Thursday Olympic Gallery: Field hockey, gymnastics, rowing, swimming and more
With every step or swipe of the stick, a rooster-tail like stream of water splashes up from the blue turf at Riverbank Arena, the home for field hockey games at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The playing surface is kept heavily watered down to keep the ball from bouncing, and workers use water guns before each game to ensure the turf is wet enough, the Associated Press reports.
It creates the appearance of a soaking wet sponge that’s constantly being squeezed.
Among those in the crowd Thursday for the U.S. vs. Australia women’s hockey game: an NCAA referee and a family that cut short their vacation to see the game.
Sandie Inglis, an NCAA referee since 1990, waved her American flag high before settling into her seat. She views the game far more in-depth than the casual fan. “The turf is very fast, and at the international level, you expect to see finer skills, and execution with speed and great control,” Inglis says.
She was seated next to the Matousek family from Wilmette, Ill. They’d been vacationing in Paris when they learned they could get tickets to field hockey, a game both their teenage daughters play.
“It’s fast paced and it’s fun, but I think it’s more fun to play than watch,” said 15-year-old Nicole.
Heavy winds are playing havoc with spinnakers at the Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth, southwest England.
Several teams racing in the 470 class had to release their spinnaker sheets — the lines they use to control the large sail in the front — and let the sail flap just to keep their boats upright. Others saw their spinnakers blow back upon their mainsail and jib, impeding their progress.
At the 4th mark, the British team is leading. Is that local knowledge kicking in?
The 17-year-old Missile is back in the pool on Thursday looking for more.
Missy Franklin goes for her second individual gold and third overall of the London Games. She won the 100-meter backstroke Monday night and was part of the winning 4×200 freestyle relay on Wednesday night.
Franklin is becoming one the breakout stars of these Olympics. But she wouldn’t be in position for a third gold without an incredible anchor leg from Allison Schmitt in the relay that reeled in the Australians.
“Allison is a fighter and she can push through anything,” Franklin says. “We had total faith in her.”
A rowing club founded nearly 200 years ago and located on the leafy banks of the River Thames is celebrating an extraordinary milestone achieved at the Olympic Games.
Members of the Leander Club, which claims to be the most successful sporting institution in the world, had won 99 Olympic medals for Britain dating back to 1908 before the start of London 2012.
Well, they’ve just topped the 100 mark.
Five members of the Henley-based club were part of the British men’s eight that captured bronze in Wednesday’s thrilling final at Dorney Lake. That result sparked a mass clinking of glasses as the Leander officials who failed to land tickets for the race packed into the dining room and bar area at the club to watch it on giant TV screens.
“Obviously it’s a significant milestone, but it’s part of our long-term plans to carry on being the main feeder club of new talent into the GB international system,” says Leander official Robert Treharne Jones.
Heck, many countries haven’t won 104 Olympic medals.
That’s not the end of the matter. There are still 14 Leander rowers involved in finals at Dorney Lake over the next three days.
Now on to the amazing photographs from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London:
German gymnast Marcel Nyugen botches his dismount on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastic men’s individual all-around competition final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Australia’s Anna Flanagan hits the ball in the women’s hockey preliminary round match against United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
China’s Xu Chen, right, and Ma Jin, celebrate after winning against Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, unseen, at a mixed doubles badminton semifinal match of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Azerbaijan’s Teymur Mammadov, left, fights Australia’s Jai Tapu Opetaia during a heavyweight 91-kg preliminary boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
U.S. gymnasts huddle together after their performance during the Artistic Gymnastics women’s team final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
United States Michael Phelps, left, and Ryan Lochte start the men’s 200-meter individual medley swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Germany’s Martin Haener, right, and South Korea’s Lee Nam-young vie for the ball during their men’s hockey preliminary match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
South Korea’s Kim Ji-yeon celebrates after defeating Russia’s Sofa Velikaya during the gold meal match in women’s individual sabre fencing competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Britain’s Daniel Sturridge scores during the men’s group A soccer match between Britain and Uruguay, at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, Wales, at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas performs on the balance beam during the Artistic Gymnastic women’s team final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
From right, United States’ Missy Franklin, United States’ Dana Vollmer, United States’ Shannon Vreeland and United States’ Allison Schmitt pose with their gold medals for the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Marie-Andree Lessard of Canada goes for a dig during a beach volleyball match against Italy at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Henk Grol of the Netherlands (in white) competes against Dominic Dugasse of Seychelles during the men’s 100-kg judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Japan’s Akane Shibata makes a play wearing a protective mask during their women’s hockey preliminary match against South Korea at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London. South Korea won 1-0. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Spanish gymnast Fabian Gonzalez performs on the horizontal bar during the artistic gymnastics men’s individual all-around competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Rhys Howden of Australia takes a shot at goal during their men’s water polo preliminary round match against Spain at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
U.S. rowers of the women’s eight team celebrate after winning the women’s rowing eight gold medal in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Ireland’s Barry Murphy, right, and Bermuda’s Roy Burch, left, compete in a men’s 50-meter freestyle swimming heat at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
South Korea’s Kim Hae-ran (5) celebrates her team winning the first set during a women’s preliminary volleyball match against Brazil at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
USA’s Seimone Augustus (5) is defended by Turkey’s Bahar Caglar (15) and Kuanitra Holingsvorth during a preliminary women’s basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)