Hollywood Trash

The U.S. Won Six Medals on Wednesday, and Three Were Gold, Plus More News


The United States won six more medals in the London Olympics on Wednesday.  We got a gold in cycling, two in the pool, and set another Olympic record.  Here's a list of our winners:

#1.)  For the second day in a row, Allison Schmitt won a Gold medal and set another Olympic record.  This one was as part of the Women's 200-meter Freestyle relay team with Dana Vollmer, Missy Franklin, and Shannon Vreeland.   

#2.)  38-year-old cyclist Kristin Armstrong won a Gold medal in the Women's Time Trial.  She had already announced that it would be the last race of her career.

#3.)  Nathan Adrian won Gold in the 100-meter freestyle swimming event.  He beat Australia's James "The Missile" Magnussen by one one-hundredth of a second.

#4.)  The rowing team of Kara Kohler, Natalie Dell, Megan Kalmoe, and Adrienne Martelli won Bronze in Women's Quadruple Sculls, which is a rowing event where a four-person crew each rows with two oars.

#5.)  The diving team of Troy Dumai and Kristian Ipsen won Bronze in the 3-meter Springboard event in Men's Synchronized Diving.

#6.)  Danell Leyva won Bronze in Men's Gymnastics Individual All-Around.  He's the one who has the habit of sending women photos of himself in his underwear.




China Now Has Five More Gold Than Us

Despite picking up another six medals yesterday, we're still chasing the Chinese in the medal count.  As of 8am this morning, they have four more gold medals than we do, and we're tied with them in the overall count.  Here are the latest standings:

#1.)  China with 30 medals . . . 17 Gold, 9 Silver, and 4 Bronze.

#2.)  The United States with 30 medals . . . 13 Gold, 8 Silver, and 9 Bronze.

#3.)  Japan with 17 medals . . . 2 Gold, 4 Silver, and 11 Bronze.

#4.)  Germany with 15 medals . . . 3 Gold, 8 Silver, and 4 Bronze.

#5.)  France with 14 medals . . . 5 Gold, 3 Silver, and 6 Bronze.

The Germans knocked South Korea out of the Top 5 yesterday.  They dropped down to sixth with 12 medals. 

The British fans finally got to hear their national anthem.  Great Britain won their first two golds and now have nine medals overall.  You can get the latest updates at nbcolympics.com/medals/index.html.



Americans Who Win Gold Medals Have to Pay $9,000 In Taxes

EVERYONE in the U.S. gets screwed by our messed-up taxes, even our Olympic heroes.  Because it turns out when they win a medal, they owe the government TAXES.  Americans who win golds get a bonus of $25,000 from the U.S. Olympic Committee.  Silver gets you $15,000, bronze $10,000

And then, the government TAXES YOU ON THAT MONEY.  Gold medal winners end up owing $8,750 in taxes for EACH of their gold medal wins.  A silver medal means $5,250 in taxes.  A bronze means $3,500.  And the taxes don't stop there. 

You ALSO get taxed on the value of the medal itself.  A gold medal brings an extra $236, taking the total you pay in tax up to $8,986.  A silver brings an extra $135, for a total of $5,385.  A bronze costs an extra $2 in taxes, for a total of $3,502

This means in 2008, after MICHAEL PHELPS won a record eight gold medals, he owed the U.S. government $71,888 in taxes  After this information started spreading online yesterday, MARCO RUBIO, a Republican senator from Florida, introduced a bill that would make Olympic medals and bonuses tax exempt.  The U.S. is one of the ONLY countries that taxes its own Olympians.  Most countries don't tax income earned entirely overseas.

(Americans For Tax Reform)




It's On . . . Between Sebastian Coe and Michael Phelps

Sebastian Coe is the former British runner who's the head of the London Olympics.     He won gold and silver medals in both 1980 and 1984, and on Wednesday, he talked some smack about Michael Phelps and his record 19 medals.  

A reporter asked him what he thought of Michael's record, and Sebastian said, "You can probably say that clearly, self-evidently, in medal tally, he's the most successful.  My personal view is that I'm not sure he is the greatest." 

When he was asked who WAS the greatest, Sebastian suggested HIMSELF, then said he was joking.  Then he nominated two British athletes:  Rower Steve Redgrave, who won five golds, and decathlete Daley Thompson, who won two.

Sebastian also mentioned Carl Lewis and Nadia Comaneci.   Michael hasn't responded yet. 





LeBron James Asked a Swimmer to Dinner, and She Turned Him Down

LeBron James has played two games for Team USA in the London Olympics, and he doesn't have any blocked shots.  But he HAS been REJECTED, by a swimmer.   LeBron and several other members of the Men's Basketball team went on a tour of the Olympic Village this week.  (It's not clear exactly which day they went.  The basketball team isn't staying in the Village with the other athletes.) 

While he was there, he started talking to Lauren Perdue, a 21-year-old swimmer from the University of Virginia who won a gold medal with the 200-meter Freestyle relay team.  (She swam a preliminary race, not the final, but she still gets a medal.)  And supposedly he invited her to eat with him at the dining hall.  LeBron is engaged, and Lauren said he wasn't looking for anything other than a companion in the cafeteria, and that he was, "kind of joking."  Either way, she sent him on his way.

She said, "I told him, 'Um, I'm sorry.  I have a curfew.'"  Then Lauren went and talked about it on Twitter.  She tweeted, "LeBron James just invited me to dinner . . . Um wuuutttt?!?"  (That tweet seems to have been deleted.)

(USA Today)




A South Korean Fencer Who Lost Because of a Malfunctioning Clock Was Offered a "Special Medal", and She Told Them to Keep It

Shin A-Lam is a 25-year-old South Korean fencer, and she was one second away from advancing from the semifinals to a gold-medal match on Monday night.  (It was in epee, which is one of the weapons in fencing.)    But the clock malfunctioned, the match went on a few seconds too long, and that gave her opponent, Britta Heidemann of Germany, enough time to get the winning score.   So Shin burst into tears, and protested the decision by refusing to leave the fencing mat, which is called a piste.  After about 20 minutes, officials finally got her to move, but she ended up losing her bronze medal match too. 

The International Fencing Federation has apologized, and admitted that there is sometimes, "human error" in fencing.  The next day they offered Shin a "special medal" to honor her, "aspiration to win and respect for the rules".   But Shin won OUR respect by telling the International Fencing Federation to go STICK their special medal.  Shin said, "It does not make me feel better, because it's not an Olympic medal.  I don't accept the result, because I believe it was a mistake."




Four Badminton Teams Were Disqualified, For Trying to Lose on Purpose

A lot of Americans think badminton is a pretty lame Olympic sport.  And THIS isn't going to change their minds.     Badminton has a preliminary round, like basketball, to decide which teams go to the medal round.  It also determines the seedings for the medal round.    But by their last preliminary match on Tuesday, four women's doubles teams had already clinched a spot in the medal round:  Two from South Korea, one from Indonesia, and the defending world champions from China.

And they all figured that they'd face an easier opponent to open the medal round if they LOST their last preliminary match.  So, all four teams went out and tried to LOSE on purpose.  They hit serves into the net, and generally made no effort to win.  Even worse, two of the teams were playing EACH OTHER , which resulted in an incredibly lame match.  And the fans in the arena figured it out.  They started booing and demanded a refund. 

Yesterday, Olympic officials sent all four teams HOME.  The disqualified teams were Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China, the current world champions, Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia, Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na of South Korea, and Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung of South Korea. 

The Chinese Olympic delegation said it "fully respects" the decision to punish its two players and said it would carry out its own investigation.  The South Koreans and Indonesians are appealing the decision. 

(NY Times)

There's some video of the teams' performance on YouTube, which you can see here.  They hit serves directly into the net at :45, and the judges give them a warning at 1:09