Photo via USA Men’s Basketball / Twitter.

For Your Edification* is a weekly Slice of Culture series where staff writer Ed Daniel take topics — Hudson County or national news related — and provides social commentary.

No need for a strong think piece this week. No need to tune into NBC at 3:00 in the morning because Slice of Culture is here to provide your much needed Tokyo Olympics coverage — it’s probably just as good anyways. 

Now I have not been a strong viewer of this year’s Olympics. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any event live. 

My viewing or lack thereof may be due to apartment remodeling — don’t recommend it — the 13 hour time difference from Tokyo to the east coast or my refusal to subscribe to Peacock. 

But nonetheless the Tokyo Olympics are still going and we have been gifted with some surprising stories. 

Lamont Jacobs, an Italian man from El Paso, Texas, won the men’s 100 meter dash. That’s an interesting sentence to digest, is it not? Andre De Grasse, of Canada, won the men’s 200 meters dash. Italy also took home the men’s 4×1 relay race. 

Before I get to scolding the U.S. men’s track and field participants, I have to give a shoutout to Italy. If kudos was a currency they would get some from my pocket. 

Now I don’t know what is going on with the men’s 4×1 relay team, but I know it’s not good, especially when track legend Carl Lewis goes to Twitter and expresses his dismay with the team’s performance. 

“The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay,” The nine-time gold medalist said. “The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs, and it was clear that there was no leadership. It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) kids I saw.” 

Well, not much to add there. 

I’m looking forward to the next Olympics where the talented men’s sprinting team find a way to drop the ball — or baton in this case — and become national disappointments. 

The women’s 100 meters had first, second and third finishes for Jamaica with Elaine Thompson-Herah taking the gold and veteran Shelly Anne Frasier Pryce taking silver. 

Elaine Thompson-Herah, of Jamaica, wins the women’s 100-meter final at the Olympics, on July 31, 2021, in Tokyo. (Martin Meissner / AP)

Some info about Pryce: this is her fourth Olympics and she has run her personal best times post-pregnancy. 

Another mother at the Olympics killing it is Allyson Felix who just won a bronze medal in the women’s 400 race, tying with Lewis for the most medals by an American track and field athlete at the Games. 

Speaking of talent, the U.S. men’s basketball team snagged the gold medal against France in the final game early Saturday morning. 

The men’s team previously lost to the Evan Fournier led French team earlier in the tournament, and has since gotten revenge. The team started off rocky losing their first two exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia, both not known to be basketball powers. 

This is America’s 16th gold medal and fourth consecutive win in basketball at the Olympics. The next country closest with gold medal wins in basketball has only two. 

Does anyone get excited when the U.S. men’s team wins or do we just don’t care until they lose? It feels like we’ve taken for granted how excellent Team USA’s men’s basketball has been in the Olympics since the 2008 Redeem team despite the growing competition. 

With that being said…. Thank you Team USA for not losing  to the French twice in one tournament. 

Did you know the women’s basketball national team is competing for their seventh straight gold medal? At this point everyone else is playing for second. 

They will play Japan on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET for the title. 

By the way, after men’s basketball’s win, Team USA now has 100 medals and 32 gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 games.

There is a lot I didn’t cover, but it wouldn’t be a quick update if I went into great detail about all of the events so have a good weekend and enjoy the rest of the Olympics.

If you want Ed to tackle a specific topic please email hello@sliceofculture and edaniel@sliceofculture.com.

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