40th anniversary of Title IX pays off, while USA Boxing hits the canvas
August 9, 2012 09:18 AM
The U.S. women’s soccer team goes for gold Thursday at the same time the U.S. women’s basketball team plays for a spot in the gold-medal game. America’s female beach volleyball players swept their medals Wednesday, and the U.S. women’s swim team had its best performance since 1984. Throw in several medals already won by the U.S. women in track and field, and it’s by no means a stretch to say the 40th anniversary of Title IX has actually been its golden year.
Like anyone else heading home after a late night at work, the U.S. men’s basketball team simply took the Javelin train home following its victory over Argentina on Monday night. Supposedly, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James even shared Twizzlers with some of the other riders. Maybe it was a photo opportunity, maybe it was just for fun, but it’s the latest example of the NBA stars being inclusive in these Games instead of exclusive. They’ve mingled in the Athletes Village, cheered on U.S. athletes in other events around London and, from all appearances, truly enjoyed the Olympic experience.
Not since 1996, the year beach volleyball was introduced to the Olympics, have two teams from the same country face off for the gold medal. But that’s what happened Wednesday, with Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings taking gold over April Ross and Jennifer Kessy. That came one day after Hilton announced that it will hold a U.S.-China beach volleyball exhibition to be shown on NBC and China TV in the fall. In terms of its pecking order on the U.S. Olympic platform, beach volleyball just continues to grow.
The U.S. came away with no medals for the first time in Olympic boxing history. At least, none for the men. The first-time female program is going to save USA Boxing from getting a total goose egg in London. USA Boxing has been chasing its tail for years, both competitively and financially. The organization spent the last four years getting its financial house in order. Now it’s clear it needs to spend the next four getting its act together in the ring before the sport becomes even more of an afterthought in the U.S.