The Olympic Buffet: Tuesday, August 19

I’m not sure what I think about his histrionics in terms of sport, but since NBC is a fourth-place network, I just don’t think they have anything to lose by putting Bela Karolyi in his own reality show. Possibly with subtitles.

Tuesday’s Blue Plate Special: The men’s 110m hurdles competition has turned out to be a heartbreaker (damn you, Lane 2!), but the women’s version still has L-O-L-O Lolo. Lolo Jones has gone from living in a church basement as a kid because her mom couldn’t afford rent to being in the running for a gold medal in Beijing. Given that she has the audacity not only to call her website runlolorun.com but to have “Whatever Lola [ahem!] Wants” play when you visit, I’m essentially forced to root for her. She’s joined by two more Americans (Damu Cherry and Dawn Harper), two Jamaicans (Delloreen Ennis-London and Brigitte Foster-Hylton), and three additonal runners from the Commonwealth (Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, Aussie Sally McLellan, and Brit Sarah Claxton) for the “Sun Never Sets on the Hurdlers of the British Empire” race. Shown on NBC in primetime; beware spoilers.

Tuesday’s Chef’s Special: Weightlifting comes to a close today with the men’s super heavyweights (231+ pounds). These are big boys, and they sometimes get written off, I think, as just being behemoths who throw weights around with their giant, stump-like arms. They’re a lot more than that–the jumping ability necessary to execute the clean and jerk often translates into ridiculous vertical leaps. Vertical leaps of three to three-and-a-half feet kind of vertical leap, which puts the weightlifters in the same category as the NBA players competing in the basketball competition. No, seriously. Watch and be astounded, early morning EDT on MSNBC.