Day 2 in Rio: Simone Biles, Alexander Massialas headline USA Olympic action
- Day 2 at the Rio Olympics will be must-watch TV. Simone Biles and the reigning gold medalist American gymnasts are in action and an up-and-coming fencer could make U.S. history.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Day 1 is in the books.
The United States captured the first gold medal of Rio 2016 and finished tied with Japan for the Olympic lead with five total medals after one day of action.
In the pool, on the soccer pitch or on the beach, here’s what to look out for on Day 2:
Diving into the record books
China’s Wu Minxia looks to make history as the most decorated diver of all-time and she starts her Rio campaign with the women’s synchronized 3-meter springboard.
Wu, 30, owns four gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal from the 2004 to ’12 Olympics. If she wins on Sunday, she will surpass Americans Greg Louganis and Pat McCormick as well as compatriots Fu Mingxia, Jingjing and Chen Ruolin, who all have four Olympic titles.
Sunday’s must-watch events
U.S.’s top volleyball competition in action (Begins at 9 a.m. ET, NBCSN)
Kerri Walsh-Jennings and April Ross won their first match of the night as they beat Australia’s Nicole Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar. The American pair will keep close tabs on Sunday’s action with Brazil’s Larissa and Talita opening their Olympics against Russia’s Evgeniya Ukolova and Ekaterina Birlova. USA vs. Brazil may be one of the best rivalries, especially in Rio.
A good ol’ U.S. vs Canada matchup (Begins at 4:15 p.m. ET, NBC)
The U.S. men’s indoor volleyball team kicks off its campaign for another gold medal as it tries to redeem itself from missing the medal stand in London. The team returns David Lee and four-time Olympian Reid Priddy for their final Olympics. The Americans will be favored as this is Canada’s first men’s indoor volleyball squad in 24 years.
Simone Biles and the American women gymnasts begin gold-medal defense (Begins at 7 p.m., NBC)
We may come away with a nickname for the United States women’s gymnastics team on Sunday as it competes for spots in the all-around, team and event finals. This year’s squad is comprised of Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and returning 2012 Olympians Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman. Since London, the Americans have won the team titles at the 2014 and ’15 world championships.
Michael Phelps (likely) makes Olympic debut in 4x100 free relay (10:52 p.m. ET, NBC)
Just like the women last night, the Australian men are favored to win this event, but this event marks the beginning of the end for Michael Phelps—the first time the world will see him race in Rio. Though this is subject to change based on swims in the morning (Team USA coaches will make a decision in the afternoon), the likely team racing in the relay finals is defending 100m free gold medalist Nathan Adrian, Olympic rookie Caeleb Dressel, and fellow Olympic veteran Anthony Ervin.
Neymar at Night (Begins at 9 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Neymar and Brazil will take on Iraq, which had a scoreless draw against Denmark in its opening match. Brazil slumped in its first game of the tournament with its own scoreless draw against South Africa.
Biggest thing you may have missed on Day 1
Ginny Thrasher shocked the world when she took gold in the women’s 10-meter air rifle competition. She upset 2004 Olympic gold medalist Du Li of China in the final. Thrasher is the NCAA champion and coming off her freshman year at West Virginia.
There was also a major upset in women’s field hockey as the Americans took down No. 2 Argentina 2–1 in their opening match. Team USA is ranked No. 5 in the world.
It’s all being discussed in the Sports Illustrated at the Games podcast, which you should subscribe to now. Mitch Goldich and Alex Abnos are staying up late every night to discuss all of the world-class performances in Brazil.
Still can’t navigate through all the television coverage? Here’s Richard Deitsch’s day-to-day watch guide.
Tweet of the day
Keep Rio weird.
The internet also went abuzz about a gruesome injury to a French gymnast. Click here to see it at your own discretion.
Recommended reads and videos from the SI staff
• Lee Feiner has a video on what it’s like to watch the opening ceremony from one of Brazil’s favelas just outside of the stadium.
• Grant Wahl narrated another video by Lee. While we know about all of Brazil’s woes, we should take time to appreciate the beauty that comes with the Summer Games.
• The United States men’s basketball team disposed of China once again. Andrew Sharp was on-site with three quick takeaways from the 119–62 thrashing.
• I took a quick trip to Riocentro for some table tennis and witnessed the United States’ first Olympian born after 2000 in action.
• Michael Rosenberg was also on-site at the venue and wrote about Russian doping.
Athlete to root for
At just 22, Alexander Massialas (the son of U.S. fencing coach Greg Massialas) eyes gold just four years after placing 13th in London. He is the No. 1 foil fencer in the world and now has the experience of three years at Stanford under his belt. He won the NCAA foil title in 2013 and ’15. If he wins gold, he would be the first gold medalist in Team USA fencing history.