The 2012 Olympic Games Medal Activities…

Let’s take a look at the 2012 Olympic Games Medal activities. To get an updated and accurate list of all medals won by each country in the Olympic Games, visit USA Today London 2012.

S.E.R.E.N.A. Williams takes it ALL!!!

Serena Williams became only the second woman to complete a career Golden Slam, winning the most lopsided women’s final in Olympic history Saturday by beating Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1.

The victory completed a remarkable run of domination by the No. 4-seeded Williams, who lost only 17 games in six matches en route to her first singles gold medal. She went 13-0 this summer at the All England Club, where she won her fifth Wimbledon title a month ago.

Serena is the first woman to win all four Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal in both singles and doubles.

The career Golden Slam was first achieved by Steffi Graf, who did it when she won at the Olympics in 1988 after sweeping all four major titles. Williams can add the gold medal to her 14 Grand Slam singles championships, the most of any active woman.

And she’s not done in London. Williams and her sister Venus, pursuing their third gold in doubles, were scheduled to play in the semifinals later Saturday. It took the No. 3-seeded Sharapova 45 minutes to win a game, and by then she trailed 6-0, 3-0. Williams dominated with her serve and repeatedly blasted winners from the baseline, taking a big swing with almost every stroke despite gusty conditions on Centre Court.

The wind was so strong it blew the U.S. flag off its pole during the medal ceremony. Read full story here…

Check out the victory dance below:

Ryan Lochte vs. Ryan Gosling: on the Olympian’s 28th Birthday…

Happy Birthday, Ryan Lochte! The day after the Olympian finished his run in London, he turns 28 years young. The easy-on-the-eyes swimmer has captured the eyes — less so the ears — of many viewers of the London Games. He’s even given HuffPost Women’s unofficial mascot, 31-year-old Ryan Gosling, a run for his money. In honor of Lochte’s birthday, we’ve decided to stage a Ryan face-off. How does the less-than-eloquent superstar athlete stack up against the man who had us at ‘Hey Girl’? May the best Ryan win:2012-08-03-ryanswomencopy.jpg(Photo Credit: AP/Getty)

Lochte: “Is there a decent girl out there who doesn’t lie? They all lie. They’re all evil. I just want to meet someone who is real, who is honest. Who doesn’t just want me for money or fame, who wants to love me as a person,” he said in an interview with ESPN.com earlier this summer.
Gosling: “It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film,” said Ryan in November 2010, speaking about the NC-17 rating for “Blue Valentine.”2012-08-03-ryansstyle.jpgLochte: His personal style calls for diamond-encrusted grills, a walk-in closet full of sneakers — including his signature green bejeweled pair, and bright pink speedo. He once said that he’d like to be a fashion designer and that his style would be “a mixture between rock star slash, like, hip-hop.” Right … because we all know exactly what that means.

Gosling: Ryan Gosling loves his graphic tees and impeccably tailored suits. And according to GQ, he’s a “sartorial badass.” If that’s not the male-fashion-set stamp of approval, we don’t know what is.

RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR MOMS2012-08-03-momsgoslinggetty.jpgRead more here…

Are the Lochtes’ facing foreclosure?

The parents of U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte are facing foreclosure in Florida. According to a lawsuit filed in May in Volusia County, CitiMortgage is suing to foreclose on Steven and Ileana Lochte. The bank is seeking to recoup $250,000. The news was first reported by TMZ.

Court records show that Ileana Lochte asked the court to dismiss the case last month. Messages left Saturday for her attorney were not immediately returned. The Lochtes divorced last year. Court records did not show whether Steven Lochte had an attorney. Both parents have been in London recently to watch their son compete.

Ryan Lochte has won five medals, including two gold medals, in swimming events at the London Olympics. For the sake of Ryan, I hope this isn’t true.

Success as a Double-Edged Sword for Aaron Peirsol…

Aaron Peirsol competing at the 2009 United States swimming championships in Indianapolis.Aaron Peirsol competed in three Olympics and won seven medals. He won three gold medals at the Athens Games in 2004, sweeping the backstroke events. In Beijing in 2008, he won the gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke. As he says, “I’m a former swimmer who enjoyed what he did and got to do it for a long time.” He will be writing for the 2012 London blog throughout the Olympics. This is his third post.

Every generation of young athletes has a few with more options than most. For many in the United States, a scholarship is a gift, not just for the youth, but for the parents as well; it can be the paramount achievement of a young athlete. Only a very few have another option to consider, and it deserves a lot of consideration.

There are a few young athletes at these Olympic Games who, when they go home, will have the opportunity to turn professional, make a fine living and forgo a bid to enter into the N.C.A.A. system. This decision deserves a lot of debate, and I am not sure there is anything black or white about it. This deliberation should entail what is intended to be gained from one or the other, where the priorities lie. Read full story…

London 2012: Australian Olympic collapse suggests Britain now has upper hand in Sport…

emily seebohmThe sight of Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm breaking down in a press conference after winning only silver in the 100m backstroke said much about national expectations placed on athletes as they enter the sporting arena. The twitter spat that followed between a fan seemingly criticising Seebohm’s second place finish and a member of her family was a little less dignified, but equally instructive.

Failure to win has become an emblem for the green and gold at the London Olympics, with several high-profile competitors failing to live up to their pre-Games billing as favourites.

The lacklustre performance of the Aussies is even more noticeable when contrasted with the performance of Team GB, who seem to be increasing their medal haul daily. At the time of writing, GB sat fourth in the medals table. Australia sat 17th. Yes – it’s early, but recall four years ago in Beijing GB finished fourth overall and Australia finished sixth. Read full story here…

Full moon rises through Olympic rings in London…

What do you think that means for the Olympics?

Pistorius advances to 400-Meter Semifinals…

The Olympic Stadium filled Saturday morning and applause rose as Oscar Pistorius of South Africa lined up for the first round of the 400 meters. He did something he rarely does in the starting blocks. He smiled.Starting blocks: Pistorius, a four-time Paralympic champion who runs on carbon-fiber blades, circled the oval in 45.44 seconds - good enough for second place in his heat and a berth in the semifinals Sunday nightAt the sound of the starter’s pistol, Pistorius, known as Blade Runner, became the first double amputee runner to compete in the Games. He finished second in his heat in 45.44 seconds, advancing to Sunday’s semifinals. He reached the finish line after six years of yearning to achieve a qualifying time and five years of scientific and legal debate about whether his prosthetic legs gave him an unfair advantage over sprinters using their natural legs.

“A loser isn’t the person that gets involved and comes last, but it’s the person that doesn’t get involved in the first place,” Pistorius, who is 25, said, recounting a familiar admonishment by mother, Sheila, who died when he was 15. “It’s a mentality we’ve always had. When you start something you do it properly. The passion you start something with, you finish it off with.” Read full story here…

Jamie Lynn Gray wins ‘Gold’…

American shooter Jamie Lynn Gray won gold in the women’s 50-meter rifle three-position, setting Olympic records in qualifying and in the final round. Gray finished with 691.9 points, beating the record (690.3) previously set by China’s Du Li at the Beijing Games. In the final round she scored 99.9.

It was the third shooting gold medal for the USA in London. It’s the first time American shooters have won three golds in one Games since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Upon unleashing her final shot, beaming Gray, who led throughout the final round, frantically pumped her right arm, then turned to applaud the crowd at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

Ivana Maksimovic of Serbia took silver with 687.5 points, and Adela Sykorova of the Czech Republic earned silver with 683. Gray set an Olympic record in qualifying with a score of 592, topping the mark of 589 set by Poland’s Renata Mauer-Rozanska at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Read full story here…

Olympics: Day 8 Highlights

Dwain Chambers of Great Britain celebrate in the mens’ 100MNews Photo: Dwain Chambers of Great Britain celebrates in the…

Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking of Great Britain celebrate with their gold medals during the medal ceremony for the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls FinalNews Photo: Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking of Great Britain…

Yujie Sun of China celebrates after beating Anna Sivkova of Russia during the Women’s Epee Team Fencing semifinalNews Photo: Yujie Sun of China celebrates after beating Anna…View more highlights from day 8 of the 2012 Olympics here…

Victoria Azarenka wins bronze…

Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka bounced back from a semifinal drubbing against Serena Williams to win an Olympic bronze medal Saturday. Azarenka earned the first tennis medal ever for Belarus by beating 14th-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-3, 6-4.

Azarenka won only three games off Williams but started well against Kirilenko and broke serve five times. By the third game of the second set, Kirilenko was heaving her racket in frustration. When Kirilenko pushed a backhand into the net on match point, a triumphant Azarenka sank to her knees. A supporter tossed her a Belarusian flag, which she happily draped over her shoulders as she walked off the court to cheers.

Kim Collins kicked out of 100 Meters…

USA Today reports Olympic sprinter Kim Collins of St. Kitts & Nevis took to social media Saturday to announce that he will not be running the 100 meters at London.

Collins, who won the 100-meter world title in 2003, was punished for breaking the team discipline rules by leaving the athletes’ village.

“Kim has not been in camp the last couple of days,” St. Kitts and Nevis team spokesman Lester Hanley told the Associated Press.

Collins said he was only trying to see his family. The Guardianreported that Collins initially posted the following message on this Facebook page:

“Hours before my 5th 100m olympic race, i now find out i cant run,all because i was in a hotel with my wife/coach. S.K.N.O.C REALLY? Are you freakig kiddin me!!!!!!!! He announced on Twitter Saturday: “My fans. I won’t lie. Won’t be running later tonight. …For those who saw me run in Mexico. That’s the last time I represent my country.”

Then he followed up by tweeting: “Even men in prison get their wives to visit.”

Collins, 36, was competing in his fifth Olympics and carried the flag for St. Kitts & Nevis at the opening ceremony.  Collins is still entered in the 200 and the 4×100 relay and could still run.

“That I can’t answer at this point whether they will give it further consideration,” Hanley said.

Nehwal of India wins bronze in badminton singles…

Saina Nehwal gave India its maiden medal in Olympic Games badminton when her Chinese opponent withdrew from the bronze medal contest after injuring her knee while pocket dynamo Laishram Devendro Singh stormed into the boxing quarterfinals with an upset victory here today.

Saina was trailing by a game and 0-1 in her bronze medal play-off game against world no. 2 Xin Wang, who conceded the contest after injuring her knee when going for an acrobatic smash from the baseline.

The injury occurred when the 22-year-old Indian was staging a grand fightback in the opening game and had saved four game points to be 18-20. After taking on-court treatment and with her injured knee strapped around with bandages, the Chinese promptly won the next point and the game, but was unable to continue after winning the first point in the next game, and retired to leave the Indian champion winner. Read full story here…

London Olympics: Historic photo finish in women’s triathlon…

Photo finishNearly two hours of sheer determination — and, at times, clever maneuvering — resulted in a photo finish between Nicola Spirig of Switzerland and Lisa Norden of Sweden in the women’s Olympic triathlon Saturday at Hyde Park.

They crossed the finish line, both in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 48 seconds. But the gold went to the 30-year-old Swiss triathlete, who was competing in her third Olympics. She was sixth four years ago and 19th in Athens. Erin Densham of Australia won bronze, and 30-year-old American Sarah Groff barely missed the podium, taking fourth, after getting back into medal contention late in the final stages of the 10K run.

The last, and only, American woman to win an Olympic medal in this sport was Susan Williams, who took bronze at Athens in 2004. Groff, of Hanover, N.H., was making her Olympic debut and ran the gamut of emotion in the mixed zone afterward, growing teary-eyed.

“If you don’t have a kick, you don’t have a kick. I didn’t have it,” Groff said. “There’s nothing I could do at that point. You hope that somebody blows up or falls or something. At the end of the day, I did what I could. I put it all out there.”

So did her life pass before her eyes in the final few hundred meters? Read full story here…

U.S. Team escapes Lithunia in Olympic basketball….

Still unbeaten, but perhaps more importantly, the U.S. is no longer untested. The Americans got a game against Lithuania – and then some. They got a scare.

Two days after running and gunning to a record-shattering 83-point win, the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team had to come back in the fourth quarter for a 99-94 win over a fearless Lithuania team that had the Americans in serious trouble until the closing minutes.

LeBron James scored 9 of his 20 points in the final four minutes for the U.S. (4-0), which had looked nearly invincible in thrashing Nigeria 156-73 on Thursday night and breaking several records. But the Americans were reminded that the path to the gold medal is loaded with traps and Lithuania nearly sprang one.

“You want to get tested. The best teams want to be tested. We love the competition,” James said. “I think we’ve got some of the greatest competitors in our league, in this world, so you want to have a game where you feel like you were tested, and we had that today.”

Carmelo Anthony added 20 points, Kevin Durant 16 and Chris Paul added seven rebounds, six assists and four of the U.S. team’s 17 steals. Read full story here…

Six down, one to go: Jessica Ennis going for gold in heptathlon…

Hopes of a gold medal are weighing constantly on her slender shoulders, but Jessica Ennis remains on target for an Olympic heptathlon win. In her first athletics competition in London, the heptathlete racked up a 188-point lead by mid-afternoon, setting her up for tonight’s 800m run.

Ennis, the face of the Games, showed her gratitude to the 80,000 fans in the Olympic Stadium, waving as she received a standing ovation from the crowd as she left.

In what were widely expected to be two of the toughest rounds of the contest for Ennis, she put in a 6.48m long jump, making her just one of two athletes to earn more than 1,000 points in the sandpit. The 26-year-old from Sheffield then threw a personal best of 47.49m in the javelin as her success continued. Read full story here…Ennis built on her impressive overnight lead in the heptathlon,throwing in the javelin is a lifetime best of 47.49m, smashing her previous personal best of 47.11m.

Home support: The crowd cheered wildly as Ennis stepped out to compete

Feeling positive: The 26-year-old gestures after taking a throw in the javelin

Determined to achieve: A look of determination is etched on Ennis' face as she lands in the sand

The Incredible Hulk at the Olympics?

The most talented player on the Brazilian men’s soccer team may well be the waifish wizard named after his father, but the most intriguing is surely the square-jawed giant named for a comic-book character.

Hulk, whose full name is Givanildo Vieira de Souza but whose father was said to have a passion for Lou Ferrigno, is a relative outsider in Brazilian soccer compared to national heroes like his fellow forward Neymar Jr. While many of Hulk’s teammates established themselves as stars in their home country before traveling abroad, Hulk failed to crack the consciousness of the soccer-loving public in Brazil as a young player. It was only many years later, after he was rejected by top teams in Brazil and went to play in Japan and Portugal instead, that Brazilian fans began to notice him.

That was one of several reasons there was a collective shock from Brazilian fans when Coach Mano Menezes chose Hulk, 26, to be one of the three over-age players allotted to each team in the under-23 Olympic tournament. Some wanted Menezes to select Fred, another striker who plays for Fluminense in Brazil. Others thought the selection was wasted on Hulk since Lucas, a 19-year-old prodigy, was already on the team and could play the same position. Read full story here…

Michael Phelps’ ‘golden’ last race…

The greatest Olympian in the the history of the modern Games, Michael Phelps, has finished his career with an 18th Olympic gold, his 22nd medal, in the men’s 4x100m medley relay final. At these Olympics he won four golds and two silvers.

The final race at the Aquatics Centre at this year’s Games was the scene of Phelps’s latest and last medal. Matt Grevers led off in the backstroke leg, Brendan Hansen swam the breaststroke, Phelps did his usual butterfly leg and Nathan Adrian was the anchor in freestyle.

For a moment, the Japan team threatened to spoil Phelps’ party as they led after the first two swims. However Phelps overhauled their lead during his butterfly leg.

“It’s kind of weird looking at this and seeing ‘Greatest Olympian of All Time,’ ” Phelps said, adding: “I finished my career the way I wanted to. I think that’s pretty cool.”

The USA team did not look back and Adrian’s final leg sealed both the gold for the USA and Phelps’s reputation as the greatest swimmer in Olympic history. The Americans clocked 3min 29.35sec, Japan touched in 3min 31.26sec to take the silver medal and Australia finished in 3min 31.58sec to take bronze.

Phelps has said he will not race again after these Games, meaning that this performance on Saturday evening in the final of the 4x100m medley relay will be his last competitive appearance in a swimming pool.

Men's relay team

How Michael Phelps transformed swimming…

It sounds ludicrous now, but when Michael Phelps set out to become the Tiger Woods of swimming, he had no clue what Mark Spitz had done. Unlike Woods — who kept a tally, like a to-do list, of the feats of his golfing idol Jack Nicklaus — Phelps was looking to the future when he put together the most ambitious Olympic swimming program in history.

Before he became the first swimmer to race in eight Olympic events at the 2004 Games, Phelps was fuzzy on the details of Spitz’s career. It was left to his coach, Bob Bowman, to fill him in on Spitz’s seven-gold medal performance at the 1972 Olympics. Similarly, Phelps said he did not know until recently about the gymnast Larisa Latynina, who reigned for nearly five decades as the most decorated Olympian, with 18 medals.

Refusing to acknowledge a ceiling, Phelps transformed swimming, inspiring a generation at home and abroad, by building an audacious program out of grit, guts and a geek’s burning desire to make swimming cool for kids all over the world.

“I wanted to change the sport and take it to another level,” Phelps said. Read full story here…

Was NBC ‘monkey commercial’ a racist attempt?

NBC said it meant “no offense” by a commercial involving a monkey on gymnastics rings that aired right after Gabby Douglas received her Olympic gold medal.

The commercial was an Olympic-themed ad for the upcoming NBC comedy “Animal Practice” and was specifically timed to run Thursday night after the women’s individual all-around gymnastics competition, the Associated Press reported. Just before the broadcast cut to commercial, NBC’s Bob Costas commented that Douglas — the first black woman to win the Olympic title — might serve as a role model for future generations.

“Much of America has fallen in love with Gabby Douglas,” Costas said. “Also safe to say that there are some young African-American girls out there who tonight are saying to themselves, `Hey, I’d like to try that, too.’”

NBC then went to the commercial featuring a small, grinning monkey on the rings. “Monkey” is considered a common slur against blacks.

When you’re one of the world’s largest television network, everything said and aired is viewed by millions of people worldwide. It was shocking when NBC aired the commercial.

NBC issued an apology for the distasteful commercial and said:

“Gabby Douglas’ gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement. This spot promoting ‘Animal Practice,’ which has run three times previously, is one in a series with an Olympic theme which have been scheduled for maximum exposure. Certainly no offense was intended.”

View the commercial below:

Do you think this was intentional or a mere coincidence?

U.S. Men Fall to Russia 3-2, Still Lead Pool…

The U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team lost to No. 2 Russia 27-29, 19-25, 26-24, 25-16, 15-8 on Saturday after it held a match point in the third set in a Pool B match during the Olympic Games at London’s Earls Court.

The U.S., the No. 5 team in the world and defending Olympic Games champions, falls to 3-1 in Pool B with 10 standings points heading into its final preliminary match against winless Tunisia (0 points, 0-4) on Monday at 8 p.m. local time (noon PT). The Americans, who had its 11-match Olympic Games win streak dating back to the 2008 Beijing Games snapped, can still win Pool B with either a three- or four-set victory over Tunisia.

Russia improves to 3-1 in Pool B with eight points to move into second place two points behind the U.S. Brazil (6 points, 2-1), which plays Serbia later tonight, can move into second place with a three- or four-set victory. Read full story here…

Sun Yang of China breaks world record…

Sun Yang of China broke his own world record to win the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle at the London Olympics on Saturday. Sun clocked 14:31.02 seconds in the marathon-like race, slicing 3.12 seconds off his mark from last year’s world championships in Shanghai.

Ryan Cochrane of Canada touched in 14:39.63 to take the silver medal and defending champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia finished in 14:40.31 to take bronze.

Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce wins Women’s 100M….

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica edged Carmelita Jeter of the USA at the line to successfully defend her Olympic title in the women’s 100 meters Saturday night. Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica won bronze.

Fraser-Pryce, the first woman to repeat as 100 champ in the Olympics since Gail Devers of the USA in 1992 and ’96, finished in a blistering 10.75, the second-fastest 100 in Olympic history. Jeter ran 10.78.

Four years ago in Beijing, Jamaica swept the 100. The 5-3 Fraser-Pryce has served a six-month doping suspension after taking a banned painkiller following a dental procedure.

The USA’s Tianna Madison was fourth (personal-best 10.85) and Allyson Felix was fifth (personal-best 10.89).

Britain’s Mo Farah outruns Kenya and Ethiopia….

Training partners Mo Farah of Britain and Galen Rupp of the USA ran past the Ethiopians and Kenyans on their way to gold and silver in the 10,000 meters Saturday night at Olympic Stadium.

It was the third gold of the night for the Brits. Farah, who ran 27 minutes, 30.42 seconds, and Rupp (27.30.90) train under former Amercian marathoner Alberto Salazar in Oregon. Tariku Bekele of Ehiopia finished third (27.31.43). Two-time champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia was fourth.

Rupp’s is the third medal for an American man in the Olympic 10,000. Rupp’s silver medal comes 100 years since the only other one, Lewis Tewanina in 1912. Billy Mills won the only America gold in 1964.

Interesting Fact: Mo Farah is KolorBlind!

Farah’s victory capped a huge night for the host country, Super Saturday as it had been billed because of Britain’s gold medal chances in three events on the evening. Read full story here…

For Lolo Jones, everything is image…

Judging from this year’s performances, Lolo Jones seems to have only a slim chance of winning an Olympic medal in the 100-meter hurdles and almost no possibility of winning gold.

Still, Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.

Women have struggled for decades to be appreciated as athletes. For the first time at these Games, every competing nation has sent a female participant. But Jones is not assured enough with her hurdling or her compelling story of perseverance. So she has played into the persistent, demeaning notion that women are worthy as athletes only if they have sex appeal. And, too often, the news media have played right along with her. Read full story here…

Carmelita Jeter celebrates silver medal…

Carmelita Jeter couldn’t fend off a late burst of speed by Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who repeated as gold medalist in the women’s 100 meters Saturday in London.

Jeter burst out of the blocks at the front of the pack and was fighting for the lead with Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown when the defending champion surged into the lead and held off the competition at the finish line to win in 10.75 seconds.

Jeter finished second in 10.78, followed by Campbell-Brown, who also took third in the 2008 Summer Games. U.S. sprinters Tianna Madison and Allyson Felix finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Fraser-Pryce is the first woman to repeat as the 100 champion since American Gail Devers accomplished the feat in 1992 and 1996. The Jamaicans were unable to attempt a repeat of their 2008 sweep in the 100 when Beijing silver medalist Kerron Stewart failed to make it out of the semifinals.Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Carmelita Jeter

U.S. marathoner Desi Davila drops out of 5k race…

Former Arizona State runner Desiree Davila is dropping out of the Olympic marathon on Aug. 5 due to a hip flexor injury. Her coach Keith Hanson told the Detroit Free Press of the decision Sunday.

“It is with great sadness that we must inform everyone that Desiree Davila has not been able to successfully overcome her hip flexor injury,” Hanson wrote in an e-mail.

“After much thought and deliberation we have made the very difficult decision to not run the Olympic Marathon. The decision has been incredibly challenging and heart wrenching, but we feel it is the correct decision.

“I can assure everyone that this set back will only make Desi stronger and more determined for the remainder of her marathon career. We appreciate all of the support that so many in the running community and Brooks Sports have provided to Desi and the entire Hanson-Brooks Distance Project.”

Davila was second at the U.S. Olympic Trials in January and second at the 2011 Boston Marathon in a U.S. record 2:22:38. She was All-America at ASU in cross country and track during her 2001-05 career. Read full story here…

What do Olympians eat before a match?

If food is the fuel of the human body, what do the world’s fastest men consume right before they race?

“I had a chocolate cupcake for breakfast,” said Artur Rojas of Bolivia, still perspiring after clocking 10.65 seconds in his 100-meter heat.

A chocolate cupcake?

“Yes,” he said through an interpreter. “It was the first thing I saw in the cafeteria in the Olympic Village, and I always like to eat something light but sweet.”

Rojas isn’t the only sprinter whose prerace diet would make a nutritionist blanch. Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic ate a danish — or something that sounded like a danish, through an interpreter — on Saturday morning, but only because the cream-filled pastry that is his usual wake-up fare was not available.

“I can’t find those here,” he said, right after placing second in his 400-meter heat and qualifying for the next round.

Saturday was the opening rounds of the 100- and 400-meter races, two of the most celebrated and closely watched events at the Olympics. Before the first 100 heat, which began at 10 a.m., an announcer at the Olympic stadium urged the crowd to “shout yourself senseless,” a request that seemed unnecessary once the races were under way. Read full story here…

From darkness of Munich Olympics, moments of clarity…

Our family trip to Cleveland for Monday night’s Indians game would ordinarily prompt a historical detour, perhaps to the site of League Park, where the Bill Wambsganss-era Indians played. Instead, I can stomach only a David Berger tour now.

“Do you know the name David Berger?” I said to my teenage sons. “No idea,” they responded.

Point made.

Berger, 28, competed as a weight lifter for Israel’s Olympic team in 1972 but returned from Munich to his native Cleveland in a coffin. He was one of 11 members of the Israeli team abducted and killed by Palestinian terrorists who invaded their dormitory. The International Olympic Committee’s refusal to memorialize the Munich tragedy at the London Games demonstrated an inability to see the trees for the forest. Read full story here…

Dean Karnazes: 50 States in 50 Days…

2012-08-03-photo3.PNGThink one marathon is tough? Try 50, in 50 states, on 50 consecutive days. Dean Karnazes has. He’s also run 350 miles in 82 straight hours, raced in 120-degree heat and in below-zero temperatures and thinks 31 miles counts as a short race. At 49, Karnazes is the ultra, ultra-marathoner and, surprisingly, also kind of a softy — proud of anyone who laces up their sneakers, gets out there and runs. – Catherine Pearson

To read more, download the new weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store. This story appears in Issue 8, available Friday, August 3.

U.S. Olympian Destinee Hooker: “I’m PROUD of my name! People can be so childish”

0731_destinee_hooker_gettyU.S. Olympic volleyball champ Destinee Hooker knows people are amused by her name … she knows some people laugh … but she doesn’t care … she believes it’s a “blessing.”

Hooker — who’s CRUSHING it in London right now (indoor team is undefeated!) — tells TMZ, “When it comes to my name, I honestly find nothing wrong with it. I love my name.”

Still, Destinee admits she’s not deaf to the jokes … “I have been dealing with it since I was a child. People can be childish.”

There was almost no Destinee Hooker at all … the 24-year-old tells us she nearly died at birth, and when she survived, her father was inspired to give her the name “Destinee.”

“Since I was a blessing, [my father] spelled it uniquely. So I am thankful to be here and glad my Dad gave me the name.”

Destinee adds, “No reporters have asked me about my name. You are the first :) thank you for asking by the way.”

Heptathlete is “Face of the Olympics in Britain”…

The fans packed into Olympic Stadium, often sitting in the cold and rain, eagerly watching the women run, leap and throw over two days. Some wore paper Jessica Ennis masks, hurled their arms into the air and gritted their teeth as she threw the shot-put or the javelin. Others clapped furiously, and more than once, “I love you, Jessica!” could be heard in the stands.

Ennis is a local star, her face plastered across billboards throughout London, and she solidified her place by grabbing the gold medal in the heptathlon Saturday. Whenever the announcer yelled her name Friday and Saturday, the stadium burst into a deafening roar, Union Jacks flapping in the air.

She culminated the exhausting event by bursting through the final stretch of the 800 meters with the fastest time, 2 minutes 8.65 seconds, locking in her gold medal. Read full story here…

Double Dutch: Kromowidjojo, Veldhuis lead 50 freestyle heats at London Olympics….

Ranomi Kromowidjojo qualified fastest in the 50-meter freestyle preliminaries on Friday, keeping the Dutch swimmer on track to sweep the sprints at the London Olympics.

She touched in 24.51 seconds during the last morning of heats at the London Aquatics Centre. Kromowidjojo was back in the pool hours after winning the 100 free on Thursday for her country’s first gold in the event since Inge de Bruijn won at the 2000 Games. De Bruijn swept the events in Sydney.

Dutch teammate Marleen Veldhuis was second-quickest in 24.57. Francesca Halsall had the British fans cheering loudly for her third-best time of 24.61.

“It was amazing walking out,” Halsall said. “The crowd were going mental. You smile because you want them to know you are enjoying it.” Read full story here…

Olympians’ Favorite Spots in London and Back Home…

We gathered some of America’s favorite all-stars — including 17-year-old phenom Missy Franklin, who just won a gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke — to talk about their favorite hometown jaunts and where you’ll find them sightseeing in London — after the games, that is.

Missy Franklin, Swimmer, 2012 Gold Medalist
From: Centennial, Colorado

Hometown pick: It’s so difficult to choose just one must-do thing in Centennial. All the surrounding cities have so much to offer. As visitors look to the west, however, they will be drawn to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It doesn’t matter whether it’s summer or winter, each little mountain town is special and unique and offers hours of exploration, entertainment and wonderful dining.

London pick: As this is my first time in London, I want to absorb as much as I can. Yes, seeing Buckingham Palace and enjoying fish and chips are definitely on my list. Number one, though, would be to meet Prince Harry and One Direction. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man). Click here to find out hot spots from other Olympians…

After SIX goals on Super Saturday, Team GB bids for another day of Olympic glory…

Team GB will bid for more medals today, following the country’s most successful day in modern Olympic history. Last night saw a golden hat-trick for Britain in the Olympic Stadium when Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford each won their events within 45 minutes of one another.

‘Super Saturday’ had earlier seen three other gold medals awarded to Team GB athletes – two in rowing and yet another in the velodrome – propelling Britain to third place in the medals chart.

Today Team GB will be looking to increase that total with athletes tipped for possible golds in another six events, before Jamaican sprint megastar Usain Bolt mounts a defence of his crown in tonight’s 100m final. A frenzied crowd in the 80,000-capacity stadium went wild yesterday as Ennis, the poster girl of the London Games, won the 800m with a sprint finish, crowning two days of tough competition in the heptathlon. Read full story here… 

David Mitchell, British Bookstore Owner, sends 4th place medals to Olympians…

The number of countries participating in the Olympic Games has grown over the years and the subsequent rise in the number of participating athletes means the competition has only gotten tougher along the way.

In an effort to recognize those who just missed winning a medal, one English man decided to have some made, inscribed and sent to athletes who placed fourth in their events.

David Mitchell — not to be confused with the award-winning author — who for more than 40 years has run a bookstore in Derbyshire, spent his own money on what he hopes is viewed as a sincere act of kindness and appreciation.

“There has been an increase in competitiveness and higher standards need to be taken into account,” Mitchell told the BBC. Read full story here…

Raising a future Olympian? What are the odds?

Like any parent watching the Olympics, I have often wondered if I might someday see my child wearing the national colors while standing on a medal podium. When my wife informed me the other day that our 2-year-old daughter had climbed out of her crib for the first time — sticking the landing as well, it seems — my curiosity was piqued even further.

And so, as I alighted at the train station here Monday morning on my way to the offices of the British bookmaker William Hill, I resolved to answer the question that countless parents ask themselves at swimming pools and gym classes and tracks around the world: what are the odds that my child could someday be an Olympian, too? Read full story here…

North Korea Olympic Athletes face reward or punishment at home…

North KoreaOne might understand U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber’s heartbreak when she failed to qualify for the finals or commiserate with the angry tears of South Korean fencer Shin A-lam after a faulty clock dashed her dreams. But things could be a lot worse. What happens to North Korean athletes when they fail to bring home the gold?

ABC reported on Thursday that the state offers a carrot-and-stick approach to the Olympic Games; athletes can look forward to refrigerators, cars, and televisions when they win, and labor camp when they lose.

The rumors are unconfirmed, but ABC writes that “review meetings” after competitions often result in athletes’ expulsion from their sports organizations and assigned time in labor camps. North Korean Olympians going up against rival countries like the U.S. and South Korea have even more cause for concern. Read full story here…

Greg Rutherford leaps across 48 years to clinch Britain’s first long-jump gold…

Greg Rutherford clinched Britain’s first Olympic long-jump gold medal in 48 years last night in front of an ecstatic crowd at the Olympic Stadium.
It was Team GB’s 13th gold and was another highlight of a joyous night for the athletics team after Jessica Ennis had won heptathlon gold just minutes before.
With 80,000 fans screaming him on, Rutherford’s winning leap measured 8.31m, a clear 15cm ahead of his nearest rival, Mitchell Watt of Australia.

Rutherford, 25, the self-proclaimed ‘Ginger Wizard’, is the first British Olympic medallist in the long jump since Lynn Davies, who won gold in Tokyo in 1964.

Chris Tomlinson, the other British hope in the final, missed out on a medal, finishing sixth. Read full story here…Greg Rutherford celebrates winning gold in the men's long jump final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at London 2012

Greg jumped into the history books by becoming the first Briton to win a gold medal in long-jump for 48 years

Greg said he knew he was in great shape and thanked his parents and girlfriend who he said had worked hard to support him

Bryan brothers hit miracle lob to win doubles gold medal…

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (twins) were on the precipice of their first gold medal, one point away from a win at the Olympics that would complete their career Slam, when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga smashed a volley at the net that was going to bounce into the stands for an easy winner. No sweat; the Bryans would still have three match points to win the –

Only the ball didn’t go into the stands. Bob Bryan didn’t give up on it and managed to chase it to the corner of Wimbledon’s Centre Court. That was the easy part. Now he had to blindly flick it back over his head and somehow land it on the other side of the court in a position where it wouldn’t be a meaty target for Tsonga and his French partner Michael Llodra. Read full story here…

Mike Bryan Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States of America poses for a photograph during the WTA Sydney Cocktail Party at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel on January 11, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bob Bryan;Mike Bryan

Williams sisters win 3rd Olympic gold…

Serena Williams teamed with big sister Venus to win the women’s doubles title at the Olympics on Sunday, adding to the gold she won a day earlier in singles.

The American sisters beat Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 under the roof on a rainy afternoon at the All England Club. Venus closed out the match with a backhand volley winner after the Czechs saved a pair of match points.

On Saturday, Serena beat Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 for the singles gold. She joined Steffi Graf as the only women to complete the Golden Slam — winning the Olympics and the four majors.

Serena became tennis’ first double gold medalist at an Olympics since Venus won singles and doubles at the 2000 Sydney Games. The sisters also won the doubles gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Williams sisters didn’t drop a set through their five Olympic matches at Wimbledon. Read full story here…

Watch a clip of the mind-blowing match below:

Del Potro beats Djokovic for Olympic bronze…

Juan Martin del Potro won the bronze medal in Olympic tennis Sunday, beating Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-4 in a rain-delayed match at Wimbledon. With his victory assured, Del Potro fell to the grass, covered his face with his hands and wept.

The Argentine has put in long hours on the grass courts at the All England Club. On Friday, he lost 3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17 to Roger Federer in a semifinal that lasted 4 hours, 26 minutes. It was the longest three-set men’s match of the Open era. HuffPost

Ethiopian sets Olympic record in Women’s Marathon…

Surging into the lead in the last mile and a half and running the second half of the race more than three minutes faster than the first, Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia won the women’s Olympic marathon on Sunday in 2 hours 23 minutes 7 seconds, a record for the Summer Games.

Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya took second in 2:23:12 on a cool, rainy day on a loop course that passed many of London’s iconic landmarks. Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova of Russia made a late charge and finished third in a personal best of 2:23:29. She had finished fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2008 Beijing Games.

The prerace favorite, Mary Keitany of Kenya, who won the London Marathon in April, could not hold the pace at the end and finished fourth in 2:23:56. (Jeptoo said Keitany had cramps in her back.) Surprisingly, a Kenyan woman still has not won an Olympic marathon since the event was first held in 1984. Read full story here… 

The Fast Life of Oscar Pistorius…

Oscar Pistorius trains inside a converted garage at the home of his personal trainer, a former professional rugby player. Iron pull-up bars and a variety of ropes and pulleys are bolted to brick walls.

Free weights are lined up on the floor, along with hammered-together wooden boxes that serve as platforms for step-ups and standing jumps. Some of the equipment is clamped to an exterior wall of the garage, opposite an uncovered patio; when it rains, athletes just carry on and get soaked.

“It’s old-school,” Pistorius said as we drove up to the place early one morning. “Some of the guys who train here, they bang it so hard, they often get sick in the garden. Nobody judges them.”

I visited with Pistorius last month in Pretoria, South Africa, where he was born 25 years ago without a fibula in either of his legs. (The fibula runs between the knee and ankle, beside the tibia.) Read full story here…

Exhausted silver medal hero collapses and Sir Steve Redgrave to the rescue…

Mark Hunter collapsed with exhaustion and had to be carried from his boat by rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave after winning silver for Team GB yesterday.
Hunter and his teammate, Zac Purchase, endured a race of dramas at Eton Dorney when Purchase’s seat broke just seconds into their lightweight double sculls final.

The race was restarted ten minutes later, but despite leading for most of the race, Team GB were pipped at the line by the Danish team.

An exhausted Hunter was lifted out of his boat by Sir Steve, before recovering to climb the rostrum. The pair were dignified in defeat but Hunter’s father, Terry, revealed the depth of their anguish. Mr Hunter, 64, who is head coach at the Eton College Rowing Centre, said: ‘They are beating themselves up because they got a silver. Read full story here…

A helping hand: Rower Mark Hunter is lifted from his boat by Sir Steve Redgrave

Shattered: Sir Steve Redgrave and a volunteer hold up exhausted Mark Hunter as he attempts to get him moving again after his efforts during the mens double sculls final

Moving again: Hunter and his teammate, Zac Purchase, endured a race of dramas at Eton Dorney when Purchase¿s seat broke just seconds into their lightweight double sculls final

Olympic Badminton: Lin Dan wins gold to defend his Olympic title…

China’s Lin Dan successfully defended his Olympic crown with another thrilling victory over arch-rival Lee Chong Wei in the London 2012 men’s singles badminton final.

In a performance that surely ends debate over whether he is the greatest player ever, the Chinese superstar dug deep in a compelling third game to win 15-21, 21-10, 21-19.

The world No1, Lee, played a full part in an epic contest but was unable to avenge his defeats in the finals at Beijing 2008 and last year’s world championships via Guardian

China's Lin Dan celebrates

The mini London Eye set for Closing Ceremony…

Wheel of fortune: The 30ft-high 'mini London Eye' in Barking, just five miles from the Olympic ParkThe Olympic Opening Ceremony became one of the most watched shows in British television history, with 26.9 million viewers at home and a global audience of more than one billion. Now, judging from the latest picture, the Closing Ceremony next Sunday promises to be just as spectacular.

It appears that a 30ft-high ferris wheel will be used during the ceremony, probably to symbolise the London Eye – one of the capital’s most famous landmarks.

Choreographer Kim Gavin, who is the show’s artistic director, is believed to be using London as his main inspiration. The ferris wheel has been constructed over the past few weeks at a secret location in Barking, East London – and has been guarded by stewards wearing distinctive Olympics purple T-shirts. Read full story here…

Andy Murray becomes Great Britain’s 1st men’s singles gold medal winner since 1908…

Andy Murray prevailed on the court where he was a runner-up just a month ago, winning the gold medal against the same opponent who defeated him at Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory over an oddly overmatched Roger Federer.

Murray, who desperately wanted to become the first Brit to win the Wimbledon men’s singles title since 1938, exacted some measure of revenge against Federer Sunday, winning nine games in a row at one point stretching over the first set and into the second.

He closed it out in style, with three consecutive aces, then dropped to his knees as the adoring crowd chanted his name.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable. I didn’t feel that nervous, strangely,” he said after becoming Great Britain’s first men’s singles gold medal winner since 1908. “They helped me get a few miles per hour on my served at the end there.” Read full story here…

USA’s McKayla Maroney falls, takes silver in women’s vault…

It wasn’t the expected gold, but the American women picked up another medal Sunday in gymnastics at the London Olympics.

Favored McKayla Maroney, five days after helping the USA to team gold, won the silver medal in the individual vault at North Greenwich Arena. She had a fall on the second of her two attempts, otherwise she would have easily won gold because of the degree of difficulty in her vault. Scores are averaged, and Maroney scored 15.866 on her first attempt but 14.3 on her second. Her total was 15.083.

“I didn’t deserve to to win gold if I landed on my butt,” Maroney said. “I’m not disappointed about the silver, I’m disappointed about my performance.”

Sandra Raluca Izbasa of Romania won gold at 15.191. Maria Paseka of Russia won the bronze at 15.050. Read full story here…

Is Yorkshire a gold medal country?

To its residents, Yorkshire is known as ‘God’s Own County’. And were it a country in its own right, the white rose county would be riding high in the Olympic medal table.

Four Yorkshire athletes, including Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis, have won gold at London 2012 so far, prompting Twitter users to celebrate how the county is faring better than Japan, South Africa and Australia.

A tweet by a Leeds-based sports journalist, claiming that Yorkshire would be 11th in the medal table, has been retweeted more than 3,400 times. 

Ennis, 26, won gold last night in the Olympic Stadium, coming first in the heptathlon by more than 300 points. A postbox outside Sheffield’s City Hall has been painted gold in her honour, and the city’s council has promised to welcome her home with a full civic reception.Champion: Ennis shows off her gold medal after finishing more than 300 points clear of her nearest challenger. She has been promised a civic reception when she returns to Yorkshire

Another Yorkshire champion is cyclist Ed Clancy, who won gold for Great Britain in the men’s team pursuit. Clancy, 27, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, could clinch a second medal in the men’s omnium event.Wheels on fire: Ed Clancy, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, goes for gold in the velodrome at London 2012

Andrew Triggs Hodge, 33, a rower raised in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, was a member of Great Britain’s gold-winning men’s coxless fours crew. He won the race at Eton Dorney with crewmates Alex Gregory, Peter Reed and Tom James.Glory: Andrew Triggs Hodge celebrates with arms aloft after he and team-mates Tom James, Pete Reed and Alex Gregory clinch gold in the men's rowing four event

The fourth gold medal winner is Katherine Copeland, whose family live in Stokesley, North Yorkshire. Copeland (left), 21, won the women’s lightweight double sculls with Sophie Hosking. Triumph: Yorkshire athlete Katherine Copeland (left) won gold with Sophie Hosking (right) in the lightweight women's double scullsThree other Yorkshire athletes have also won medals. Read full story here…

Tennis: Mirnyi, Azarenka win mixed gold for Belarus…

Britain’s hopes of two gold medals on the final day of the Olympic tennis tournament were ended by Belarusian mixed doubles duo Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi on Sunday. Andy Murray had already claimed the men’s singles gold by beating Roger Federer but fell just short of a magnificent double as he and partner Laura Robson lost 3-6 6-3 10-8.

Roared on by a patriotic crowd still buzzing from Murray’s exploits, the British pair bounded into an early lead, taking the first set comfortably. The Belarusian top seeds hit back to take the second, however, to set up a tense championship tiebreak.

Mirnyi and Azarenka, who won bronze in the women’s singles, moved 9-6 ahead and although the British pair saved two match points Azarenka’s volley claimed Belarus’s first gold medal in Olympics tennis. Read full story here…

Lightning Bolt strikes gold: 100m…

Fighting fit: Usain Bolt, who had been troubled by a hamstring injury, claimed he was only 95 per cent fit but he looked in fine condition before the eagerly awaited sprint finalUsain Bolt the 6’5 giant sensationally defended his coveted title as the fastest man on the planet tonight as he sprinted to glory in an Olympic record time of 9.63 seconds. In front of a global TV audience estimated at up to two billion, the 25 year-old Jamaican answered all the questions about his fitness and state of mind to retain his 100-metre sprint crown in what had been billed ‘the greatest’ race of London 2012 – and certainly the most anticipated.

Known around the world as ‘Lightning Bolt’, he lived up to the legend to run the second-fastest time ever and beat his fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, who claimed silver with a time of 9.75, and American Justin Gatlin, who won bronze in 9.79.

Usain Bolt vs. 116 years of Olympic sprinters

Based on the athletes’ average speeds, if every Olympic medalist raced each other, Usain Bolt (the London version) would win, with a wide distribution of Olympians behind him. Below, where each sprinter would be when Bolt finishes his race.

Archie Hahn – United States
The “Milwaukee Meteor” also won the 50-meter dash and the 200-meter dash in 1904.

Record: 11.0

Jesse Owens – United States
Also set the world record in the 4×100 relay and Olympic records in the long jump and 200-meter dash.

Record: 10:3

Jim Hines – United States
The first person to break 10 seconds in the Olympics; his 9.95 set an Olympic record that would last 20 years.

Record: 9.95

Carl Lewis – United States
Lewis actually finished second in 1988 behind Canada’s Ben Johnson, whose gold medal was stripped after he failed a drug test.

Record: 9.92

Left trailing were Americans Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey. Bolt’s fellow Jamaican, Asafa Powell, pulled up injured during the race and came last. Read more here…Champion again: Jamaica's Usain Bolt crosses the finish line to win gold in the men's 100-metre final in the Olympic Stadium in London

Outright winner: Usain Bolt streaks clear of the field to claim gold from lane seven in one of the most eagerly awaited Olympic events ever

Showman: Usain Bolt celebrates his victory by striking his customary lightning bolt pose in the Olympic Stadium in London

Taking a bow: Jamaica's Usain Bolt kneels and rests his head against the track in the Olympic Stadium after recording the second-fastest time ever

Star attractions: Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt (right) and Yohan Blake (left) are mobbed by fans after winning gold and silver in the race

Jessica Ennis and the £5m Olympic fortune…

Jessica chats to the crowd about her achievement at Hyde Park in London As the world’s greatest all-round female athlete, everything that Jessica Ennis now touches will turn to gold. She is expected to make up to £5million in sponsorship endorsements after winning the heptathlon. And yesterday it was clear that her life would never be the same again.

While some of her fellow gold medallists left through the front door of Team GB House at the Olympic Park yesterday, she was sneaked out of the back with her tracksuit hood pulled up over her head.

Later the 26-year-old appeared in Hyde Park, where thousands of supporters had gathered to watch the Olympics on a giant screen. A chant of ‘Ennis, Ennis, Ennis’ broke out in the crowd, who moments earlier had cheered Andy Murray on to gold in the tennis.

Asked if her triumph had sunk in, she said: ‘No, I’m still in shock. It’s been a whirlwind and I’m just blown away by how many people are here. I slept with my medal beside me.

‘It was an amazing feeling to wake up this morning and know that it wasn’t a dream.’

It remains to be seen whether Jessica, who was raised in a modest terrace house in Sheffield and worked as a teenage waitress in a pizza restaurant, will enjoy the adulation or yearn for the quiet life she once had. Read more here…Jessica, with her fiance Andy Hill and Labrador Myla, days before the Olympics started

Jessica reacts after finishing first in the women's heptathlon 800m at the London Stadium

Jessica during the Women's 100m hurdles heats during the UK Championships and World Trials in Birmingham in 2009

Day 8: Britain’s Best Olympians…

Shortly before Saturday lunchtime Andrew Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory were victorious at Eton Dorney in the men’s coxless four. It triggered a gold rush, the likes of which had never been experienced by British Olympians.

Also on the water, Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland claimed gold with an emphatic win in the women’s double scull, before Team GB continued their domination in the velodrome with victory in the women’s team pursuit.
Then came those golden performances by Jess Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah to round off a remarkable day for British sport.

There were more golds today – for Ben Ainslie on the waves at Weymouth and Andy Murray at Wimbledon – as well as a glut of bronzes and silvers.
And there was a clear winner in the women’s marathon – the city of London, which made for a spectacular backdrop to the race. Read more here…

Golden girl: Jessica Ennis clinches the Olympic heptathlon title after a storming 800m that had the whole nation cheering her onGolden girl: Jessica Ennis clinches the Olympic heptathlon title after a storming 800m that had the whole nation cheering her on

Gold run: Mo Farah powered ahead of the field in the closing stages of the 10,000m to claim Britain’s sixth gold of an extraordinary day
Gold run: Mo Farah powered ahead of the field in the closing stages of the 10,000m to claim Britain's sixth gold of an extraordinary day

Jumping for joy: Greg Rutherford celebrates his victory in the long jump on a remarkable evening for Team GBJumping fro joy: Greg Rutherford celebrates his victory in the long jump on a remarkable evening for Team GB

Jumping for joy: The celebrations begin for Andy Murray as he clinches gold on Centre Court with a resounding victory over Roger FedererJumping for joy: The celebrations begin for Andy Murray as he clinches gold on Centre Court with a resounding victory over Roger Federer

Bo Overton International Basketball Coach…

The traveling basketball coach, now on gig No. 12 and in country No. 3, looked across the scorer’s table as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played Sunday. He recognized the faces of the opposition, all American, all familiar.
The coach, Bo Overton, sat opposite them, an American surrounded by Chinese. How he ended up there, an assistant with the Chinese women’s national team, even Overton is not exactly sure. There was the forced resignation in Chicago. The stint in the Bahamas. The rock from Italy.

The years and milestones, they blend now, a mishmash of small towns and big cities and foreign lands. Overton played basketball in college for Oklahoma. He coached men and women, in college and the pros. He never wanted to be a lifer, the stereotypical old ball coach, someone who settled in one place for decades and became an institution. Click here to read full story…

‘I HAVE BEATEN HIM!’ tweets Dutch judo medalist…

A judo competitor tonight claimed to have ‘beaten’ a spectator who threw a bottle on to the athletics track in the Olympic Stadium shortly before Usain Bolt sprinted to victory in the men’s 100 meters. Dutch judo medalist Edith Bosch was apparently at the Olympic Stadium in London when the missile was hurled on to the track, narrowly missing the athletes.

She posted on Twitter in Dutch a message which, when translated into English, reads: ‘A drunken guest throws a bottle for me on the track! I HAVE BEATEN HIM…. Unbelievable! # angry # disrespectful’.

The Metropolitan Police tonight confirmed that a man had been arrested in connection with the incident. A police spokesman said a man had been heard shouting abuse and was then seen throwing a bottle immediately before the race. Read full story here…Missile: A bottle (circled) is thrown on to the track at the Olympic Stadium as sprinters prepare to take part in the 100-metre final

'Beating': Dutch judo competitor Edith Bosch, pictured after winning a bronze medal at London 2012, claimed on Twitter that a 'drunken' spectator had thrown the bottle

First Olympic Women’s Boxing…

For much of the match, the North Korean boxer seemed intent on wrapping her arms around her Russian opponent as if her strategy were to dance cheek to cheek. Occasionally, they traded blows, and the Russian slightly got the better of that.

She won the bout, 12-9. And there it was: history. On Sunday, for the first time, women boxed in the Olympics.

The day was special, and the most special part of it was that it seemed so normal. There were 12 fights, many of them thrilling. Terrific athletes, pursuing medals, punished each other with jabs and connected with uppercuts. The crowd stamped and cheered. They saw more than women’s boxing. They saw what they always want to see: good boxing.

Why had it taken so long? Boxing was the last all-male sport in the Games. Its exclusion was the legacy of gender stereotypes — that and male-dominated, hard-arteried boxing commissions that sometimes insisted premenstrual anxiety made females too unstable to box. Read full story here…

Latino Olympians: The Proud Parents Behind Them…

Danell Leyva Yin AlvarezThe sweat, the tears, the sacrifices that they’ve made, it’s not easy to be an Olympian — but perhaps it’s even harder to raise one. While some parents embrace the limelight, as is the case of Ileana “Ike” Lochte who often talks of her swimming star son’s diet and love life (or lack thereof), others remain a bit of a mystery.

The London Olympic Games has triggered a migration of hundreds of U.S. athletes across the Atlantic, and the company behind brands like Crest and Tide, Procter & Gamble, made sure that over 2,000 mothers of Olympians made it to London to see their kids compete as part of their “Thank you, Mom” campaign.

So we thought we’d thank the parents of these latino olympians in our own way. If Ryan Lochte’s mom makes it clear that behind the Olympic star there is a Cuban grandmother making croquetas, we figured we’d take a look at who’s behind our other Latino Olympians. Read full story here…

USA’s Gabby Douglas falters in uneven bars…no medal

With a key wobble and a step on her landing, the gymnastics all-around gold medalist finished last among eight contestants in the individual uneven bars at the London Olympics on Monday. Aliya Mustafina of Russia won with a 16.1. Kexin He of China was second and home country favorite Elizabeth Tweddle won bronze.

Douglas was the last competitor to go, and a score higher than 15.916 would have knocked the Brit out of a medal. Instead, Douglas had her worst routine in four sessions here, scoring 14.9.

The uneven bars are Douglas’ signature event and the one that inspired her nickname, the “Flying Squirrel.” National team coordinator Marta Karolyi came up with the nickname because she flies from bar to bar, soaring higher with every release move.

What has separaed Douglas from the rest of the world? “The quality of her swings, not many kids swing as beautifully as she,” says her coach Liang Chow. “The preciseness, the technique in her routines and the high flight element, the grace, the swinging, the power. It’s all showing in her routine. It makes her a very special bar worker, one of the best.” Read full story here…

The Bryant’s continue to enjoy Olympics 2012…

The Bryants took a break from the basketball grind to enjoy other sports at the 2012 Olympics. The family of four were spotted at the final night of the Game’s swimming events, and appeared to be enjoying every minute of it. Kobe’s wife Vanessa and daughters Natalia and Gianna were sure to sport the American colors of red, white, and blue through apparel and accessories.

NBA player Kobe Bryant recently talked about the joys of playing for his country. “It’s fun for me,” said Bryant. “I get a chance to work on other parts of my game, like shooting into the passing lanes and experimenting with other things defensively. I just try to work on parts of my game with this team.”

The 2012 Olympics serves as Kobe’s second opportunity to win gold for the United States. He and other famed players have already triumphed over several teams since playing their first game in the competition earlier this month.

The 2012 Olympics serves as Kobe’s second opportunity to win gold for the United States. He and other famed players have already triumphed over several teams since playing their first game in the competition earlier this month – via BlackCelebKids

Beth Tweedle wins bronze…

Beth Tweddle added to Team GB’s medal tally today when she won a bronze and became the oldest competitor to win an Olympic gymnast medal for 48 years. The 27-year-old performed brilliantly on the uneven bars this afternoon and won third prize despite a faltering dismount knocking her final mark of 15.916.

She looked like she may have done enough to get silver before Russia’s Aliya Mustafina claimed gold with 16.133, knocking Kexin He of China to second.

Speaking after the event, her mother Anne said: ‘We are just delighted because that was the missing one. Every mother says it, but I am so, so proud of her. ‘Since she had knee surgery 12 weeks ago, she has been doing so much, and putting so much in, and now it has all paid off.’Read full story here…

Beth Tweddle appeared to be just as happy with bronze as she would with gold

The 27-year-old became the oldest person to win a gymnast medal since in nearly half a century

Beth Tweddle looked like she was going to get silver despite being let down by her dismount

Bronze medal winner Beth Tweddle (right) pictured with Russia's Aliya Mustafina (centre) who won gold and silver medal winner He Kexin (left)

Lolo Jones in 100m women’s hurdles…

Lolo Jones of the United States jumps over a hurdle alongside Phylicia George of Canada in the Women’s 100m Hurdles heat on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 6, 2012 in London, England. (Getty Images)

Latino Olympians:

It’s a ring for Dominique Dawes (engagement)…

Former US Olympic Gymnastics champion Dominique Dawes announced via Twitter that she recently got engaged. She tweeted:

“Gabby wins gold and now This is the happiest day of my life…I’M ENGAGED!!!!!!”

“Soooo I am not into a ring for my engagement, me and my man are thinking about tattoos….what are your thoughts? — Dominique Dawes”

Congratulations!!! No word yet on who the lucky man is.

Walk champion Schwazer excluded for doping…

Italy’s Olympic 50km walk champion Alex Schwazer was excluded from the London Games on Monday after failing a doping test.

“I made a mistake. My career is finished,” Schwazer, who took gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, told the Italian news agency Ansa.

“I wanted to be stronger for this Olympics, I made a mistake.”

The confirmation came after the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said they had excluded an athlete due to “an adverse result from an anti-doping test”. Schwazer became a hero in Italy after winning the Olympic gold by knocking more than a minute off a 20-year-old Olympic record set by Vyacheslav Ivanenko, despite challenging conditions.

Schwazer, who set an Italian record in the 20km in March, had been one of Italy’s big gold medal hopes in a sport where athletes move as fast as they can without either foot losing contact with the ground. Read full story here…

Aliya Mustafina of Russia takes gold…

Aliya Mustafina of Russia, the 2010 world champion in the all-around, won the gold medal after performing a routine that made her look like a butterfly flitting atop, below and between the bars. She scored 16.133 points.

China’s He Kexin, who failed to successfully defend her Olympic title in the event, won the silver medal, with 15.933 points. Beth Tweddle of Britain won the bronze, with 15.916 points, and was happy because the pressure to win a medal in her home country had been so great. Read full story here…

Jason Kenny wins Olympic Gold in cycling spring final…

Jason KennyJason Kenny earned Britain its fifth Olympic gold medal at the London Velodrome by outclassing world champion Gregory Bauge in Monday’s sprint final, track cycling’s marquee event. Kenny, who had never before beaten Bauge, succeeded defending champion and teammate Chris Hoy after beating Bauge 2-0.

Kenny was awarded the sole spot available in the British team at the expense of Hoy after the sport’s governing body changed the competition format to allow only one rider per nation in the sprint. Bauge, meanwhile, failed in his bid to become the first Frenchman to win the Olympic sprint title in 40 years. Read full story here…

Bryan twins could retire after 2016 Olympics…

Olympic doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States tell Reuters that they are planning on contesting the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but might retire after that.

“I mean we talked about it, 2016 is a goal,” Mike Bryan said. “We want to go to Rio. I mean, we’re going to be 38-years-old, we’re not the young guys any more, but the training starts today. We’re going to get ready for it.”

Bob added: “Doubles is a sport you can play until your late 30s, early 40s. A couple of guys, a lot of guys, who are Top 10 in the world in the doubles are closing in on 40. So that’s our goal, we’ve already talked about it, and Rio, we’ve already put the pin on the calendar, and that’s going to be a good way to shut it down.” – via Tennis.com

Felix Sanchez wins Dominican Republic’s 1st gold medal of London Olympics in 400-meter hurdles…

Felix Sanchez won his second Olympic 400-meter hurdles gold, and the Dominican Republic’s first medal of the 2012 Games, by putting the field way behind down the stretch to finish in 47.63 seconds Monday night.

Sanchez, who turns 35 on Aug. 30, also was the 2004 Olympic champion.

He stuck his tongue out as he crossed the line and let out a scream. Then he knelt on the track, put down a photo of his late grandmother and kissed it, before tucking it into his uniform.

Michael Tinsley of the United States was second in 47.91, while Javier Culson got the bronze in 48.10 for Puerto Rico’s first medal of the London Games. Read full story here..

Michael Phelps parties with his medals…

0806_michael_phelps_gold_medals_splash_launchMichael Phelps took five of his closest friends out clubbing in London this weekend — gold medal, gold medal, gold medal, silver medal and silver medal. Just hours after swimming the last race of his career, Phelps — the greatest Olympian in the history of the Olympics — hit the party scene in Soho … along with 5 of his 18 gold medals … and a mystery blonde.

Phelps and his medals partied responsibly … after they partied themselves out, they all piled into the backseat of a waiting SUV and got a ride home via TMZ.

Kirani James of Grenada wins Olympic gold medal in men’s 400m…

Track and field is one of the most global sports, and its list of Olympic champions grew even more global on a chilly night when Kirani James won the men’s 400 meters.

Until Monday, the small Caribbean island of Grenada had never had an Olympic medalist in any event. Now it has a gold medal after James, a 19-year-old nicknamed the Jaguar who once starred for the University of Alabama, crushed the suspense out of one of the sport’s toughest races and crossed the finish line all alone in 43.94 seconds.

“Of course it can happen; it can happen from anywhere,” James said in his soft, measured baritone.

It can even happen when you grow up in the poor neighborhood of Gun Battle in the Grenadian coastal community Gouyave, which was given that name by the French because of the abundance of guava trees but is now better known in Grenada as the “town that never sleeps.” Read full story here…

Zaripova wins women’s steeplechase gold for Russia…

Yuliya Zaripova of Russia won the gold medal in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics on Monday, clocking the fourth-fastest time in history.

Zaripova won in 9 minutes, 06.72 seconds in cool conditions in the night session. Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia took silver in 9:08.37 and Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia finished third in 9.09.84 – via Sacbee

Iordan Iovtchev: Ninja Warrior Gymnast takes silver medal…

Let’s take a minute to salute Iordan Iovtchev, the Bulgarian gymnast who on Saturday earned the eighth and final spot in the men’s rings final. Iovtchev, who took silver on the rings in 2004 and bronze on the apparatus in 2000, is competing in his sixth Olympics, more than any gymnast in history.

He’s 39 years old and looks it: His hair is gray, his face is lined, and he bears an uncanny resemblance to the guy who plays Toby Flenderson on The Office. When he mounted the rings, it seemed for all the world like he was some random dude who had collected a bunch of box tops and won an “Appear in the Olympics for Bulgaria” contest.

But Iovtchev turned in a patient, impressive routine, showing great strength as he held his body in poses alternately parallel and perpendicular to the ground. The judges awarded him a score of 15.308, a figure that nobody understands because gymnastics scoring is extremely confusing.

Whatever it meant, it was good enough to beat out 60 other, younger gymnasts and advance to next week’s medal round. Read full story here…Iordan Iovtchev

Jamaica parties all night after Usain Bolt’s Olympic victory on eve of 50th independence anniversary…

Usain Bolt partied through the night after winning the Olympic 100m final – and appeared to have some members of the Swedish handball team celebrating with him. After defending his title with a stunning Olympic Record time of 9.63 seconds, Bolt headed back to the Olympic village. But he obviously didn’t go straight to bed.

Around 3am, he posted a picture on Twitter with the three Swedes along with the words:

‘A gaza we say hmmm mmm.’  

The three players in the picture, which appears to have been taken in Bolt’s bedroom in the village, are handball players Jamina Roberts, Ulrika Agren and Isabella Gullden.

A Swedish newspaper reported that the trio spent an hour-and-a-half in his room after stopping Bolt’s coach and asking for his accreditation so they could go and congratulate the sprinter. Roberts said they were joined by the Jamaican decathlete Maurice Smith and talked together, looked at Facebook and posed for photographs.

The Swedish team lost all five of their matches and finished bottom of their group in the handball tournament. Read full story here…Bolt posted this photograph on Twitter and Instagram early this morning. It shows him posing with three Swedish handball players in the Olympic Village

Jamaica came to a standstill as thousands poured out onto the streets to watch the race on large screens

Fans at the House of Jamaica in the 02 Centre strike Bolt's trademark celebration pose after the win

Online Olympic Racing Game…

It’s an Olympics race from your desk, and LeBron James will get you there…Click here to play…

Ryan Lochte watches US basketball team play…

Ryan Lochte tweeted a picture of him watching the US basketball team play in the 2012 Olympics. He’s pictured with friends fellow olympic swimmer Connor Dwyer and rapper Ludacris.

Alex Morgan’s goal puts U.S. in Olympic final…

In the third minute of stoppage time in the second extra time, Alex Morgan found a little something extra. Her header goal off Heather O’Reilly’s foot in an Olympic semifinal vs. Canada sealed a 4-3 victory and a gold-medal game berth for the U.S. women’s soccer team, despite an incredible effort from a team they were supposed to trounce.

The win sets up the final against Japan, which edged France 2-1 in the other women’s semifinal, setting up a rematch of the 2011 World Cup final. The U.S. lost that game in penalty kicks. Japan is trying to be just the second team to win a World Cup and an Olympic final in back-to-back years. Italy’s men’s side did it at the Berlin Games in 1936.

The United States is 44-3-5 against Canada in women’s soccer history and unbeaten in their previous 26 meetings. Read full story here…

Judo Team member disqualified for marijuana use…

Nick Delpopolo of the U.S. judo team.The Olympic journey of Nick Delpopolo, 23, a judoka from Westfield, N.J., ended Monday when results of a drug test showed traces of marijuana in his system.

“Any positive test, for any banned substance, comes with the appropriate consequences, and we absolutely support the disqualification,” Patrick Sandusky, a United States Olympic Committee spokesman, said in a statement.

Delpopolo, who secured his place in the London Games by winning the sport’s first hour of power fight-off, earning the final spot on the United States judo team, now owns another place in history. He is the first athlete to be ousted for a positive drug test while the 2012 Olympics were in progress.

“My positive test was caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize had been baked with marijuana, before I left for the Olympic Games,” Delpopolo said in a statement. “I apologize to U.S. Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake. I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will rededicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be.”via NYTimes

British win team show jumping…

Britain won the gold medal in team show jumping on Monday afternoon, narrowly defeating the Netherlands in a rare jump-off. Saudi Arabia, which was atop the results after Round 1 on Sunday, won a bronze medal, its third Olympic medal ever in any sport. At the 2000 Games in Sydney, it won a silver in track and field and a bronze in individual show jumping.

“I cannot explain how much this means to our nation,” said Ramzy al-Duhami, one of the four Saudi riders. “We have invested so much in this sport, and we hope our success here will progress the sport in our country.”

The home-country advantage in Greenwich Park was once again credited by members of Britain’s team. It was the nation’s first Olympic title in team jumping in 60 years. Read full story here…

Lithuanian fans outraged by Olympic racism claim…

Lithuanian fans and media on Friday slammed British officials who accused supporters of the Baltic state’s Olympic basketball team of racism, insisting their Nazi-like salutes were completely misunderstood.

The reaction came after a London court imposed a 2,500 pound (3,181 euro, $3,885) fine on team fan Petras Lescinskas, finding him guilty of making Nazi salutes and monkey chants. Lescinskas was arrested during Tuesday’s Lithuania-Nigeria basketball game, which Lithuania won 72-53, and was released the next day.

“The gesture and chanting of this fan and all others was totally misunderstood and misinterpreted by the undercover police officers who made the arrest,” a group of fans said in a Friday media statement.

They said the extending of one or two arms after clapping is a common gesture at sporting events and “is in no way meant to represent the Nazi salute.Read full story here…

Queue here for Olympics tickets…

Demand for tickets for the Paralympics have gone ‘through the roof’, organisers said yesterday. Many events have sold out, including athletics, cycling and swimming. There has been ‘unprecedented’ demand, with 1.4million tickets snapped up with three weeks still to go.

This compares to the 1.2million tickets sold for the Sydney Paralympics and the 850,000 for the Athens games.

Organizers hope even little-known sports such as sitting volleyball, boccia – a game similar to bowls – and wheelchair basketball will attract large crowds.
Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: ‘Since the start of the Olympics, Games fever has hit the country and we have seen a noticeable rise in the number of enquiries we are receiving. Click here for full story…Queue here please: Hundreds line up outside Alexandra Palace in north London in the hope of gaining a ticket for the day's events

Fans queue for tickets outside the French Olympic Committee's venue on the banks of the Thames

Success: Chris Friend and Jessica Friend from Berkshire, pose with hockey tickets after queuing at Holland House in Alexandra Palace from 5:45

Christine Ohuruogu grin it to win it…

Team GB’S 400m star Christine Ohuruogu couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as she showed off her silver medal yesterday. Christine, 28, who won Gold in Beijing in 2008, appeared over the moon despite being pipped to victory by American Sanya Richards-Ross – via DailyStar

For Australians: a blow to the ego…

It may still get better for Australia, sunburned land where Olympic champions used to grow on eucalyptus trees. The Aussies may still get a resounding victory at the London Games from their star hurdler Sally Pearson or one on a shorter, slicker track from their powerful cyclist Anna Meares.

But there would appear to be no saving the essential; no way to preserve bragging rights over Britain, which, when it comes to many Australians and international sport, is what matters most. Early Monday night, after nearly 10 full days of competition, Britain had won 18 gold medals. The Australians had won two.

“We don’t like it, but we’ve had to suck it up,” wrote Samantha Lane of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Monday. “Britain is smashing us at the Olympics, and even the Australian Olympic Committee, which is in the business of selling green and gold dreams, is now conceding defeat.” Read full story here…

Serena Williams’ crip walk dance criticized as inappropriate…

Serena Williams was so overjoyed after defeating Maria Sharapova in the Olympic singles and winning the gold that she broke into a Crip Walk dance.

“It was just me. I love to dance,” Williams told reporters who inquired about her Crip Walk. “I didn’t know what else to do. I was so happy, and next thing I know I started dancing and moving. I didn’t plan it. It just happened.”

When one naive reporter asked what the name of the dance could be — “The Wimbledon?” or “The Serena?” — Williams said, “Actually, there is a name. But I don’t know if I — it’s inappropriate. It’s just a dance we do in California.”

For the uninitiated, the Crip Walk is a funky little hip-hop dance move made famous by Crip gang members in Compton in the 1970s,” wrote Fox Sports’ Reid Forgrave, who went on to criticize Williams:

And there was Serena — the tennis legend, the winner of 14 individual Grand Slams, the best player of her generation, the American girl being crowned at the All-England Club as the queen of tennis — Crip-Walking all over the most lily-white place in the world.

She didn’t do it on purpose. It was a moment of unbridled joy. She pumped her fist, jumped up and down, looked into the crowd, then did her ill-timed dance.

You couldn’t help but shake your head. It was as if Serena just couldn’t seem to avoid dipping into waters of controversy even as she’d ascended to the top of her sport. Read full story here…

London Police do the ‘bolt’…

Sprinter Usain Bolt’s record-breaking, gold medal-winning 100-meter dash on Sunday at the 2012 Summer Olympics inspired excited reactions from crowds, and celebrations were not confined to fans from his native Jamaica.

In the photo above, which was posted to Reddit by user “rotzooi,” a group of seven London police officers salute Bolt by adopting his famous celebratory pose near Olympic Stadium. Bolt also performed the pose, known as “To Di World,” at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. It has been described as “a key part of his marketing campaign” by the Associated Press.

The pose is also called “Bolting” and has been compared to “Tebowing,” a kneeling posture made famous by NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. Read full story here…

london police to di world bolting

U.S. Racer among the cool kids for BMX event…

Alise Post sits at the cool kids table in the Olympic Village cafeteria with her United States BMX teammates.

“Sitting in the dining hall, the boys were approached and asked, ‘Are you BMXers?’ ” Post said, adding that her teammates said yes and asked, How could he tell? “The guy said, ‘Well, you guys look cool.’ ”

Post, 21, from St. Cloud, Minn., is Midwest nice mixed with Southern California cool, and her nickname is the Beast. Post has dominated the BMX circuit since she became a professional at age 15, which was the youngest age regulations would allow. In her first year as a professional BMX rider, Post became the youngest girl to win the American pro championship. Read full story here…

Algerian 1,500m Olympic medal contender booted…

Algerian 1,500 metres medal contender Taoufik Makhloufi, who was thrown out of the Olympics for not trying hard enough in his 800m heat yesterday morning, has been reinstated.

Makhloufi won his 1500m semi-final in style on Sunday and looked destined for a podium finish in Tuesday’s grandstand final.
But the 24-year-old was banned from taking any further part in the London Games after he gave up less than half way through his first 800m heat today.

Algeria had attempted to withdraw the athlete from the two lap event, but missed Sunday’s deadline – forcing him to take part today, or risk expulsion from the Games. He lined up at the start of heat five at the Olympic stadium on Monday but was already well behind the field at the start of the back straight before stopping running completely another 100 metres into the race and wandering back across the infield past the pole vault area. Read full story here…Not trying hard enough: Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi casually strolls off the track after giving up during his 800m heat on Monday

Trailing behind: Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi, third from left, quickly fell behind the other runners in the 800m heat yesterday

Rower’s choice of boyfriend is questioned in Germany…

The Olympics would not be the Olympics if the personal lives of the athletes did not play a major role in the event. But the love life of one young athlete has become the focus of a nation — not as an inspirational story but as a cautionary tale.

The athlete, Nadja Drygalla, a rower on the German Olympic team, volunteered to leave the Olympic Village last week after a discussion with officials about her boyfriend’s extreme right-wing political activities. But instead of heading off a potential controversy through her quiet departure, Ms. Drygalla has become the focus of a national debate, her romantic choices dissected in leading newspapers and on television broadcasts.

Ms. Drygalla’s boyfriend, Michael Fischer, himself a former competitive rower, was a candidate last year in a regional election for the far-right National Democratic Party and is part of an extremist group known as the Rostock National Socialists. Read full story here…

Olympics as bridge between nations? Not when these teams play…

Beyond the shoves and the elbows and the mutual disdain on Monday night, the latest men’s basketball game/wrestling match between the United States and Argentina featured allegations of punches thrown.

The focus afterward lingered less on the box score than on the alleged boxing. The Argentines accused Chris Paul of punching Facundo Campazzo in the third quarter. The Americans accused Campazzo of a retaliatory strike against Carmelo Anthony, near the groin — a pair of international incidents reminiscent of baseball’s unwritten hit-batsman code.

Paul, when asked directly about his tussle with Campazzo, said: “Which time? We got tangled up 1,000 times.”

The final score, in case anyone forgot they played a basketball game, read 126-97 in favor of the Americans. The victory clinched the top seed for the United States in Group A, where it will meet Australia in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round. Read full story here…

Brownlee brothers race to glory…

The Brownlee brothers have raced to Olympic triathlon glory in one of the most dramatic races yet at London 2012. Alistair Brownlee took gold and his brother Jonny won bronze despite being given a 15-second penalty.

As he closed in on victory Alistair grabbed a Union flag from the crowd, wrapped it around his shoulders and walked triumphantly across the finish line in Hyde Park. He waited to embrace his brother who had to fight incredibly hard to overcome the penalty given for mounting his bike too quickly after swimming the Serpentine.

And there was further success in Weymouth as Nick Dempsey took silver in the men’s windsurfing. Read full story here…

Smithsonian National Zoo’s Cheetah Cubs named for Olympic sprinters…

National Zoo Cheetah CubsThe results are in! The Smithsonian National Zoo’s two cheetah cubs have been named for the fastest male and female American sprinters from the 100-meter race in the London 2012 Olympics this past weekend.

The 3-month-old cubs will be named Carmelita and Justin after Carmelita Jeter and Justin Gatlin. On Saturday, Aug. 4, Jeter ran the 100-meter sprint in 10.78 seconds, winning her the silver medal. Gatlin ran the men’s 100-meter on Sunday in 10.64 seconds, taking the bronze medal.

Cheetahs, of course, can run much faster than humans, regularly clocking speeds of up to around 60 mph (96.5 kph). An 11-year-old cheetah named Sarah recently ran the distance in 5.95 seconds. Read full story here…

Jennifer Suhr finally takes home gold…

Jenn Suhr has been trying to beat her Russian rival for the past five years, but the pole vaulter picked the right time to finally get the better of Elena Isinbaeva: in the gold medal run of Olympic finals.

Isinbaeva had been one of the most dominant athletes in any Olympic sport, winning Olympic gold twice and the world championships twice as well as breaking the world record a total of 28 times, the Denver Post reported. Jenn Suhr had finished behind Isinbaeva at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and, heading into the 2012 Olympics, was expected to again finish behind the Russian.

But, on Monday night, Suhr mastered the meet’s wet and windy weather conditions, earning the first gold medal in the event for the U.S. since Stacy Dragila in 2000. Jenn Suhr did it looking good. She won with a height of 4.8 meters, matching Cuba’s Yarisley Silva but winning by virtue of having less misses. Isinbaeva, who gained a reputation as a diva for her camera-hogging actions, took bronze at 4.7 meters. Read full story here…

Russian wins synchronized swimming…

The Russians tried not to listen to all those who wanted to hand them a gold medal in synchronized swimming before they even competed at the Olympics. They kept telling themselves that other countries were making giant strides in the pool, that any sense of complacency could lead to a shocking upset.

No need to worry. This gold was never in doubt.

Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina had the crowd cheering before they even dived in the pool, extending Russia’s monopoly of the sport with a dominating duet win Tuesday. The silver went to Spain, which leaped over China in a sport where the hierarchy is firmly established going into major competitions. Read full story here…

Michael Phelps steps out with girlfriend…

Michael Phelps and Megan Rossee took their relationship public on Monday, when the rumored couple showed up together to the Speedo Athlete Celebration in London.

Rossee, a 25-year-old model from Los Angeles, looked Gold medal-worthy, for lack of a better pun, as she posed for photos in a hip-hugging dress. Phelps, meanwhile, kept it casual in a suit as he put his arm around Rossee.

Since when has Phelps had a woman on his arm? First hints of a romance between Phelps and Rossee, who have reportedly been dating since January, surfaced on Twitter, when Rossee tweeted a number of lovey-dovey messages to Phelps as he prepared to take the 2012 London Olympics by storm. Read full story here…

Liu Xiang crashes at 110-meter-mens-hurdles…

The champion hurdler Liu Xiang, the most prominent athlete from China competing in the London Games, suffered another painful Olympic exit on Tuesday morning.

Four years after Liu had to withdraw from the men’s 110-meter hurdles in the Beijing Olympics, devastating his millions of adoring fans in China, he left the competition here without clearing a single hurdle in a preliminary heat. Just as in 2008, an Achilles tendon injury was his undoing.

Liu, a former world-record holder in the event and the gold medal winner at the 2004 Athens Games, drove his left foot into the first hurdle and tumbled to the track, grasping his lower right leg. Read full story here…

Riders and horses in perfect harmony as Team GB takes gold…

Britain’s dressage team trotted to a historic victory over Germany today, winning Team GB’s 20th gold of the London Olympic Games.

And the medal success now means that Britain has surpassed its huge total haul from the Beijing Games four years ago. With Team GB’s athletes having broken the landmark number of gold medals in 2008, all eyes are now focused on the velodrome where the gold rush looks set to continue.

This afternoon, Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and Laura Bechtolsheimer held on to their narrow lead over Germany to win gold at Greenwich Park in front of a home crowd of 20,000 spectators. The success of Britain’s athletes has already passed the hopes and expectations of many in managing to match Britain’s impressive medal-winning run in 2008. Read full story here…From left to right, Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain celebrate with their historic gold medals in dressage

Team GB celebrate their victory in the equestrian dressage team competition at Greenwich Park this afternoon

Carl Hester celebrates after a brilliant performance in the Team Dressage Grand Prix Special at Greenwich Park today

Laura Bechtolshimer in action this afternoon in an historic day for Great Britain

Judges watch as Charlotte Dujardin rounds off her dressage routine this afternoon at Greenwich Park

America’s sweetheart Gabby Douglas opens up on mother’s bankruptcy and father’s abandonment…

Olympics sensation Gabby Douglas may be an all-around gymnastics champ on her way to lucrative endorsement deals, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had her own personal struggles outside the gym.

The two-time gold medalist spoke candidly about her family’s tough times amid her quest for Olympic glory, including her mother’s financial woes and living away from her father. Everything you need to know about Gabby Douglas:

“It was hard for us growing up—my dad had left us, so he wasn’t really in the picture anymore,” the 16-year-old told the New York Post Monday.

Gabby’s father, Timothy Douglas, was a military man who had been deployed to the Middle East when she was just 9, and although the family had lived in Virginia Beach, the future Olympic champ eventually moved to Des Moines, Iowa, to train.

“So, my mom had to front all these bills,” she said. “My dad didn’t really pay the child support. He was short [on money]. It was definitely hard on my mom, taking care of me and my siblings.”

Gabby’s mother, Natalie Hawkins, filed for bankruptcy in January, just as her daughter’s Olympic prospects were taking off. Read full story here…Gabby Douglas

Laura Trott becomes double Olympic champion at age 20…

Eight years ago cycling hopeful Laura Trott met her idol Bradley Wiggins and he let her pose for a photo with his Athens Olympic gold medal around her neck. Tonight she’s got two of her own.

The 20-year-old became a double gold medal winner when she triumphed in the final race of the women’s omnium, during a breathless night in the Olympic Velodrome. Trott, from Cheshunt, Herts, can hang her omnium medal next to the gold she won in Saturday’s team pursuit final, alongside team mates Joanna Roswell and Dani King. Read full story here…The new pretender: Laura Trott poses with her second gold and Britain's 21st of the Games

Laura Trott faced an uphill battle in the final omnium event, but stormed to victory, finishing three places ahead of USA's Sarah Hammer

Britain's Laura Trott looks on in disbelief after winning an unlikely gold in the women's omnium

Sarah Ferguson and her daughters were in attendance to watch Laura TrottSarah Ferguson and her daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice look on as Team GB goes for three golds in the velodrome on Tuesday night

Arise, Sir Chris wins 6th gold medal…

Sir Chris Hoy surpassed Sir Steve Redgrave’s record as Great Britain’s greatest Olympian tonight by clinching victory in the keirin cycling race. The Scottish cyclist stormed ahead of the field in the velodrome to win his second gold medal at London 2012 and his sixth Olympic title in total.

It followed hot on the heels of Laura Trott’s gold medal in the women’s omnium event and went some way to making up for Victoria Pendleton’s narrow defeat in the women’s sprint final.

Hoy’s victory brings Team GB’s tally to 22 gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze – making this the most successful Games in terms of gold medals since the London Olympics of 1908 and equalling the total number of medals won in Beijing. Read full story here…Another one: British cyclist Sir Chris Hoy holds his sixth gold medal after winning the keirin event

History-maker: Sir Chris Hoy holds the Union flag with pride as he celebrates winning his sixth gold medal

On top of the world: Sir Chris Hoy is lifted by fellow members of Team GB's cycling team after winning his sixth Olympic gold medal

Australia’s Sally Pearson coasts into 100m hurdles final…

Sally Pearson provided a rare bright spot for Australia at the London Games, earning the country’s fourth gold medal by edging defending champion Dawn Harper of the U.S. to win the 100-meter hurdles in an Olympics-record 12.35 seconds Tuesday night.

Under a steady rain, Pearson barely crossed the line ahead of Harper, who was clocked in 12.37. The U.S. also took the bronze, with Kellie Wells finishing in 12.48. Lolo Jones, the favorite who fell at the ninth of 10 hurdles four years ago, was fourth Tuesday in 12.58.

It took several seconds for the scoreboard at Olympic Stadium to display the final results, with Pearson and Harper both staring and waiting. When Pearson’s named appeared first, she let out a yell, then dropped to her knees and fell on her back.  Click here to read full story…Sally Pearson

Rafalca does not advance in dressage…

As he rode into� ring on his horse, Rafalca, the equestrian Jan Ebeling blew a kiss to a few women in the stands he calls the three amigos: his wife, Amy Ebeling; Beth Meyer; and Ann Romney, whose husband, Mitt, is the presumptive presidential candidate for the Republican Party.

They share ownership of Rafalca, a 15-year-old mare, and they were on hand at Greenwich Park on Tuesday morning to see what would be Ebeling and Rafalca’s last ride at the London Games.

“I’m really happy with her piaffes,” Ebeling said about Rafalca’s moves in the ring after their turn in the Grand Prix Special portion of the dressage finals.Read full story here…

Kate Middleton meets Team USA Gymnasts…

Ever wonder what a teen gymnast could want to do besides win gold medals at the Olympics? Why, meet Kate Middleton, of course. Fortunately for Team USA, the young ladies on the gymnastics team managed to tick both of these things off their wish lists in the space of a few days.

After watching the “Fab Five” compete yesterday, Kate decided that a congratulations was in order and walked right up to the team. Even though we were dying for a Kate Middleton-Gabby Douglas meet and greet, the gold-medal winner didn’t seem to tweet any specifics about the meeting like her teammates did.

We can’t be 100 percent sure what they discussed, but judging by the gymnasts’ tweets, fashion was the natural topic of conversation. Aly Raisman was definitely a fan of the duchess’ wardrobe, tweeting – via HuffPost

Iran lead in Greco-Roman wrestling…

Iran had never won an Olympic gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling until the London Games. By the time the discipline wraps up Tuesday, the Iranians could very well be boasting about a gold for each day of the competition.

Saied Mourad Abdvali of Iran hasn’t lost in nearly two years, and the 2011 world champion will be the favorite at 66 kilograms to join teammates Hamid Soryan and Omid Noroozi as gold medalists. The Iranians could end up with three golds in three days. Read full story here…

Italian kayaker Josefa Idem becomes 1st woman to compete in 8 Olympics…

England — Bobbing on the start line in her kayak, Josefa Idem looked to the left through her sunglasses and saw rivals less than half her age. To the right, there was another in her 20s.

Then the starting horn went off — and she beat them all. The 47-year-old Italian made history at a chilly Dorney Lake on Tuesday when she became the first woman to compete in eight Olympics. She marked the occasion by qualifying for the final of the flagship 500-meter K-1 event, upstaging younger rivals in her semifinal.

“I don’t care about age,” she said, laughing. “The stopwatch doesn’t ask.”

Idem sees herself as kayaking’s equivalent of British rowing great Steve Redgrave, who won golds at five straight Olympics — his last coming at the age of 39. Read full story here…

South African swimmer admits to cheating…

After winning an Olympic gold medal in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke, South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh pointed his index finger to the sky in joy following his win in world-record time.

Now, Olympic officials could be pointing the finger at him after he admitted to cheating recently.

In breaststroke, competitors are allowed to take one dolphin kick at the start and one after each turn before starting their breaststroke kick. But with no underwater video judging, swimmers are oftentimes able to sneak in an extra kick. Van der Burgh appears to take three of them based on video replays. If judges had caught him, the illegal moves could have earned him a disqualification. Read full story here…

U.S. won’t medal in boxing for the first time in history…

The crushing defeat of Dallas welterweight Errol Spence Jr. on Tuesday night ensured that – for the first time in Olympics history – a U.S. men’s boxer will not ascend the medals podium, an embarrassment of historical proportions for the once-rich Team USA amateur program.

Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy assured a 0-for-9 medals shutout for the U.S. men when he out-boxed Spence, a fellow left-hander, by a score of 16-11.

“He was just the better man today,” said Spence, 22.

Afterward, U.S. assistant coach Charles Leverette criticized Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya, two mega-stars produced by the USA amateur program, for not formally sharing their expertise. He said both had been invited to help young fighters at USA Boxing headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“USA Boxing and the Olympics made Golden Boy. And it made Ray Leonard. And everyone else out there barking about that they can do,” Leverette said. “Put your money where your mouth is.” Read full story here…

Kim Hyeon-woo of South Korea wins Olympic gold…

Kim Hyeon-woo of South Korea has won the Olympic gold medal in men’s 66-kilogram Greco-Roman wrestling. Kim beat Hungary’s Tamas Lorincz 1-0, 2-0 to give South Korea its first wrestling gold of the London Games.

Iranian world champion Saeid Morad Abdvali was knocked out in the quarterfinals by France’s Steeve Guenot. Kim beat Guenot, the Olympic champion in 2008, to reach the gold medal match. Kim’s biggest win had been the Asian championships in 2010. Georgian Manuchar Tskhadaia and Guenot won bronze medals. Read full story here…

Gymnastics drama (real or imagined) never disappoints…

It is a rare Olympic occurrence indeed to see the breakout star of the Games, the women’s gymnastics individual all-around gold medalist, dangling from the underside of the balance beam, her foot having slipped, holding on for dear life.

Just as unusual is watching the reigning world champion, the star of the sport coming into the Games, leaving them with a final seventh-place finish on the floor exercise and her coach grumbling she might have a stress fracture somewhere on her lower leg — asked which one, he said “right or left” — even though she said she was “fine.”

Ah, gymnastics, the figure skating of the Summer Games. It never disappoints.
It was the USA’s Gabby Douglas who ingloriously found herself on the wrong side of the balance beam on the final day of artistic gymnastics competition, finishing her Olympic Games by placing last — eighth of eight — on the uneven bars Monday, then finishing seventh on the beam Tuesday. Read full story here…

Obama wraps himself in Olympic glory…

One of the two major candidates for president actually ran an Olympics, made a point of visiting this year’s Games in London and has a wife with a personal stake in one of the events.

And yet the candidate who cannot stop talking about the gymnasts, swimmers and soccer players on the campaign trail nearly everywhere he goes these days is the one who by his own admission “can barely do a somersault.”

From Ohio to Florida to Virginia, President Obama has been wrapping himself in Olympic glory, giving shout-outs to the winners and slipping in that he just happened to call some of them personally to congratulate them on their medals. Read full story here…President Obama posed for a picture with the United States women's basketball team in Washington before they left for the Olympics.

U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman gold medal winning a tribute to victims of the 1972 Munich Games massacre…

For Aly Raisman, waiting was the worst part. In the all-around finals last week, she waited for the final standings after receiving the same score as Russia’s Aliya Mustafina. Then she lost the bronze medal in a tiebreaker.

On Tuesday, in the balance beam final, she waited as the judges debated if they had erred and scored her too low. When they decided they had, then raised her score, she moved into a tie for third with Romania’s Catalina Ponor. Bracing herself, she waited again to see who would come out on top.

Raisman has revealed the music for her gold medal-winning floor routine at the London Olympics was a tribute to the victims of the 1972 Munich Games terror attack. The 18-year-old said choosing Hava Nagila- a traditional score used for wedding dances and bat mitzvah – was a response to the International Olympic Committee’s failure to mark the 40th anniversary of the tragedy.

And for Aly, from Needham, Massachusetts, she said it made her gold even more special:

‘I can only imagine how painful it must be for the families and close personal friends of the victims,’ she said.

‘I am Jewish, that’s why I wanted that floor music,’ she told the New York Post. ‘I wanted something the crowd could clap to, especially being here in London.

‘It makes it even much more if the audience is going through everything with you. That was really cool and fun to hear the audience clapping.’

Eleven Israeli athletes were killed during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games in the now infamous Palestinian terrorist attack. Only recently it has been revealed German neo-Nazis helped them. Read full story here…

Remember: During the 1972 Munich Games, a group of Palestinian terrorist kidnapped and killed much of the Israeli team in a highly-publicized ordealTerror: Eleven were killed by the Palestinian Black September group

For U.S. Volleyball leader, victories on court and off…

The stew of cultures served up by the Olympics is comfort food for Donald Suxho, the starting setter for the United States Olympic men’s volleyball team who immigrated from Albania in the 1990s and met his Ukrainian-born wife in 2005 while playing professionally in Greece.

Multiculturalism is the spice of Suxho’s life, but a pinch of politics threatened to poison his second Olympics. Suxho’s wife, Eleni, who said she was in the final stages of becoming a permanent resident of the United States, was denied a visa when she applied for one in Kiev in late July, in advance of her trip here from Ukraine on Aug. 3.

She said she did not have her marriage certificate and was carrying a new passport, with no stamps. Her application was flagged by British officials intent on stemming the tide of illegal immigration from Eastern Europe. Read full story here…

USA’s Kerri Walsh, Misty May-Treanor golden Olympic end?

There were extra hugs, especially loud cheers and essentially a victory lap around the court. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh definitely weren’t acting as if they’d been there before, even though, of course, they’ve won their share of Olympic semifinal matches.

After they came back from deficits in both sets to beat China’s Xi Zhang and Chen Xue 22-20, 22-20 Tuesday night, May-Treanor and Walsh couldn’t contain themselves. This one meant more, and this gold would mean more than the two they own. Read full story here…

Misty May-Treanor - Olympics Day 8 - Beach Volleyball

Robert Harting of Germany celebrates…

Robert Harting of Germany celebrates winning gold in the Men’s Discus Throw Final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 7, 2012 in London, England. 

Belgian Olympic cyclist parties till he drops…

For being an Olympic athlete, Belgian cyclist Gijs van Hoecke sure needed help keeping his balance as he attempted to leave a London club on Tuesday night. Looking obliterated, the 20-year-old was carried out of the Mahiki nightclub and literally dragged into a waiting taxi by his pals.

With his events over, Gijs is all about celebrating not winning any medals. Read more here…0808_gijs_van_hoecke_PCN

0808_gijs_van_hoecke_better_days

Olympic 2012′: Girl power?

Did women really rule in the 2012 Olympic Games? 

Olympics boxing: Claressa Shields dreams of gold …

Teenager Claressa Shields, who wasn’t old enough to fight in the Olympics until March, will be going for a gold medal in boxing after outpointing Kazakhstan’s Marina Volnova, 29-15, in a bruising middleweight semifinal Wednesday.

But flyweight Marlen Esparza wasn’t so lucky, losing her semifinal to Ren Cancan of China, 10-8. Esparza, who said Wednesday’s fight would be her last, will come home with a bronze medal — the first boxing medal won by a U.S. woman. That leaves Shields, a 17-year-old high school student from Flint, Mich., and the youngest fighting in London, as the only American still boxing. She’ll face Russia’s Nadesda Torlopova in Thursday’s final.

“I’m not dreaming. It’s real,” Shields said of her chances at a gold medal. “It’s right here. All I have to do is grab it.” Read full story here…

Claressa Shields

Olympic’s Women’s Flyweight Semis: Esparza takes bronze…

Marlen Esparza was the first to spare Team USA the embarrassment of being shut out at the boxing medal count for the first time ever when her win on Monday guaranteed at least a bronze. Unfortunately, it will have to do for the American flyweight, who was eliminated after a 10-8 loss to Ren Cancan of China, who now fights for the Gold medal on Friday.

Esparza faced an uphill climb heading in, going up against the division’s top seed. Cancan jumped to an early lead, not offering anything spectacular but doing just enough to stay ahead. The same pattern held true through two rounds, when Cancan went up by three points. Read full story here…

Does childbirth makes female athletes stronger? It did for Anna Chicherova of Russia…

Qualifying for the women’s Olympic high jump final begins on Thursday morning. In this year’s competition, at least three of the medal contenders have given birth in the last year or two, including the gold medal favorite, Anna Chicherova of Russia, and the American Olympic trials champion Chaunté Lowe. And that does not include the defending Olympic champion, Tia Hellebaut of Belgium, who is in the midst of a second comeback to the sport after having had two children since she won the gold medal four years ago.

It is considered an urban legend in track circles that women get stronger as athletes after they have had children. Does this year’s high jump competition give credence to that legend — and its relation to the high jump in particular — or is it just more fodder for it? Read full story here…

Amy Acuff celebrating at the Olympic trials in June.

Olympics Basketball Google Logo lets you shoot for the gold…

Google shoots… and scores! If you haven’t already seen the Google homepage, a new olympic-themed doodle is available today. Like yesterday’s hurdle doodle, the logo has been transformed into a mini-game — but this time it’s a little more difficult.

The object of this basketball boredom-buster (which can be played here after today) is to shoot as many points as possible within 24 seconds by tapping the spacebar. The amount of time the spacebar is held down affects how far each shot will go. Your player also takes a step back midway through the game, meaning you have to adjust the spacebar tapping in order to swoosh a three-pointer. Read full story here…

Olympics Basketball

Italy knocks out United States Men’s Volleyball Team…

There will be no magical run to another gold for the U.S. men’s volleyball team. There will not even be a medal. The defending Olympic champions were knocked out of the London Games in straight sets by Italy in a quarterfinal Wednesday.

David Lee sat on the bench for a long time after the loss, staring at the court. Captain Clay Stanley sarcastically cracked he had “all the time in the world” to talk.

“You work four years for this to get here and then just not show up for the game. It’s kind of tough,” he said, adding after a pause: “Not necessarily not show up, but just kind of get taken advantage of.”

Four years ago in Beijing, the Americans banded together after their coach’s father-in-law was stabbed to death at a Chinese tourist site a day before the opening ceremony. They went undefeated and upset Brazil for the gold medal. Read full story here…

The Olympic-sized cost of putting kids through Sports…

Gabby Douglas from the USA  on the balance bea...Olympic caliber athletes have undoubtedly sacrificed much along the way to get to the games. But it’s also becoming clear that their families also sacrifice. As they both won gold in London, news surfaced that Gabby Douglas and Ryan Lochte’s parents are dealing with financial troubles.

Douglas’s mother declared bankruptcy earlier this year, and Lochte’s parents are facing foreclosure. True, neither case is directly caused by the costs of sending kids to the Olympics. But they underscore the financial strain of rearing a child, particularly when parents try to enrich their children’s lives with extracurriculars like sports.

These costs have soared in recent decades, making it harder and harder for parents to give their children these kinds of opportunities.  Read full story here..

This is London Mayor Boris Johnson’s moment to bask…

For most politicians, getting stuck on a zip line and dangling helplessly in midair for several minutes above crowds of pointing spectators would be a public relations nightmare from which they’d prefer not to wake up.

Boris Johnson isn’t like most politicians. With his usual goofy aplomb, London’s mayor continued to wave the Union Jacks in his hands and crack wise until somebody guided him back onto solid ground.

A pundit compared his suspended figure to a “giant, suited baby attempting semaphore,” while memes sprouted across the Internet showing his burly, harnessed frame hanging off Big Ben, from a giraffe’s mouth and beside a strung-up Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible.” Read full story here…London Mayor Boris Johnson is in the spotlight

Stiletto racing exists, ‘would make and awesome Olympic event…

What could possibly be the scariest collision of the sports and fashion worlds (aside from some of the Olympics uniforms)? We think we may have just discovered it. It’s called stiletto racing.

Yes, competitive racing in painful high heels exists, and it sounds like the best/worst thing ever. Just last month, women in Moscow, Russia, voluntarily signed up to sprint 50 meters in a minimum of 3.5 inch heels. And since there was a $3,000 shopping voucher at stake, these women took the competition pretty seriously, duct-taping the shoes to their feet and shamelessly falling…a lot. In the end, Marina Tuktamusheva took home the prize. Read full story here…


Coaching the Kayakers on 2 wheels…

As she prepared for a race Wednesday, Krisztina Fazekas of Hungary got into her kayak with her three teammates. Her husband and coach, Rami Zur, hopped onto a bicycle a few feet away. Then the couple embarked on a classic Olympic canoe-kayak tradition.

Zur rode alongside the course on his bicycle and screamed at Fazekas as she paddled.

“I’m surprised nobody crashes or anything like that,” Zur said. “But you’re just full of emotion. You want to feel like you’re in the boat.”

He was not alone. The rowing and canoe sprint competitions for the London Games are being held here at the Eton Dorney facility, and every race offers a scene distinctive from anything at the other 2012 Olympic locations. Read full story here…

Bolt and Blake cruise into 200m final…

Olympic 100m gold medallist Usain Bolt of Jamaica returned to the scene of Sunday’s triumph and eased his way into the final of the 200m. Running in the second semi-final, Bolt clocked a time of 20.18s ahead of Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa to take his place in Thursday’s much-anticipated final.

There Bolt will again face his Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake, after the 100m silver medallist coasted to victory in the first semi-final with a time of 20.01s. Wallace Spearmon of the US pipped Christophe Lemaitre to second place, with the Frenchman also qualifying as a fastest loser.

“I think it’s going to be interesting,” Blake said of Thursday’s final. Read full story here…

Aries Merritt wins gold medal for U.S. in men’s 100 meter hurdles…

he American men finally had their golden moment at the track-and-field venue Wednesday night when Aries Merritt won the 110-meter hurdles in convincing fashion. Merritt had American company in earning a medal.

Teammate Jason Richardson finished second and Jamaican Hansle Parchment was third. World-record holder and defending Olympic champion Dayron Robles of Cuba pulled up with an apparent leg injury midway through the race.

Merritt has been the world’s fastest hurdler in 2012, and that did not change here in London. He had the fastest time in round one Tuesday morning, then backed it up with the fastest time in the semifinals early Thursday evening. He finished the job later that night. His time of 12.92 seconds was his personal best by 0.01 and the fastest time of the year in the world. Read full story here…

Aries Merritt of the U.S. (R) finishes first of Jamaica's Hansle Parchment during their men's 110m hurdles final during the London 2012 Olympics Games at the Olympic Stadium August 8, 2012. Merritt finished first and Parchment third. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (BRITAIN  - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT ATHLETICS)

Meet Sarah Attar first Saudi Olympic track woman…

Sarah Attar finished last and more than a half-minute slower than her nearest competitor in the women’s 800 meters. Yet hundreds rose to give her a standing ovation as she crossed the finish line.

For the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in track and field at the Olympics, the principle was more important than the performance.

Covered in clothing from head to toe, except for her smiling face poking out from her hood, Attar’s debut came five days after a Saudi judo athlete became the ultraconservative country’s first female competitor at any Olympics. Read full story here…News Photo: Sarah Attar of Saudi Arabia competes in the…

Allyson Felix wins gold in 200 meters…

Allyson Felix won the women’s 200 meters at the London Games in 21.88 seconds, upgrading her previous two Olympic silver medals to gold and highlighting a medal haul for the United States in track and field on Wednesday night.

In four events at the Olympic Stadium, the United States came away with three gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals. Brittney Reese won the long jump and Aries Merritt won the 110-meter hurdles.

At the United States Olympic trials, Felix, 26, had run 21.69, history’s fourth-fastest performance, to become the favorite in London. She finished fifth in the 100 meters on Saturday, an event she used to help her prepare for the speed and endurance required in the 200. Read full story here…

All-American ending for beach volleyball team…

Misty May-Treanor said she wanted Wednesday night’s gold medal match to be the best of her and her American beach volleyball teammate Kerri Walsh Jennings’s lives. And by most accounts, it was.

They reclaimed their title, shutting down their fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross in two sets to add a third gold medal to their collection. Kessy and Ross won the silver medal, and earlier Wednesday night, Brazil’s Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca beat Xue Chen and Zhang Xi of China in the bronze medal match. May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings are the first in their sport to win three consecutive gold medals and are credited with helping fuel its popularity.

“I’m in a daze,” May-Treanor said after the 21-16, 21-16 victory.

Walsh Jennings added: “It’s really insane. It doesn’t feel like it’s real.”

Called by some, including Kessy, the best beach volleyball team ever, the match was bittersweet for both teams.  Read full story here…

 

Spotted: Prince Harry cheering Team GB track cyclists on at game…

Prince Harry

Online Olympic Mini-gold Game…

It’s an Olympics mini gold game from your desk, and LeBron James will watch you win…Click here to play…

Heavy burden on athletes takes joy away from China’s Olympic success…

When Liu Xiang, China’s track and field superstar, crashed to the ground at the London Olympic Games on Tuesday after stumbling over the first hurdle in his 110-meter men’s hurdles heat, an announcer on the state broadcaster openly wept and subway riders thronging platform television screens gasped in horror.

But instead of the scorn and anger that met Mr. Liu four years ago when a similar injury to his Achilles’ tendon forced him from the Olympic stadium in Beijing just before the race began, the overwhelming majority of those using the nation’s most popular microblog site reacted with magnanimity and grace.

“I believe, I steadfastly believe that Liu Xiang is our hero,” wrote one user on Sina Weibo. “He was, he is, and he always will be.”

Within an hour of Mr. Liu’s dramatic tumble, millions had posted messages, most of them supportive and laudatory. Read full story here…

Brittney Reese wins gold medal…

U.S. long jumper Brittney Reese’s first Olympic Games were a disappointment, as she failed to medal with a fifth-place finish at the 2008 Beijing Games. Since then, however, Reese has won five consecutive world championship events, including Olympic gold in Wednesday’s long jump final in London.

No female track and field athlete in the world has dominated a single event the way Reese has over the past four years. And without a definite rising star in long jump to challenge her, she could continue to reign over the event for many more years.

Reese only received marks on two of her six jumps, picking up fouls on the other four, but only one jump mattered. On her second jump, Reese leaped to a gold-medal-winning distance of 23 feet, 4.5 inches. Read full story here…

American Lashinda Demus grabs silver medal in 400 hurdles…

Two-time Olympian Lashinda Demus finally earned a medal, securing a silver in the 400-meter hurdles on Wednesday. Demus, 29, finished second in a season-best time of 52.77 seconds. She was fourth at the 2008 U.S. trials, one year after giving birth to twin boys. Demus failed to reach the final at the 2004 Athens Games.

Russia’s Natalya Antyukh ran a lifetime-best of 52.70 to win gold. Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic won the bronze in 53,38. Americans Georgeanne Moline (53.92) and T’erea Brown (55.07) placed fifth and sixth, respectively. Read full story here…News Photo: Silver medalist Lashinda Demus of the United States…

Men’s athletics decathlon 100m hurdles…

Trey Hardee of the United States won the Olympic men’s athletics decathlon 110m hurdles at the 2012 London Games on Thursday at the Olympic Stadium.
The current leaders after this phase are Ashton Eaton of the United States with 5693 points, Trey Hardee with 5476 points and Canada’s Damian Warner with 5312 points. Read more here…James Trey Hardee James 'Trey' Hardee competes in the decathlon discus event during the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field on June 26, 2009 in Eugene, Oregon.

Jess Ennis is a golden girl…

JESS Ennis showed she can stun both on and off the track last night, celebrating her success by attending an exclusive party in the capital. Stepping out with her fiance, construction site manager Andy Hill, the 26-year-old beauty replaced her trackies with a rather more glamorous Alexander McQueen SS12 coral dress to the OMEGA House ‘Athletics Night’ Party in London’s Soho.

The golden girl, who had to spend six hours, six days a week training for her win, was given a well-deserved luxurious makeover prior to her outing, enjoying the spoils of her monumental win with a mega pampering session. Read full story here…

An open-water test for swimmers…

The 10-kilometer marathon open-water swim is perhaps the most arduous swimming event at the London Olympics, and it takes a special athlete to undertake its challenges.

There will be no temperature-controlled pool water, lanes or starting blocks. There are finishing times that average two hours, fluctuating elements and the occasional kick or elbow to the face.

“To swim at that level, you have to be in the best shape in the world,” said Bryan Krut, coach of Open Water Swim Long Island.

Krut compared the event to running two back-to-back marathons. “The swimmers that are competing in this are the best swimmers in the world, and probably the toughest athletes in the world,” he said.Read full story here…

Keri-Anne Payne practicing last month in London.

American women dominating medal standings at London Olympics…

Women. Can’t live with ‘em, wouldn’t have a prayer in the medal race without ‘em.

Through Wednesday, the USA had won 34 gold medals at the Olympics. The women accounted for 23 of them. Take away swimming, and the American men had three. They went medal-less in boxing (an historical first) and put nobody in the men’s 400-meter final (ditto).

But the women have dominated, from the halls of gymnastics to the shores of beach volleyball. Because Wednesday figured to be another highlight reel, a diary seemed in order. A day in the life of American Olympic women on a roll. Read full story here…

USA’s Eaton takes big lead into decathlon homestretch …

World record holder Ashton Eaton of the United States will carry a sizeable lead over countryman Trey Hardee into the final session of the decathlon at the London Games.

After the completion of the five events on Wednesday, Eaton entered the second and final day of the event with a 220-point edge over Hardee and will take a lead of 222 points into the last two disciplines — the javelin and 1,500 meters. The final two events will be staged on Thursday night at Olympic Stadium.

Interesting Fact: Ashton Eaton is biracial! His father is African  American and his mother is Caucasian.

Hardee was first in the 110m hurdles on Thursday morning’s 110m hurdles, but Eaton was second. Eaton’s lead did shrink to 99 points when he placed 22nd in the discus and Hardee finished third. However, Eaton cleared 5.20 meters in the pole vault, giving him third place in the discipline and 7,381 points. Hardee was eighth in the pole vault. Read full story here…

Sanya Richards-Ross has long, lustrous, flowing hair. Does it slow her down?

On Sunday, Sanya Richards-Ross came across the line first in the women’s 400-meter dash. Coming in just behind the American runner was her plenteous, billowing hair, which finished about a body length ahead of runner-up Christine Ohuruogu and her hair.

“It’s very, very challenging to get on the Olympic stage and give your best performance, to balance your emotions and the physical,” said Richards-Ross after the event, as her hair looked on silently. “It’s a huge weight off my shoulders.”

But what about the non-metaphorical weight on her shoulders? If you’re a sprinter, does all that hair blowing in the wind slow you down? Yes, but only slightly. Whenever air flows around a speeding projectile—be it a shot put or a runner’s body—aerodynamic principles come into play. Read full story here…Sanya Richards-Ross

Agent: Gabby Douglas fielding several book offers …

She’s the darling of Olympic gymnastics with her bright smile and gold medal. Now, Gabby Douglas has become a sought-after target for book publishers.

The 16-year-old, the first African-American woman to ever win the gold in the Olympic all-around competition, is currently fielding numerous book offers, according to her agent, Sheryl Shade.

“I have about five solid offers and at least 12 inquiries in total,’’ Shade told TODAY.com on Thursday. “I just haven’t had a chance to speak with them all. I think within the next week she will agree to do one.’’ Read full story here…

David Rudisha of Kenya sets world record in 800 …

David Rudisha set a world record to win the Olympic 800-meter title with an overpowering show of front-running.

When many were hoping that Usain Bolt would set such a mark in the 200 later Thursday, the Kenyan stole some of the Jamaican sprinter’s thunder at the beginning of a balmy evening suited for setting great times.

Rudisha set off with his giant strides from the starting gun, immediately took the lead and steadily built on it, as many of the year’s greatest middle…Read full story here…

Teen table tennis prodigy: “My sights are set on 2016″…

After nearly defeating one of the world’s best table tennis players in a drawn-out Olympic match, American Ariel Hsing may soon be known as more than the teenager with billionaire pals.

Hsing, 16, lost to the eventual gold medal winner on July 29 but only after pushing China’s Li Xiaoxia to the limit in six tight games. Hsing said the experience opened her eyes to her potential.

“Before, I did not realize that I could compete with the world’s best,” the San Jose, Calif., teen told TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager. “But now I’ve gained a little bit more confidence so my sights are set on 2016.”

Hsing got a surprise visit in London when one of her biggest fans, “Uncle Bill” Gates, slipped into the arena to watch her match. The Microsoft chairman called her performance “northing short of phenomenal.”Read full story here…

Usain Bolt makes history – wins both 200m and 100m in consecutive Olympic Games…

Usain Bolt showed why he’s sports finest showman as well as the world’s greatest ever athlete by capturing his own Kodak moments with a borrowed press photographer’s camera shorty after sprinting to victory in tonight’s 200m final. This makes it his fifth gold medal!

After he crossed the finishing line first ahead of compatriots Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, the 25-year-old Jamaican celebrated by dancing and skipping around the Olympic Stadium, as the 80,000-strong crowd rewarded him with a standing ovation. Victorious, Bolt dropped to the track and performed press-ups, before borrowing a photographer camera to take souvenir snapshots of the occasion.

Bolt approached photographer Jimmy Wixtrom, who was covering the historic 200m final at the Olympics for Swedish paper Aftonbladet, who offered his camera to the athlete to take some of his own photos of the momentous occasion.

“This is what I came here for and I got it, I’m so happy, I’m so happy I can’t explain.” – Usain Bolt

Mr Wixtrom said: ‘I had been asking him for several days if we could take a picture before the race. Yesterday, he promised me that we could take a picture of him afterwards.Read full story here…

Team GB’s golden girls: Women lead the latest gold rush…

There can be no greater contrast between their respective sports. One is genteel and elegant, the other two brutal and frenzied. But yesterday Charlotte Dujardin, Nicola Adams and Jade Jones all found themselves in the same position, making Olympic history for Britain.

Dujardin won gold in the individual freestyle dressage, Adams became the first women’s boxing champion and last night Jones triumphed in taekwondo.

In a bizarre twist, the latest gold rush came on a day when it emerged that staff working on BBC News bulletins had been sent a memo urging them to focus more on the achievements of other countries, and not just Team GB. Read full story here…Charlotte Dujardin with her second Gold for Team GB

But yesterday Charlotte Dujardin, Nicola Adams and Jade Jones all found themselves in the same position, making Olympic history for Britain.

Charlotte Dujardin, Nicola Adams and Jade Jones all found themselves in the same position, making Olympic history for Britain.

Katie Taylor pride of Ireland wins boxing gold medal…

For the Irish, Katie Taylor is more than a great athlete sprung from the native soil; people speak of her as if she has sprung from themselves, for she seems everyone’s sister, their daughter, their friend. She is the epitome of the strong-willed Irish lass. She has known what she wants out of life: a gold medal in boxing. And she has gone for it.

Perhaps not everyone here lives the way Katie does. She is, after all, a born-again Christian, a teetotaler and a boxer. But that does not seem to have kept her, at 26, from becoming a national sweetheart. The praise glides off people’s lips: genuine, hard-working, humble, never any shenanigans. Read full story here…

U.S. relay runner Manteo Mitchell finished race on broken leg…

If there’s an Olympic award for courage on the field of play, runner Manteo Mitchell should get a strong nomination.

Mitchell ran the opening leg of the U.S. men’s 1,600-meter relay Thursday and seemed to labor, unable to hand over the lead to Josh Mance after a 46.1-second leg.

Afterward Mitchell said he had a cramp in his foot but his struggles didn’t seem to matter because Josh Mance, Tony McQuay and Bryshon Nellum rallied to get the U.S. to the finish line in 2 minutes, 58.87 seconds and tie the Bahamas quartet for the fastest qualifying time. The time was the fastest ever in the first round of a relay at the Olympics. Read full story here…

Manteo Mitchell

Hope’s glory: Solo leads US to Olympic soccer gold…

In the closing minutes of the Olympic final, goalie Hope Solo flung her body toward the ball and managed to push it away. The lead stayed intact. The Americans would win the gold medal and redemption from a year-old World Cup heartache.

The U.S. women’s soccer team puts up with a lot from Solo. The candid comments. The Twitter tangents. The pause she put on her training to appear on “Dancing With the Stars.”

But when the game is on the line, she’s still hands-down – not to mention hands-up and hands-to-the-side – the best goalkeeper in the world.

“You can’t go without saying that Hope saved the day,” U.S. forward Abby Wambach. “Literally. Five times.”Read full story here…

Hope's glory: Solo leads US to Olympic soccer gold

Hope's glory: Solo leads US to Olympic soccer gold

Field, Willers lead BMZ quarterfinals…

Olympic BMX racing quarterfinals narrowed the field of 32 male competitors down to 16 on Thursday, with New Zealand’s Marc Willers, USA’s Connor Fields, and Raymon van deer Biezen and Twan van Gendt for the Netherlands leading each of four heats.

They will advance to tomorrow’s Olympic BMX semifinals at Olympic Park in London, UK.

Additional riders that advance to tomorrow’s semifinals include Latvia’s Edzus Treimanis, Maris Strombergs and Rihards Veide, Australia’s Khalen Young and Sam Willoughby, France’s Quentin Calyeron and Joris Daudet, Colombia’s A.E. Jimienez Caicedo and C.M. Oquendo Zabala, Switzerland’s Roger Rinderknecht, USA’s David Herman and the UK’s Liam Phillips. Read full story here…

Bronze medalist Pandelela Rinong Pamg writes Malaysia’s diving history…

Malaysian diver Pandelela Rinong Pamg clinched a historic Olympic medal for her country on Thursday, the first-ever diving medal of Malaysia and second medal the country grabbed at London Games.

Pamg came from behind in the women’s 10m platform final to take a bronze medal, adding the second Olympic medal for Malaysia following the silver of Lee Chong Wei in men’s badminton singles.

The 19-year-old had an unsatisfactory start in the final as she staged a poor first dive – a forward three-and-a-half somersault in pike position – which put her in the 10th place with 58.5 points. It was also the lowest scores of all her five dives in the final.

Later she managed to claw back step by step, and stood the seventh place before the last round. Read full story here…

Claressa Shields wins middleweight gold medal…

Claressa Shields won the first middleweight gold medal in women’s Olympic boxing, a dominant victory by an exuberant American teenager who danced, brawled and even stuck out her tongue.

Irish lightweight Katie Taylor and British flyweight Nicola Adams also won gold medals at the London Games’ landmark tournament Thursday. They claimed the first Olympic titles in a growing sport that was banned in Britain until 1996.

The five-day event was one of London’s biggest hits. And even amid the sea of Irish fans cheering Taylor’s every move, the 17-year-old fighter from Flint, Mich., was one of the breakout stars of the games. Read full story here…

Usain Bold has ‘lost all respect’ for Carl Lewis…

If you brought up Carl Lewis’ name to Usain Bolt, he might just respond, Who? In the informal interview area Thursday at Olympic Stadium, Bolt said of Lewis, “Everybody’s forgotten about him.”

Bolt’s comments came moments after the Jamaican sprinting star one-upped — and then some — Lewis in the Olympic sprinting record books, adding a second 200 title Thursday to the 100 title he won Sunday night, making him the only back-to-back 100 and 200 champ in Olympic history. (Lewis won back-to-back golds in the 100, but went gold-silver at 200 in 1984-88.)

In his formal interview after the race, Bolt’s comments twice veered into criticisms of Lewis, who had been quoted recently doubting whether Bolt could repeat his Beijing success. Lewis also was quoted four years ago as being suspicious about whether Bolt’s world record times in Beijing had been accomplished drug-free. Read full story here…

Ultra fit 4x400m relay babe Marilyn Okoro had to fight her way to London 2012…

MEGA-FIT Marilyn Okoro can’t wait to fly the flag for Team GB tonight. The gorgeous London-born athletics star reckons nothing beats smashing through the finish line in front of a home crowd.

“It’s what all the hard work leads up to – this is our time to shine,” she beams. “On the track it’s every woman for herself.”

But the super-toned babe’s road to London 2012 hasn’t been easy. As Britain’s No 1 800m sprinter, and with Olympic experience already under her belt, the nation thought 27-year-old Marilyn (Maz to her mates) was a shoo-in for this summer’s games. Read full story here…

Christian Taylor wins Olympic triple jump gold medal…

Christian Taylor won the Olympic triple jump gold medal Thursday night, overtaking US teammate Will Claye with his fourth jump in the final. Taylor continued his season-leading form with a best jump of 17.81 meters, 19 centimeters (58 feet, 5¼ inches), clear of second-place Claye (17.62). Italy’s Fabrizio Donato, the 35-year-old European champion, took bronze at 17.48.

Taylor is the world champion outdoors and Claye has the world indoor title, and together they‘re looking to break the world record of 18.29 meters set by Britain’s Jonathan Edwards in 1995.

“Will and I . . . It’s special to share it with him,” Taylor said. “We’re getting people to talk about the triple jump again. That’s a goal of ours.

“I definitely think the world record could come down this year, but we’re taking it one day at a time.” Read full story here…

China’s Chen Roulin wins gold……

China’s Chen Roulin successfully defended her Olympic women’s 10-metre platform title at the Aquatics Centre. She had been untouchable in the opening two qualification rounds and so it proved again, immediately stamping her authority with an opening 10, en route to 422.30.

Sixteen-year-old Australian Brittany Broben was Chen’s closest challenger but even then she was still a massive 55.80 points in her wake. Pandelela Rinong Pamg took bronze for Malaysia as she edged out a tight pack behind her with a score of 359.20.

Victory for Chen was her fourth Olympic gold medal, and second of these Games after she teamed with Wang Hao to win the platform synchro last week. Read full story here…

Faster, Higher, Stronger: Day of Golden Drama…

The world’s fastest man and the world’s greatest half-miler ran past the finish line and into the history books. Wembley, the iconic stadium, bulged with 80,203 fans for women’s soccer as the United States found redemption against Japan.

Ireland won its first gold medal in 16 years as women’s boxing crowned its inaugural Olympic champions. And a friendly debate ensued about exactly who was the world’s greatest athlete.

Every day at the London Games has offered riveting moments, but perhaps no single day was more crowded with drama and record achievement than Thursday.

With just three more days of competition remaining, the Summer Games might have reached their peak — in the form of Usain Bolt of Jamaica holding his finger to his lips to silence anyone who had doubted his ability to become the first sprinter to win the 100 and 200 meters in consecutive Olympics. He had just crossed the finish line to win the 200 meters in 19.32 seconds. Read full story here…

Photo: Team USA makes appearance on Today Show set in Olympic Park…

Worst spot in the London Olympics? Fourth place!

Moments after Lolo Jones finished a tenth of a second short of a medal in the final of the 100-meter hurdles, she reflected on what could have been.

“You always think, ‘What could I have done differently?’ ” Jones said. Four years after crashing into the second-to-last hurdle and missing a medal at the 2008 Olympics, Jones had finished fourth. “It was just heartbreaking,” she said.

Plenty of other Americans can relate. Through nearly 13 full days at the London Olympics, the U.S. has had 18 fourth-place finishes. At the same point four years in Beijing, the U.S. had 20 fourth-place finishes. Read full story here… 

Photo: Gold for US Women’s Soccer…

The United States women’s soccer team celebrates with the the gold medal after defeating Japan by a score of 2-1 to win the Women’s Football gold medal match on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England – Julian Finney/Getty Images

U.S. Olympic athlete with Mexican flag?

Thanks to U.S. Olympic medalist Leo Manzano, and what I consider to be the misguided and ill-mannered way he chose to celebrate his silver medal in the 1500-meters final, I get the chance to think through the subject of flag-waving once again.

After Manzano finished his race and secured his medal, he did what athletes typically do at the Olympics. He held up his country’s flag — the Stars and Stripes.

The 27-year-old was born in Mexico, but the United States is his country now. His father migrated here illegally from the city of Dolores Hidalgo. Manzano was brought here when he was 4. Like most immigrants, they came in search of greater opportunity. And they found it — for themselves, and their children. Read full story here…Leo Manzano waved the flag of the U.S. and Mexico after winning second place in the 1500-meters final.

Naomi Campbell’s Olympic Celebration dinner…

Naomi Campbell wanted to celebrate the Olympics. And raise money for a good cause. So, she threw an amazing party in Mayfair and invited all of her best friends. Huzzah! Kate Moss, Georgia May Jagger and Ronnie Wood trotted along to the yummy dinner at Downtons, which Naomi hosted with Interview magazine in aid of Fashion For Relief.

Sarah, Duchess of York nattered to Sarah Burton while Ozwald Boateng and Vivienne Westwood posed for photos with shiny gold (yippee) medal winner Dani King before everyone was sat down for supper. Well, until Usain Bolt’s 200m final started and the whole room suddenly got on its feet to scream, cheer and clap him on. That’s just what you do at Olympic dinners. How will we ever go back to normal? Read more photographs here…

Naomi CampbellNaomi Campbell

Andreas Kronthaler and Vivienne Westwood. Andreas Kronthaler and Vivienne Westwood

Sally Humphries and Ronnie WoodSally Humphries and Ronnie Wood

Sarah Ferguson – Duchess of YorkSarah, Duchess of York

Gabby Douglas and Mom Natalie Hawkins talk to Essence Mag…

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind for gymnast Gabrielle Douglas. She’s won two Olympic gold medals, received congratulatory calls and tweets from President Obama, Beyoncé and Oprah, among others.

She has also had her face plastered on the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box. There’s little else the Virginia Beach native could ask for. By her side is her mom Natalie Hawkins, a single parent who raised Gabby and her three siblings with little money, but lots of resilience and faith in their dreams.

From the P&G U.S. Family Home in London, the winning duo spoke with ESSENCE.com about what’s next for Gabby, their reaction to the recent — and, might we add, ridiculous — hair controversy and Gabby’s message for little Black girls all over the world. Read full story here… 

Team Australia leaps from water in the women’s teams synchronized…

Team AUS leaps from the water in the women’s Teams Synchronized 

Usain Bolt set new Olympic Twitter conversation record…

Usain Bolt (centre) of Jamaica exits the bend ahead of team mates Warren Weir (left) and Yohan Blake (right)Usain Bolt has now broken records both on and off the track. The Jamaican sprinter set a new Twitter Olympic conversation record last night, following his 200m victory, with more than 80,000 tweets per minute.

The official Twitter account revealed the new record yesterday after Bolt became the first athlete in Olympic history to successfully defend both the 200m and 100m title.

Usain Bolt sets Twitter record

Bolt wrote a Tweet to his 1.3 million followers to express his thanks and let them know that he is now a legend:

Usain Bolt Tweet following his Olympic victory at London 2012

The Tweet was favourited by more than 2,000 people and retweeted more than 9,500 times. Read full story here…

The Real Olympics Girlfriend/Wives…

The US version of Olympic girlfriends and wives are still enjoying every bit of London. Check out Lala Vasquez, Savannah Brinson, Trina and Gabrielle Union in the photograph below:

One step at a time? It’s more complicated than that…

You would think the racewalking community would embrace the Olympics. After all, the sport is largely ignored and often ridiculed, so getting the chance to race on international television once every four years ought to be cause for celebration.

But when the Games arrive, racewalkers and their judges brace for an onslaught. Television, it turns out, is racewalkers’ worst enemy because cameras often zoom in on their feet, and the picture is not pretty. In slow motion, viewers can see racers with both feet off the ground, seemingly breaking one of the sport’s two cardinal rules: thou shalt have at least one foot in contact with the ground at all times. Read full story here…

Team GBR hit the water for synchronized swimming while Duchess of Cambridge watches…

The Duchess of Cambridge was at the Aquatics Center the morning of August 9, 2012, where she watched Team GB compete in the technical portion of the synchronized swimming.

Ultimately the team placed sixth, and the Duchess used her time to ask questions of fellow Olympic ambassador Robin Cousins as the team pirouetted and performed their sport. According to Yahoo! Sport, this is the British swimmers’ first time competing in a team event.

Yvette Baker reportedly said that they’d known in advance the Duchess of Cambridge would be coming. “It’s really exciting for us to have someone with such a high profile come and watch our sport,” she said. Read full story here…

Russia wins gold for synchronized swimming…

Russia has always dominated the synchronized swimming events and the London Olympics are no different. The female athletes on Friday were awarded the gold for the Olympic team synchronized swimming making it the fourth consecutive sweep in the Olympics by picking up the duet and team gold since the Olympics were in Sydney. Spain won the silver and gave the Russians strong competition, but the Russian score couldn’t be beat.

The Russian program for the synchronized swimmers was dramatic and precise. With an already strong team technical round on Thursday, the Freestyle round Friday was more of an opportunity to showcase jumps, twists and other motions. Read full story here…

Russia wins gold in team synchronized swimming at the London Olympics

King and Queen of Sweden cheer Olympic athletes on…

Royals from a number of countries have showed up at the Olympics in London–but few as vociferous as King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Pictured here, King Carl cheers on his country’s handball team against rival Denmark, with, shall we say, plenty of enthusiasm. Just look at those cheery stripes.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden attended the men’s quarter-final handball match, Sweden Vs Denmark at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Basketball Arena in London, UK on August 8, 2012. Sweden won 24-22. Photo by Gouhier-Guibbaud-JMP/ABACAUSA.COM

From the looks of the photo, earmuffs down in front does not appear to be enjoying the competition quite as much as the Swedish king. Sitting beside the King, his wife, Queen Silvia, says it all when she shoots an admonishing look toward the stick-in-the mud sitting a row below the royal couple. Read full story here…king queen sweden

As Olympics winds down, India’s mystery lady in red moves on…

Madhura K. Nagendra, the mystery “lady in red” who sparked anger and wounded pride among many Indians when she appeared alongside athletes at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics last month, said she’s tried to tune out all the hateful responses and doesn’t think the 15 minutes of fame will help her dance career or future professional life.

“It’s all over and done, I’m just trying to concentrate on my work,” she said by telephone from Bangalore on Friday. “I’m an introvert. I don’t even think in dance it would help my career. Maybe if I were going for mainstream movies, it might, but I don’t think so.”

Nagendra kicked up a dust storm when, initially unidentified, she appeared in a red track top and blue trousers at the head of the 40-athlete Indian contingent beside flag-bearer and wrestler Sushil Kumar. Read full story here…M7xeabpd

Stromberg wins second BMX gold, Pajon wins Colombia’s first…

Latvia′s Maris Stromberg produced a stunning ride to win a second consecutive Olympic gold in men′s BMX cycling on Thursday while Mariana Pajon prevailed in the women′s final to give Colombia its first gold of London 2012 and only second Olympic gold ever.

Stromberg only qualified third overall from his three-run semi-final heat but produced a winning ride when it mattered, crossing the line in 37.576 seconds.

World champion Sam Willoughby of Australia had to settle for silver, 0.353 seconds adrift of Stromberg with Carlos Oquendo Zabala claiming bronze, 0.677 adrift of the winner.

In the women’s race, the 2011 world champion Pajon, who had won all three of her semi-final runs, claimed victory in 37.706 seconds, finishing 0.427 ahead of Sarah Walker of New Zealand. Laura Smulders of the Netherlands won bronze, coming in 0.522 seconds behind Pajon. Read full story here…

Maris Stromberg Maris Strombergs of Latvia, David Hermans of the USA and Kamakazi of Australia pose following the 2008 UCI Supercross held at the Adelaide Showgrounds April 13, 2008 in Adelaide, Australia.

Spain beats Russia 67-59 in men’s Olympic hoops…

Pau Gasol put Sergio Rodriguez on his back for a victory ride off the floor. Marc Gasol rumbled into the stands to hug anyone he could get his hands on, and his teammates embraced members of their country’s royal family.

This is how it was supposed to be. Spain will play for basketball gold.

Jose Calderon scored 14 points – 12 in the second half – and Pau Gasol added 16 as Spain rallied after trailing at halftime for a 67-59 win in the men’s Olympic basketball tournament over Russia on Friday, setting up a potential second straight final against the U.S.

The Spaniards hopes for gold nearly dried up. They trailed by 13 in the first quarter and 11 at the half before the defending silver medalists dug down and showed why they’re the world’s No. 2-ranked team. Spain shot just 21 percent in the opening half, but recovered to keep alive hopes of winning a first Olympic gold medal. Read full story here…

Kenyan reclaims 5,000 meter title from a rival country woman…

For almost a decade, the Ethiopians Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar have been locked in a heated custody battle over the 5,000 meters. They’ve traded world championships, world records and Olympic crowns, with Dibaba exhibiting a protective ferocity over the event for much of the past four years.

At the 2008 Olympics, Dibaba snatched the Olympic title from Defar on her way to becoming the first woman to win the 5,000 and 10,000 in a single Games. On Friday night, Dibaba was trying to complete the double for a second time, and she took the lead into the last lap of a predictably tactical race. Read full story here…

American Lopez Lomong: Journey to London…

Lopez Lomong has been an inspiration to us all. Check out his journey to London. If  this doesn’t leave you ready to cheer on Lopez later in tonight’s final (8/11/12), we don’t know what will. Watch the video below:

Lomong started off as a lost boy of Sudan, a prisoner of a refuge camp and in 2008 was a United States’ flag bearer at the Summer Games. Go Lopez…

Sanya Richards-Ross lands reality show on WEtv…

Four-hundred meter Olympic gold medal winner Sanya Richards-Ross is heading to TV. The athlete is letting cameras into her personal life, reports Deadline.com.

Set to air later this year, the behind-the-scenes show will take a closer look at her life with husband and Super Bowl champion Aaron Ross and her “inner circle.” Cameras will capture Richards-Ross’ mother Sharon who acts as her agent, her father Archie who works as her manager and her sister Shari who is her business partner.

The yet-to-be-titled series was filmed in Austin, Texas weeks before she packed up and headed to the Olympics in London. Read full story here…

Ed McKeever: the Usain Bolt of water…

A trainee accountant who has been dubbed the ‘Usain Bolt of the water’ has won Britain’s 26th gold medal of the Olympics by clinching victory in the men’s 200m kayak final.

Ed McKeever, from Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, dominated the race, finishing ahead of Spain’s Saul Craviotto Rivero and Canada’s Mark de Jonge, who took silver and bronze. It is only Britain’s second canoe sprint gold medal, following Tim Brabant’s triumph in Beijing in 2008.

Within an hour of McKeever’s victory, more success came for Team GB when the two-man crew of Jon Schofield and Liam Heath won bronze in the K2 200m race. McKeever, 28, crossed the line in 36.246 seconds to emulate Jamaican runner Bolt and become an Olympic champion.

He told the BBC: ‘I’m so happy. I feel relief. It sounds stupid but it’s not elation – more relief and I’m so happy to do it front of a home crowd.Read full story here…

Thumbs up: Gold medallist McKeever, who has been dubbed the 'Usain Bolt of the water', celebrates his win

Triumph: Ed McKeever dominated the race and crossed the line in 36.246 seconds

Usain Bold wins gold in 4x100m relay…

Usain Bolt did it again. Taking the stick just behind American anchorman Ryan Bailey, Bolt blitzed down the home stretch to win the 4×100 relay in a world record 36.84.

The USA did everything it could, with speed and swift passes, finishing in 37.04, which tied the previous world record. The one thing the USA didn’t have: Usain Bolt. Read more here…

Russian Mariya Savinova wins women’s 800m…

Caster Semenya’s dream of winning the Olympic 800 metres title and dedicating her triumph to Nelson Mandela faded sadly here in the Olympic Stadium after a poorly judged race saw the South African have to settle for a silver medal. Read full story here…

Allyson Felix wins gold in 4x400m relay…

MORE GOLD FOR USA WOMEN’S RELAY (3:38 ET): U.S. women win 4×400 in 3:16.68. Third gold for Felix, who had the fastest split, 48.85. USA’s time was No. 4 in history.

Richards-Ross anchored in 49.07. A bit windy out there, or the world record might have been in range. (via The Indianapolis Star’s David Woods)…

Mo Farrah add the 5,000m title to his 10,000m crown…

Great Britain’s Mo Farah added the 5,000m title to his 10,000m crown tonight in front of a roaring home crowd. He won a sprint finish to become only the seventh man in history to complete a 10,000m and 5,000m Olympic double at the same Games.

Farah finished in a time of 13 minutes 41.66 seconds. Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia finished in a time of 13:41.98 in silver with Kenya’s Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa in bronze. At the start of the race Mo was at the back of the pack – but was content to stay there until easing ahead.

The crowd roared with approval as he then moved to the front of the pack, second behind Lopez Lomong who moved out in front. Read full story here…Going for gold: Britain's Mo Farah competes in his men's 5000m heat

Victory: The crowd roared with approval as he moved to the front of the pack

Britain's Mo Farah celebrates after winning the men's 5000m final

Photo: Men’s Javelin winners…

Silver medalist Oleksandr Pyatnytsya of Ukraine, gold medalist Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago and bronze medalist Antti Ruuskanen of Finland pose on the men’s javelin podium.

Kate Middleton cheers team GB into bronze victory…

Kate Middleton was back to her cheerleader ways as she watched Great Britain grab its first field hockey medal in 20 years on Friday.

Dressed in a white Team GB sleeveless polo shirt and knee-length skirt, the Duchess of Cambridge — accompanied by a couple of bodyguards, of course — applauded from the stands as the British women’s field hockey team won the bronze medal in the final match, beating New Zealand 3-1 at Riverbank Arena.

It certainly isn’t the first time Prince William‘s wife has showed support for her home country at the Olympics. And Middleton has perhaps served as somewhat of a good luck charm.

Making the rounds at the 2012 games, Middleton has seen Team GB rack up its most successful results in years. As Olympics 2012 near its close, Great Britain is already taking home 59 medals. Read full story here…

David Beckham watches as Victoria rehearses for Olympic Closing Ceremony…

It’s been a while since she danced on stage with a male professional, so it’s no wonder that David Beckham was keen to watch Victoria Beckham rehearse.

The 37-year-old footballer was spotted watching his wife and the rest of the Spice Girls as they practised in London yesterday ahead of their performance at the London 2012 Olympics’ closing ceremony on Sunday. David looked rather serious as he held onto his one-year-old daughter Harper while Victoria held the hand of a young male dancer.

But according to The Sun, the LA Galaxy star needn’t worry as there is more chance of the dancer being interested in him as there is his wife. ‘It was mentioned that David might be a bit uncomfortable seeing this dancer against Victoria,’ a source told the newspaper.

However, it was explained that although the dancer is very hot he wouldn’t be interested in Victoria as he plays for the “other team.”‘ Read full story here…

David Boudia – U.S. diver wins gold medal in 10-meter platform…

David Boudia becomes the first American to win a 10-meter platform diving gold medal since Greg Louganis did it in Seoul in 1988. David Boudia of the United States put on a diving clinic for the ages.

There was emotion, drama and a packed house pulling for the local hero, Tom Daley of Britain, on Saturday night. In the end, it was Boudia who grabbed gold and became the first American male to win the 10-meter platform since legend Greg Louganis captured gold in 1988 in Seoul.

In fact, the U.S. had not won a diving gold medal since Laura Wilkinson did so in 2000 in the 10-meter platform.Winning the silver was Qiu Bo of China, and Daley took the bronze. Boudia had been lucky to make the final day of diving after grabbing the last qualifying spot after Friday’s preliminary round. Read full story here…David Boudia

A cool multiple-exposure shot of U.S. diver David Boudia today, who took home a surprise gold medal. (Photo by Rob Schumacher, USA TODAY Sports)

U.S. women’s basketball team rolls to 7th Olympic gold…

France coach Pierre Vincent said his women’s basketball team was carried by magic forces into the gold medal game. To beat the USA on Saturday, France needed more than magic, much more.

The USA captured its fifth consecutive gold medal with an 86-50 victory against France, extending its Olympic winning streak to 41 games. The last Olympics loss came in the 1992 Barcelona Games. The USA is 58-3 since women’s basketball was added to the Olympics program in 1976, an amazing run of dominance. That includes seven gold medals.

And it’s clear they want more. “Rio, baby, we’re going,” guard Diana Taurasi said referring to the site of the 2016 Games. Taurasi earned her third gold medal but for her former college coach, Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, this was his first. Read full story here…Day 14

Olympic Women’s Volleyball: Brazil Stuns U.S For Gold Medal At London Olympics…

Destinee wasn’t enough. Brazil denied the United States its first Olympic gold medal in women’s volleyball Saturday in a 3-1 upset that had the Brazilians turning somersaults on the court and some American players sobbing.

It was the first loss for the U.S. at the tournament and the second straight gold medal for Brazil. American star Destinee Hooker, the second-best scorer at the London Olympics, was held to 14 points.

Jaqueline Carvalho had 18 points to help Brazil overcome a disastrous first set and win 11-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17.

“We felt we lost control in the first set, but we never lost sight of our objectives, and that was to win gold,” Carvalho said. “We knew the U.S. is a great team, that the game would be tough. But we managed to turn it around.” Read full story here…

Michael Phelps’ Twitter wins gold in social media …

Michael Phelps TwitterAmerican swimmer Michael Phelps leaves London as the most decorated Olympian with 22 medals and he can also lay claim to another title – winning most fans on social media during the 2012 Games.

London 2012 has been dubbed the first Social Media Games with the use of Twitter and Facebook exploding since the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and allowing athletes to chat directly with their fans for the first time.

It has also been a testing ground for athletes, managers and sponsors to find out what does and does not work on social media, with two athletes expelled for racist tweets and a teenager arrested for abusing British diver Tom Daley. Read full story here…

Mike Krzyzewski – coaching champion with family at his side…

The family Krzyzewski gathered at an Italian restaurant late last week, all 16 of them, as the end to another Olympic basketball tournament drew near. Children crawled under the table. Food spilled. Babies cried.

Mike Krzyzewski, the family patriarch, zoned out the chaos that surrounded him. As coach of the United States men’s national team, as architect of USA Basketball’s resurgence, he knew Argentina waited in the semifinals. His face betrayed his focus, which was not on dinner.

“Just a relaxing night with your family, right?” his middle daughter, Lindy Frasher, said to him.

As Frasher retold the story Saturday, he looked at her, raised an eyebrow and nodded. Mission mode, she called his facial expression. Read full story here…

Michael Phelps sets his sights on new sport…

Michael Phelps is done with swimming, so what sport will he try to dominate next? How about golf? The Golf Channel announced Saturday that the Olympic legend would be the next student on The Haney Project, a show that features teaching guru Hank Haney helping celebrities improve their golf game.

“I have traveled the world through swimming but really haven’t had an opportunity to experience the world through my travels,” Phelps said in a news release issued by the Golf Channel. “As I enter this next chapter of my life, I think I will be able to shift my competitiveness to anything I put my mind to, and golf is one of the things I want to focus on.”

Previous celebrities on the show include Charles Barkley, Rush Limbaugh and Ray Romano. Read full story here…

South Korean denied medal over politics…

A South Korean soccer player was barred from receiving his bronze medal at the London Olympics on Saturday for displaying a sign with a political message after a victory over Japan in the third-place game.

The player, Park Jong-soo, held up a sign after South Korea’s 2-0 victory over Japan, claiming South Korean sovereignty over a set of barely inhabitable islands that are also claimed by Japan.

Mr. Park, a midfielder, played all 90 minutes of the game on Friday in Cardiff, Wales, then was photographed carrying a sign that read, “Dokdo is our territory.” The islands, called Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan, lie in an area of rich fishing grounds and natural gas deposits.

Mr. Park faces investigations by both the International Olympic Committee and FIFA, soccer’s governing body, both of which strictly enforce rules forbidding athletes from making political statements on the field. Read full story here…

Chariots of Farah! Double medalist Mo adds three more golds….

Great Britain’s Mo Farah added the 5,000m title to his 10,000m crown tonight in front of a roaring home crowd. Victory for the 29-year-old in the 5,000m, seven days after he set the Olympic Stadium alight by winning the 10,000m, topped a golden Games for Britain.

Farah finished in a time of 13 minutes 41.66 seconds. He won a sprint finish to become only the seventh man in history to complete a 10,000m and 5,000m Olympic double at the same Games.

Lord Coe, a two-time Olympic 1500m champion, said:

‘Mo Farah – a distance running great and arguably the best British runner of all time’

Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted:

‘Mo_Farah is an Olympic legend and a true British hero. We can all be proud of his extraordinary achievement’

After sprinting to cross the finish line, he hugged his rivals before he dropped to his knees, just as he did a week ago. Speaking after the tense final Somali-born Farah dedicated both his medals to his unborn twins, saying:

‘Those two medals are to my two girls that are coming. They’re not born yet hopefully. ‘They’re twins so there’s one for each. They could arrive any day.’ Read full story here…

Farrah is pictured with his pregnant wife Tania and step-daughter Rihanna.

Farrah is pictured with his step-daughter Rihanna. Great Britain Mo Farah and his daughter Rihanna with a gold medal

Usain Bolt does the ‘Mo’ while Mo Farrah does the ‘Bolt’…

British diver Tom Daley wins bronze in 10m diving final….

18 year old teen sensation Tom Daley put in a brave performance to win bronze in the 10m platform diving final, ultimately missing out on a gold medal by the slimmest of margins. Read full story here…

Luke Campbell wins boxing gold…

Luke Campbell became the first boxer from Great Britain to claim top prize in the bantamweight category since 1908, and Ed McKeever clinched victory in the men’s 200m kayak final. Read full story here…

It’s a golden age for American women at London Olympics…

Female athletes have won 56% of Team USA’s medals and 66% of its golds, both all-time bests. With women’s participation at a record level, these Olympics are being hailed as a gender-equity milestone.

The day after Claressa Shields punched her way to a gold medal in women’s boxing, she was walking through the Olympic village Friday on her way to the dining hall. With the medal still draped around her neck:

“I kept it on everywhere,” she said — she bumped into Carmelita Jeter, a sprinter and teammate on the U.S. squad.

“Girl,” Jeter said, “I want one of those.”

The American women came to the 2012 London Olympics hungry to succeed — Jeter would have her moment anchoring a record-setting 400-meter relay victory later that night — and they have responded with a historic performance. Read full story here…

Photo: American Kayla Harrison celebrates after winning the women’s judo 78-kg division during the first week of the London Olympics. (Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images / August 2, 2012)Kayla Harrison

Usain Bolt celebrates his three Olympic gold by showing off his skills as a DJ and MC…

After having had to stay in the Olympic village while other athletes were pictured out partying, Usain Bolt was finally unleashed, last night. The triple gold winning sprinter dropped by the Puma Yard, in Brick Lane, to show off his amazing skills as an MC and DJ.

The 25-year-old proved that he is not only the fastest man in the world but he can also work a crowd with his skills behind the decks. With the venue packed out Usain took centre stage as everybody wanted to see what he could do on the microphone.

The showman didn’t let them down as he put his sunglasses on his head back to front and began to reel off a few lines to raucous applause. Like a true rap star he even had a hype man as part of his entourage in the shape of 200m bronze medalist Warren Weir, who also took to the mic. Read full story here…Play it again: The gold medalist looked at ease behind the decks under the watchful eye of DJ Manny Norte

Spit your game: The crowd at the east London venue were going crazy for MC Bolt and his entourage

Shy guy: The always enthusiastic Bolt had no problem doing his trademark pose for the cameras

Superstar: The sprinter said that he wanted to become a legend and he had now achieved his aims

Bye bye, Kardashians: Olympic athletes give women new, strong role models…

Skinny models, actresses and reality TV stars are no match for our powerful female athletes. Now, after London 2012, all women can value their bodies and play to their strengths.

When a woman is asked to reveal her weight, the chances are she will lie. Often she won’t even admit to herself that’s what she’s doing. There have been occasions when I’ve calculated my body mass index and automatically knocked off half a stone, convincing myself that when I’ve been weighed previously I’ve simply been wearing a particularly heavy pair of shoes.

But last week that changed. As part of its Olympics coverage, the BBC developed an online app enabling each user to identify their closest athletic match. Buoyed up by the life-affirming images of lean and muscular British female athletes performing at the highest levels – the heptathlete Jessica Ennis, the cyclist Victoria Pendleton and the boxer Nicola Adams – I typed in my height and my (true) weight. Read full story here…

Photo: Britain’s Laura Trott celebrates after the track cycling women’s omnium 500m time trial at the Velodrome during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Photograph: Paul Hanna/REUTERSLaura Trott

Ugandan Kiprotich surges past 2 Kenyans to win marathon gold…

Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda surged at the 23-mile mark on Sunday to win the Olympic marathon over his East African rivals from Kenya in 2 hours 8 minutes 1 second.

Kiprotich’s victory in the 26.2-mile race gave Uganda its first gold medal at the London Games and its second ever in track and field. John Akii-Bua won the 400-meter hurdles at the 1972 Munich Games.

On a hot day that had reached 72 degrees by the start, Abel Kirui of Kenya, the two-time world champion, won silver in 2:08:27. Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich of Kenya, the prerace favorite and reigning London Marathon champion, drew away at seven miles but could not hold on in the wilting heat and took bronze in 2:09:37.

Meb Keflezighi of the United States, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist who had been bothered recently by a strained gluteus muscle, ran steadily and moved up throughout the final miles to finish fourth in 2:11:06. Read full story here…

Olympic swimmer Leisel Jones: fat and fearless…

If you read my earlier blog, “Olympic-Size Pressure,” you already know how I feel about the way Olympic athletes are criticized. I am sad to say that the 2012 Olympics have taken this to a whole new level.

While I could pick from several top stories, the one that struck me as the most offensive was the one about Leisel Jones being too fat. This woman is at the top of her game — obviously — and is the first Australian swimmer to compete in four Olympic Games. Instead of praising her for such an incredible achievement, we are apparently supposed to be telling her that she’s not healthy and needs to lose weight.

I’m with Jeannine Stein, who said in her article:

“Yes, the photos reveal that Jones does not have a perfectly flat stomach with washboard abs.

But let he or she who is without a muffin top — and who has a few gold medals — cast the first stone.” Hear, hear! Fortunately, Leisel denies feeling any pressure. Read full article here…

Extremely up close at the Olympics…

Jed Jacobsohn is on assignment for The New York Times, covering the Olympics in London. They are his 7th Olympics, beginning in 1996 in Atlanta. On Tuesday, he spoke from London with James Estrin. The interview has been edited.

Q: What have your favorite moments been at the Olympics so far?

A: I was able to get the pass to go on the infield during steeplechase (Slide 2), and I was surprised at how close you can get. I was using a fisheye, lying down on the ground with some other pool photographers, literally four inches away from this pit of water, and there are 15 women who are jumping over this hurdle into a pit of water. I got completely soaked. It was such a thrill. The crowd was watching and cheering and kind of laughing at all of us. Read full interview here…

Samantha Murray wins GB’s 65th final medal of the 2012 Olympics…

Team GB’s astonishing medal haul at London 2012 has been further boosted in the final event of the Games after Samantha Murray took a silver medal in the women’s modern pentathlon. Cheered on by thousands of patriotic supporters in London’s Greenwich Park, the 22-year-old finished the Olympics off in fine style with Team GB’s 65th medal.

Murray, from Preston, was eight seconds behind top spot when she started the run-shoot finale but caught up to finish second. The race was won by Lithuania’s  Laura Asadauskaite while Team GB’s Mhairi Spence finished 21st.

Speaking to the BBC, a delighted Murray said: ‘Honestly, if you have a goal – if there’s anything you want to achieve in life – don’t let anybody get in your way.

‘You can do it. If I can do it, and I’m a normal girl, anyone can do what they want to do.’

The silver medal for Murray now means British pentathletes have won medals at all four Games since it was introduced in 2000. Read full story here…

Asadauskaite wins Olympic pentathlon gold…

Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania used a strong running performance in the final event to win Olympic gold in the women’s modern pentathlon Sunday.

The top-ranked Asadauskaite and Yane Marques of Brazil were tied for the lead going into the combined event of running and shooting. Marques shot better but Asadauskaite overtook her in the first running lap and stayed ahead of the field.

Samantha Murray of Britain won silver after overtaking bronze medalist Marques in the final. Read full story here…

The most important race of all mankind: Mo Farrah vows to tackle child hunger…

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah warns world leaders:

‘There are kids out there facing hunger and starvation and we’ve got to do something about it’

Britain has promised £120 million investment in drought-resistant crop research to help prevent famines. Newly-crowned double Olympic champion Mo Farah said today that the issue of child hunger had ‘touched his heart’, as he urged political leaders to tackle malnutrition in the poorest parts of the world.

The Somalia-born athlete joined international politicians and sporting greats Pele and Haile Gebrselassie at a ‘hunger summit’ in Downing Street.

Prime Minister David Cameron hopes to secure sufficient commitments from leaders and multinational firms to help prevent 25 million children under five suffering stunted growth by the time of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Farah, who has set up his own charity to raise money to help the victims of the severe drought in the Horn of Africa, arrived at Number 10 to cheers after his achievements in winning both the 10,000m and 5,000m. Read full story here…

Photo: Call for action: (Right to left) Double Olympic Champion Mo Farah joined Prime Minister David Cameron, Brazil’s Vice President Michel Miguel Elias Temer and Brazilian football legend Pele for a summit at No 10 Downing Street aimed at tackling world hunger

Photo: Top team: David Cameron and Mo Farah hold a baton aloft, with Pele (front centre) and Haile Gebrselassie (right)

Photo: No 10: Farah does his now famous celebration outside Downing Street

Team USA basketball is ‘golden’gold again!

The United States were pushed to the limit in the game that mattered most and rose to the challenge to beat an inspired Spain 107-100 and win the Olympic gold medal in men’s basketball on Sunday.

With Kevin Durant leading the way with 30 points, the U.S. retained their Olympic title in a repeat of the closely-fought 2008 final in Beijing.

Spain, relying on the inside game of Pau Gasol and the outside shooting of Juan-Carlos Navarro, gave the powerhouse U.S. team their most serious test after the Americans had won their first seven games by an average margin of 35 points.

Both teams rushed the ball upcourt in non-stop action to the roaring delight of the 20,000 fans packed into North Greenwich Arena to see the gold medal game, and they were separated by just one point at halftime at 59-58. Read full story here and view additional photographs…

In Olympic park, a deluge from our sponsors…

TAKE a good look at the Olympic Park, the roughly 500-acre home to dozens of London 2012 events. Notice anything odd? You will if you have ever been to a music festival, amusement park, arena or stadium.

Virtually no ads are here. The grounds are a “clean venue,” which means this is an ad-free zone — no billboards, no Jumbotron promotions, no beer cozies with corporate logos. Nothing.

The International Olympic Committee’s drive to expunge hints of commerce includes pieces of tape covering the brand of soap dispensers in bathrooms. And the food sites have generic names. Surely a company, or maybe several, is behind the outdoor takeout restaurants that dot the park and other locations for the Games, which end Sunday night. But places that sell sandwiches are labeled “Deli.” The fish-and-chips joints are called “Fish & Chips.” You buy beer and wine at “Bar.” Read full story here…

Game: The best and worst countries in the 2012 medal count…

Which is better, more medals or more golds? This rankings chart shows how countries stack up according to any reasonable ranking.

The rules used to generate the diagram were laid out by Simon Tatham, who assumed more medals are better, gold is better than silver and silver is better than bronze. Beyond that, the chart accounts for any possible weighting scheme, including counting all medals equally, counting gold medals only, or assigning different points for gold, silver and bronze. Click on the image to the left to play…

Team USA emerges as winner in 2012 Olympics…sweeps 104 medals!

With a day remaining in these Olympics, the USA is expected to leave London with the biggest medal haul of all. Heading into Saturday night, Team USA had won 104 medals with 46 golds – the most gold medals since 1904. China came in second with 87 medals and 38 golds. The Americans were leading in the gold medal count 41-37.

“The American public has high expectations for our Olympic team,” USOC President Larry Probst said Saturday. “There was a lot of opinion about where we would finish as a team; some predicted second, and some even predicted third. … We like to come in first, and there is nothing wrong with that. This is a competition, and it’s great we are leading the medal count both on golds and in total. The last time we did that was in Athens (in 2004), so it has been awhile, and it feels good to see our athletes do so well.”

U.S. athletes have topped the medals table in the last four Summer Games. In the 2008 Beijing Games, Team USA won 110 medals to China’s 100. China, though, won the gold medal count 51-36. Read full story here…

Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony program:

  1. Extinguishing of the Flame
  2. Flags and speeches
  3. Creative team – British directors and producers
  4. Performers

Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony activities 1:

As soon as the final event, the men’s 4×100 meter relay, is completed on the track Saturday night, and the last fan leaves Olympic Stadium, the creative team behind London’s closing ceremony will move in to transform the place into an “after-show party.”

“I want it to be a celebration, and I want people to have fun,” said Kim Gavin, the artistic director of the closing ceremony. “I want it to be colorful, and also to remind you of certain eras of music collected over the 50 years, of popular music, but not only popular music but fashion, culture. So I wanted it to be the best after-show party that has ever been.”

Called “A Symphony of British Music,” the Spice Girls, The Who, George Michael and Muse are expected to perform. Organizers have tried to keep the names of the artists under wraps, but there’s also speculation that The Pet Shop Boys, Annie Lennox, Fatboy Slim, members of Queen and The Kinks, Paul McCartney and perhaps Adele will perform. Read full story here…The Spice Girls rehearse…Viva Forever! The Spice Girls were yesterday spotted rehearsing for their much-anticipated reunion ahead of Sunday's Olympics closing ceremonyMadness singer Suggs prepares for his apparent role in the Olympics Closing CeremonyMadness singer SuggsThe Olympics Closing Ceremony, which takes place on Sunday, is set to feature a showcase of British musical talentGeorge Michael was also pictured practicing in Dagenham ahead of Sunday’s ceremony.George Michael was also pictured practicing in Dagenham ahead of Sunday's ceremonySinger Annie Lennox was also photographed in the Dagenham dress rehearsal.Singer Annie Lennox was also photographed in the Dagenham dress rehearsal

Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony activities 2:

Closing Ceremonies include a Handover from one Host City to the next.

If you have a ticket to the Games, use the London 2012 spectator journey planner to find the best way to get to your venue from anywhere in Great Britain and to book your travel tickets.

The Closing Ceremony celebrates the achievements of athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and includes a Handover from one Host City to the next. In 2012, London will hand over to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games. The Closing Ceremony also features the extinguishing of the Olympic Flame, signalling the end of the Games.

The Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games will provide an opportunity for the world to view the artistic expression of Artistic Director Kim Gavin, his team and the culture of our Host City and the UK. As with the Opening Ceremony, there are certain elements that must feature as outlined in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Charter. The artistic performance of the Ceremony then gets underway and celebrates the success of the Games. Read full story…

Mods on scooters, representing a landmark time in modern British cultural identity, are also set to feature in the showcase ceremony.Mods on scooters, representing a landmark time in modern British cultural identity, are also set to feature in the showcase ceremony

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