Allyson Felix’s Journey, Misty and Kerri’s Dream, and More Sap from NBC

Scenes from the Olympics.
Aug. 9 2012 2:56 PM

The London Olympics Sap-o-Meter

Journeys on the track and dads on the beach on an overwhelmingly sweet night for NBC.

120731_FRC_SapometerBird

The bikini-clad golden girls are golden once more. On Wednesday, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings won their third consecutive Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball and produced a sugar rush of sappy commentary in the process. Though NBC’s prime-time broadcast was only three hours long, the Americans’ triumph on the beach and three gold medals in track and field boosted the Sap-o-Meter to a sweet 65 Sap Points.

Making the most of their three hours, NBC emphasized journeys in nearly every event. While icons May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings ended their “journey together as the greatest team of all time,” first-place finishes for Allyson Felix (in the 200 meters) and Brittney Reese (in the long jump) were the fulfillment of four-year journeys after Beijing disappointment. Felix, who hopes to become an elementary school teacher, offered an especially sugary nugget when asked what she’d tell her future students. “It's been a journey. It's never easy,” she said. “There's just tons of hardships along the way, but you can't give up, lose sight of your dream.”

Early in Wednesday’s telecast, paternal narratives stood front and center. NBC gave extra attention to ex-baseball star Frank Viola, the father of diver Brittany Viola, with a combined seven dads and fathers being devoted to him alone. And on the sand, announcers also focused on the athletic blood of May-Treanor, who learned her sport by playing with her father, a 1968 volleyball Olympian.

Advertisement

The Sappiest Line of the Day came courtesy of that puckeringly sweet beach volleyball coverage. After NBC’s Heather Cox asked how she and May-Treanor made a “dream into a reality,” Walsh Jennings gushed:

"Oh my gosh, Heather. So much hard work and love and dedication and faith and belief and support. I mean, we have an army behind us, and there’s so much love at home. Thank you everyone at home. Misty and I, I said, we have something really special. And the world knows it, we know it, we embrace it. … I am so honored to have played the past 12 years with Misty. I am just so proud."

Read the rest of Slate’s coverage of the London Olympics.

Krystal Bonner is a Slate intern.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.