Gold mettle
July 24, 2021 6:15 PM   Subscribe

The Climber - Adam Ondra. The Hurdler - Dalilah Muhammad. The Swimmer - Simone Manuel. The Gymnast - Sunisa Lee. Four visual decompositions of what these amazing Olympic athletes can do.
posted by storybored (6 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
As much of a sideshow as plastic-pulling feels, especially with Silence and Bibliographie unrepeated, it'll probably be fun to watch Ondra and Megos go head to head. With Coxsey and Garnbret also being super strong on both lead and bouldering, hopefully the speed climbing will be unimportant to the final medal results for men and women. IMHO it'd be pretty stupid if speed climbing gives gold to a climber that's miles off the winning pace.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:12 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

Four visual decompositions of what these amazing Olympic athletes can do.

I just want to commend you for not saying "deconstructions".
posted by thelonius at 10:54 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]

I have a hard time imagining that the speed climbing can make that big of a difference, due to the scoring system. I don't love the format they chose for climbing (I would have preferred psicobloc), but if you win because you got first in speed, you have to have done pretty well in the other two events. That seems pretty ok to me.
posted by vernondalhart at 11:16 PM on July 24

The problem with the write-up on Ondra (which is overall quite good I think) is that it particularizes a more general problem. Almost no competitive sport climbers or boulderers have any real interest in, or experience with, speed climbing.

The scoring concern really isn't that specialist speed climbers will win medals overall, it's that the speed-climbing results will scramble the upper ranks of the sport climbing and bouldering results, and we'll see people medal who did well but not-quite-top-tier in those disciplines, combined with above-average results in speed.

(Hard agree that psicobloc would be a perfect Olympic event.)
posted by kickingtheground at 12:16 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]

Thanks for posting this! Those were really neat, especially the step-by-step gymnastics. As a non-gymnast, when I see dozens of routines in real time, they flash by so quickly. I sometimes forget how incredibly complicated and difficult these moves are and how much strength and balance they require.
posted by pangolin party at 8:18 AM on July 25

These are very cool. As a lapsed climber, I was impressed with how clear and approachable the Ondra piece felt. It definitely glossed over a ton of detail that climbers care about, but I think it was toned down without being patronizing.
posted by that's candlepin at 1:24 PM on July 27

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