THIS AND THAT


So the U.S. women won gold and silver in the all-around gymnastics competition. I’m guessing this means no American athlete was delayed by suspect scoreboards and no one from the Chinese team missing a tooth was allowed to compete. ...

Speaking of the cheaters, you may have read where nine months before the Olympics began, a Chinese government news agency reported gymnast He Kexin was 13, or three years younger than the minimum age required for competing in Beijing. It’s a good story, one that was not-so-surprisingly unavailable on the original Web site Thursday.

You can forget about any uproar to have the gold stripped from the Chinese. First, if anyone could prove He or any of her teammates are under the allowable age, they would have by now.

Second, had you witnessed the unbelievable celebration here following China’s team victory against the Americans on Wednesday, you would know any whisper of trying to take the gold away would be like suggesting NASCAR holds its next event from one end of the Forbidden City to the other. ...

One of the more mundane media jobs here is a cameraman who waits hours for swimming star Michael Phelps to stroll by for, oh, two seconds.

One Australian reporter in the MPC was speaking to her bored cameraman on the telephone and asked the following: "How are you holding up? Can I bring you something? Food, alcohol, drugs?"

I’m assuming the food would be for nourishment, the alcohol to keep things interesting and the drugs to keep him awake in case Phelps opens his mouth and speaks. ...

There is a journalist from Cuba in the MPC this second with his hands over his head, pumping his fists and hooting it up because a female athlete from his country just won a judo match. Sorry. Just can’t get that excited about any Olympian in a terry cloth robe trying to rip the head off another. Unless, of course, we’re talking Katerina Witt. ...

Track and field is under way in Beijing, which signifies the halfway point of the Games. A few more media soldiers dropped today, one poor sap passing out on a couch along the main press walkway. At least he took off his boots before surrendering. ...

It’s amazing how elite sprinters can control their bursts during prelims to conserve energy and wear and tear on legs.

Usain Bolt (10.20 seconds, 9.92), Usafa Powell (10.16, 10.02), Tyson Gay (10.22, 10.09) all more or less jogged through their first heat in the 100 meters before somewhat turning things up for the second.

The semifinals and finals are Saturday.

Drug tests to follow, which means those administering the tests won’t be carrying any combustible items.