RIO DE JANEIRO -- Remember at the start of the Olympics, when I talked about there being days when you wished you could be two places at once, when covering the Games was a true grinding labor of love? Well, this is the day. There are at least five events today that would qualify as the top column choice on a less cluttered day.
This morning, wrestler Jordan Burroughs began defense of his 74-kilogram gold medal, looking to become the first American wrestler in 24 years to win gold in consecutive Olympics. Burroughs is looking to make a case for himself as the greatest wrestler of all time. He is 124-2 in his international career, so he will certainly be on the short list if he wins today.
Burroughs is married to the former Lauren Mariacher, a Buffalo woman who used to work at the Buffalo News. Lauren is at the wrestling venue today, along with about 10 other family and friends. I told her last week over the phone that I'd see her there. Sorry, kid. I didn't realize this our two contending locals would make this the busiest, and potentially greatest, Olympic day in Buffalo's history.
I'm currently at the volleyball arena in Maracanazinho, where Matt Anderson and the U.S. team will play Italy in the semifinals an hour from now. If they win, they move to Sunday's final and ensure themselves of at least a silver medal. I'm loving the volleyball here, it's a terrific sport, and I couldn't miss this game for anything (well, maybe if Jenn Suhr was vaulting at the same time.)
The U.S. men's basketball team plays Spain in today's semifinals at 2:15 Eastern time in the States. This is a rematch of the last two gold-medal games, which were classics. I haven't seen the U.S. men and they seem vulnerable (Carmelo, cough!). But sorry, can't get there. Have to run out of the volleyball venue after U.S.-Italy and catch a train to the Olympic Stadium for track and field.
At 8 p.m. Rio time, Suhr, sickness and all, will try to win another women's pole vault title. It should be a dramatic night. She was still hurting on Tuesday when she qualified, but three days' rest might get her to 80 percent or better and give her a shot. I'd never count her out.
Oh, a certain Usain Bolt will run on Jamaica's 4x100 relay team at around 10 p.m. in the Olympics Stadium, looking to complete his historic triple triple -- winning the 100, 200 and the sprint relay in three straight Olympics -- and stating his case as the greatest Olympian ever.
With my luck, I'll be in the mixed zone waiting for Jenn when Bolt takes the baton and tries to complete the triple triple. I'm sure I'll know from the thunderous reaction above me if it's happening. But hey, locals take precedence, and if Suhr wins another gold medal to go with her 17 national pole vault titles, she should be in the discussion as one of the best female track athletes in U.S. history.
Off to the press section for volleyball.