The London Summer Olympics are winding down, and by most accounts, the games have been a success. There were plenty of "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" moments; big, enthusiastic crowds — although there were too many blocks of empty seats; and for those who like a helping of scandal served up at their Olympics, there was that, too.
It wasn't the usual scourge of doping. Instead, the London Olympics had incidents of bending the rules and ethics of sport.
Now to London and some of today's Olympic results. Several American athletes picked up gold. At least one U.S. team that was expected to get gold did not and another team set a world record. NPR's Mike Pesca is in London with the details. And, Mike, let's start with track and field and the women's 4x100 relay, a sport where women - the U.S. women tend to dominate in that event. How about today?
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: More than dominate, world record.
Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:08 pm
Rarely has cheating been such an issue at the Olympics until this year. From badminton to women's soccer to the South African swimmer who admitted cheating, athletes and their coaches are talking openly about gaming the system. And all of it, ironically, is playing out against the constant background music from Chariots of Fire, that iconic nod to gentlemanly, rule-observing sport.
Kinesio tape has caught the eye of many an Olympic viewer the last two weeks — covering the muscles of volleyball players, javelin throwers, even swimmers. It was invented decades ago by a Japanese chiropractor. Athletes say it eases muscle strain and allows healing, but research has yet to prove the effectiveness of the tape. Melissa Block talks with Amy Powell, a sports medicine doctor at the University of Utah about the tape.
The Bahamas men's team has won the 4x400m relay, edging past a surprisingly quick U.S. team to take the gold medal. It was the first gold medal for any male athlete from the Bahamas. The quartet ran a time of 2:56.72, setting a national record. The U.S. set a season best of 2:57.05 to take silver.
Trinidad and Tobago took the bronze medal, just ahead of Great Britain.
The Bahamas led the race after the first lap, with the U.S. running in second. And the two teams' runners stayed ahead of the pack, extending their lead to make it a two-team race.
With the Olympics drawing to a close, NBC is looking especially golden. They have had two weeks of great ratings — including record highs. What better time than on the eve of the network's new fall season to rack up two weeks of record audiences? But what might seem a slam dunk for the network is anything but.
American wrestler Jordan Burroughs has won the first and only U.S. gold medal in his sport at the London Games, beating Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi of Iran. Burroughs, the reigning world champion at the 74kg weight, won a point in the first two periods to put a quick end to the men's freestyle match.
Goudarzi took silver with the loss, and the two bronze medals went to Russian Denis Tsargush, whom Burroughs defeated in the semifinals, and Sosan Tigiev of Uzbekistan.