Head First, I’ve met a great group of friends who I hang out with often. Through a contact, I even got involved in coaching. Playing rec sports is a great way to meet people and have fun. After our games, we often go out in Georgetown and have a beer or two and watch some sports games (which is very common).

I’m involved in women’s basketball (competitive), coed basketball (competitive) and coed soccer. I also try and play for my work’s softball team, if I can make any of the games. The kids on these teams are just like me. They’re looking for an outlet other than the expensive booze during happy hour. I don’t know about other cities, but in this one, rec sports is extremely popular.

In Washington, DC, on a beautiful weekday night, if you go to the National Mall, you will see about a hundred different sports games going on at one time. From kickball to Rugby, flag football and softball (and other creative games), young professionals are gearing up and getting active. And it’s a really cool thing.

For more information on collegiate sports, check out the National As. You can also check out Recleagues.com

If you’re in a specific city, just Google “rec sports” and your city see what you find in your area. I’m sure you’ll come up with something. Don’t be shy. Get out there and play. It’s

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