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Olympic medal table: How is China even close to the US?

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But, of course, just because America isn't good at something doesn't mean it isn't fabulously entertaining. It is an Olympic credo as much as faster, higher, stronger: No matter what you are watching, you are missing at least three other amazing things happening somewhere else at the same time.

Some of it's unusual to the American eye

For example, did you see the rhythmic gymnastics?

To an American, perhaps, all the balls and clubs can at first appear a bit odd. It's like asking Usain Bolt to juggle while running the 100 meters.

But then look at what they do with them.    

In the team event, the Ukrainian team did something that I will try to explain here, but will fail to capture in its full OMG-ness. First, bear in mind that the rhythmic gymnastics team event is like an entire Super Bowl halftime show condensed into 1-1/2 minutes, without wardrobe malfunctions. Ribbons and hoops are flying through the air like fireworks while gymnasts are contorting themselves into positions that would challenge Gumby.

In short, there's a whole lot going on.

Then in the midst of this seething mass of spandex and sparkle, one of the gymnasts is suddenly lifted above the others, as you might see in synchronized swimming. Except out of nowhere, one of the hoops comes flying at her (which does not happen in synchronized swimming). While lying on top three of her teammates and with perfect form – toe pointed, leg preternaturally straight – she kicks the centimeters-wide hoop across the entire floor. Somehow taking on the character of its dispatcher, the hoop arcs gracefully, spinning perfectly straight, until it lands as accurately and as softly as a Peyton Manning pass in the hands of a teammate. Then they continue doing other amazing things, as though this was as easy as making a ham sandwich (which, to them, it probably is). 

They finished sixth.

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