I love the Summer Olympics! What can I say—I’m a fan. They’re not over yet, and there have already been amazing performances. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian EVER, comes away from Rio with five golds and one silver, to bring his extraordinary total to 23 golds, and 28 total medals. He has the most total gold medals, and the most individual gold medals with 13. Katie Ledecky, only 19 years old, set world records in the 400m and 800m (a race in which she beat the second-place finisher by more than 11 seconds!), and also added two more golds and a silver medal. Here she is finishing the 800m without anyone else even in the picture! Out of 15 individual finals at World Championships and Olympics, Ledecky has won all of them. Simone Biles, the 4’8 USA gymnast, has already won three gold medals (team, all-around, and vault), and could win two more with the vault and floor exercise. It is a consensus that she is the best gymnast in the world, and she might be the best ever. Here is a video of her floor exercise, and here is a cool interactive flip-book-style article about her. And then on the track, there is Usain “lightning” bolt, who became the first person to win the 100m in three consecutive Olympics. Here is a great picture of Bolt grinning as he dominates his competition.
I was recently in South Lake Tahoe for 3 days (two half days with one full day in the middle) and I made good use of the time with great hikes in the area. The first day I went to Eagle Lake, and that was a couple hours and a bit less than 6 miles. It could have been shorter, around 3.8 miles, but at the lake I took a walk around part of the perimeter. Here is a gallery from that day’s hike.
The second day, which was my full day, I hiked Mount Tallac, which is one of the tallest peaks in Tahoe, and there is outstanding scenery along the whole trail. I was feeling the burn on the way up, and in my knees on the way down, but the view from the top was worth the pain. It was truly incredible. A 360 degree view of Eagle Lake to the north, Lake Tahoe to the east, and Fallen Leaf Lake to the south. I couldn’t take enough panoramic photos. It’s 4.8 miles up, and 4.8 miles down, and it took just under six hours. Here are pictures from that hike.
The third day I wanted to do a flat and easy hike since my legs and knees were still feeling it, and I found a great one by Fallen Leaf Lake trail, with the trailhead a quarter mile west of the Fallen Lake Leaf campground. It was about a mile to get to the lake , and it took about an hour and a half total, including relaxing for a few minutes by the lake. Here are pictures from around the Fallen Leaf Lake.
Overall, a really good trip with amazing views all three days. Was so good to get into nature, and breathe in that fresh air.
– Plenty of water
– Good hiking shoes
– Thick socks
– Bug spray (if bugs)
– First aid kit
Today, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team lost in penalty kicks to Sweden in the quarterfinals of the Olympics. It was the first time the USWNT won’t win a medal at the Olympics, and Hope Solo, the US goalie, had this to say after the loss:
I thought that we played a courageous game. I thought that we had many opportunities on goal. I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down; I’m very proud of this team.
“I also think we played a bunch of cowards. But, you know, the best team did not win today; I strongly, firmly believe that. I think you saw America’s heart. You saw us give everything that we had today. Unfortunately the better team didn’t win.
“I don’t think they’re going to make it far in the tournament. I think it was very cowardly. But they won. They’re moving on, and we’re going home.”
How sad, pathetic, cruel, and disrespectful. Not only does it make Solo look bad, but it also reflects poorly on the U.S. team, and the U.S. as a country.
Former USWNT star and current ESPN analyst Julie Foudy called Solo’s comments ridiculous and classless, and they definitely were. Of course everyone wants to win, but show some dignity, some respect, some sportsmanship–even in defeat. You don’t want to look like a nasty jerk, especially when you’re representing something bigger than yourself.
Just this past week, Trump has said these things, and it made me question whether he really wanted to win the election:
• He insulted the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed in war
• He called Hillary Clinton the devil
• He said that the “election is going to be rigged” after he fell behind in the polls
• He said the Russians should hack their way into government files to access Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails
Today, President Obama ripped into Trump, saying he was “unfit to serve as president”, and that Republicans should not be endorsing him. Even before the president’s statement, Richard Hanna, a three-term representative from New York, became the first Republican member of Congress to join forces with Democrats against Mr. Trump. (From the NY Times)
Will all of these outrageous things he’s saying, and the fact that he’s hugely under qualified, matter at all to the voters come November?
And it turns out I’m not the only one who thought Trump might not actually want to win. Esquire asks if Trump is trying to throw the election.
What a great Democratic National Convention. Some really excellent and inspiring speeches by the Obamas, Joe Biden, Tim Kaine, Cory Booker, Michael Bloomberg, and the Clintons. My favorite lines from Hillary’s speech:
“When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”
“A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
“Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again, well, he could start by actually making things in America again.”
A very tough week in the U.S. Two shooting deaths of black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minneapolis, and then five officers killed by a sniper at at protest in Dallas. It’s hard to put into words how I’m feeling–sad, upset, angry, confused, outraged… This violence is too much, and it’s got to stop.
I have so much respect for the police. They have one of the most difficult jobs out there, and mostly it’s completely thankless. They put themsevles in dangerous situations, in the line of fire, all for trying to keep people safe. Sometimes, however, people think the police have it out for them, and instead of trying to protect, they are being targeted. As the girlfriend of Philando Castile said, she thought the police were out to assassinate them. I can only try to imagine what it’s like to be black, and to be racially profiled. I’ve never experienced it, but hearing the stories makes me sick. Yes, things have to change, but killing innocent people doing their jobs, protecting people from danger? THAT IS NOT THE ANSWER. Absolutely none of these deaths needed to happen this week. One guy is selling CDs outside of a convenience store; another guy gets pulled over for a broken tail light; police officers are gunned down by a sniper. This has to stop. IT HAS TO.
I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice recently, and I basically agree with what the majority of the critics are saying: It’s not very good. It was not as disappointing as Man of Steel, the first in this series, which was a complete disaster, but that’s not saying much. In this one, director Zack Snyder (who also directed 300, Watchmen, Suckerpunch, as well as Man of Steel) sucks all the joy and fun out of the movie. This is a superhero movie with two of the most popular ones of all time. Shouldn’t it be fun?! Instead of enjoying the movie, it made me angry, and put me in a bad mood. Maybe that’s because all of the main characters in the movie were also miserable, brooding and dejected. Yes, there were plenty of explosions, and yes the fight scenes were intense (and Batman kicked serious butt in one of them!), but that didn’t do enough to make this enjoyable. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies were also dark, and they were great, but that style suited those movies. Batman is a dark kind of character. Superman is not. If anything, he’s the opposite of that. Take a cue from the Marvel movies, and LIGHTEN UP!