The 2012 Olympics Are In Full Swing…

The New York Times is doing a wonderful job of providing a pictorial minute by minute update on the 2012 Olympics. Don’t believe me? Check them out here. The 2012 Olympics are in full swing… The photographs are crystal clear and ought to be a keepsake in an online Olympic Museum.

London 2012 Olympics Games Recap:

The London Games are in full swing. Once the alternately educational and mesmerizing Opening Ceremony was out of the way, everyone was finally ready to focus on the Summer Games themselves. Although the full schedule of events actually kicked off before the Opening Ceremony, many Olympics watchers really jumped in headfirst when Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and and a bevy of other swimmers hit the pool during the first weekend of the Games.

With more than 14,000 athletes from more than 200 countries competing over more than two weeks in events ranging from beach volleyball and handball to swimming and gymnastics, there will be something for everyone — although not likely medals for all.

If only the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony were as funny as this recap…

Michelle Collins a writer and comedian takes on the official opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. Brace yourself, you’ll laugh a lot and might even choke on your drink:

Friday, July 27, 2012: A date that will forever tattoo itself into the minds of British people for generations as the day when one billion people watching the Olympic Summer Games worldwide all wondered, at the exact moment, the very same thing: Why is Kenneth Branagh dressed up like Abe Lincoln?

Those of you that tuned in to the five-hour middle school production put on by the fine people of England yesterday (my working title for it: “Quaint Misbehavin”) are probably waking up with a lot of questions today. Questions like “Am I crazy, or did a new Lord of the Rings installment come out last night?” and “Is Paul McCartney the Montauk Monster, and if so, why do I still have sexual feelings for him?” Read more here…

Live: The latest from the London 2012 Olympics…

Want to read live feeds on the 2012 Olympics or missed something on TV? USA Today has your recap. Click here to catch up on what people around the world are saying about their favorite athletes.

Michelle Obama Olympics Fashion: FLOTUS represents in a mixed print outfit…

michelle obama olympicsAs expected, Michelle Obama has proven herself to be a fashionable London 2012 Olympics attendee. She’s already worn patriotic color palettes, donned an elegant white and silver look at Buckingham Palace and even got into the Olympic spirit by throwing on chic blue sports gear to play a a few games of her own. Her latest show of support? Looking seriously stylish as she cheered on Team USA during a tennis match.

FLOTUS had one of the best seats in the house as she watched Serena Williams match against Serbian Jelena Jankovic: smack dab in the middle of Williams’ coach box. Twitter was immediately abuzz with how fantastic she looked in her daring mixed-print ensemble. Michelle wore a black and white checkerboard skirt, a tweed brown shirt and a polka dot sweater. The result was quite a fashion-forward courtside show. (Ed. note: She may possibly be the only woman in the entire world who can look so streamlined in such a multi-faceted look.) View more pictures here…

Clothing store and stores alike are showing their support of the Olympics but is it right?

They certainly get a gold medal for effort in their attempts to get round strict rules surrounding Olympic merchandise. But it is hard to be seen whether even the most ardent rebel will be moved to buy the slightly unorthodox attire.
A men’s clothing hire shop in Surbiton, South-West London, has produced a range of clothes with squares rather than rings in the Olympic colours.
And written above them is an interesting spelling of London 2012 Olympics – it has been changed to Lodnon 2102 Oimplycs.

The shop in Surbiton, South-West London defies the International Olympic Committee's ban on advertising with the Olympic logo and Olympic Rings

The shop in Surbiton, South-West London defies the International Olympic Committee’s ban on advertising with the Olympic logo and Olympic Rings

Rebellion: The spelling on the T-shirt may not even tempt the most rebellious souls to help them flout the ban

Florist Lisa Cross, 33, was told by trading standards officials that colourful rings put up in her window constituted an ‘unauthorised use’ of the Olympic logo that left her at risk of being sued by Games organisers.
The mother of three, who runs La Rose florists in Hanley, Stoke, with business partner Tony Finney, said:

‘The trading standards officers said they really loved the display, but told us we’d have to take it down or we could be sued. We’ve only been running the shop for 16 months. I couldn’t fight it against them, they are a big organisation. I’m trying to grow my business, not ruin it.’The five rings and a torch, all made from tissue paper, were a hit with customers.

Amazed: Lisa Cross, right, pictured with her assistant Cristy Marshall, left, was ordered to remove an Olympic themed window display after being warned she is breaching copyright laws

Elsewhere, a cafe manager who displayed five bagels in the style of Olympics rings was stunned to be raided by ‘community wardens’ from the council.
They took it upon themselves to declare the light-hearted window display ‘unauthorised’, and threatened him with court.

Pride: The bagels were put up ahead of the Olympic torch relay, which will pass by at the weekend

Aah..it’s a shame these store owners couldn’t keep their displays up. I think they were only being creative and supportive of the 2012 Olympics. (Source: Dailymail)

Ryan Lochte looks EXTRA COOL after winning US 1st Gold…

United States' Ryan Lochte poses with his goldRyan Lochte turned his much-anticipated duel with Michael Phelps into a blowout, pulling away to win the Olympic 400-meter individual medley by more than 3 seconds Saturday night. Even more stunning: Phelps didn’t win any medal at all.
After barely qualifying for the evening final in a performance that hinted at trouble ahead, Phelps struggled to a fourth-place finish and was denied his 17th career Olympic medal. When it was done, he could barely pull himself out of the pool.

“It was just a crappy race,” Phelps said. “I felt fine the first 200, then I don’t know. They just swam a better race than me, a smarter race than me, and were better prepared than me. That’s why they’re on the medal stand.”

Not only does Ryan Lochte look impossibly cool but he is eye candy to the max. Congratulations on your win. It’s well earned. Ryan tweeted:

“Thanks to my fans. This gold was for Lochte Nation!! That’s what happens when Lochte Nation Unites!”

Will the 2012 Olympics save East London’s  multicultural community?

Children from Hallsville Primary School in the Olympic host borough of Newham, jump for joy after discovering that every primary school in the borough will be going to the Games. Photo Credit:  Sarah LondonClifford Farrell is thrilled he has secured a relatively well-paid job as a security supervisor at the London 2012 Olympics. Before he landed this gig, he was unemployed. So for the 49-year-old, the games are a temporary solution to make good money.

“This job is a lifesaver,” says Farrell, a native from the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat. “I’ve got work till September, but with my experience I wouldn’t be surprised if the security company, G4S, keeps me on.”

Farrell, a Hackney resident, is just one of many east Londoners hopeful the Olympics will give the communities hosting the Games the same chances as residents in other London Boroughs. The London Borough of Newham, the main setting for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, is one of the most deprived in England. According to recent estimates, the borough has one of the highest ethnic minority populations of all the districts in the country.

Tower Hamlets, one of the six host London boroughs for the Olympics, has an unemployment rate of 13.2 percent, according to a report by the Office for National Statistics (January 2012). About half of the total population in the borough is from black and ethnic minority communities.

In fact, a key element of the city’s successful bid was the promise to transform east London and create jobs for local people. The official line is the long-term regeneration of east London is at the heart of the Olympic plans. Read full story here…

Phelps, Lochte and U.S. Fall to the French…

Ryan Lochte was too fast for Michael Phelps on Saturday night. A day later, he was not fast enough. Lochte was stunningly caught in the anchor leg of the Olympic 400-meter freestyle relay on Sunday night, turning a chance to win another gold for himself and Michael Phelps into a pair of silvers.

The Frenchman Yannick Agnel was the pursuer, reeling in Lochte – who was swimming his third race of the day – to give France a relay gold it so coveted four years ago in Beijing, when a similar anchor leg by Jason Lezak had stolen the prize.

Controversially added to the United States team for the final, Phelps swam a strong second leg to preserve the Americans’ slim lead. He inherited a fingertip lead from Nathan Adrian and handed Cullen Jones a full body length.

Lochte dove in for the anchor leg with that same advantage, and held it for his trip up the pool. But Agnel charged after the turn and sped past a fading Lochte in the final 25 meters. France’s team of Amaury Leveaux, Fabien Gilot, Clement Lefert and Agnel won in 3:09.93. The Americans were second in 3:10.38 and Russia (3:11.41) took the bronze. Read full story here…

HRM’s granddaughter in the Olympics?

Zara Phillips did her royal family proud. The granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II wowed the home crowd and a few relatives in her Olympic equestrian debut Sunday, riding her appropriately named horse, High Kingdom, to a respectable finish in the eventing dressage competition.

The 31-year-old Phillips registered a slight mistake and earned 46.1 penalty points at Greenwich Park, placing her 24th out of 74 riders with two disciplines to go. Her grandfather, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and her mother, Princess Anne, were in the VIP seats as Phillips put High Kingdom through the paces of a standard dressage test to demonstrate the horse’s obedience.

Cheers and applause broke out as Phillips, 14th in line to the British throne, rode into the stadium, and cheers erupted again when she finished. Anne, wearing a bright red canvas hat, applauded politely.

“To be here at home is an amazing feeling, and you just want to try and do your best for the team,” Phillips said.

Three other British riders did better, and their scores contributed to Britain’s third-place finish at the end of dressage. Germany was in the lead with 119 penalty points, followed by Australia with 122.1 and Britain with 127. The United States was seventh with 138.8. As in golf, the low score wins. Read full story here…

Team USA Men’s Basketball hugs it out with FLOTUS…

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs the players of the Team USA men's basketball How can you not love the First Lady? She is extremely humble, personable and just an overall great woman. The Team USA got a hug, individually and collectively on Sunday, from First Lady Michelle Obama. The cheering delegate was watching the team take on and beat France 98-71 in Olympic basketball. With a fairly strong game, the team wasn’t worried about beating France by a large margin, but just winning.

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs the players of the Team USA men's basketball The guys also were interested in meeting up with First Lady Michelle Obama to thank her for showing.Lining up one-by-one, the team took to the side of the stadium and each one got a hug from First Lady Michelle Obama. In what had to take a good five or six minutes, the men definitely couldn’t have missed the chance to give Obama a big squeeze after the win at the Olympic Games. See additional photographs here…

Prince William and David Beckham support Team GB…

nullSpectators at Team GB’s football match (for my American family this is soccer) against the United Arab Emirates made it clear where their loyalties lay at the weekend by giving David Beckham a warm reception. Many held aloft placards supporting the sports star, who was overlooked for the team.

He showed there were no hard feelings by turning out in support of his colleagues with his son, 13-year-old Brooklyn.  Next to him in the stands cheering the guys on, including Becks former team mater Ryan Giggs, was Prince William in his capacity as president of the FA.

David and William have become friendly during their years spent backing the bid and the Beckhams famously had a place in the pews at the royal wedding. The Olympics sure have a way of uniting countries…but then again isnt’ Beckham royalty? I love the 2012 Olympics!

Be careful not to ‘piss’ Twitter off…

Nbc OlympicsThe Independent’s Guy Adams had his Twitter account suspended on Sunday after the Los Angeles-based correspondent tweeted the email address of the president of NBC’s Olympics coverage. (See updates below).

Adams, along with multiple members of the media and general Olympics enthusiasts, took to Twitter over the weekend to criticize NBC’s coverage of the 2012 London games. Viewers first tweeted their frustation that the network did not air the Opening Ceremony live on Friday, instead deciding to broadcast the Parade of Nations during prime time hours. Adams referred to the network as “utter, utter bastards” for its programming decision.

The Independent correspondent continued to criticize the network, tweeting at one point on Friday, “The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think! Email: Gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com.” Zenkel serves as the president of NBC Olympics. Read full story here…

Olympic music artist’ see increase in sales…

Aly Raisman isn’t the only one having a surprisingly good week in London. British acts Dizzee Rascal, the Arctic Monkeys and Two Door Cinema Club all got a significant sales boost thanks to their performances at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies on Friday.

British indie rockers the Arctic Monkeys covered The Beatles’ classic, “Come Together,” during Danny Boyle’s four-hour Olympic extravaganza. The cover track is currently racing up the UK charts and has climbed to No. 14 on the iTunes singles chart, reports NME.

And although some American viewers might not know who they are, the Arctic Monkeys’ debut single from 2005, “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” is back in the UK charts at No. 78. Meanwhile, East London rapper Dizzee Rascal also received a sales spike from the broadcast. Despite NBC cutting his performance time, the rapper’s 2009 track “Bonkers” re-entered the Top 100 after the Opening Ceremonies. Click here to read full story and view the full 86-track Opening Ceremony playlist…

Another Olympian bites the dust…

Disgraced: Switzerland defender Michel Morganella has been expelled from the London Olympics for directing an allegedly racist insult at South Koreans on Twitter. He is seen in action, left, during the match on SundayI guess some people never learn that Twitter is a public site accessible by billions all around the world. An international footballer has been expelled from the London Olympics after directing an allegedly racist insult at South Koreans on Twitter. The Swiss Olympic delegation have sent defender Michel Morganella, 23, home from the Games after he posted the message in the wake of the team’s 2-1 defeat to South Korea on Sunday.

Gian Gilli, chef de mission for the Swiss Olympic delegation at the Games, said: ‘Michel Morganella gravely insulted and discriminated against the South Korean people and their football team with his highly offensive comments on Twitter.

The star posted the message shortly after the game, saying that South Koreans ‘can go burn’ and referred to them as a ‘bunch of mongoloids.’ Read full story here…

Meet the immigrant Olympians…

Did you know that more than three dozen members of Team USA competing in the Olympic games in London are naturalized U.S. citizens?

There’s a list of them on ImmigrationImpact, the blog of the American Immigration Council, an immigrant advocacy organization. The 38 athletes were born in countries ranging from Mexico and Cuba to Kenya and Germany. A chart lists vital stats, including place of birth.

From the feature, here’s a bit of background on a few of them. The athletes are immigrants, refugees and adoptees, and each one has a good story:

Lopez Lomong (Men’s 5000M) was born in southern Sudan and kidnapped by rebels when he was six years old. He managed to escape and spent 10 years in a refugee camp in Kenya before moving to New York and realizing he was the fastest runner at his school.

Meb Keflezighi (Marathon) fled his home country of Eritrea after a civil war broke out and was eventually granted refugee status in the U.S. He holds the record for being the oldest man to win the U.S. trials for the marathon.

Nick Delpopolo (Judo) spent the first years of his life in an orphanage in Montenegro, where he was eventually adopted by an American couple. When he was five, his father signed him up for Judo classes. He was a natural. He is now ranked number one in the U.S. in Judo and 16th in the world.

See details about all of Team USA’s naturalized athletes here.

An elegant reminder of Gymnastics and Olympic History…

Larisa Latynina won 18 Olympic medals in gymnastics for the former Soviet Union, but she had tickets to swimming Tuesday night. Michael Phelps was racing. He was trying to chase down everyone in the pool and Latynina’s record as well.

For nearly half a century, no one approached the number of Olympic medals that Latynina won from 1956 to 1964. She was the first superstar in gymnastics at a time when womanly grace prevailed over teenage acrobatics. But Phelps tied her record Tuesday with a silver medal in the 200-meter butterfly, and had a chance to surpass it later in the day in the 4×200 freestyle relay. Michael Phelps has a total of 19 medals: 15 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals. 

Latynina joked in recent weeks that it was time for a man to be able to do what a woman had done long ago. And that it was too bad Phelps is not Russian.

“Forty-eight years is almost enough time to hold a record,” Latynina, who is 77, said in a telephone interview Tuesday, with her daughter, Tatyana, serving as an interpreter. She wanted to present Phelps with his record medal when the time came, but Olympic red tape apparently would not allow it. What a shame (Latynina is pictured smiling above). Read the full story here…

London Mayor Boris Johnson invites Rupert Murdoch to Olympics…

Getting behind him: Mr Johnson, posing with London 2012 volunteers, is thought to have invited Mr Murdoch to attend because of his investment in British sport through his companiesLondon Mayor Boris Johnson will court controversy this week by taking media tycoon Rupert Murdoch to a top Olympics event as his personal guest.
The News Corporation boss and his wife Wendi Deng are among a group of business leaders invited by Mr Johnson to attend a swimming final expected to feature Britain’s Rebecca Adlington on Friday.

As Mayor, Mr Johnson has oversight of Scotland Yard, where a police investigation into the phone-hacking scandal that has engulfed the media mogul’s newspapers is still under way.

'Long-standing invitation': The News Corporation boss (left) and his wife Wendi Deng (right) are among a group of business leaders invited by Mr Johnson to attend a swimming final on FridayMr Johnson’s decision to invite Mr Murdoch, despite the phone hacking scandal will be seen as a deliberate attempt to demonstrate his independence from David Cameron. The Prime Minister has distanced himself from the tycoon since setting up the Leveson inquiry into media standards and ethics.
The London mayor was initially highly critical of an investigation into phone hacking, describing it as ‘codswallop’. Read full story here…

The Niger rower who’s actually getting slower…

Niger's Hamadou Djibo Issaka smiles after his men's rowing single sculls semifinal on TuesdayThe roar begins about 30 seconds after the first three boats have powered over the finishing line. It starts from the sea of cagoules and umbrellas in the cheaper seats, nearly a kilometer away, far down the lake at Eton Dorney.

Come on, Niger!’

‘You can do it, Niger!’

Another ten seconds and it reaches the far end of the grandstand. Soon, it’s deafening. Everyone’s on their feet. Flags are waving. Hats are twirled in the air. The highly exuberant delegation from the Niger High Commission jumps up and down.

‘Come on, Niger! Don’t give up!’

Louder and louder.

The Mail's Jane Fryer with Nigerien rower Hamadou Djibo IssakaAnd the object of their support? Hamadou Djibo Issaka, a 35-year old gardener and swimming pool attendant from Niamey, the capital of Niger in West Africa.

Four months ago, Hamadou had never been in a boat. But right now – over a minute after the other competitors have finished – he is battling frantically towards the end of his third Olympic rowing race in four days. Read full story here…

Ryan Lochte: “Paul Wall designed my grill”…

Ryan Lochte’s unexpected grill flash during his Olympic medal ceremony was courtesy of none other than the grill-master himself … rapper Paul Wall.

If you recall … Lochte flashed a ruby and diamond studded American flag grill when he accepted his medal for the men’s 400-meter IM event on Saturday … but the genius behind the bling was “The Peoples Champ” himself. Wall told XXLmag.com he was psyched to create the mouth piece, saying “Everyone’s talking about it … it’s just an incredible thing to be part of. There’s not too many world-class swimmers wearing our grill.”

The grill was hand crafted by Wall who boasted to the mag, “Every diamond is set by hand … one by one, prong set and all custom red rubies.”

Wall wouldn’t specify how much he charged Lochte for the grill … but says it’s worth between $15k and $25k. Wall added “Of course we gave him an Olympic discount.” Worth every penny.

Ever wanted to know what an Olympian’s diet consists of?

Olympic DietsJennifer Gibson, U.S. Olympic Committee Nutritionist shares some secrets on athletes’ food:

“I work with an interesting population: the combative and acrobatic sports. That means wrestling, fencing Tae Kwon Do — things with weight classes that require managing weight really closely.

On the acrobatic side, it’s diving, gymnastics, synchronized swimming, all of which require a lean physique and light body weight.

For most of my athletes, weight control is all about pretty restrictive diets. Basically, everything they put in their mouth has to be monitored and thought about. We usually use a phased diet approach. Six to eight weeks out, we change from the initial diet to one with more careful considerations. They can choose to go on strict plans with portions meted out, or they can just get serving guidelines and build their own meals.

Some athletes need to make a few behavioral changes: if they’re evening snackers, that’s something we phase out, for example.

Once we get to the restrictive diet, it’s an extreme situation: it’s not just about fitting into a dress. These guys have to be on the scale number or they don’t get on the mat. First, we’ll do an artificial weight loss from sweating out water weight. Then maybe a liquid diet for a few days. It’s an extreme world, because you have to be so precise on the scale. But these diets zoom in and out — there are periods of coming back to a more liberal, less detailed approach on diet”. Read the full article here…

Vanessa joins husband Kobe Bryant in London for remainder of Olympics…

0730_Vanessa-Bryant_gettyVanessa Bryant is GREAT for the British economy … ’cause she’s already taken to a high-end shopping spree. As TMZ previously reported, Vanessa had planned to fly to the U.K. with the couple’s two daughters long before she saw the pics of a topless Kobe partying with a couple of ladies at an afterparty in Barcelona.

We’re told Vanessa was less than pleased with the photos, but Dolce & Gabbana can make you forget a lot. There’s more than shopping on her itinerary though — a rep tells us Vanessa’s staying in London for the full the remainder of the Olympics and has already attended several events … including one of Ryan Lochte’s races.

Raising an Olympian: The Ryan Lochte Story…

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to raise an Olympian…you need to watch this video clip of the Ryan Lochte Story…

Are you inspired? Do you have what it takes to turn your child into an Olympian?

Raising an Olympian: The Shawn Johnson Story…

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to raise an Olympian…you need to watch this video clip of the Shawn Johnson Story…

Are you inspired? Do you have what it takes to turn your child into an Olympian?

Raising an Olympian: The Kerri Walsh-Jennings Story…

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to raise an Olympian…you need to watch this video clip of the Kerri Walsh Jennings Story…

Are you inspired? Do you have what it takes to turn your child into an Olympian?

Raising an Olympian: The Kortney Klemons Story…

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to raise an Olympian…you need to watch this video clip of the Kortney Klemons Story…

Are you inspired? Do you have what it takes to turn your child into an Olympian?

Raising an Olympian: The Jessica Ennis Story…

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to raise an Olympian…you need to watch this video clip of the Jessica Ennis Story…

Are you inspired? Do you have what it takes to turn your child into an Olympian?

Raising an Olympian: The Gabby Douglas Story…

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to raise an Olympian…you need to watch this video clip of the Gabby Douglas Story…

Are you inspired? Do you have what it takes to turn your child into an Olympian?

Raising an Olympian: The Lolo Jones Story…

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to raise an Olympian…you need to watch this video clip of the Lolo Jones Story…

Are you inspired? Do you have what it takes to turn your child into an Olympian?

Raising an Olympian: The Jordyn Wieber Story…

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to raise an Olympian…you need to watch this video clip of the Jordyn Wieber Story…

Are you inspired? Do you have what it takes to turn your child into an Olympian?

GE makes $100 Million from London Olympics: $1 Billion since signing as Olympic Sponsor…

The Olympics have definitely been good to GE. The General Electric Co made about $100 million selling lights, power supplies and medical devices for the London Olympic Games, reports Reuters.

Since signing on as a top Olympic sponsor in 2005, it’s pulled in about $1 billion selling equipment to the Games in Torino, Beijing and Vancouver. Half of that amount was generated through deals with the 2008 Beijing Games alone.

“At the time when Beijing went for the Olympics, they invested a lot. There was just a lot more to be built and developed,” said Beth Comstock, GE’s chief marketing officer. “London has a much more measured approach in terms of infrastructure, but we certainly are happy that we participated.”

GE would not disclose sponsor contract details, but said the revenue generated from the Olympics justified the investment. Read full story here…

Wieber’s Tight Tumbling in U.S. Gymnastics Win…

After a disappointing elimination in the individual, all-around qualifiers on Sunday, Jordyn Wieber executed a nearly flawless “double twisting, double back” flip in the first pass of her floor routine during the team competition Tuesday. Check out the pictorial play by play below:

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U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team Win Against Tunisia…

The image that best summarized the United States’ lopsided men’s basketball victory over Tunisia on Tuesday took place after the game.

On the court, in the traditional handshake line, the Tunisian players came prepared. One carried a pen and removed his right shoe and handed both to Kobe Bryant, who graciously provided his signature. From autopilot to autographs, it was that kind of night.

The final tally read, 110-63, in favor of the Americans. That Tunisia mounted a challenge to USA Basketball, however brief, registered as breaking news here, at least early into pool play.

“They look at this game, that’s the game of their lives,” Coach Mike Krzyzewski said afterward, in way of explanation. “We told our guys that.”

In his news conference, the normally serious Krzyzewski played the role of standup comedian, the light atmosphere indicative of the outcome.

On what this team is missing compared to the 1992 Dream Team: “Michael Jordan, probably. Let’s start there. That’s one missing link.”

On the importance of LeBron James compared to the importance of Anthony Davis: “LeBron James is more important than Anthony Davis or a number of guys. He’s more important than me.”

To a Polish reporter who correctly pronounced his last name: “You brought sunshine to my day.” Read full story here…

15 year old Gabby Douglas’ greatest 2012 Olympic moments…

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States of America competes on the balance beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Gabrielle Douglas of the United States of America competes on the balance beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States performs on the balance beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States performs on the balance beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States competes in the beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team qualification on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Gabrielle Douglas of the United States competes in the beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team qualification on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The U.S women’s gymnastics team celebrates it’s first Olympic title since 1996, thanks in part to Gabby Douglas. The 16-year-old, and her four teammates, have been branded as the “Fab Five” after they beat Russia and Romania for the gold in their final event, the floor exercise. theGrio has compiled this slideshow of memorable moments from the competition. Courtesy of Getty Images

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States competes in the vault in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team qualification on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Gabrielle Douglas of the United States competes in the vault in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team qualification on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States of America competes on the uneven bars in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) Gabrielle Douglas of the United States of America competes on the uneven bars in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States competes on the uneven bars in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Gabrielle Douglas of the United States competes on the uneven bars in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States performs on the floor exercise in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) Gabrielle Douglas of the United States performs on the floor exercise in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States performs on the floor exercise in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) Gabrielle Douglas of the United States performs on the floor exercise in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States of America reacts after competing on the balance beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Gabrielle Douglas of the United States of America reacts after competing on the balance beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Gabrielle Douglas of the United States poses with the gold medal after helping the United States win the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Gabrielle Douglas of the United States poses with the gold medal after helping the United States win the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Olympic Athlete Bodies: Are they just like yours?

Do you have the body of a badminton player? An archer? Or even (you lucky creature) a swimmer?

Find out using the BBC’s fun Olympic Athlete Body Match. Your faithful correspondant entered her height and weight and found that she most closely resembled Jiho Park, the South Korean diver, competing in the Men’s 10m Platform. Or the Canadian rower Lindsay Jennerich. If she were a Judo master, she could compete against the UK’s formidable Gemma Howell, who is in the same weight class with near identical dimensions.

The infographic also provides a scatterplot, showing where exactly the reader falls in the weight and heigh distributions of Olympians who, like the rest of us humans, fall between a fairly standard distribution, with a few outlines. The graph shows us the smallest Olympian: Asuka Teramoto of Japan, who is both the shortest and lightest athlete at the London games, standing at 4’6″ and just over 66 pounds. Read more here…

Should Olympians be allowed to tweet during the games?

Following a match with South Korea on Monday, Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella was expelled from the Games due to racially insensitive and threatening tweets about South Koreans. Earlier, triple jumper Voula Papachristou was removed from Greece’s Olympic team for her own comments on Twitter that mocked African immigrants.

Finally, just yesterday US hurdler sweetheart Lolo Jones caught some flack for a misunderstood but insensitive tweet saying:

“USA Men’s Archery lost the gold medal to Italy but that’s ok, we are Americans… When’s da Gun shooting competition?”

Jones was, of course, referring to skeet and other Olympic shooting games, but the comment was misconstrued as a remark about the gun-happy nature of the US; particularly unsettling after the recent events in Aurora, Colorado. Take the poll here…

Gold medal after a birth and a broken collarbone…

For a brief time, Kristin Armstrong thought her competitive cycling days were over. She had a gold medal from the Beijing Olympics and a beautiful little boy named Lucas, and since it felt right, she retired.

Six weeks after giving birth, she went for a bike ride. Twenty-two months after the delivery, she found herself at an Olympic start line Wednesday, defending the women’s time trial gold medal she captured in 2008. That she won again could have been expected. That she won by more than 15 seconds, after the birth and the retirement and a broken collarbone, surprised even Armstrong.

“This is an amazing moment,” she said.

If the event and the result felt similar to Beijing, everything else was different. Armstrong, 38, said she felt like the favorite in China. When she looked at the start list Wednesday, she felt nine women were capable of beating her. Read full story here…

Bronx, NY raised a Gymnast…

An hour after John Orozco finished what was probably the worst meet of his life, he had snapped back to normal.

His tears were gone. His sweet smile reappeared. He even laughed a few times about how uncharacteristically nervous he was Monday in the men’s team finals, a competition he will not soon forget. When his team needed him most, Orozco struggled on pommel horse, then fell on his vault. The United States, which was expected to win at least a bronze medal, finished fifth.

“Oh, I’ll bounce back,” Orozco said in his usual calm voice. “Because, you know, that’s what I always do.”

Orozco, 19, has one more chance for a medal at the London Games, in the individual all-around Wednesday. But Monday’s poor performance will not hinder him, he said, because he has rebounded from adversity before — so many times that he is used to uphill climbs. Read full story here…

Japan’s Uchimura wins the all-around Gold…

Kohei Uchimura did not fool anyone by qualifying in ninth place last week for the Olympic men’s all-around event in gymnastics. His competitors knew that he would be the one to beat in the final on Wednesday, and they were right.

Uchimura, the three-time world champion from Japan, took the lead halfway through the competition — then never let it go.

He finished his night on the floor exercise, twisting through the air so quickly during his tumbling passes that he was nothing but a blur. When he was done and his feet finally hit the ground, he walked off with a smile and a wave to the crowd, looking relieved that the contest was over.

Not long after, the gold medal was in his hands and he examined it, as if to make sure he was not dreaming. Read full story here…

British Rowers capture 1st British Gold…

After a wait that seemed like forever, Britain finally won its first gold medal at its home Olympics, with the rowers Heather Stanning and Helen Glover dominating the women’s coxless pairs in a victory at Dorney Lake.

The British were expected to win that first medal on the first day of the Games, when the cyclist Mark Cavendish competed in the road race. But it was not to be. A cyclist from Kazakhstan won instead, dousing the country’s hopes of an early celebration.

Then four days of swimming and gymnastics and equestrian — and many other sports — went by with no British athletes atop the medals stand. But with their compatriots watching and waiting, Glover and Stanning — who began rowing together just three years ago and remain undefeated this year — led the 2,000-meter race from start to finish. Read full story here…

How swimming photographers get their shot…

As Al Bello struggles to wedge his lean body into his scuba gear, it appears that taking the photographs has to be the easy part.

Bello pulls the skintight black shirt over his shoulders, tugs the legs of his shorts closer to his knees and straps on a heavy tank. Placing a mask on his shaved head and flippers on his feet, he drops backward off the edge into the Olympic pool, where he will spend more time during these Games than Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte.

A camera rests three meters down, its lens protected by a clear glass dome the size of mixing bowl. Bello, a 44-year-old Brooklyn native and an award-winning photographer for Getty Images, placed it there a week ago. Read full story here…

Best Wishes from Barack and Bieber…

It was fitting, given that the London Olympics have been designated the social media games, that President Obama avoided the old-school phone call and instead sent congratulations by Twitter to Michael Phelps on becoming the most decorated Olympian.

“Congrats to Michael Phelps for breaking the all-time Olympic medal record,” @BarackObama enthused to @MichaelPhelps. “You’ve made your country proud.”

With a silver medal in the 200-meter butterfly and a gold in the 800 freestyle relay on Tuesday, Phelps increased his medal haul to 19, one more than the former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

He replied, “Thank you Mr. President!! It’s an honor representing the USA!! The best country in the world!!”

After posting the fourth-fastest time in the 200-meter individual medley preliminaries on Wednesday morning, Phelps said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of appreciation from the Twitter world. “Just the number of people,” he said.

“I started scrolling through thousands of mentions and I was like, ‘Man, this is a lot of things to look at.’”Read full story here…

8 Olympic Badminton players kicked out of London Games…

Four badminton teams were kicked out of the women’s doubles at the London Games on Wednesday for trying to lose on purpose, conduct that a top IOC executive said strikes at the heart of Olympic competition.

The eight doubles players from China, South Korea and Indonesia were cited by the Badminton World Federation for:

“conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.” “We have to be clear, there has been a problem here and we have to take that problem very seriously,” BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said. “There are things we can improve on and look at after this competition.”

South Korea and Indonesia appealed the disqualification, but the BWF rejected the South Korean appeal and the Indonesia challenge was withdrawn. China had accepted the federation’s earlier decision. Read full story here…

19 and counting: Phelps is most decorated Olympian…

The big stage did not swallow Chad Le Clos in its floodlights, but he was in the dark when it came to finding his way out. Michael Phelps was there, as he has been for the past decade, to show the way.

During the parade of medalists, Le Clos, 20, of South Africa, was the one with tears in his eyes and the Olympic gold medal around his neck after handing Phelps his first major international defeat in the 200-meter butterfly since the Pan Pacific Championships in 2002. Le Clos was timed in 1 minute 52.96 seconds, five-hundredths ahead of Phelps, who was nearly a second off his winning time in 2008 of 1:52.03.

“To be honest, I didn’t really think that I was going to win the race,” Le Clos said. “Just very proud. The race for me was more than an Olympic final. Ever since the 2004 Olympics, Michael’s always been an inspiration to me and a role model.”

As they made their way around the pool deck and posed with their medals, Le Clos said Phelps told him “to enjoy the moment because it’s really special” and explained the best way to negotiate the next half-hour because neither swimmer was done for the night. Read full story here…

Observance of Ramada poses challenges to Muslim athletes…

With nearly three million Muslims living in Britain, the observance of Ramadan here is not generally a notable occurrence. Shops are open, businessmen go to work at the regular times and, to outsiders, life seems ordinary enough, save for the absence of eating or drinking from dawn until sunset.

But the Olympics have made this far from an ordinary summer in England, so the arrival of Islam’s holiest month has led to a variety of issues for the estimated 3,000 Muslim athletes and officials at the Games. Questions still linger about how athletes should deal with training, competing and fasting (or whether it is proper for Muslim athletes to fast at all).

Restrictions for Ramadan are laid out in the second chapter of the Koran, where it is written: “And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days.” In many instances, the second part of that passage has been the rationale for athletes competing at the Olympics to postpone their fast until after competition. Read full story here…

For Chinese Swimmer…same result = Gold…

Another race, another record, another gold medal for Ye Shiwen. But the questions never change.

Ye, the 16-year-old swimmer from China who has set records in the pool at the London Games amid persistent questions about doping, broke the Olympic record in the 200-meter individual medley Tuesday night. In doing so, she added a second gold to the one she earned Saturday — in world-record time — in the 400 I.M.

Ye finished the race Tuesday in 2 minutes 7.57 seconds. As she had on Saturday, she won with a blistering final 50 meters, covering it more than a half-second faster than the silver medalist, Alicia Coutts of Australia, and nearly one and a half seconds ahead of Caitlin Leverenz of the United States, who won the bronze in 2:08.95. Read full story here…

Cyclist killed by Olympic Bus…

A cyclist has been killed after being hit by a bus ferrying journalists between Olympic venues.

The man, believed to be around 30, was struck by the double-decker just outside the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, at around 7.40pm on Wednesday. He was not believed to be an athlete.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the man was pronounced dead at the scene in Ruckholt Road, at the junction with the A12. He said the collision was being investigated by the Metropolitan Police’s traffic investigation unit.

A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said:

“We were called at just after 7.30pm to reports of a road traffic collision involving a cyclist and a coach on the A106. We sent a single response car, one ambulance crew, the London air ambulance and the duty officer. Sadly one person was pronounced dead at the scene by the air ambulance doctor.”Read full story here…

An interview with Ryan Lochte…

Since Beijing, Ryan Lochte has replaced Michael Phelps as the world’s top swimmer. He was the first man to set a world record after FINA’s swimsuit ban, won six gold medals at last year’s world championships and is expected to contend for up to seven golds in London. Sports Illustrated said his upcoming battles with Phelps will be like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. In between training and promoting Procter & Gamble’s new Olympic campaign, Lochte talked with Fourth-Place Medal about the 2012 Olympics, his mom and whether he’s really as cool as everyone says.

Fourth-Place Medal: Saw you on the “Today” show this morning. Was it exciting to be out there with your mom?
Ryan Lochte: Yes, yes. Did you see her crying?
FPM: I did. She said she was a little camera shy, but looked to be pretty comfortable out there.
Ryan Lochte: Oh yeah, she’s just speaking from the heart, so that’s good.
FPM: She was a coach for you when you first started out?
Ryan Lochte: Yes, growing up she was my very first coach.
FPM: How was that dynamic between mom and coach? It’s tough enough sometimes with mom and son and coach and swimmer. Read the full interview here…

Ryan Lochte on Love and Relationships…

2012-08-01-aRYANLOCHTE640x4685.jpegRyan Lochte, America’s latest golden boy swimmer/imaginary boyfriend/Voguecover model/verbally-challenged bro, has been getting a lot of attention during the London Olympics. After all, he won a gold medal, and he’s pretty pretty. Turns out 27-year-old Lochte also has his fair share of opinions on women, romance and sex. Here are seven of them:

1. The best way to pick up a woman is to wink at her. 
Lochte shared his very specific woman-wooing strategy in Women’s Health‘s July/August issue. “[I] make eye contact. Some guys keep staring, but I’ll give a wink and come back later, because it keeps her thinking,” said Lochte.

2. Women are evil — but being loved by one is still a worthy goal. 
In an interview with ESPN, Lochte revealed some bitterness toward the opposite sex. “Is there decent girl out there who doesn’t lie?” he asked. “They all lie. They’re all evil. I just want to meet someone who is real, who is honest … who wants to love me as a person.” Note to Ryan: Calling women “evil” usually isn’t a good way to get them to like you. Read more here…

NBC Olympics Ratings Higher Than Expected…

An average of 38.7 million viewers watched the London Games on Tuesday night, nearly 5 million more than watched on the comparable day four years ago in Beijing and almost 9 million more than tuned in on the first Tuesday night of the Athens Games in 2004.

Through five nights, including the opening ceremony, NBC is averaging 35.6 million viewers, more than any Summer Olympics from outside the United States since the 1976 Montreal Games.

The results are considerably better than NBC expected. In Comcast’s earnings call with analysts Wednesday, Steve Burke, NBC Universal’s chief executive, said that the company had projected ratings would fall 20 percent from Beijing compared with the first five days in London, but that they were up 9 percent.

He said the forecasts surmised that the tape-delayed prime-time broadcast’s ratings would suffer for not having the live gymnastics and Michael Phelps races that NBC had from Beijing. Read full article here…

Headphone brands compete for viewers’ attention at Olympics…

Michael Phelps walks to the starting blocks in headphones.One by one, the swimmers emerge poolside from behind a wall, making their way to the starting blocks at the Olympic aquatics center in a procession that combines the drama of sport, the staging of prime-time TV and the posturing of a fashion-show catwalk. This conspicuous scene, playing out many times a day at the London Games, has also become an international advertising bonanza for a product not usually associated with water sports: headphones.

Some swimmers dance or showboat as they walk across the pool’s deck. Most acknowledge the crowd with a wave. But many more strut out coolly toward their lanes wearing headphones. These are rather massive headgear that, when twinned with mirrored goggles and the pounding beats of artists like Lil Wayne and Cash Money Millionaires, shut out all outside stimuli in the pursuit of perfect prerace concentration.

Olympic officials are famously relentless in snuffing out any appearance of an unofficial sponsor at the Games; athletes are prohibited from posting Twitter messages about their individual sponsors, and even the brand logo on toilet-paper dispensers is covered with black tape lest anyone think Bay West is an official partner of the London Games. But the headphones on display at the aquatics center have so far evaded the brand police, surely to the delight of the companies that did not have to pay for their logos to be seen by millions of viewers around the world. Read full article here…

This is so sad…

Tinged with sadness: Minxia Wu of China celebrates her gold medal in women's Synchronised 3m Springboard. She was then told the devastating secretWinning an Olympic gold should be a moment of great joy for any athlete at London 2012. But for Chinese diver Wu Minxia securing her golden hat-trick on Sunday at the Aquatic Centre in east London was followed by shock and sadness.

Straight after a triumph in the women’s Synchronized 3m Springboard that made her a legend in her sport, the 26-year-old’s family decided it was the right time to tell her a devastating family secret.

Winners: Wu Minxia (left) and her diving partner He Zi wave to spectators after receiving their medalsThey admitted to their daughter that her grandparents died – over a year ago. And instead of telling her, they kept it back. Wu’s family also revealed that her mother had been battling breast cancer for several years, something Wu had no idea about.

The reasoning was clear: they wanted her to win at all costs and didn’t want family matters to interfere with her diving career. Wu, who with teammate He Zi won the last two synchronised gold medals in Athens and Beijing, was an overwhelming favorite to win gold again and successfully lead China’s quest to unite every Olympic and world diving gold medal. Read full story here…

Do Olympians pee in the pool?

Do Olympic Swimmers Pee In The PoolCarly Geehr has answered one of life’s eternal questions: Do Olympians pee in the pool? The answer, is, yes, but the extent to which this is true may disturb many. Geehr, a former USA Swimming National Team Member, decided to provide the icky details when faced with the question on Quora:

Nearly 100% of elite competitive swimmers pee in the pool. Regularly. Some deny it, some proudly embrace it, but everyone does.
The more interesting question is *when* does said peeing happen?

Just about the only time you can get away with peeing during a race is during a breaststroke pullout. You spend enough time gliding that if you really gotta go, you probably could. Otherwise, you’re too tense and too, well, busy to even think about peeing. Before a race is an interesting time. It depends on the meet and to some extent the color of the pool deck. I kid you not. You always try to pee before you swim, but sometimes your body defies logic and finds a way to refill your bladder just to spite you. Read full story here…

Lala Vasquez joins husband Carmelo in London for 2012 Olympics…

Alani Vasquez aka Lala Vasquez Anthony joins the likes of Vanessa Bryant and other Basketball wives for the 2012 London Olympics. Lala arrived a few days ago and she’s already been caught shopping. London must be a wonderful place to shop. Lala, Carmelo who were joined by Lala’s mother and their son Kiyan displayed their British side as they toured London’s finest stores…

Interesting fact: Lala is of Nuoyurican ancestry (a term used to describe second or third generation Puerto Ricans living in other areas in the Northeast outside New York State). Carmelo is of African American and Puerto Rican ancestry. Yes, they’re in an interethnic relationship!

USA’s Kayla Harrison claims gold medal in judo…

Kayla Harrison, a victim of sexual abuse as a teenager who found a healing home six years ago at a judo center in Massachusetts, Thursday became the first U.S. judo player ever to win an Olympic gold medal. In the 172-pound final, Harrison beat crowd favorite Gemma Gibbons of Great Britain. Harrison scored two Yukos (the Yuko is the lowest denomination of judo score, like a baseball single).

After her win, Harrison leaped into the arm of U.S. Olympic Coach Jimmy Pedro, who took her under his tutelage six years ago at Pedro’s Judo Center in Wakefield, Mass. Pedro, an iconic star as a U.S. competitor, had come up short in his own bid for Olympic gold. But he shared the medal and a massive hug with Harrison Thursday.

It was the second American medal in judo this week: teammate Marti Malloy won a bronze in the women’s 57-kilogram division. The only previous Olympic medals earned by a U.S. woman judo player was a bronze by Ronda Rousey in 2008. Judo has been an Olympic women’s sport since 1992. Read full story here…

On Rowing Team, Smallest Body (Mary Whipple) Has the Voice of Authority…

Standing among the crew of her eight-oared boat, one member of the United States women’s rowing team is a sapling among redwoods. At 5 feet 3 inches, she is about 11 inches shorter than her teammates’ median height. At 106 pounds soaking wet, she is nearly 70 pounds lighter than her teammates’ average weight.

During workouts, she cannot keep up with their strength or stamina. During races, when rowers exhaust every muscle and struggle to breathe as their lungs cry out for oxygen, she is not called upon to lift a finger. That teammate, Mary Whipple, sits at the stern and, as the only person that faces forward in the shell, appears to be along for the ride as her team ferries her to the finish line.

She is the coxswain, a role virtually unique in sports because that person does not contribute physically to the competition. Frankly, she does not have to be athletic at all. Read full story here…

Yohan Blake vs. Usain Bolt…

The sprinter who would dethrone Usain Bolt, his Jamaican training partner known as the Beast, sat before a crowded room of reporters on Wednesday, wearing a T-shirt that said Eat My Dust.

The nickname and the shirt spoke of sprinting’s familiar bravado. A certain audacity is required to aspire to be the world’s fastest man. But there was no preening confidence about Yohan Blake, no bold assertion, no outrageous gesture.

He has run the year’s fastest time at 100 meters (9.75 seconds) and last year posted track and field history’s second-fastest mark at 200 meters (19.26 seconds). At the recent Jamaican Olympic trials, Blake defeated Bolt in both events. In the 200, Blake did what few thought possible. He ran down Bolt from behind. Read full story here…

Olympic Rowing: U.S. Win Second Straight Gold Medal in Women’s 8…

Us RowingThe United States held off Canada to win a second straight Olympic gold in the women’s eight Thursday, maintaining its six-year dominance of the high-profile event. “That is an American dynasty, baby,” said U.S. crew member Susan Francia, who was close to tears as she collected her medal on the pontoon at Dorney Lake. “It’s just so special.”

The U.S. led from start to finish to win in 6 minutes, 10.59 seconds, a half-length ahead of a fast-finishing Canadian crew who have come close to breaking the American stranglehold on the event this year.

They left their charge too late in the final. The U.S. boat of Mary Whipple (coxswain), Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, Esther Lofgren, Francia and Erin Cafaro threw their arms up after crossing the line, screaming in delight. Some leaned back into their teammates’ lap. Read full story here…

Olympics: Serena Williams vs. Caroline Wozniacki…

SerenaRRSerena Williams took another step toward a maiden singles gold medal today as she won her 15th straight match, defeating Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki 6-0, 6-3 to move into the semifinals of the London Games.

Wozniacki has one win over Williams, in Miami earlier this year, but that must have seemed a lifetime ago as the former world No. 1 struggled through a nightmare first set, lasting 31 minutes in which she failed to win a single game. Williams was slightly below the stunning mark she set in her previous matches, double-faulting on the second point of the match before being called for a foot fault as she struggled in windier conditions on Court 1. It’s hard to talk of missed opportunities in the first game of the match, but with Williams putting in second serves, Wozniacki should have taken advantage. Read full story here…

Lithuania, the “Other Dream Team” at the 1992 Olympics…

Arvydas Sabonis, left, battling for the ball with Brazil's Israel Machado in an Olympic quarterfinal game in 1992.Between Jack McCallum’s stellar retrospective (the aptly titled “Dream Team,” released last month), a 90-minute NBA TV documentary and myriad articles raising pointed cross-decades comparisons, memories of the Dream Team’s dominance, personality and global influence continue to ring true two decades on.

Meanwhile, 1,400 miles due east of London, in a country just entering its third decade free of the yoke of Soviet Russia, memories of Barcelona take on a somewhat different – though no less important – meaning.

By the summer of 1992, it had been a little over two years since Lithuania, a country of just over three million people nestled between Belarus, Poland and Latvia along the Baltic Sea, had officially declared independence from a fast-faltering Soviet Union.

Despite a series of Soviet-spurred economic blockades and military incursions designed to weaken its collective will, Lithuania persevered, and by that summer had seen its breakaway become almost universally recognized on the global stage. Read full story here…

Snapshot: Andy Murray

Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates after defeating Nicolas Almagro of Spain in the Quarterfinal of Men’s Singles Tennis on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wimbledon on August 2, 2012 in London, England.

Team USA Gymnastics Leotards…

Creating the leotards for Team USA’s gymnasts is a process that takes a year and a half, thousands of Swarovski crystals, and many rounds of testing. Each one is like a wedding dress: a spectacular creation the ladies can’t wait to debut on the big day.

GK Elite has been making Team USA’s gymnastics leotards for the Olympics for more than two decades. At this summer’s Games, the team debuted their sparkliest, most innovative leotards yet. Veteran gymnast Shawn Johnson even called the red bedazzled number the girls wore to win gold in the team competition the most beautiful leotard she’s ever seen — and we’ve only just seen some of what’s in Team USA’s leotard arsenal. Kelly McKeown, executive vice president of design and corporate relations at GK Elite, took time out from her busy Olympics schedule, where the company is outfitting gymnast teams from all over the world, to chat with BuzzFeed Shift about all things Olympic leotards. Read full article here…

Gabrielle Douglas wins All around Gymnastics Gold Title…

Make it a pair of golds for Gabby Douglas, who added the all-around title to the one she won with the U.S. team two nights ago. 15 year old Douglas became the third straight American to win gymnastics’ biggest prize, taking the lead on the very first event Thursday night and never really letting anyone else get close. She finished with a score of 62.232, less than three-tenths ahead of Viktoria Komova of Russia.

Douglas brought the house down with her energetic floor routine, and U.S. teammates Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross jumped to their feet and cheered when she finished. Douglas flashed a smile and coach Liang Chow lifted her off the podium on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England…

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Rebecca Soni sets world record in winning gold….

Rebecca Soni lowered her own world record in winning the gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke Thursday at the London Olympics.

She won in 2:19.59, taking .01 seconds off the record she set one night earlier. Soni led from wire to wire, opening up a 1.13-second gap over silver medalist Satomi Suzuki of Japan. The bronze medal was won by Russia’s Iuliia Efimova.

Rebecca Soni PicturesThe 200 back is Soni’s best and favorite event. She won it in Beijing in 2008, beating then-world champion and world record holder Liesel Jones of Australia. Soni broke the world record during Wednesday night’s semifinal, swimming the 200 back in 2:20.00, proving it’s possible to go that fast even without the fast bodysuits from years past.

Soni’s gold is her second medal of these Games. She won silver in the 100-meter breaststroke earlier in the week. She is also expected to participate in the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay on Saturday.

“I never focus on the world records,” Soni said at the Olympic trials. “To me, that’s not the big picture.”

She is also the first American, male or female, to repeat as Olympic breaststroke champion at either the 100-meter or 200-meter event.

Soni came into the race as the reigning Olympic champion, a title that, like those in the British monarchy, has been largely ceremonial here.

Soni, a New Jersey native who trains in Los Angeles, understood that the Olympic crown is weighted down with jewels but also expectations.

“I guess it just puts a lot of pressure on,” she said. I’ve had to learn how to handle that, how to not let that get to me, and a lot of that means not reading a lot about what’s going on and kind of keeping to myself.” Read full story here…

Winner/Champion: Michael Phelps dominates 200M medley to win gold…

Most wanted: Michael Phelps could make millions after his retirement from swimming if he becomes an Olympics analyst for networks like NBC and ESPNIn the last clash of the swimming titans in London, Michael Phelps showed how he’s the greatest Olympian of all time as he and boosted his medal count to 20 in his final race against rival Ryan Lochte.

The 27-year-old Phelps picked up gold in the 200m individual medley, as Lochte, his friend and closest rival came in right behind him. The Olympic swimming sensation has made no secret about the fact that he plans to retire after the London games.

Rumors swirled today that Phelps may be heading to a career in television after his Olympic retirement. Though Phelps hasn’t divulged post-retirement plans, America’s top TV networks are reportedly falling over themselves hoping to land Teams USA’s golden boy as a sports commentator.

Golden: Phelps and Lochte pose with the gold medals they won in the men's 4 x 200-meter freestyle relayTMZ reports that NBC, ESPN and ABC are preparing to capture Phelps as a future Olympics commentator with huge contracts that could be worth millions – in a possible bidding war. While the networks try to woo Phelps with dollar signs, there was only one thing on the swimming champ’s mind: His final race today with rival Ryan Lochte.

PhelpsTheir first showdown of the London Olympics went to Lochte in a runaway on the opening night of the swimming competition. This one figures to be a lot closer.

Lochte qualified fastest in 1 minute, 56.13 seconds. Phelps was 98-hundredths of a second back in third.

‘We love racing against each other,’ Phelps said before the race. ‘Neither one of us likes to lose. I like to say we bring out the best in one another.’

Lochte had a busy schedule on another big night for the U.S. Read full story here…

Missy Frankly: She Could Have Been Canadian…

Franklin_MelissaAs the world becomes introduced (in a big way) to swimming superstar Missy Franklin in the next week, Americans have to keep reminding themselves how lucky they are to call Franklin their own. That’s because, after all, she could have been Canadian.

The story will be old-hat for those who have been watching Franklin on the international scene since she first made an appearance for team USA at the 2009 Duel in the Pool when she was only 14 years old. When Franklin first started to show signs of greatness.

At that point, Franklin had to have a serious discussion with her parents. One that many parents hope to never have with their child at that age. They had to ask her if she wanted to be a Canadian. Franklin’s parents are both from Canada, and so Missy has dual citizenship. She can only represent one country competitively, though, and being so fast so young, she had to make the call early in life. Her mother suggested that it might be an easier path to the National Team through Canada, where the depth is not nearly what is seen at American Championship meets.

Having been born and raised in the United States (she’s originally from Pasadena), though, Missy felt a patriotism toward the Stars & Stripes that she just could not ignore. Read full story here…

Losing Can Be a Winning Strategy…

Abby Wambach, the veteran forward on the United States women’s soccer team, said the other day that “no one gives you anything for finishing at the top of your group.” And the goal of every Olympic athlete, from Wambach to Usain Bolt to Ann Romney’s horse Rafalca, is to win a medal. The rest is just a journey.

So why the uproar over the tactics used by the four women’s badminton teams that were disqualified for trying to lose their final preliminary-round matches? Where exactly did the badminton players veer off into corruption?

They did not organize the tournament. They did not arrange the draw. They simply looked at the information that was presented to them, looked at their ultimate goal and went in the direction that seemed to have the best chance of leading them there.  Read full story here…

LeBron James asks gets turned down by U.S. Swimmer…

Lebron James Lauren PerdueLeBron James just got burned. The Miami Heat star may be a three-time NBA MVP with two Olympic medals and an NBA championship, but his accolades haven’t given him immunity against awkward social situations.

According to New York Daily News, James, who is currently in London representing the United States at the Olympic Games, asked U.S. swimmer Lauren Perdue to have dinner with him — only to be rebuffed. Read full story here…

Team USA Basketball takes on Team Nigeria: 156-73 – Carmelo Anthony Leads…

The U.S. team had scored 100 points by the middle of the third quarter. It was that kind of night for the Americans.

Two Olympic marks, several U.S. records fell.

Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points, dropping 10 of 12 3-pointers, and the Americans rewrote the Olympic record book with a scintillating shooting performance and 156-73 win Thursday night, an epic blowout that seemed to send a message to the rest of the men’s tournament field.

Anthony set the American Olympic mark for points in a game – in less than three quarters. The U.S. also set the Olympic record for points in a game and points in a half (78). The Americans bettered the U.S. records as well for 3-pointers (26), field goals (59) and field-goal percentage (71).

Nigerian Tweeters were excited and said:

“This is the first time Nigerian team is qualifying for basketball in the olympic so it is not too bad for them. Up Nigeria Up USA. Iam a Nigerian-America”.

Incredibly, they eclipsed the 100-point mark with 5 minutes left in the third. Read full story here…

 Team USA  Team Nigeria
 Carmelo Anthony – F  Tony Skinn – G
 Kobe Bryant – G  Ekene Ibekwe – F
 Tyson Chandler – C  Ike Diogu – F
 Anthony Davis – F  Al-Farouq Aminu – F
 Kevin Durant – G  Ade Dagunduro – G
 James Harden – G  Chamberlain Oguchi – G
 Andre Iguodala – G/F  Koko Archibong – F
 LeBron James – F  Richard Oruche – G
 Kevin Love – F  Ejike Ugboaja – F
 Chris Paul – G  Derrick Obasohan – G
 Russell Westbrook – G  Alade Aminu – C
 Deron Williams – G  Olumide Oyedeji – C

USA Vs Nigeria Olympic Basketball London 2012

Kiss of gold: Sir Chris Hoy equals Sir Steve Redgrave with 5th Olympic triumph…

With a kiss from his proud wife Sarra, Sir Chris Hoy savours the moment when he joined the Olympic immortals. The 36-year-old cyclist equalled Sir Steve Redgrave’s record ­British tally of five gold medals as he powered to victory in the men’s team sprint.

It was one of three golds for Team GB yesterday.
And with an event still to come, Hoy could yet increase that total to six. His first gold came eight years ago in Athens, followed by three in Beijing in 2008. He also has a silver from Sydney in 2000.

It was an evening of high drama, ecstasy and total heartbreak. Amid extraordinary noise and excitement from 6,000 packed in the Velodrome, champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy joined Sir Steve Redgrave on five gold medals – the most by any British Olympian – as he led home the three-man team sprint in a world record time.

But his victory came just 37 minutes after the shattering disqualification of British golden girl Victoria Pendleton and her partner Jess Varnish in the women’s sprint. Read full story here…

His proud partner then grabs a kiss from her medal-winning husband

Hoy and his wife Sarra pose with the gold medal

Team GB sprint team Jason Kenny, Philip Hindes and Sir Chris Hoy pose with their gold medals

Emotional Chris Hoy wipes away tears as the team take to the podium

Hoy is now Britain's greatest ever gold medal winner with five, alongside rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave

Record breaker: An exhausted Hoy celebrates with coach Shane Sutton at the side of the Velodrome track after his triumph in the Men's Team Sprint Track final

Flagging: Five-time gold medal winner Hoy, draped in the Union Jack, becomes emotional as his Olympic win sinks in

Proud to be British: Hoy soaks up the adulation of the fervent home support inside the Velodrome after his historic win

In formation: Great Britain's men ride towards their new world record as the Velodrome crowd look on

Philip Hindes (front), Jason Kenny (C) and Sir Chris Hoy (back) led from the start and never gave France the chance to catch them

Packed out: Great Britain's riders were roared to victory by a vociferous Velodrome crowd this evening

Fortunately for Team GB a restart was ordered, and trio stormed to a new world record

This was just for you, Mum: Judo silver medal winner looks to heavens and mouths…

Even before it was over, she fell to her knees and let her tears spill on the floor.
Then Gemma Gibbons looked to the heavens and mouthed: ‘I love you Mum’.
This was the moment Britain’s 25-year-old judo sensation had dreamed of since she was a little girl. Now she was about to collect a silver medal and get a chance to go for gold.’

But in an arena packed with cheering, ecstatic fans, one face was missing. Jeanette Gibbons – who introduced Gemma to the sport and nurtured her on the path to Olympic standard – lost her battle with leukaemia when her daughter was just 17.

So yesterday, in possibly the most poignant moment of the Games, millions of viewers around the world witnessed the moment Mrs Gibbons could not.
And ‘Our little Gem’ as she once called her, won the hearts of a nation. Afterwards she spoke of her joy at getting so close to gold – and her frustration at not being able to share it with her mother. Read full story here…
Britain's Gemma Gibbons looks to the heavens after her semi-final win. She whispered 'I love you mum' in tribute to her mother Jeanette, who died of leukaemia in 2004

Britain's Gemma Gibbons kisses her silver medal after an emotional day which culminated in her being beaten by American Kayla Harrison in the final

Tribute: Gemma as a baby with her late mother Jeanette

Silver service: Gemma Gibbons (top) was second in the under-78kg with Kayla Harrison taking gold

The challenge of Harrison, a former World Champion, proved a little too strong for Gibbons

Gibbons (in the blue gown) attempts to throw her opponent Kayla Harrison in the final of the under 78kg judo

Gibbons after the clock ran out in the final. She is the first British judoka to win a medal in 12 years

Gibbons (left) and Harrison salute the crowd at the end of their bout

Good effort: Gemma Gibbons is congratulated on her silver medal by Prime Minister David Cameron

Golden dream comes true in the end…

Katherine Grainger has at last realised her dream of winning an Olympic gold medal after a thrilling race which she led from the front. After three consecutive silver medals, Grainger feared she would always be the bridesmaid at the Games, but she stormed to victory with her double sculls partner Anna Watkins.

The crowd at Eton Dorney roared the pair to a dominant victory over Australia. Grainger raised her arms to the heavens as she crossed the line and bowed to a packed stand.

She told the BBC that, unlike Beijing, she would be crying tears of joy this time. “It was worth the wait,” she said, adding: “It’s just the satisfaction of a job well done.”Read full story here…

A Royal Wave for Andy Murray at Olympics…

Kate Middleton sure knows how to give the people what they want. The duchess has been supporting Team GB in navy blue courtside gear, canoodling with Prince William in the stands and now she’s engaged in the quintessential sports-watching bonding technique: she did the wave.

While hitting up Wimbledon to watch Andy Murray win the Men’s Singles tennis quarter final, Kate got into Olympics spirit and joined in on the wave (cue the Twitter obsession with its undeniable cuteness). And even though you’d have to be a pretty big spoil-sport to be that person who’s too cool for the wave, we can’t help but add this to the list of why Kate’s awesome. Read full story here…

Gabby Douglas: A very long journey – swift…

Gabby Douglas: 'I'm Living on Cloud Nine' After All-Around Win| Summer Olympics 2012, Gabrielle DouglasWe can now add “Gabby Douglas” to the list. That “list” includes Mary Lou Retton, Carly Patteron, and Nastia Liukin – the only three American gymnasts to ever win the women’s Olympic all-around title. With the performance of her life in today’s all-around final in London, Gabby Douglas has just become the fourth.

Some may have considered the talented – but unpredictable –16-year-old to be an unlikely Olympic champion.

“I was on the bus and it was raining and I thought, ‘It’s going to be a great day,’ ” Douglas, 16, told PEOPLE on Thursday after winning the all-around gold medal. “My mom used to tell me when I was little, ‘When it rains, it’s God’s manifestation, a big day’s waiting to happen.’ “

“I texted my mom, ‘It’s raining. You know what that means.’ “

To become the Olympic champion in the individual all-around event, Gabby Douglas first had to leave everything she knew best.  She had to pack up her bedroom in Virginia Beach, Va., where she lived with her mother, two sisters and brother.

She had to say goodbye to her two dogs, who used to sleep in her bed, and bid farewell to the beach, where she loved to ride waves on her boogie board. But it was time to take the leap, however heartbreaking and awkward it would be. Even at 14, Douglas knew that.

So off she went about 1,200 miles to West Des Moines, Iowa, to train with a coach from China and live with a white family she had never met. Read full story here…

Guor Marial, Sudan Refugee – runs in the Olympics without a country…

Guor MarialWhen Guor Marial was 8, he sprinted through the darkness with the hope of escaping child slavery at a labor camp in Sudan. Running then became something that brought back tragic memories.

As a refugee in the United States years later, he made a discovery: He was good at running long distances, and he could run them fast. The Sudanese marathoner was to board a plane from Arizona on Thursday bound for London, where he will compete as an independent athlete at the Olympics.

A runner without a country to call his own, he hopes he can use his Olympic moment to become a symbol of hope. Marial qualified for the Olympics last year while running his first-ever marathon, but he couldn’t compete for the United States because he’s a permanent resident but not yet a citizen. Read full story here…

Olympic Swimmer Cullen Jones dares to be different…

When Cullen Jones began swimming, he didn’t know he would become an African-American “first,” a trailblazer in his field. Cullen Jones didn’t know he would be an Olympian either. Cullen Jones, Olympic gold medalist, began swimming out of necessity.

As Jones relates, “I was actually introduced to swimming because I almost drowned. It was a normal weekend, and my parents decided to take me to a water park. I was very excited. Towards the end of the day, my dad wanted to get on the largest water ride there, and I wanted to follow suit. It was an inner tube ride, so the point was to hit the pool at the bottom and gently coast over to the shallow end. I was too light, and I flipped upside down. I ended up going under [the water] for a full thirty seconds.” A lifeguard performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the then-five-year-old Jones.

The near-fatal waterpark accident proved to be a defining moment for the future Olympian. Placed into lessons at the local Irvington, New Jersey YMCA, Jones began swimming regularly. At the age of eight, Jones saw his first meet, and was instantly hooked by the competition. He began swimming with clubs in the New Jersey area, often on all-white teams. By the time he was 11, Jones knew he had a passion for swimming. Read full story here…

Where was NBC when Russian Gymnast fell?

When Russian gymnast Ksenia Afanasyeva fell on her face during her floor exercise in the women’s team all-around Tuesday, NBC edited her out of its prime-time broadcast, as if dispatched to a video gulag.

That prompted Nikki Finke of Deadline.com to speculate that NBC had cut the routine out to “create fake suspense around Team USA.”

Finke’s misguided claim missed the point: It was simply unfair to remove Afanasyeva’s routine. The online replay of the event showed that there was great drama in watching her unfortunate stumble.

“Oh, no! Oh, dear!” said one of the announcers. “It’s all come unglued.”Read full story here…

Shame and Indignation in China as its Olympians come under fire…

Even as it revels in a mounting heap of gold medals at the London Games, China has been troubled by a maelstrom of emotions: pride in its athletes’ achievements mixed with shame and disappointment that a pair of badminton players were disqualified for blatantly throwing a game, and indignation over what many here say are unfounded accusations that a record-breaking swimmer may have been fueled by performance-enhancing drugs.

On Thursday, as the news sank in that the Chinese badminton players, Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, were among four two-player teams of women disqualified a day earlier for intentionally losing a match, some Chinese bloggers heaped blame on what they said was an imperfect Olympics system. Read full story here…

Ryan Lochte’s mom clears up comment via

Ryan Lochte’s mother had a bit of an eye-opening experience this week. She learned that if she says something about her superstar son and the phrase “one-night stand,” it’s going to go viral. Her initial comments, which were on NBC’s Today.com Thursday, read: “He goes out on one-night stands. He’s not able to give fully to a relationship because he’s always on the go.”

On Friday, both Ryan and Ike, his mother, clarified the comments to USA TODAY Sports. They said they both knew she meant dates, not hookups.

“How innocent is that?” Ike said. “All I wanted to say is that he’s so sensitive about not wanting to hurt a girl dating, so he just goes and dates and takes out a girl for maybe one or two dates and doesn’t have a relationship because he doesn’t have (time) and it’s not fair to the women.Read full story here…

10 Can’t miss Olympic moments:

Gabby Douglas makes history

  1. First African-American to win the all-around Olympic gold.
  2. First American to win team *and* individual all-around gold.
  3. Third consecutive American to win individual all-around gold.

All that’ll get you on a box of Corn Flakes, immediately.

Michael Phelps: Still King of the Pool
Michael Phelps won his rematch with Ryan Lochte, earned his 20th medal (extending his own record) and became the the first man to win an individual swimming event at three consecutive Games. It’s not the thing that proves Phelps’ dominance, but it is certainly another thing.

Ryan Lochte: What happened?

Reporters asked gently what might have gone wrong. Pressure? Fatigue? No, he said, it wasn’t that. “I know that some of my problems in some of my races were going out faster than I usually do, so it kind of hurt me because I’m not a sprinter,” he said. “I’m like a mid-distance swimmer.” (via USA TODAY Sports Erik Brady)

Swimming: American superstars Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps each have a chance to add to their medal hauls in the women’s 200 backstroke (2:30 ET) and the men’s 100 butterfly (2:38 ET) respectively. This will (probably) be Phelps’ last individual Olympic race.

Track and Field: The first day for one of the Games’ signature events. Catch crowd favorite heptathlete Jessica Ennis at 2 p.m. ET in the shot put and 3:45 in the 200 meters.

Cool dog alert

“He likes action movies.” — Ryan Lochte on his Doberman. “But he thinks he’s a lap dog. He’s 92 pounds. I don’t get it.”

USA Basketball goes OFF on Nigeria

  • 156: Points scored, an Olympic record.
  • 83: Margin of victory. Nigeria scored 73.
  • 10: Threes for Carmelo, another record.
  • 29 Threes for USA. Yes, another record. Full Story: U.S Obliterates Nigeria.

Does Andrea Kramer know Young Jeezy?

Michael Phelps saying the coolest thing about his Olympic success is getting tweets from rappers — the best thing ever. He got a call from the President! Here’s what he said on NBC Thursday night: “I’ve been enjoying myself and, yes, I have been able to have some pretty cool things. I got a tweet from Lil Wayne. We got tweets from Jeezy.”

Kayla Harrison became the first American to win Judo gold. Very cool moment. You’ll be blown away by her story. PHOTOS: Most amazing images from Thursday’s action.

Power rankings: Top U.S. athlete right now:

  1. Gabby Douglas
  2. Michael Phelps
  3. Missy Franklin
  4. Rebecca Soni
  5. Kayla Harrison

Gabby Douglas x Lil Wayne x Nicki Minaj

Here’s the story: First Nicki Minaj tweeted, “*kisses to Gabby* what an amazing little firecracker. #USA #Olympics.” Then Lil’ Wayne tweeted, “Glad i lived to see what Gabby Douglas did in the Olympics. Icon.” Then Gabby Douglas retweeted Wayne, adding: “WOW!!!! Im speechless Thank you SOO MUCH!!” Then Nicki Minaj tweeted, “Oh wow, I tweeted about #Gabby earlier but she responds to @LilTunechi and not me? U know what? Ima fight u. I’ve had it!!!” Then Gabby retweeted Minaj and added, “Eeeekkk thank you!!! :))))”. … Social media!

President Obama calls the US Squad…

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with members of the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team (August 1, 2012)President Obama took time yesterday to congratulate some of America’s newest Olympic gold medalists — as well as the greatest Olympian of all time. While traveling in Ohio, the President placed calls to the five members of the U.S. women’s gymnastic team — Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Gabby Douglas.

He also spoke with Michael Phelps, who picked up his record-breaking 19th Olympic medal – a gold — on Tuesday night. Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that he had a chance to watch some of the competition in London with the President — including the gymnastics competition.

“[President Obama] remarked that it is astounding what they are capable of doing and the pressure they are under and the fact that any mistake, any single mistake can cost you everything on a stage like the Olympic Games,” Carney said. via Whitehouse.gov

Missy Franklin Wins 3rd Gold in 200M Backstroke…

Missy Franklin Swims in the 200M Backstroke: How Did She Do?Not only did Franklin score her third gold medal in the 200M backstroke, but she also set a world record with her time of 2:04.06! Franklin even beat out her toughest competition, fellow Team USA member Elizabeth Beisel, who finished in third.

The star athlete isn’t the only female American athlete to become an even more decorated Olympian. Just Thursday, gymnastics star Gabby Douglas won a gold medal in the women’s all-around to accompany her team gold medal.

Dominique Dawes cries through interview on Gabby Douglas’ win…

Before this week’s gold-winning performance by the U.S. women’s team, only one African-American female had ever earned an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics — Dominique Dawes. It’s a fact that Dawes tearfully recalledafter watching 16-year-old Gabby Douglas succeed her in the individual all-around competition Thursday, edging out the other gymnasts with a score of 62.232, and becoming the fourth American woman to ever win gold in the event.

“Us gymnasts are usually so composed,” Dawes said, choking back tears in an interview with FOX Sports. “I am so thrilled for Gabby … I’m so thrilled to change my website and take down the fact that I was the only African American with a gold medal.”

Dawes nabbed the most coveted medal as a part of the famous 1996 team, along with bronze for her performance in the individual floor competition the same year. Her emotion over Douglas’s win overflowed on Twitter where she later announced the website change:

When asked what touched her heart the most, Dawes responded that it was the generation of young kids looking up to Douglas in the same way they did with her.

“That’s what’s so touching,” she said “As I was able to help Gabby, now she’s going to help a whole other generation of young girls and boys, African Americans, Hispanics, other minorities to see the sport of gymnastics as an opportunity for them to excel.”

Thursday’s win was a first for Douglas as well. At 16-years-old she’s become the first African-American to win an Olympic all-around title. (via HuffPost)

Three golds in 13 Minutes…

Been here before: Michael Phelps holds up yet another gold medal, the 21st of his incredible Olympic career

Michael Phelps swam the last solo race of his Olympic career with yet another win, as the U.S. picked up three gold medals in 13 stunning minutes at the London Aquatic Centre. The world’s most decorated athlete touched the wall first in the men’s 100m butterfly.

And in the minutes on either side of Phelps’ grand exit, two teenage compatriots etched their names in Olympic history with incredible victories.Bowing out: Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the Men's 100m butterfly final - his final race

About five minutes before Phelps jumped off the starting block, Missy Franklin not only won a gold medal, but the 17-year-old shattered a world record in the 200m backstroke.Another gold: Missy Franklin reacts after winning gold and breaking the world record in the women's 200m backstroke final

Several minutes after Phelps’s win, Katie Ledecky, at just 15, dominated in the 800m freestyle, nearly setting a new world record herself.Phenom: Katie Ledecky, at just 15 years old, nearly shattered a world record in the 800m freestyleView additional photos here…

Gabby Douglas set for endorsement $Gold…

Gabby Douglas is presented with the first box of Corn Flakes with her picture on it hours after winning the gold medal in gymnastics.You won’t be seeing Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas on a box of Wheaties. That’s because Kellogg’s has already swooped in and reached a deal worth $90 Million with Douglas to feature on their boxes of Corn Flakes. The rush to get Douglas signed shows that she will likely be the big endorsement winner out of the London Summer Olympics thanks to her gymnastics all-around victory.

“She’s the new darling of America,” said Bob Dorfman, executive creative director of Baker Street Advertising and author of Sports Marketer’s Scouting Report. “She has the look, the great smile, and seems like someone who could be a compelling pitch woman of products to teens and pre-teens.”

Dorfman estimates Douglas could pull in between $1 million to $3 million a year in endorsements leading up to the games in Rio de Janeiro four years from now. But even if Douglas doesn’t compete in 2016, her endorsement career could continue for many years — or even decades — to come. Read full story here…

Tirunesh Dibaba wins Olympic 10,000 meters gold…

The fierce Kenyan-Ethiopian rivalry renewed itself Friday, and the result in the women’s Olympic 10,000 meters was as reliably predictable as it was four years ago: Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba again drew away with a punishing kick to win the gold medal and perhaps establish herself as history’s greatest female distance runner.

On a cool night, Dibaba ran the year’s fastest time to win in 30 minutes 20.75 seconds. Sally Kipyego of Kenya (30:26.37) and Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya (30:30.44) ran their personal bests to take silver and bronze. They were the first Kenyan women to win Olympic medals in the 6.2-mile race. Still, they could not match the finishing speed of Dibaba, who won her third career gold medal, the most by any female distance runner.

On Friday, Dibaba moved to the front with about one and a quarter laps remaining in the 25-lap race, alert to Cheruiyot’s powerful kick, and ran the final lap in a searing 62.08 seconds, making the outcome inevitable. Read full story here…

Michael Phelps wins ‘Gold’ 100m butterfly….

LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN - AUGUST 3: American Katie Ledecky reacts as she looks to the clock after swimming to a first place finish in the Women's 800m Freestyle event during the swimming competition on Friday, August 3, 2012. Ledecky swam the second fastest time in history, .53 seconds off the world record held by third place finisher Britain's Rebecca Adlington, left.  (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) Michael Phelps’ last individual race at the Olympics ended like so many of the ones before it — with his hands on the wall before everyone else in the pool.

Phelps rallied to win the 100-meter butterfly on Friday for his third gold of the London Games and No. 17 of his career. The American was next-to-last at the turn but closed strong to finish in 51.21 seconds, just ahead of Chad le Clos of South Africa and Evgeny Korotyshkin of Russia.

“I’m just happy that the last one was a win,” Phelps said. “That’s all I really wanted coming into the night.”

It was Phelps’ third consecutive win in the event at the Olympics. He has said he will retire after the games, so his final Olympic race will be the 4×100 medley relay Saturday. Phelps’ 21st medal was part of another big night at the pool for the U.S., led by a pair of teenagers. Read full story here…

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