Hooked on vault

Nick Sortal

Sun Sentinel

I don't care about the stories of teenage girls who gave up their whole life for a few moments wearing a sparkly outfit and smiling for millions on TV. But I do care about the athletics.

And that's why this year I'm addicted to the women's vault. If it's not the most athletically challenging Olympic sport, it's the most underrated.

First is a sprint, then a roundoff onto a springboard, then a dive onto the horse, then twists and flips that rival divers. And some vaulters, such as McKayla Maroney, hit the horse backward.

Killer stuff even for those who don't medal. And all we laymen judge is: "Did they stick the landing?" Folks, that's the denouement.

I'm hooked.


Struck by archery

Andi Petrini

Daily Press

Beyond every high-profile event, there's badminton, table tennis — and archery. Until Sunday, I didn't think I'd ever find myself watching or being fascinated by archery, even at the Olympics.

Then I set my remote down and paused on it. Have you seen the size of the bows the archers use? They're practically as tall as the athletes holding them. They look bulky and difficult to lift and keep steady.

And yet, even with all the crazy-looking attachments, a bull's-eye isn't guaranteed. That's what makes the Games (and sports in general) great — witnessing the truly spectacular, mixed with the fun and unexpected.


Table tennis, anyone?

Baxter Holmes

Los Angeles Times