Olympic update: Phelps is money while racing for 20
As we prepare to enter the second weekend of the 30th Summer Olympics, there has been a lot of exciting moments.
No, the opening ceremony was not really one of them.
Women’s gymnastics featured an intense competition between rivals Russia and the United States. At the end the US was atop the podium and the Russians were in tears. The US took home the team gold and Gabby Douglas took home the gold for the individual all-around competition. Fresh off his historic Tour De France win, Bradley Wiggins took home a gold in cycling for host Great Britain. Who can forget USA Basketball putting up a record 156 points in one game (I know Nigeria never will).
There has been controversy.
The was cash for gold allegations in boxing and who can for get four teams purposely putting the bad in badminton, as they got kicked out for throwing games.
There has also been disappointment.
Today, saw defending gold medalists Philip Dalhousser and Todd Rodgers (USA) get upset by Italy’s Paolo Nicholai and Daniele Lupo in beach volleyball. Gymnastic all-around favorite Jordyn Wieber didn’t even qualify for the individual competition.
Then there’s Ryan Lochte.
Lochte started of his London experience well, beating Michael Phelps for gold in his first event. After that, everything went south. The US was poised to win the 4×100 relay. Lochte was the best they had. He was their anchor. He was given a lead. He blew it, allowing himself to be caught by France’s Yannick Agnel. Lochte was shocked, disappointed and has struggled to recover. A relay gold later would help to soften the blow. Perhaps he would finally make a full recovery to win an even he has dominated: the 200 IM.
Michael Phelps had other ideas.
Lochte holds the best time in history. Actually, he holds six of the top ten. Phelps holds the other four. Yesterday had all the hype. Lochte vs. Phelps for one final time. The ending did not disappoint, with Phelps just out-touching Lochte to win the gold. In the process, he became the first swimmer to three-peat in the same event in the Olympics.
Michael Phelps is now the proud owner of 20 Olympic medals. Wait! spoiler alert! Phelps had his last individual event today: the 100-meter butterfly. Here he faced Chad le Clos from South Africa. le Clos just edged out his idol Phelps to win to win the 200 fly, with Phelps seemingly taking his foot off the pedal when it mattered most. Today’s race was the same event Phelps won by just 1/100 of a second in Beijing.
Although this year’s rendition wasn’t quite as close as the race four years ago, it was still a nail-biter. At the turn (the halfway point) Phelps found himself sitting seventh in the eight-team final. Things weren’t looking good, but Phelps is quite the closer. On this day he closed. As he turned to see the leader board, his name was once again on top. The 21st medal for the most decorated Olympic athlete in history was gold, his 17th.
“He’s the king of the Olympics Games,” said his butterfly rival, Serbia’s Milorad Cavic.
But as it is the Olympics, Phelps is now planning to pass the torch. He will retire after these games. Although he could probably still compete in the 2016 games in Brazil, he has stated he wont. Perhaps Lochte will recover by then.
As for these games, there is a lot of excitement left as we head to the weekend. Will lightning strike twice for Usain Bolt? Hometown favorite Andy Murray will face the man that just bested him at Wimbledon (Roger Federer) in the tennis finals. USA Basketball will also look to repeat. Currently the US has one more medal and one more gold than rival China (who had some not too nice things to say about the “Yankees” in the press recently).
So tune in, or miss out on a golden opportunity.
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