Dr. Dre & LeBron James: When ‘Beats by Dr. Dre’ Conquered The Locker Room…

Dr. Dre and Lebron James for ESPN Magazine's Music Issue

How did ‘Beats by Dr. Dre‘ conquer the locker room?

Dr. Dre and Lebron James for ESPN Magazine's Music Issue 4LEBRON JAMES IS on the floor, on his back, beginning his pregame stretching routine, in which outsize body parts will be yanked this way, then that. It is riveting, and it is redundant, because it is the same thing every night, in every city, before every game, save for one detail: The songs do not remain the same.

So here now is LeBron on his Samsung Galaxy Note II, flexing his DJ muscle as trainer Mike Mancias works him over in the visiting locker room of Oakland’s Oracle Arena.

Tonight’s soundtrack is all raw, aggressive rap by Young Jeezy, ASAP Rocky, Rick Ross, Chief Keef, the songs carefully selected by LeBron for LeBron based on how LeBron happens to be feeling — and how he wants to feel when the game begins. “I’m ’bout to go ape s–!” he shouts, making like the rapper Fat Joe, which will help him make like LeBron James.

LeBron James’ Playlist

Trap Back Jumpin T.I. iTunes
Get Right Young Jeezy iTunes
I’m Different 2 Chainz iTunes
Diamonds (Remix) Rihanna iTunes
Remember You Wiz Khalifa (feat. The Weekend) iTunes
Clique Jay-Z, Big Sean, Kanye iTunes
Gone Wiz Khalifa (feat. Juicy J)
Conflicted Jerreau
long.live.a$ap A$AP Rocky iTunes
Still D.R.E Dr. Dre iTunes
Rock on at espn.com/music

If you want to know how the three-time MVP prepares to play, you have to get inside his headphones. Tonight, the custom-designed pair of Beats by Dr. Dre that James wore into the arena have been replaced by a Beats by Dr. Dre speaker, which several teammates are trying to tune out by covering their ears with their own Beats.

“You don’t want no problems!” James barks, now making like Dom Kennedy, whose song “My Type of Party” is blasting. “You don’t want no problems!” he repeats.

He appears to be getting frothed up, an hour before tip-off. Routine stuff, he says: “I know where I want to be before each game, and the music is how I get there,” he says. “I allow myself to feel the music and get lost in my preparation.”

It works. James scores 21 of his 25 points in the first half of a blowout win against the Warriors on Jan. 16. He logs his 5,000th career assist in the first quarter. Late in the second quarter, he becomes the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points. He Tebows on his way back to the locker room at the half.Dr. Dre and Lebron James for ESPN Magazine's Music Issue 2

The phenomenal about ‘Beats’…

YOU’VE NOTICED ALL these people wearing seamless, U-shaped headphones with little b’s on the big ear cups, right?

Beats by Dre are ubiquitous, which surprises even the Doctor himself.

“We were just trying to uplift sound and change the way people listen to music,” says Dre, the rap icon who started Beats with music mogul Jimmy Iovine. “Our thing was to make music sound the way we hear it in the studio. We had no idea this was going to happen.”

Has he seen the Internet photo of the guy who’d shaved his head and left a hair-on-scalp b-branded headphone above his ear? He has. He chuckles.

“That’s crazy,” Dre says. “That means something.”

It means that Beats has gone from zero to full-blown cultural phenomenon in less than five years.

Four years ago, $59 million worth of premium headphones — those priced at $99 and up — were sold in North America, according to market research firm NPD Group. In 2012 $850 million worth were sold across the continent.

Nearly two out of every three pairs carried the iconic Beats by Dr. Dre logo, a lowercase b in a custom font based on Avant Garde Gothic. Today the company — officially known as Beats Electronics — makes six over-the-ear headphones (the cheapest sell for $200 a pair), four earphones and three speakers.

It has partnered with Chrysler, HP and HTC to put its Beats Audio technology in cars and computers and on mobile devices, and recently announced plans to launch a Beats music-streaming service.

Dr. Dre and Lebron James for ESPN Magazine's Music Issue 3In the market-share game, 64 percent is a mercy-rule-level rout. It’s also an indication that Beats, which does more than triple the business of second-place Bose, is selling more than mere product. Behold Beats brand affinity.

“Think about Apple,” NPD analyst Ben Arnold says. “They sell great hardware and a great platform, but there’s also the strong identification with the brand. That’s happening with Beats as well. I’ve even seen tattoos of that ‘b’ logo. That’s a logical step.”

He’s not laughing. “Remember in the ’90s when Polo shirts were huge and guys were getting the horse tattooed on their chest?” Arnold asks. “Or they were getting the Jordan Jumpman cut into their hair? People are doing that with Beats too.”

As music migrated to mobile, Beats became an athlete’s must-have accessory — Breathe Right strips for the ears, only more stylish, as fashioned by ex-Apple designer Robert Brunner and his firm, Ammunition.

Tune into any sporting event and you’re likely to see a team getting off the bus with half the roster crowned in Beats, individual players doing warmups in Beats, guys sitting in locker room folding chairs, in uniform, in game-prep mode, in Beats.

Tom Brady wears them. Matt Kemp wears them. Serena wears them. Beckham wears them. Most of the NBA wears them.

F— Sneakers, LET’S make SPEAKERS!!!

“F— SNEAKERS, LET’S make speakers,” Iovine is said to have told Dr. Dre in 2006, when the rap legend was thinking about getting into the celebrity-shoe game. Iovine had another idea, centered on the pair’s core competency: sound.

In 2008 James and Iovine had gotten together with their shared financial adviser, Paul Wachter, to discuss a documentary film project. Iovine was simultaneously developing the headphones, and he knew that James was fanatical about music, that he’d grown up listening to Dr. Dre’s proffer, that he was an ascendant cultural influencer. He was the perfect Beats test subject.

So Iovine gave a prototype of Beats Studio headphones to James’ manager, Maverick Carter, to pass to James while he trained for the 2008 Olympics. James asked for more, to outfit the entire U.S. Olympic basketball team before it left for Beijing. 

The hype was immediate. TMZ noted that Dr. Dre “influenced the USA Olympic basketball [team] as much as Dr. J.” Other media coverage followed. So did queries from other athletes, James says.

“I started hearing from people who wanted to know: What are they? Where did I get them? What’s that ‘b’?”

Then they asked how they could get their own. Eventually James, Iovine and Dre entered into a formal business relationship; the details have never been disclosed, and the company, which is privately held, will say only that James “has a business stake in Beats.”

He is profiting from the brand’s explosive growth while promoting the idea that the right set of headphones (theirs!) can heighten your focus and, in turn, help you become a better athletic performer. In fact, James has been better, according to almost every statistical measure in the four-plus seasons since he began wearing Beats, than he was in his first five in the league.

James has won all three of his NBA Most Valuable Player awards in that period, and he has played in the NBA Finals twice, winning once.

Gotta be the Beats! Gotta be hocus-pocus too, no?

Iovine, a sports nut who has courtside Lakers season tickets, has become convinced that Beats can “really help these guys focus and get them to push even further because they have more emotion and feeling than other headphones.”

And, he says of athletes, “these f–ing guys feel everything.”

I wondered whether there was any scientific merit to the idea. After all, aren’t they just headphones? Looking for a neutral opinion, I call Dr. Greg Dale, the director of sports psychology for Duke athletics.

“It’s really a great marketing idea,” he says. “It’s not much different from when Air Jordans came out and everybody started wearing Michael Jordan’s shoes. But it’s not 100 percent hocus-pocus.”

“Typically, when you ask an athlete what it looked and felt like when they played their best, they’ll say things like ‘smooth’ and ‘fluid’ and ‘rhythmic.’ If you can use music to help feel those sensations, that’s huge.”

As with other noise-canceling headphones, Dale says, Beats might be beneficial in another way.

The headphones could enhance your ability to drown out external noise and help you focus on what’s relevant to you. That’s critical to consistently high levels of performance.

But just because you use this equipment doesn’t mean you’re going to lock in like LeBron James. He’s disciplined himself to get into game mode using music.

‘Beats’ Headquarters…

THE ENTRY WAY TO the Beats empire is a white-walled lounge that looks like a giant storage box and smacks of curated cool:

The magazines at the receptionist’s desk are about sports and music, and the coffee-table books are all urban art and graphic design. Beats is headquartered in a glass office complex two miles inland from the Santa Monica pier.

The staff has ballooned from 35 to 209 people in the past year, prompting Beats to lease a second floor in the building; soon it will move to a larger space across town, out of the shadow of the Interscope Records offices where Beats was birthed.

The action is centered in an open area that’s littered with sports and music paraphernalia — baseball bats, BMX bikes, Lil Wayne cardboard cutouts. Omar Johnson, the high-energy multitasker who was hired away from Nike to run the marketing department, occupies a glass fishbowl in the corner and scribbles strategy ideas on his windows. Beats has been celebrated — and derided — as a triumph of marketing, but that’s the wrong narrative, Johnson says.

Beats stand out because they’ve been tuned by Dr. Dre and Iovine, music men with golden ears.

Before Beats, Iovine says, people in headphones weren’t hearing new recordings the way they should be heard — modern music is often recorded much differently from songs made in earlier decades, with digital instrumentation, the introduction of subwoofers and so forth.

“Even in good headphones,” he says, “there was a lack of feel for contemporary music.”

In other words, old-school headphones didn’t do enough to pump up the bass, a criticism that could never be leveled at Beats. In fact, audiophiles complain there’s too much boosted bass in Beats, and they have charts to prove it.

But Dr. Chris Kyriakakis, who researches audio signal processing at USC and co-founded an audio technology company called Audyssey, says the bass levels are key to Beats’ success.

In focus groups, he says: “untrained listeners are sold on elevated bass, just like untrained viewers are sold on televisions that are brighter.”

Iovine says critics are enamored with charts when they should be using their ears. “It’s a human thing, not a math problem,” he says of tuning. “We’re not deaf.”

It doesn’t hurt that Beats look good; even the company’s most vocal critics tend to give them points for style, which is important to Iovine, who complained that headphones used to look like medical equipment. The secret ingredient to getting Beats on sport stars’ heads, though, is the athlete-relations program Iovine started and Johnson has ramped up.

Or, as Iovine says, “Omar put it on steroids.” Because when icons and influencers wear Beats, others follow. Kobe Bryant wore the first pair of customized Beats to a news conference in late 2008. Today the company keeps in contact with scores of athletes and often designs personalized headphones using information gleaned from conversations with them.

“They’re telling me about their grandfathers, about their grandmothers, their wives, their girlfriends, their kids,” Johnson says. “They tell us what motivates them.”

One football player shared a favorite quote from his grandfather, and Beats etched it into a pair of headphones for him. Others share details even their wives don’t know. Sometimes players take off their shirts in Johnson’s office to show off tattoos, which gives the marketing team more clues.

“I always tell my team: You’ve gotta get the s– that’s not in Wikipedia,” Johnson says.

Every week of the season, the company sends a unique pair to Cam Newton; the colors change, as do the customized messages and designs. They might have a Superman theme, or they might say fear me on the underside of the band.

“I’m like a kid on Christmas Day when I open that box every week,” Newton says. “It’s an exclusive club.”

IT’S MIDDAY TUESDAY at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel, and Dr. Dre is making a rare house call. He has jetted up to San Francisco with Iovine to visit with James, who has a day off between road games. The music is blaring, and LeBron is too, rapping along — decently, and at high volume — to “All Gold Everything,” by Trinidad James.

“Let’s go into the studio, man!” Dre says. Everybody laughs.

“Aw, tsssss,” James says. “But hey, listen, if Doc lay the track and my big bro Jay [as in Jay-Z] write me some lyrics? I would absolutely do it. I can’t fail. How can I lose?”

There are no advanced statistics to prove it, but LeBron James just might lead the NBA in music affinity. He’s obsessed with listening to it, talking about it, trying to find the next new thing that he might use to help him get into game mode. He has difficulty articulating what, exactly, he’s looking for.

But he knows it when he hears it, and it’s usually a rap song with a hard edge and lyrics that would make your mother blush — though, he says, he pays more attention to “rhythm and feel. It’s that loud motivation, where you’re just like:

“Okay, let’s get it.”

“Same for me,” Dre tells him. “It’s how it makes me feel.”

Often, James says, he’ll pick songs to try to rally his teammates — “a song that will hit home and help us prepare for battle.” During Miami’s title run last season, James began playing Big K.R.I.T.’s Southern rap anthem “I Got This” with regularity in the locker room. It became the Heat’s unofficial theme.

“I listened to it all the time,” James says. Why? “The words, the beat, the feel — all of it worked for me.”

“That record is about dealing with all the doubts,” Big K.R.I.T. says. “It’s like, ‘Yo, I handle my biz, I got this — even when people don’t believe.’ It probably hit home for LeBron because of the amount of hate he’d gotten and the Heat had gotten.”

Visiting with Dr. Dre has turned James into a kid again. And James still listens to at least one Dre song regularly: “Still D.R.E.,” now 13 years old, maybe more relevant to him than ever.

“It’s not just the music but what he’s actually saying,” James says. “People are always trying to throw rocks or say you’re not the best. I love that song, man. I listen to it at least weekly.”

Dre grins. James does the same, then adds a coda, speak-singing a Snoop Dogg lyric from the song: “I’m representing for them gangsters all across the world.”

“Mission accomplished,” Dre says.

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine’s Feb. 18 Music issue. Subscribe today!

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Olympic Gymnast Louis Smith poses naked in HEAT Magazine

Lounging around: Louis is also pictured in the bath and rocking a Christmas jumper too He has been showing off his fancy footwork on Strictly but now Louis Smith has stripped off to bare his body and his soul.

The biracial Olympic Gymnast who is of  British Caucasian and Jamaica ancestry, has posed completely naked for a raunchy magazine shoot and in an accompanying interview he has revealed that Michelle Keegan is his ideal woman.

The 23-year-old’s muscular physique will no doubt impress the Coronation Street star and please his fans. In an interview with Heat magazine Louis reveals that he is more than comfortable baring all.

He said: ‘I’ve got no problem getting naked, as long as it’s not cold. I’m pretty much naked when I’m doing gymnastics.’

 And speaking about his perfect woman Michelle, who was engaged to Max George before calling time on their relationship earlier this year, he said: ‘She’s hot.’

Will he take the glitterball trophy? Louis was seen posing with a disco ball covering his modestyWill he take the glitterball trophy? Louis was seen posing with a disco ball covering his modesty

Lounging around: Louis is also pictured in the bath and rocking a Christmas jumper too On Saturday Louis will be battling it out against Kimberley Walsh, Dani Harmer and Denise Van Outen in the finale of Strictly.  The Olympian is the bookies favorite to take the top spot and he has received high praise from the judges pretty much throughout the whole show.

Louis Tweeted: ‘Looks like lots of you are liking the Charleston :). Ok well we are looking forward to the charleston and I know we surprised you all so hopefully you will like the small changes we’ve made too.’

The gymnast has been stripping off rather a lot and some naked snaps appear in Reveal magazine too.

Casual wear: Louis was seen showing off his silver medal while decorating the treeCasual wear: Louis was seen showing off his silver medal while decorating the treeHe’s the real treat: Louis was relaxing in a totally natural pose on his bedHe's the real treat: Louis was relaxing in a totally natural pose on his bedStrictly Come Dancing final is on BBC1 on Saturday 22nd December at 6.30-7.55pm and 8.50-10.05pm.

To read the full interview pick up a copy of Heat magazine.

26 Multiracial Olympians…

There are two things that unite the world and provide a level field: Music and the Olympics. As divided as the world seems over economics, infrastructure, politics and the like, it’s always refreshing when the Olympic Games comes around. It’s a display of culture, lifestyle and most importantly unity among the world.

Although highly competitive, we see each country display their unique talents while showcasing their culture to the world.

This year’s Olympic Games were no different and what was more noteworthy is the fact that a lot of athletes were either in interracial relationships or a product of an interracial relationship.

Check out the list of 26 Multiracial Olympians below to confirm:

1. Kayla Ross

Kayla Ross, who won a gold medal with the “Fierce Five” U.S. women’s gymnastics team, has Japanese, African American, Filipino and Puerto Rican heritage. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Kyla Ross

2. Lolo Jones

U.S. hurdler Lolo Jones is of French, African-American, Native American and Norwegian descent. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Olympics Day 11 - Athletics

3. Carmelo Anthony

U.S. basketball star Carmelo Anthony was born to a Puerto Rican father and an African American mother. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)Anthony of the U.S. smiles from the bench during his game against Nigeria at their men's preliminary round Group A basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games

4. Natalie Coughlin

U.S. swimming star Natalie Coughlin was born in Vallejo, California, and is of Irish and one quarter Filipino heritage. (Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE)Swimming: U.S. Olympic Team Trials

5. Jessica Ennis

British golden girl Jessica Ennis’ father is from Jamaica and her mother is English. (REUTERS/Phil Noble)Britain's Jessica Ennis holds her gold medal during the women's heptathlon victory ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games

6. Nathan Adrian

U.S. swimmer and gold-medalist Nathan Adrian is of Chinese and European American descent. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)Olympics Day 5 - Swimming

7. Sarah Attar

Saudi Arabian runner Sarah Attar shares both Saudi and European American heritage. (AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE)148073470

8. Koji Murofushi

Japan’s Koji Murofushi won a bronze medal during the men’s hammer throw final. He is of Japanese/Romanian descent. (REUTERS/Eddie Keogh)Japan's Koji Murofushi holds his bronze medal during the men's hammer throw victory ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Games

9. Clarissa Chun

U.S. wrestler and bronze-medalist Clarissa Chun is of Chinese/Japanese descent. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for USOC)US Olympic Athlete Medalists Visit USA House

10. Marcel Nguyen

Silver medal-winning gymnast Marcel Nguyen of Germany has Vietnamese and German heritage. (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)Silver medallist Marcel Nguyen of Germany shows off his medal during a ceremony after the men's individual all-around gymnastics final in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic G

11. Tony Parker

NBA superstar Tony Parker plays for the French national basketball team and has African-American and Dutch heritage. (REUTERS/Sergio Perez)France's Parker looks at the scoreboard during his team's game against Spain at their men's quarterfinal basketball match at the North Greenwich Arena in London during the London 2012 Olym

12. Lia Neal

U.S. freestyle swimmer Lia Neal is of African American/Chinese descent.Lia Neal

13. Carlos Delfino

Argentinian basketball player Carlos Delfino is of Argentine/Italian descent. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)Carlos Delfino

14. Andrew Osagie

British 800m runner Andrew Osagie shares both English and Nigerian heritage. (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)Britain's Andrew Osagie celebrates his second place finish in his men's 800m semi-final during the London 2012 Olympic Games

15. Elizabeth Cambage

Australian basketball star Elizabeth Cambage is of European Australian and Nigerian descent. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)London Olympics Basketball Women

16. Feliz Sanchez

Gold medal-winning hurdler Felix Sanchez of Dominican Republic has both Spanish and African-Dominican heritage. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Olympics Day 10 - Athletics

17. Lindsay Berg

Lindsay Berg of the U.S. volleyball team shares Hawaiian-Chinese-Portuguese and Lithuanian heritage. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)Olympics Day 13 - Volleyball

18. Alexander Massialas

American fencer Alexander Massialas is of Greek / Chinese descent. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Alexander Massialas

19. Anthony Ervin

U.S. freestyle swimmer Anthony Ervin has African American, American Indian and Jewish heritage. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials - Day 7

20. Diana Taurasi

U.S. basketball player Diana Taurasi is of Argentine/Italian descent. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Bird directs potent US offense

21. Matthew Centrowitz, Jr.

U.S. track and field athlete Matthew Centrowitz, Jr. is of an American track and field athlete is of Guyanese and Caucasian descent. He won a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.

22. Melissa Wu

Australian diver Melissa Paige Wu is of Chinese and Australian descent. She won a silver medal at the 2008  Beijing Olympics. 

23. Aston Eaton

U.S. decathlete Ashton James Eaton is of African American and Caucasian American ancestry.  He holds the world record in both the decathlon and heptathlon events.

24. Lee Kiefer

U.S. fencer Lee Kiefer is of Filipino and Caucasian American descent. She shared a bronze in Women’s foil at the 2011 World Fencing Championships.

25. Johnny Akinyemi

British-born Olympic Canoe Slalom Athlete is of British and Nigerian descent. He’s the first ever Olympian to compete in the Canoe Slalom.

26. Ranomi Kromowidjojo

Dutch freestyle Olympic gold medal swimmer Ranomi Kromowidjojo is of Javanese Surinamese and Dutch ancestry. She also swims in backstroke and butterfly events.

 

 

Source: Yahoo/MultiracialDaily

Goodbye 2012 London Olympics…Hello Rio De Janeiro 2016!

Let’s say goodbye 2012 London Olympics…Hello Rio De Janeiro 2016!

BRAZIL will be first South American country to host the Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro will be the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes waving the Olympic flag after receiving it from London mayor  Boris Johnson. Rio will host 2016 Games.

Rio de Janeiro mayor waving flag

Legendary track star and chairman of the London Organizing Committee Sebastian Coe congratulated his fellow Britons for a “glorious” Olympic Games on Sunday night. Photo: Sebastian CoeNews Photo: chairman Lord Sebastian Coe speaks as as IOC…

“When our time came, Britain, we did it right,” Coe told the 80,000 gathered at Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony. Coe said these “two glorious weeks” would “inspire a generation.”

“These were happy and glorious Games,” he said. “The legacy of the Games of the 30th Olympiad will become clear in many ways. Concrete improvements in infrastructure will benefit the host nation for years to come. The human legacy will reach every region of the world. Many young people will be inspired to take up a sport or to pursue their dreams.”

This was right before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge declared the London Games officially over. Photo: Jacques RoggeNews Photo: President Jacques Rogge makes a speech during the…

Brazilian artist’ performingNews Photo: Brazillian artists perform during the Closing Ceremony on…

As the Games came to a close, the United States led the medal count with 104 overall, 46 of them gold. China finished second, with 87 medals, with Russia third with 82. Great Britain finished with 65, its best total since 1908.

Fireworks light up the Olympic stadium during the closing ceremony.

A uniquely British Show closes the Olympics…

With a gaudy three-hour farewell that mashed up theater, acrobatics, fashion and a few generations of musical idols, London extinguished the Olympic torch on Sunday night, capping a fortnight of athletic achievements with a jukebox collection of songs and a marathon display of endearing stagecraft.

Taking turns on stage were The Who, Annie Lennox, George Michael, Queen, The Spice Girls, Fatboy Slim, Jessie J, Ray Davies, Russell Brand and Eric Idle, who led the crowd in a version of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” while surrounded by skating nuns.

Fireworks are seen over the Olympic Stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Robert Gaultier/LA Times)

News Photo: Fireworks are seen over the Olympic Stadium during…

Spectators fill the seats on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England.

The closing ceremony was an opportunity for Britain to showcase the country’s pop culture.

The tenuous connection to the Olympics came courtesy of a few hundred athletes, who were assembled in the middle of stadium and were either entertained or dumbfounded by the proceedings. Americans are seen wearing white hats…

These competitors were given cameos Sunday night, but they provided so many remarkable performances in the last few weeks that picking a single standout is a challenge.

The most obvious choice, perhaps, is Michael Phelps, who became the most garlanded Olympian in history, after winning four golds and two silvers here, running his career tally to 22 medals, 18 of them gold. In the end, he was given a special trophy, which looked like a piece of pewter shrapnel stuck to a base, that read “Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time.”

But somehow, Phelps seemed eclipsed here by Usain Bolt, the irrepressible Jamaican sprinter who became the first man to win gold in the 100 and 200 meters at two Olympics. Measured by sheer quantity of bling, Bolt has a fraction of Phelps’s medals. But perhaps because the designation “fastest man on earth” speaks to such an elemental physical feat, or because this guy celebrates with unequaled brio.

Bolt might have made the deepest and most lasting impression here. At minimum, he joined the pantheon of great athletes, like Ali and Pele, famous enough to be known by one name.

Others will argue for singular performances, like the 800-meter race won by Kenya’s David Rudisha, who set a world record in the event. “Bolt was good, but this guy was just magnificent,” said Sebastian Coe, a former Olympic middle-distance runner and chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee. “From a different planet that night.”

Or the American women’s 4×100 relay team, which shaved a half-second from the world record set in 1985 by the East German team during the height of its state-sponsored doping program.

London will be remembered for these athletes and for some larger themes as well. Women were a major story of this Olympics, with London marking the first time that every country had at least one female athlete. A 16-year-old track runner from Saudi Arabia became the first women from her country to compete in the Olympics, which she did while wearing a variation of traditional Muslim head garb.

A blue belt with little experience, Wojdan Shaherkani lost her match in just 92 seconds, and as courageous as this barrier-busting performance was, it hardly seems like Saudi Arabia — as well as Qatar and Brunei, two other countries that sent women for the first time — are about to aggressively rethink the role of women in sport.

George Michael performing…

Annie Lennox singing ‘Little Birds’

Annie Lennox singing ‘Little Birds’

News Photo: Musician Annie Lennox performs during the Closing Ceremony…

80,000 people are clapping along to “We Will Rock You” as Queen’s Brian May plays guitar so loud it’s shaking the place while Jessie J sings.

News Photo: Brian May of Queen performs during the Closing…

Jessie J entering the stadiumNews Photo: Artist Jessie J performs during the Closing Ceremony…

News Photo: Jessie J performs with Roger Taylor of Queen…

The Pet Shop Boys performing ‘West End Girls’ led by a bicycle procession.

News Photo: An artist performs during the Closing Ceremony on…

Freddie Mercury is on the big screens leading the crowd in a raucous, modified version of Day-O. Footage from 1986 concert at Wembley Stadium.News Photo: The late Freddie Mercury is displayed on screen…

News Photo: Artists perform during the Closing Ceremony on Day…

Eric Idle of Monty Python is singing “Look on the Bright Side of Life.” 
News Photo: Eric Idle performs during the Closing Ceremony on…

5 rings on the Olympics flag, 5 Spice Girls singing atop black taxis. News Photo: Melanie Chisholm Emma Bunton Melanie Brown Geri Halliwell…

The stands are shaking now as people are stomping feet and dancing to the Spice Girls, who have come together for this night only.News Photo: Victoria Beckham Geri Halliwell Emma Bunton Melanie Chisholm…

Victoria Beckham glides on top of a taxi as she performs with fellow Spice Girls…

Melanie Brown performsNews Photo: Melanie Brown of The Spice Girls during the…

Geri Hallwell performsNews Photo: Geri Halliwell of the Spice Girls during the…

Victoria Beckham performsNews Photo: Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls performs during…

Melanie C performsNews Photo: Melanie Chisholm of The Spice Girls performs during…

Emily Bunton performsNews Photo: Emma Bunton of Spice Girls performs during the…

Madness performs

Saxophonist from Madness is lifted into the air…

Ballerina Darcy Bussell enters the stage as a flaming phoenix

Ballerina Darcy BussellNews Photo: Ballerina Darcey Bussell perofrms with the Royal Ballet…

News Photo: Jason Orange Gary Barlow Mark Owen and Howard…

Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz are singing Bee Gees’ “You Should be Dancing.” Touching that they are bringing generations together.News Photo: Jessie J Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz perform…

News Photo: Ricky Wilson Jessie J Ed Sheeran and Taio…

Tinie Tempah performsNews Photo: Musician Tinie Tempah performs during the Closing Ceremony…

Taio Cruz is rocking “Dynamite” as he rides in a Rolls around the arena. News Photo: Taio Cruz performs during the Closing Ceremony on…

RickyWilson of the Kaiser Chiefs performsNews Photo: Ricky Wilson of The Kasier Chiefs during the…

News Photo: Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs performs during…

Fatboy Slim popped out of the mystery bus and is spinning for us now. “Right Here, Right Now” and “Funk Soul Brother.

News Photo: Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim performs during the…

Russell Brand is atop a magical mystery tour bus singing “I am the Walrus.” Did Mo Farah’s Mobot and Usain Bolt’s lightning bolt. Huge cheer…

Dancers performing during the closing ceremony.

Dancers performing during the closing ceremony

Singer Marisa Monte performing

Performers rush off stage during the Olympic closing ceremony

Kate Moss News Photo: Model Kate Moss performs during the Closing Ceremony…

Naomi CampbellNews Photo: Model Naomi Campbell during the Closing Ceremony on…

(L-R) British supermodels Lily Cole, Karen Elson, Kate Moss, Stella Tennant, Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn during the Closing Ceremony News Photo: British supermodels Lily Cole Karen Elson Kate Moss…

Supermodels walk the catwalk during the Closing CeremonyNews Photo: Supermodels walk the catwalk during the Closing Ceremony…

Sir Chris Hoy attend the closing ceremonyNews Photo: Sir Chris Hoy of Great Britain attends the…

Mo Farrah attends the closing ceremonyNews Photo: Mo Farah of Great Britain leads the athletes…

Silver medalist Abel Kirui of Kenya, gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda and bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich of Kenya pose on the podium during the medal ceremonyNews Photo: Silver medalist Abel Kirui of Kenya gold medalist…

Prince Harry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and LOCOG chairman Lord Sebastian Coe attend the Closing Ceremony News Photo: Prince Harry Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and LOCOG…

Artist’ performing the MoBotNews Photo: Artists perform during the Closing Ceremony on Day…

News Photo: Chas Smash and Lead singer Graham ‘Suggs’ McPherson…

Ed Milliband, David Cameron and Samatha Cameron watch onNews Photo: Ed Milliband David Cameron and Samatha Cameron watch…

Artist’ performingNews Photo: Artists perform during the Closing Ceremony on Day…

The Late John Lennon displayed on screenNews Photo: The late John Lennon is displayed on a…

Yoko Ono and her son Sean Ono-Lennon were emotional at Sunday night’s tribute to John Lennon at the Olympic Closing Ceremony. Ono tweeted:

“Last night, I was with my son, Sean, for the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Nobody ever took a photo of two of us from the back. So I’m looking and I’m impressed. It seems that the thing that was in my tummy grew up to be a human being with broad shoulders. Is this real? Or is this a nightmare of a pregnant woman sitting in her kitchen and dreaming of what could happen to you? Yes, it happened. It happened. And it’s not so bad… yoko at London 2012 Olympic Park”

Check out the video below:

Imagine was a perfect song choice for a multicultural event such as the Olympic Games which brings the world together.

Actor Timothy Spall performing as Winston Churchill during the Closing CeremonyNews Photo: Actor Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill performs during…

In closing…

These Games marked the first time that women outnumbered men on the United States team — and the first time that American women outperformed the men, too. U.S. women will bring home roughly 65 percent of the country’s gold medals.

For fans, athletes and the news media, visiting the Olympic Park was like arriving at LaGuardia during peak flying times.

Fireworks light up the Olympic Stadium

Fact: At the Seoul Games in 1988, 26 percent of participants were women; in London, 44 percent were.News Photo: the Olympic flag is carried by military personel…

News Photo: general view of the stadium during the Closing…

The Olympics also will be remembered for what did not happen here. There were no security scares, despite handwringing about how vulnerable London might be to acts of terrorism.

The serenity came at a steep price, one that could be measured in dollars — roughly $1.5 billion was spent on jets, choppers, snipers and surface-to-air missiles — as well as time.

News Photo: general view of the stadium as a Union…

 

Image Credits: LATimes/Getty Images

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

30 Hottest Olympic Wives and Girlfriends

The Olympics: a multicultural competition that bridges the world…it wouldn’t be all fun if we didn’t know a little more about each athlete’s life, like who’s dating who and who’s married to who.

Below is a list of the 30 hottest Olympic wives and girlfriends. Take a look and determine if the list is accurate. The list is in no particular order.

Andy Murray’s girlfriend Kim Sears.

Tennis champ Andy Murray has been dating the gorgeous Kim Sears for years. She’s the daughter of legendary coach John Sears so we’re guessing the pair met on the courts at some juncture. They reportedly broke up in 2010 because of Murray’s “seven-hour-a-day PlayStation 3 addiction,” but they’ve been back on for a while now.

 

Andy Roddick‘s wife Brooklyn Decker.

One of tennis’ hottest stars is married to one of the hottest swimsuit models around. Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker tied the knot in April 2009 and the blond beauty can often be seen on the sidelines supporting her man. On the other hand, we imagine Roddick has no problem hanging out with his wife’s gorgeous colleagues.

Chris Paul’s wife Jada Crawley.

Expect basketball star Chris Paul to bring his lovely wife Jada Crawley to the Olympics in London. They tied the knot in September 2011 after meeting at Wake Forest in 2003. Their first son was born in 2009. He participated in the 2008 games and is expected to start this time around.

Jonathan Horton’s wife Haley DeProspero.

Jonathan Horton met his future wife, Haley DeProspero, at the University of Oklahoma, where she had a full gymnastics scholarship. They tied the knot in 2009 and Haley is now a medical student in Texas. Horton won two gymnastics medals in Beijing and is hoping for another Olympic victory this year.

Matt Grevers’ fiance Annie Chandler.

How cute is this? American swimmer Matt Grevers got down on one knee and popped the question to girlfriend Annie Chandler, who’s also a U.S. National Team swimmer, at a meet on Valentine’s Day 2012. After winning the 100-meter backstroke, he turned around and gave her a diamond ring! There’s even a video of the super cute proposal.

 

Roger Federer‘s wife Mirka Federer.

Legendary tennis star Roger Federer met his wife Mirka at the 2000 Olympics. She was a player herself at that time, but was forced to retire two years later due to a persistent foot injury. The pair married in 2009 and welcomed twin daughters, Myla and Charlene, the same year. These days, Mirka can be found on the sidelines, often with BFFs Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. 

LeBron James’ fianceé Savannah Brinson.

LeBron James has been dating Savannah Brinson since high school and they just got engaged on New Year’s Eve (2011). The couple have three sons and resides in a seriously sweet mansion in Miami. James is currently playing for the U.S. basketball team in London. Brinson and their boys have been hanging out courtside as well.

Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa Bryant.

Kobe Bryant met future wife Vanessa at the age of 17. They got married in 2001 and have had their ups and downs since then. Vanessa filed for divorce in December 2011, but have since reconciled. Vanessa joined her husband a few days ago in London for the 2012 Games with their daughters Natalia and Gianna.

Carmelo Anthony’s wife Lala Vasquez.

Carmelo Anthony proudly represents the United States on the basketball court in London and you can bet his reality TV star wife La La Vazquez is front and center too. The couple got engaged in 2004, welcomed a son in 2007, and eventually got married in July 2010. The nuptials were filmed by VH1 and even reality star Kim Kardashian was in attendance.

James Harden’s girlfriend Trina.

Basketball star James Harden has been linked to rapper Trina since late 2011. They’ve yet to officially confirm their relationship, but sources say they’re definitely an item. 

Ricky Beren’s girlfriend Rebecca Soni.

Talk about an Olympic power couple: Rebecca Soni and Ricky Berens are both competing in the Olympic games in London in the swimming category. They have been dating for at least two years and train at the same pool in L.A. Rebecca set the world record in swimming for the U.S.

James Magnussen’s girlfriend Andrea Patrulescu.

Australia’s top swimmer James Magnussen is 21 and dating a former swimmer named Andrea Patrulescu. They have been spotted on the red carpet together on many occasions but prefer to keep their personal life quiet.

Kevin Love’s girlfriend Elise Novak.

Basketball star Kevin Love met his girlfriend Elise Novak at UCLA, where she was a cheerleader. Now she’s a pre-med student. Hopefully she can take some time off from school to see her man compete for gold!

Fun Fact: Basketball star Kevin Love’s uncle Mike Love is in the group the Beach Boys!

Alastair Wilson’s girlfriend Fran Halsall.

Fran Halsall and her boyfriend, Alastair Wilson, will be one busy couple at the games. She’s swimming for team Great Britain, while he’s on the country’s field hockey team! They’ll have to bunk with their respective teammates for the duration of the Olympics, but Wilson assured reporters he’ll be watching his girl on the TV.

Novak Djokovic and his girlfriend Jelena Ristic.

Jelena Ristic is the longtime girlfriend of tennis star Novak Djokovic. They’ve been dating since around 2006 and reportedly have plans to marry in the near future. Ristic has been in the stands for many of her man’s big tennis wins, including the 2011 US Open.

Brenden Hansen’s wife Martha.

Olympic swimmer Brenden Hansen took home the bronze medal in the 200m men’s breaststroke in London, and was cheered on by wife Martha. They married in 2010 and are expecting their first child! The athlete made the big announcement on his Twitter page just before the start of the games. Mrs. Hansen is a sixth-grade math teacher in Austin, where the happy family resides.

Andrew Wheating’s girlfriend Chera McCabe.

Track star Andrew Wheating’s girlfriend is Chera McCabe. They started dating a few years back while Wheating was at the University of Oregon. The middle-distance runner is hoping to find a spot on the podium in 2012, after he failed to medal at the 2008 Olympics.

Ashton Eaton’s girlfriend Brianne Theisen.

Ashton Eaton, the new world record holder in the decathlon, cried to girlfriend fellow Olympian Brianne Theisen when he set the astounding record in the Olympic Trials in Oregon just before heading to London. The pair attended the University of Oregon together and were engaged before they decided to put their wedding on hold. Theisen is competing in the women’s heptathlon for Canada in London.

Paul Biedermann’s girlfriend Britta Steffen.

Here’s another Olympic power couple: German swimming pair Britta Steffen and Paul Biedermann. They began dating about two years ago and have battled it out with their top contenders in London. Biedermann faced Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps faced Steffen in the 50m and 100m freestyle.

Dominik Meichtry’s fianceé Jessica Hardy.

Hopefully Swiss swimmer Dominik Meichtry and his fianceé, U.S. swimmer Jessica Hardy, aren’t too competitive since they’re both swimming at the 2012 Olympics. The two became engaged in March 2012, leading Jessica to tweet: “I’m engaged to the love of my life!” and ““We’re on another planet with excitement!”

Tony Parker’s girlfriend Axelle.

French basketball player Tony Parker was spotted with his new girlfriend, Axelle, when the two showed up at the Aquatics Center to catch some swimming. At the time of this writing, Axelle’s last name is still unknown.

Mitch Larkin’s girlfriend Meagan Nay.

Australian swimmers Mitch Larkin and Meagen Nay are both competing in London. They’ll have to bunk separately while staying at the Olympic Village, but you can bet they’ll be cheering each other on poolside as much as their schedules permits.

Jaren Tallent’s wife Claire Tallent.

Expect to see road walkers Jared and Claire Tallent competing in London. They tied the knot in 2008 and imagine they spend lots of time training together in Australia.

Jack Bobridge’s fianceé Josie Tomic.

Spanish track cycling endurance racers Jack Bobridge and Josie Tomic recently got engaged. They made the big announcement on Twitter in June. 

Dominic Breazeale’s wife Christina Breazeale.

USA’s best hope for a boxing gold medal may rest with SoCal superheavyweight Dominic Breazeale. Dominic’s wife, Christina, was originally apprehensive about the former college football player taking up boxing, but she’s since come around to the idea.

Michael Hepburn’s girlfriend Annette Edmonson.

Michael Hepburn and girlfriend Annette Edmondson will be track cycling for Australia in London. And, Edmondson’s younger brother Alex will be competing as well!

Chris Wright’s girlfriend Melanie Schlanger.

Here’s another couple competing in London together: Aussie swimmers Chris Wright and Melanie Schlanger.

“Before we were dating, I slept through my alarm set for early morning training a couple of times, that doesn’t happen anymore,” Wright said in a recent interview. “Heading to London, it’s definitely an advantage going into compete with your best friend right next to you.”

Liam Tancock’s girlfriend Caitlin McClatchey.

Liam Tancock and Caitlin McClatchey are both swimmers from Great Britain. They’ve been cheering each other on in London, though they probably know the Olympic drill fairly well by now. This is McClatchey’s third games and his second.

Pang Wei’s wife Du Li.

Chinese shooters Pang Wei and Du Li both competed in the Beijing Olympics and are ready for their London debut this year. They got married in November 2009.

Andy Triggs-Hodge’s wife Eeke Thomee-Hodge.

British rower Andy Triggs-Hodge might have inadvertently created some tension at home when he mentioned his marriage to wife Eeke Thomee-Hodge would come second in the lead up to the Olympics. He publicly acknowledged his wife, a former Dutch international competitor in rowing, by kissing his wedding ring after his Men’s Four rowing team crossed the finish line in first place at the 2012 Games.

If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that athletes prefer fellow athletes or models! 

Credit: Zimbio.

The 2012 Olympics Are In Full Swing…

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

London 2012 Olympics Games Recap:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live: The latest from the London 2012 Olympics…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HRM’s granddaughter in the Olympics?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prince William and David Beckham support Team GB…

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

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

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

Be careful not to ‘piss’ Twitter off…

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

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

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

Olympic music artist’ see increase in sales…

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

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

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

Another Olympian bites the dust…

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

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

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

Meet the immigrant Olympians…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An elegant reminder of Gymnastics and Olympic History…

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

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

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

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

London Mayor Boris Johnson invites Rupert Murdoch to Olympics…

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

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

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

The Niger rower who’s actually getting slower…

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

Come on, Niger!’

‘You can do it, Niger!’

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

‘Come on, Niger! Don’t give up!’

Louder and louder.

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

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

Ryan Lochte: “Paul Wall designed my grill”…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raising an Olympian: The Ryan Lochte Story…

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

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

Raising an Olympian: The Shawn Johnson Story…

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

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

Raising an Olympian: The Kerri Walsh-Jennings Story…

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

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

Raising an Olympian: The Kortney Klemons Story…

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

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

Raising an Olympian: The Jessica Ennis Story…

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

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

Raising an Olympian: The Gabby Douglas Story…

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

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

Raising an Olympian: The Lolo Jones Story…

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

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

Raising an Olympian: The Jordyn Wieber Story…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 year old Gabby Douglas’ greatest 2012 Olympic moments…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Olympic Athlete Bodies: Are they just like yours?

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

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

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

Should Olympians be allowed to tweet during the games?

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

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

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

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

Gold medal after a birth and a broken collarbone…

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

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

“This is an amazing moment,” she said.

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

Bronx, NY raised a Gymnast…

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

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

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

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

Japan’s Uchimura wins the all-around Gold…

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

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

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

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

British Rowers capture 1st British Gold…

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

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

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

How swimming photographers get their shot…

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

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

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

Best Wishes from Barack and Bieber…

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 Olympic Badminton players kicked out of London Games…

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

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

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

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

19 and counting: Phelps is most decorated Olympian…

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

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

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

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

Observance of Ramada poses challenges to Muslim athletes…

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

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

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

For Chinese Swimmer…same result = Gold…

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

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

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

Cyclist killed by Olympic Bus…

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

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

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

A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said:

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

An interview with Ryan Lochte…

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

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

Ryan Lochte on Love and Relationships…

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

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

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

NBC Olympics Ratings Higher Than Expected…

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

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

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

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

Headphone brands compete for viewers’ attention at Olympics…

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

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

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

This is so sad…

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

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

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

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

Do Olympians pee in the pool?

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

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

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

Lala Vasquez joins husband Carmelo in London for 2012 Olympics…

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

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

USA’s Kayla Harrison claims gold medal in judo…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yohan Blake vs. Usain Bolt…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Olympics: Serena Williams vs. Caroline Wozniacki…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snapshot: Andy Murray

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

Team USA Gymnastics Leotards…

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

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

Gabrielle Douglas wins All around Gymnastics Gold Title…

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

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

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Rebecca Soni sets world record in winning gold….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Missy Frankly: She Could Have Been Canadian…

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

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

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

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

Losing Can Be a Winning Strategy…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nigerian Tweeters were excited and said:

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

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

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

USA Vs Nigeria Olympic Basketball London 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hoy and his wife Sarra pose with the gold medal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tribute: Gemma as a baby with her late mother Jeanette

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

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

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

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

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

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

Golden dream comes true in the end…

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

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

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

A Royal Wave for Andy Murray at Olympics…

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

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

Gabby Douglas: A very long journey – swift…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Olympic Swimmer Cullen Jones dares to be different…

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

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

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

Where was NBC when Russian Gymnast fell?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ryan Lochte’s mom clears up comment via

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

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

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

10 Can’t miss Olympic moments:

Gabby Douglas makes history

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

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

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

Ryan Lochte: What happened?

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

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

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

Cool dog alert

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

USA Basketball goes OFF on Nigeria

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

Does Andrea Kramer know Young Jeezy?

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

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

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

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

Gabby Douglas x Lil Wayne x Nicki Minaj

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

President Obama calls the US Squad…

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

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

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

Missy Franklin Wins 3rd Gold in 200M Backstroke…

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

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

Dominique Dawes cries through interview on Gabby Douglas’ win…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three golds in 13 Minutes…

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

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

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

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

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

Gabby Douglas set for endorsement $Gold…

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

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

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

Tirunesh Dibaba wins Olympic 10,000 meters gold…

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

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

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

Michael Phelps wins ‘Gold’ 100m butterfly….

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

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

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

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

Welcome to the 2012 Olympics!

FLOTUS Michelle Obama addresses U.S. athletes at London Olympics

LONDON – It’s doubtful that Barbara Hutton, the former Countess of Reventlow, envisioned this when she donated her London mansion to the U.S. government after World War II.

On the day of opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympic Games here, the vast green of stately Winfield House was transformed into a giant Olympic-themed playground whereFirst Lady Michelle Obama brought her campaign for healthy living and offered her support for the U.S. team.

Before jogging into the backyard of what is now the U.S. ambassador’s residence, Obama at a breakfast for American Olympians urged them to “have fun.”

“I’m so inspired by you and am in awe of what you all have achieved,” Obama said. “Try to have fun; try to breathe a little.”

The first lady said the London games marked her first trip to the Olympics, adding that she brought greetings from a nation “that will be rooting for you every day.”  Obama, who is leading the U.S. delegation to opening ceremonies, said she’ll spend the next two days as a spectator, cheering on the U.S. team in person at venues across the city. Read full article here…

Olympic Athlete banned over racist tweet? Do you think that’s harsh?

The banned Greek triple jumper was ‘bitter and upset’ after racist tweet got her kicked out of the Olympics. The Greek triple jumper expelled from the Olympics for sending a racist tweet about African immigrants and the West Nile virus is speaking out against the decision to ban her from competition in London.

Voula Papachristou was left in Athens by the Hellenic Olympic Committee after sending a tweet that read:

With so many Africans in Greece … at least the West Nile mosquitos will eat homemade food!!!

Her comment generated a minor uproar in Greece, then became an international story when Greek officials decided to kick her off the Olympic team. The triple jumper issued a wide-ranging apology after the ruling was announced. Her tone turned defiant on Thursday when she spoke with Reuters about the decision:

“I have not slept at all and to be honest I am still trying to come to terms with what has happened. I am trying to stay calm otherwise I would lose control.

“I am thankful to my coach and family and so many other people who have stuck by me…. After so many years of hurt and sacrifices to try and get to my first Olympics I am very bitter and upset. But what has upset me the most is the excessive reaction and speed of the disciplinary decision.”

Though it’s probably not best to talk about how you may “lose control” — I don’t think that’s taught in Crisis Management 101 — Papachristou has a point. Read full story here

Personally, I agree her tweet was disrespectful but I think fining her would have done more than enough justice. However, her apology is mingled with pride and arrogance so maybe it is best to leave the original punishment. Like I will continue to say, the things you tweet about can either make you or break you. Be careful what you tweet…someone somewhere is watching.

The best 9 2012 Olympic commercials…

And the number 1 spot goes to the US Olympic Swim Team. This is their take on the Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ (my new favorite song btw). I laughed out loud at this video.

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Olympics 2012…”Spice Up Your Life”…

Are you a following of the “Girl Power?” If you are, you’ll be glad to know that the Spice Girls are reuniting to perform alongside artists such as George Michael, The Who and Jessie J during the Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony. Make sure you’re in London on August 12, 2012 to witness the happenings.

Williams sisters willing to forgo mixed doubles…

It appears that the Williams sisters are not overly concerned about being selected to play mixed doubles at the London Olympics. The U.S. can only have two parings in the 16-team draw, and potential teams of Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond, as well as Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber have already indicated they would like to play together. Serena and Venus are both scheduled to play singles and doubles.

Serena, who is contending with a bad back, has entertained thoughts of playing mixed with Andy Roddick, John Isner, or one of the Bryans. However, she is already committed to playing singles, as well as doubles with her sister Venus. Playing mixed could potentially mean playing 15 matches in nine days. It’s also questionable if Roddick would want to play mixed, as he’s playing singles, doubles with Isner, and has been complaining of a “dead” shoulder. Read more here…

4 Queen Elizabeth II and James Bond join forces at the Olympics…

Who knew James Bond and Queen Elizabeth were such good friends? The two teamed up and made a grand entrance at the opening ceremony of the Olympics on July 27.

James, played by Daniel Craig, picked up Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace and together they rode in a helicopter all over London. Then they JUMPED out of the Queencopter and arrived at the Olympics!

Of course, this was all just an act, but it was pretty hilarious! We’re sure Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton got a kick out of it!

Chinese Clothing Multimillionaire puzzled by outrage over U.S. Olympic Uniforms…

Li Guilian runs Dayang Trands, a Chinese clothing company that is manufacturing the U.S. Olympic uniforms that the American team will be wearing at the opening ceremony in London on Friday. But she is reportedly puzzled by the outrage many Americans feel about the fact that Ralph Lauren, the designer of the U.S. Olympic uniform, had the uniforms made in China rather than in the U.S.

“Pay attention to the performances of the U.S. athletes and not their clothes,” Li was quoted as saying in a Los Angeles Times report by David Pierson. “Don’t you think we deserve credit?… We’ve made so many customers happy over the years,” she added.

Since a report aired July 11 on ABC about where the uniforms were made, a controversy has ensued over whether it’s appropriate for American athletes to be donning outfits manufactured in China, especially at a time when the U.S. is grappling with a struggling economy and stagnant job growth. Read full story here…

4 Olympic Athletes who stepped up for Child Nutrition…

Few people grasp the importance of good nutrition as well as Olympic Athletes. No matter how talented, they can’t give their best without it. Here are four renowned Olympic athletes who say nutrition is just as important to children, especially those who risk not getting enough.

ROME—Athletes headed to the Olympic Games in London have more in common than talent and hard work. Whether they’re sprinting the 100 metres or diving off a springboard, they know that without eating the right foods, they can’t give their best.

Nutrition is just as important to children. They need it so that their minds and bodies can grow, and so that they can learn in school and reach their full potential.

As excitement builds around the Olympic Games in London, here are four renowned athletes who’ve seen first-hand the difference nutrition can make in the lives of hungry children.

Dayron Robles – Hurdler

As a child, Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles suffered from anaemia, a form of malnutrition that left him tired and weak. Thanks in part to meals provided to him at school, he overcame the problem and became one of the fastest hurdlers in the world. Robles won a gold medal in the 100-metre hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and then another at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships. Read more

Paul Tergat – Marathon Runner

WFP Ambassador Paul Tergat says he came to school as much for the meals as for the lessons. Growing up in impoverished rural Kenya, he remembers what it was like to go to bed hungry. But with help from those meals, he was able to become one of the greatest long-distance runners of all time, winning two silver medals at the Olympics and breaking the world record for fastest marathon in 2003. Read more

Li Ning – Gymnast

“As an athlete, I know how important good nutrition is for healthy growth,” said Chinese gymnast Li Ning,

who was dubbed The Prince of Gymnastics after winning 6 medals at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Li Ning says living in a country where hunger was once widespread, but that now contributes to WFP’s work around the world helped him understand the long-term impact nutrition can have. Read more

Robert Korzeniowski – Racewalker

One of the most successful racewalkers of all time, Robert Korzeniowski won three consecutive Olympic gold medals for the 50 km walk between 1996 and 2004, and a fourth gold medal in the 20 km walk in 2000. He said that his memories of receiving international aid as a child in Communist Poland were behind his decision to support WFP school meals programmes. Read more

Michelle Obama DAZZLES With AMERICAN PRIDE At 2012 London Olympics, Hangs With David Beckham And GREETS The Queen..

First Lady Michelle Obama is currently in London for the 2012 Olympics where she met with British Football star David Beckham before greeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Mrs. Obama is using her time in London to promote her “Let’s Move!” initiative.   Mrs. Obama  is serving as the head of the US Delegates for the 2012 Olympics.

Mrs. Obama hosted an exercise session the morning of the Olympic opening in London (attended by sexy soccer star David Beckham) as part of her ‘Let’s Move!’ anti-obesity campaign.

During the breakfast event, she was quoted as saying:

“Wow – I’m going to be saying that a lot over the next few days. Wow! I can’t believe I am here, I am beyond proud. Some of my fondest memories growing up and even as an adult for that matter involved watching the Olympics on TV.”

“I know each of you probably were in that position. Being here is otherworldly for me, you know. I am still so inspired by all of you. I am still in awe of everything you have achieved.”

The Royal Family were out in force last night for a full-scale charm offensive on global leaders attending London’s Olympic Games. Led by the Queen and Prince Philip, 19 senior royals were rounded up for a champagne reception – well, English sparkling wine – at Buckingham Palace hours before the official opening ceremony as part of the nation’s push to strengthen its diplomatic, political and economic ties.

The younger members were led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with Kate flying the flag in an ice blue coat dress by cutting-edge Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane, who bases himself in London.

She warmly greeted US First Lady, Michelle Obama, who was invited in her role as head of her country’s Olympic delegation.

The two women first met just over a year ago when the Obamas flew to the UK on a state visit. Other young royals present included Prince Harry and the Duke of York’s daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Harry chatted animatedly to leaders from the Caribbean including Jamaica’s republican-leaning Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, whom he met on an official tour of her island earlier this year.

Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Andrew, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent also exchanged pleasantries in the palace ballroom for the hour and a half long event.

More than 190 guests were present – including 95 heads of state and government and their spouses – ranging from Mongolia to the Marshall Islands, in the northern Pacific. Among the first to arrive was the Fijian President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, resplendent in a suit jacket, sarong and sandals. Adding glamour to the proceedings were Princess Charlene of Monaco, looking statuesque in a white trouser suit, and her husband, His Serene Highness Prince Albert 11.

She was in attendance for the Queen’s lunch which consisted of a very British menu:

  • British sparkling wine
  • Canapes
  • Quail’s Eggs sprinkled with celery salt
  • Cornet of Smoked Duck
  • Rosette of Smoked Salmon

The Queen of England Elizabeth II addressed her guests before the Olympic’s opening and said:

‘This will be the third London Olympiad; my great-grandfather opened the 1908 Games at White City; my father opened the 1948 Games at Wembley Stadium, and later this evening I will take pleasure in declaring open the 2012 London Olympic Games at Stratford in the east of London.

‘To me the spirit of togetherness is a most important part of the Olympic ideal, and the British people can be proud of the part they have played in keeping the spirit alive. Many sports played in these Games have their historic roots in this country; and as a nation we have an abiding passion for sport, as well as a tradition of fair play and a good-natured sense of fun.

‘In all our national Olympic teams there is so much of which we can be proud; groups of young men and women dedicated to excellence and achievement across numerous sporting disciplines. And these teams are ably supported by thousands of organisers, volunteers and supporters who will be following the action not just at the Olympic venues here in the United Kingdom but throughout the world.

‘For all these reasons, I wish you and your countries a successful, enjoyable and memorable Games.’

After her speech the Queen walked forward to meet some of her guests and, in a rare public mishap, dropped her glasses case as she shook hands with Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff. Both bent down to pick them up and the Queen carefully popped them away in her handbag.

The reception was due to end at 7pm on the dot as all of those present were due at the hugely-anticipated opening ceremony of the 2012 Games. Despite being dropped off by a fleet of black limousines, Rolls Royces and luxury diplomatic cars, most were picked up by bus to make the journey into East London – quite a novel experience for many, no doubt.

Special relationship: The Duchess of Cambridge greets Michelle Obama during a reception at Buckingham Palace for Heads of State and Government attending the Olympics Opening Ceremony

Queen Elizabeth II meets US First Lady Michelle Obama and US Ambassador Louis Susman at a reception at Buckingham Palace

The Duchess of Cambridge poses with President of Mongolia Elbegdorj Tsakhia

First Lady Michelle Obama and US Ambassador Louis Susman attend a reception at Buckingham Palace for Heads of State and Government

US First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to Prince Albert of Monaco

Princess Beatrice (right) speaks to the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Omurbek Babanov (left) and Rita Birbaeva

Prince Harry meets with the President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba and his wife Sylvia

State Councillor Dai Bingguo of China arrives

Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud arrives

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina waves as she arrives

Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov

Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Governor General of Saint Lucia Dame Pearlette Louisy

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

Prime Minister of St Luica Kenny Davis Anthony and wife

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France

Victor-Viorel Ponta, the Prime Minister of Romania and his wife Daciana Sarbu

President of Turkey Abdullah G¸l and his wife Hayrunnisa Gul

United States fans pose with their national flag outside the Olympic stadium

Ethiopia fans enjoy the atmosphere

Click here to view more photographs…

2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony Photo Album

The Summer Games, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad, will feature 302 events in 26 sports as well as 10,902 athletes from 204 countries, including tennis star Serena Williams, champion swimmer Michael Phelps, decathlete Ashton Eaton, Claressa Shields (boxing), Jordyn Wieber (gymnastics) and Missy Franklin (swimming)! The opening ceremony features performances by Sir Paul McCartney and is directed by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle!

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 27: Simon LeBon of Duran Duran performs at BT London Live Olympic Opening Ceremony Celebration Concert at Hyde Park on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27: David Beckham passes under Tower Bridge driving a speedboat named ‘Max Power’ which carries the Olympic Torch with its torchbearer on July 27, 2012 in London, England. Athletes, heads of state and dignitaries from around the world have gathered in the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 30th Olympiad. London plays host to the 2012 Olympic Games which will see 26 sports contested by 10,500 athletes over 17 days of competition. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Actors perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London. (LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

Actors perform during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012. (SAEED KHAN/AFP/GettyImages)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27: Performers dressed as Mary Poppins characters pay tribute to children’s literature during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27: Lauren Jackson of the Australia Olympic basketball team carries her country’s flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27: Fireworks are displayed at Tower Bridge on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Mr. Bean

The Olympic flame, formed from dozens of torches, burns bright in the centre of the stadium

The Olympic flame, formed from dozens of torches, burns bright in the centre of the stadium

The flame is passed to five times gold medal winner Sir Steve Redgrave

The flame is passed to five times gold medal winner Sir Steve Redgrave

Former British rower and five times Olympic gold medalist, Steve Redgrave, passes the Torch to seven children, nominated to light the flame

Former British rower and five times Olympic gold medalist, Steve Redgrave, passes the Torch to seven children, nominated to light the flame

Young athletes carry the Olympic flame around the stadium

Young athletes carry the Olympic flame around the stadium, a symbol of the Games’ legacy

The athletes then lit copper metals, one to represent each nation taking part

The athletes then lit copper metals, one to represent each nation taking part

A mass of torches converge, to create a huge ball of fire

A mass of torches converge, to create a huge ball of fire

An incredible burst of fireworks exploded into life above the stadium

An incredible burst of fireworks exploded into life above the stadium

A huge torch burns bright in the centre of the arena, as the athletes look on

A huge torch burns bright in the centre of the arena, as the athletes look on

Fireworks lit up the night sky as the Stadium anxiously awaited the arrival of the Olympic Flame

Fireworks lit up the night sky as the Stadium anxiously awaited the arrival of the Olympic Flame

A group of flagbearers including Muhammad Ali bring the Olympic Flag into the stadium

A group of flagbearers including Muhammad Ali bring the Olympic Flag into the stadium

Usain Bolt carries the flag

Flying the flag: Usain Bolt of Jamaica

Russia's Maria Sharapova carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony

Flying the flag: Maria Sharapova of Russia carry their nations’ flags into the Stadium

Argentina's flag bearer Luciana Aymar leads her team into the Olympic StadiumArgentina's flag bearer Luciana Aymar leads her team into the Olympic Stadium

Argentina’s flag bearer Luciana Aymar leads her team into the Olympic Stadium

Australian competitors pass on messages to loved ones back home during their nation's parade

Australian competitors pass on messages to loved ones back home during their nation’s parade

Performers pay silent tribute to war dead and the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks

Performers pay silent tribute to war dead and the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks

The silent tribute added a sombre touch to the ceremony

The silent tribute added a sombre touch to the ceremony#

Atkinson cheated his way to victory in a mock up of the famous Chariots of Fire scene

Atkinson cheated his way to victory in a mock up of the famous Chariots of Fire scene

Actresses dressed as Mary Poppins float above the stadium, clinging onto umbrellas

Actresses dressed as Mary Poppins float above the stadium, clinging onto umbrellas

Children perform on trampolines as dancers play Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital staff

Children perform on trampolines as dancers play Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital staff

What better way to end a great night than a sing-along with Sir Paul McCartney…

Encouraging a sing-alongThe crowd inside the Olympic stadium were swaying and singing tonight as Sir Paul McCartney closed the Opening Ceremony.
Smiling widely as he sat playing the piano, the British singer sang the famous Beatles hit Hey Jude. Towards the end of the performance he stood up and clapped his hands in the air, encouraging the audience to sing-along.
He asked the men to join in – and then asked the women to get involved, before the whole stadium sang together.

As the singer took centre stage everyone from athletes to the spectators sang along.

Alex Turner and his band played one of their early hits I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor as well as performing The Beatles song Come Together as bikers with wings cycled around the stadium.Dancing shoes: The Arctic Monkeys played one of their early hits I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor

As the band performed fireworks shot up around the stadium

Part of the ceremony involved a piece by the staff and patients of the NHS, in particular, from Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children

As they played to thousands of people in the stadium and millions around the world, fireworks surrounding the East London arena lit up the sky.

Stand out: Bright neon colours on the dancers’ costumes made an effective scene.Stand out: Bright neon colours on the dancers costumes made an effective scene

Dancing feet: A montage of songs were played as brightly-coloured dancers took to the stage

Dancing feet: A montage of songs were played as brightly-coloured dancers took to the stage

Emeli Sande who sang the hymn Abide With Me said:

‘I am extremely proud and humbled to be part of the amazing ceremony which will allow the world to see some of the best up-and-coming and established talent the UK has produced.’

It was written by Henry Fancis Lyte in 1847 and he died three weeks after completing it. The hymn has been sung at every FA Cup final since 1927.
It is also a regular tune heard at Rugby League internationals.

Emeli Sande

Muhammad Ali and his wife 

For a complete list of artists that performed at the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, visit Daily Mail. I hope you’ve enjoyed Welcome to the 2012 Olympics!

The eccentric life of Dennis Rodman

I have always wondered what type of upbringing Dennis Keith Rodman had before he became known as “The Real Hot Rod” with a look reminiscent of some freaky cartoon character. I’m aware that he has a distinct love for women of the Caucasian race but I didn’t know too much else besides what the media portrayed. I decided to dig a little deeper.

The retired American Hall of Fame professional basketball player of the National Basketball Association‘s (NBA) Detroit PistonsSan Antonio SpursChicago BullsLos Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks‘ upbringing consisted of 2 sisters and his mother. His father an Air Force Pilot left the family when Rodney was still very young leaving his mother to carry the weight of the family all by herself. Rodman recalls the experience in his 1997 biography Bad As I Wanna Be, and expressed his disgust and hate for his father:

“I haven’t seen my father in more than 30 years, so what’s there to miss … I just look at it like this: Some man brought me into this world. That doesn’t mean I have a father.” 

According to Rodman, he had a very unhappy childhood partly due to the way his mother treated him. He recalls how his mother favored his two sisters over him amidst growing up in poverty.

SIDENOTE: This part of his story touched me. I hate when fathers leave the family and forget all about their children. This selfish act has a way of eating at a child’s heart and the way a child views him/herself. Kids need both male and female role models growing up.

These role models can be in the form of parents, aunts, uncles, etc. Whoever they turn out to be, they’re important. Also as a mother myself, I can’t imagine favoring one child over the other. Even if I felt one of my children was better than the other(s) I would not show it.

Not only was favoring his sisters a thorn in his flesh, his sisters too were fond of making fun of his looks and his initial inability to play basketball. Rodman was actually very short for the most part of his childhood. He recounts how he was tired of living in an all female household and being the odd one out.

SIDENOTE: I can understand how he felt living in an all female household. His sisters and mother probably had a lot to talk about all the time. It probably seemed like they had all the fun in the house while he had to sit quietly and watch them ignore the only man in the house.

I think it’s important for parents (single or otherwise) to engage their children in activities outside of school. If you have a family dynamic similar to the one Rodman described, it’s best to let your child have a friend of the same gender who s/he can relate to. Even a cousin or family member of the same gender and age would make all the difference in the world.

I’m also starting to see how the events Dennis described had an impact on his overall persona. The early years in a child’s life are extremely important. The events and things that occur during that time can either make or break them. They define who we grow up to be.

When Rodman experienced his growth spurt (which occurred after high school), he became even more withdrawn because he felt odd in his own body. He recalls being so insecure around women that he thought he was homosexual in his teens. He lost his virginity when he was 20 years old and had his first sexual experience with a prostitute; he described this as an unpleasant experience.

SIDENOTE: Most of us recall ‘our very first time’ as being special, exciting and what not. Dennis recalls his first time with a prostitute! Are you starting to get a clearer picture of why he is the way he is? This man apparently had never experience love up until this point.

What a sad journey/life. Being loved and loving someone back are extremely important factors in our lives. If you have never experienced both, it can have extremely devastating effects. I can only imagine how lonely, misunderstood and unloved he felt.

After high school Rodman as a student at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, an NAIA school, he worked at a summer youth basketball camp, where he befriended camper Bryne Rich. Another shy and withdrawn individual following a hunting accident in which he mistakenly shot and killed his best friend. The two became almost inseparable and formed a bond.

Rich invited Rodman to his rural Oklahoma home; at first, Rodman was not well-received by the Riches due to being an African-American. But, the Riches were so grateful to him for bringing their son out of his shell that they were able to set aside their prejudices. Rodman credits the Riches as his “surrogate family” that helped him through college.

SIDENOTE: Rodman credits the Riches as his “surrogate family”. Do you now see why a family unit is important in a child’s live. Not only in a child’s live, but in life overall. He started to see himself as having a purpose and value after being accepted and loved by a family. He probably wouldn’t have graduated college had it not been for his new family. 

The 1986 NBA Draft would mark an incredible journey in the life of the young Rodman. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons. He didn’t make it to the Chicago Bulls until about 10 years later.

Dennis Rodman and daughter Alexis

Dennis Rodman and daughter Alexis

The Chicago Bulls is the team that really shot Rodman into limelight. Playing alongside legends like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and being coached by Phil Jackson will do that to your career. During this time of his NBA career, Dennis was in several relationships.

His first significant relationship was with Annie Bakes whom he married. Their daughter Alexis was born in 1992 but the marriage was over the following year. Rodman stated that the divorce devastated him.

SIDENOTE: Rodman finally finds loves and is loved back but not for too long. I believe the thought of finally finding love and it escaping you is devastating.

But the one good thing that came out of the marriage was his daughter. Even if the world leaves you, your kids are there forever.  

Carmen is pictured to the right with Rodman during happier times

Five years after his divorce from Annie, Rodman finds love again in Carmen Electra Rodman found love again in Carmen Electra or at least he thought so. They were married in November 1998 but Carmen filed for divorce in April 1999.

Their marriage only lasted 6 months. Rumor has it the marriage didn’t last due to infidelity on Rodman’s part and his extreme wild ways.

SIDENOTE: Although I wasn’t in the relationship, I believe Carmen probably thought Rodman’s wild ways were fun prior to the marriage.

After marrying him, she discovered there’s a limit to partying, being wild and not caring about other people’s feelings. Being that Rodman really didn’t experience a real marriage outside the Riches’ he probably doesn’t know what it takes to be a husband. However, Athletes and infidelity go hand in hand. 

Michelle Moyer

Michelle Moyer, kids and Rodman are pictured during happier times

As if two divorces weren’t enough, Rodman tried marriage for the third time. The say third time is the charm. In 1999 Rodman met Michelle Moyer, with whom he has a son, D.J. (born 2000) and a daughter, Trinity (born 2001).

Moyer and Rodman married in 2003 on his 42nd birthday. Michelle Rodman filed for divorce in 2004, although the couple spent several years attempting to reconcile.

The marriage was officially dissolved in 2012 when Michelle Rodman again petitioned the court to grant a divorce. It was recently reported that Rodman owes $860,376 in child and spousal support.

SIDENOTE: Michelle probably tried to accommodate Rodman’s excesses but couldn’t cope. The damage was done 40+ years ago and it’s one that cannot be fixed. Dennis is fixed in his ways, so for any woman to think she can change him is delusional.

Although I still feel he is on the quest for something that will provide him with inner peace, it can only take an act of God to change the hands of time in his life. Too many people have failed in their duties to contribute love, a sense of belonging and purpose into this man’s life. 

Post his NBA career, Dennis took a long break from basketball and concentrated on his film career and on wrestling. He started wrestling during the time he got suspended from the 1996–1997 NBA season. He was extremely serious about his new found hobby of professional wrestling and appeared on the March 10 edition of Monday Nitro with his friend Hollywood Hulk Hogan in World Championship Wrestling.

His ring name “Imposter Sting” probably contributed to his success in wrestling. He also tried his luck at a few reality TV shows like Celebrity Apprentice, The Rodman World Tour, Celebrity Mole and others. Although he kept himself busy professionally, he was not a stranger to the law and continued controversy. From cross dressing to his outrages outburst and temper, Rodman kept his name in the media.

It was revealed recently that he owed more than $860,376 in back child support and was sentenced to 104 hours of community service after being found guilty of four counts of contempt for failing to pay child support. He was expected to pay $50,000 monthly in child support which has been reduced to $4,500 due to his current financial situation.  A sad situation for a man who earned $28 million during his NBA career as a result of endorsements, etc.

SIDENOTE: I am not trying to portray Dennis Rodman in a bad light or make light of his situation, I am merely trying to analyze what led to his current lifestyle and situation. We are all born with the same opportunities in life. We all travel the same road.

However, as the road forks the values and lessons we were raised up will determine which road to continue on. Some of us choose the road that leads to fame and success, some of us choose otherwise.

Even those that choose the road the leads to fame and success sometimes get derailed and end up in less than favorable situations later in life. 

I am still of the opinion that if he had a father figure in his life who taught him the life’s values, he could have done much better for himself. He was not taught how to be a man, talk-less how to be a father or husband.

He was never taught the basics of handling money which is an important lesson we need to impart to our kids. If he had all these values instilled in him as a young man, he would have understood that money does not stick around too long if it’s not invested properly.

I believe his failure in love and his expectations in life is what led him to drinking. An addiction such as drugs, alcohol or women will drain any man/woman’s pocket. It’s a blood sucking vice, but instead of sucking blood will suck your finances dry.

I’m always saddened when I see celebrities who were once financially comfortable go broke. It’s a sad situation. It’s better to have never tasted wealth than to have tasted wealth and lose it. I pray Dennis finds peace sooner than later. This has been a look at the eccentric life of Dennis Rodman.

KolorBlind Spotlight: Boris Becker … a tennis filled life!

Tennis is the only sport that has my full attention. It’s no wonder, as I grew up watching the likes of Boris Becker and Andre Agassi swing their rackets on the Tennis court.

An extraordinary Tennis player, Becker won his 1st professional double title in 1984 in Munich with tennis coach Günther Bosch and his Ion Tiriac guiding him. He was only 17 years old at the  time.

I still remember seeing his former wife Barbara Feltus at almost all of his tennis matches while they were still married. The images are still very vivid till this day. Becker will forever be remembered as the former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany.

His impeccable career record consists of:

  • Six-time Grand Slam singles champion,
  • Olympic gold medalist,
  • Youngest-ever winner of the men’s singles title at Wimbledon (age of 17)
This is in addition to his championship at the:
  1. Australian Open W (1991, 1996)
  2. French Open SF (1987, 1989, 1991)
  3. Wimbledon W (1985, 1986, 1989)
  4. US Open W (1989)

Lilly Becker - Celebs at the Sports for Peace Fundraiser 3Post his tennis career, Becker has been the principal owner of the tennis division of Völkl Inc., – a tennis racquet and clothing manufacturer since 2000. He also published a tell-all autobiography Augenblick, verweile doch… (English title: Lingering for a moment…but) in 2003.

From October 2005 to June 2006, Becker was a team captain on the British TV sports quiz show ‘They Think It’s All Over’.  In October 2006, Becker signed a two-year deal with Vodafone to answer selected text messages from fans. In November 2007, Becker joined the Team PokerStars group of poker players sponsored by the PokerStars online poker cardroom. In May 2009, Becker announced the launch of an online media platform Boris Becker TV. The website, in English and German, features clips from his career and footage of his daily life.

Since 2009, Becker has been a commentator for the BBC at Wimbledon. He was also the first former tennis player to appear on BBC’s car show Top Gear as the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car”.

Due to his popularity with British audiences, he has been christened “Britain’s favourite German”

While most professional athletes collect exotic cars, Becker is known for ‘collecting’ exotic women. His love for exotic women can be seen from his 1st wife, Barbara a biracial American, to his current wife Sharlely ‘Lily’ Kerssenberg.

It’s safe to say that Becker has an eye for very beautiful women. Who can blame this former world tennis champion? He makes having an interracial marriage look very attractive.

Becker is father to 4 beautiful children: Noah (18yrs), Peter (13yrs), Anna (12yrs) and Amadeus (3yrs).

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading today’s KolorBlind Spotlight: Boris Becker…a tennis filled life!

Credit: www.Borisbecker.comwww.wikipedia.org/borisbecker