This is a good news bad news kind of Olympic day so far.
Dawn made sure I was up for the 8 AM EDT start of Team USA's men's game versus Greece. The 'Redeem Team' has several members on it that have not so fond memories of the 2006 FIBA World Championships. That squad was upset by the Greeks 101-95 in a game that sent seismic shock waves through the international basketball community and led to a major reorganization in the States of how we handle our basketball business on the men's side.
The 'Redeem Team' in their first tough game of the tournament, beat down Greece 92-69 to avenge that shocking 2006 loss in Japan and go 3-0 in their pool. They also qualified for the medal round no matter what happens in their remaining pool games versus Spain and Germany.
The women kept their record perfect in pool play as well. They beat Mali 97-41 as Lisa Leslie scored 16 points on 7 of 7 shooting from the field to help Team USA earn their 28th straight Olympic victory and go 3-0 as well in Group B. Seimone Augustus chipped in 12 points, while Cappie Pondexter, Candace Parker and Tina Thompson each chipped in 10 points apiece. Lisa broke the US Olympic record of 6 for 6 shared by Katie Smith in the 2000 games and Nikki McCray in 1996. Team USA closes out pool play versus Spain and New Zealand.
I was disappointed that Houston Comet Hamchetou Maiga-Ba suffered a high ankle sprain and couldn't play. She's out for the Games and may not be able to play for the Comets when the WNBA resume play after the Olympic break.
I was watching that fantastic relay race for the ages a few nights ago. I knew Cullen Jones was making history as a member of that team, but I didn't realize just how until after they obliterated the world record in the 4 X 100m freestyle relay and edged the trash talking French for the gold.
With the upset win Cullen Jones became the second African-American swimmer to win a gold medal, and in the process helped keep Michael Phelps quest to win eight gold medals alive and on track. He's the second because in 2000, biracial swimmer Anthony Ervin tied for the 50m freestyle gold medal and won a silver medal as a member of the 4 X 100m freestyle relay team.
As a tennis fan, I watched as James Blake shockingly beat world number one ranked (until he cedes it to Spain's Rafael Nadal in a few days) and slumping Swiss Roger Federer 6-4, 7-6 (6-2) in men singles for the first time in nine tries.
Federer still has a chance to earn his first Olympic gold medal in doubles, while Blake moves on to the semifinals against 2004 Athens singles bronze medallist Fernando Gonazalez of Chile.
But unfortunately my tennis playing sistahs got zapped by the same upset bug that claimed Roger Federer. The only way the Williams sisters can win a medal in Beijing is in doubles because both lost their respective singles matches. Baby Sis lost to Elena Dementieva of Russia 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 while Big Sis was upset in straight sets to the delight of the crowd by homegirl Li Na 7-5, 7-5.