Today, Thursday 29 NovemberFuneral in Glencorse of Captain Walter Barrie1, from 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, who was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 11 November 2012Inquest in Hertfordshire into the death of Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin2, from 2 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, who was killed in Afghanistan on 13 February 2012.His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester presenting Afghanistan campaign medals to 4 Logistic Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps at Dalton Barracks, Abingdon.1st Battalion The Royal Welsh homecoming parade, Wrexham.King’s College London War Studies Book Launch: Media Power and The Transformation of War.Royal United Services Institute event: Nuclear Stability at Low Numbers.
Tomorrow, Friday 30 NovemberSt Andrew’s Day.3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment Op HERRICK medal parade, Warminster.1st Battalion Welsh Guards exercise Freedom of Cardiff.TV programme of interest: ‘Scotland’s Greatest Warrior’, BBC2 (Scotland only), 2100hrs – features the 3rd and 7th Battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Saturday 1 December1st Royal Tank Regiment homecoming parade, Liverpool.
Monday 3 DecemberKing’s Royal Hussars homecoming parade and church service, Winchester.
Tuesday 4 December1st Battalion The Royal Welsh homecoming parade, Swansea.King’s Royal Hussars medal parade, Tidworth.1st Battalion Welsh Guards homecoming parade, Hounslow.3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment homecoming parade, Halifax.Light Dragoons thanksgiving service, Norwich Cathedral.
Wednesday 5 DecemberInquest in Cornwall into the death of Sapper Elijah Bond3, from 35 Engineer Regiment, who died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on 8 December 2011 as a result of wounds sustained in Afghanistan.Light Dragoons homecoming and medal parade, Dereham, Norfolk.3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment thanksgiving service, York Minster.Armed Forces Community Covenant signing by Tower Hamlets Council at the Tower of London.King’s College London War Studies Seminar: Maritime Operations and Security.King’s College London War Studies Book Launch – War from the Ground Up: Twenty-first Century Combat as Politics.
Thursday 6 December1st Battalion The Royal Welsh medal parade, Chester.1st Battalion Welsh Guards medal parade, Wellington Barracks, London.1st Royal Tank Regiment medal parade, Liverpool.HQ 102 Logistic Brigade medal parade, Gutersloh, Germany.Armed Forces Community Covenant signing in Hackney, London.The Sun Military Awards, Imperial War Museum London.
If you thought that the fiefdom of Gator Nation set up in London for the 2012 Olympics was going to be quiet, Ryan Lochte and Abby Wambach dispelled that notion with alacrity on Saturday. And Elizabeth Beisel did something she’s never done on a great first day for the Gators. #Jeah 1, Subway 0 Lochte came into the men’s 400 meters individual medley as the heavy favorite in the event, and he should have been. At the 2011 World Championships, Lochte thrashed the competition, beating American Tyler Clary by more than four seconds in the most lopsided men’s final of the event.
Only world record-holder Michael Phelps choosing to swim in the event after not even attempting it at the World Championships should have even given Lochte pause. With another dominant swim on Saturday, Lochte showed he didn’t even need to worry. Lochte took the event in a blazing 4:05.18, faster than pretty much every time ever recorded in the event save Phelps’ ridiculous 4:03.84 in Beijing, and by more than 3.5 seconds, the largest margin of victory in the event in Olympic history.
Just look at the chasm between Lochte and the rest of the field here, just moments before he touched the wall to finish. Phelps, meanwhile, finished fourth, making Saturday’s race his first individual Olympic final without a gold medal around his neck for the first time since 2004 and his first Olympic final off the podium since 2000. Is it the changing of the guard observers are expecting from Lochte and Phelps in London?
Not quite: Phelps was never considered a favorite in the 400m IM, and still has most of his best events to go, though this performance wasn’t promising. But it’s at least a good start for Lochte, the Gator and swimmer most likely to dominate the water across the pond. Bring on the reign of bling, #Jeah?
Beisel breaks through for first gold Beisel had been one of America’s finest female swimmers for years. But she had never earned an Olympic medal, leaving a hole at the top of an impressive resume put together by the end of her sophomore year and before she had even turned 20. That hole’s not there anymore.
Beisel earned the silver medal in the women’s 400 meters IM on Saturday, coming in second to a world record-setting time from China’s 16-year-old Shiwen Ye, but the loss isn’t exactly a disappointment. Actually, it’s a strong start for a swimmer who could win a few more medals in London, and proof that she’s improving: Beisel swam a personal best in Omaha at the U.S. Olympic Trials, then cut some time from it in her preliminary heat on Saturday morning, then swam even faster in the afternoon.
Ye just swam the best race of her life, and Beisel’s best wasn’t quite enough. That’s okay: The best race of Elizabeth Beisel’s life is surely yet to come. Wambach gets sucker-punched, wallops back Note to anyone tasked with picking one game from her career to show how tough Abby Wambach is: Saturday’s 3-0 win over Colombia is the right choice.
Wambach didn’t score until the second half, when the U.S. broke open the game late en route to its comfortable victory, but she earned her goal, at least karmically, after taking a vicious punch to the eye from Colombia’s Lady Andrade: In true Wambach fashion, she stayed down because she was hurt, not to milk a non-injury. She got back up and kept playing, despite insinuating to USA TODAY ‘s Robert Klemko that she might have handled things differently in the street.
And then she scored in the second half, and held her hand up to her eye in celebration, responding to the punch and showing the world she still had her eye on the prize. That, there, is a significant amount of swag. It’s also proof that messing with Abby Wambach, the baddest woman in soccer, is a stupendously dumb idea.
Dwyer, Stewart start slow Only one Gators swimmer failed to get a medal in a final on Saturday. Conor Dwyer finished fifth in the 400 meters freestyle, well behind China’s Sun Yang. Peter Vanderkaay, who has trained with Olympic and Florida coach Gregg Troy in Gainesville for the past couple of years, took bronze, but he’s only an honorary, adopted Gator.
Azania Stewart, Florida’s only athlete on the court, started and played well for Great Britain in her first Olympic action on Saturday, scoring eight points and grabbing a rebound while drawing five fouls. Unfortunately, her squad lost to Australia, 74-58, and is going to have some difficulty advancing from Group B to the medal round. (Also, Stewart’s “club” is listed as “Florida University,” which is not a real thing, no matter how much The-Dream might think so.) Gator Nation Medal Count, Day 1 Total Medals: 2 (Ryan Lochte 1, Elizabeth Beisel 1) Gold Medals: 1 (Ryan Lochte, men’s 400 meters IM) Silver Medals: 1 (Elizabeth Beisel, women’s 400 meters IM) Bronze Medals: 0 Percentage of U.S. Gold Medals: 100 percent (1 of 1) Percentage of U.S.
Medals: 40 percent (2 of 5) Here’s the cool stat of the day: If the University of Florida were its own country, it would currently be alone in seventh in the overall Olympic medal count. If you like this stat, feel free to share it, but be careful, because it won’t be true for long when I tweeted it, back when I thought Florida was fifth, I apparently neglected to consider the men’s 400 freestyle, which pushed Japan past the mythical Gator Nation and into a three-way tie for fourth. (I’m ranking by total medals; Only Gators is not, which is why this graphic works, too.) However, I did get the other note sort of right: If Florida’s medals weren’t counted in the U.S.’s medals, at that point, Gator Nation would have been fifth, and ahead of the United States as a whole. On both stats, a mea culpa is necessary.
Those stats will likely not be true, or its equivalents that flattering, after today, but Lochte won the U.S.’s first gold, and Beisel its first individual silver. And there’s a strong argument that, for American viewers, Gators ruled the day at the Olympics. Savor that, Gator Nation.
It doesn’t get much better than this.