So the Olympics bring about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Wait a minute, that was the Wide World of Sports. Anyway, we learned last night that the agony of defeat can apply to the announcers who have the call as well. In the pool, the main event was the celebrated rematch between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the 200 meter individual medley final. Phelps in his Olympic career had never lost this race. Lochte, in every world event that is not the Olympics, had not lost this race. They were expected to finish first and second in a razor thin margin. Spoiler alert: Lochte finished fifth, and Phelps showed again why he’s actually part fish and won going away, earning his 22nd career gold medal.
With the call? Canada’s Elliotte Friedman.
As someone who works in broadcast as well, there is nothing like the feeling you get when you’re on live, and you know you’ve botched it nine ways to Sunday. After the hyperbolic call that Lochte had finally done the unthinkable, vanquishing Phelps in the big race and Phelps not even making the podium, he realized his mistake – he had his lane assignments backwards.
It’s hard to give him too much grief, though. Even though he thought Lochte was swimming in lane four, that really is lane five, Canadian.