My Olympic heros for the moment are, of course, Oksana Chusovitina, and after yesterday and tonight, Yukiko Ueno. She's the 26 year-old ace pitcher for the gold medal winning Japanese sotfball team. Yesterday, she pitched 9 innings against the USA (Japan lost) and then, several hours later, get this, 12 innings against Australia (Japan won). Then, today, she pitched 7 innings against the USA. That's 450 pitches in 28 consecutive innings in 36 hours. All three games were wonderfully exciting, but I expected USA to get the gold.
The only low point in those 21 innings was when Yukiko Ueno walked the American designated hitter Crystl Bustos. She'd got one sent over the fence the last time this woman was at bat. I wish she hadn't walked her, and I wasn't surprised when Yukiko got booed heavily, but I guess anyone who throws 450 pitches in 36 hours gets to walk whomever they want to walk.
Japanese women's soccer lost to Germany and didn't win the bronze medal. This did not surprise me. Nor am I surprised that the (mostly Chinese) spectators booed every time Japan got possession of the ball. It was a decent match so that was a lot of booing. Yes, I know, Nanking Massacre and all that, but seriously, the oldest Japanese player on the pitch was 29 years old. Her father probably wasn't even born yet when August 15, 1945 rolled around, so how does that entitle her to booing when she's playing good soccer?