Sports

10:03pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Sweetness And Light

Feeling Just Wild About Wild Cards

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 1:46 pm

Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is out at second against Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Despite less-than-stellar statistics, the Orioles are contenders in the American League wild-card race.
Nick Wass AP

Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, has persuaded his owners and the players to add an extra wild-card team to the playoffs, so now five teams per league will qualify.

Not only is this terrific for the fans, but Selig also wisely managed to make it so that the wild-card teams engage in a one-game showdown for the privilege of being the team that joins the three division winners in the battle for the league championship.

I have just the old-fashioned word for this newfangled development: nifty.

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5:29pm

Tue August 14, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Medalist Claressa Shields Gets A Hero's Welcome

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Olympian Claressa Shields visits the USA House in London before leaving for her home in Flint, Mich. Shields was greeted by a marching band and a motorcycle escort in her hometown.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images for USOC

Hundreds gathered in Flint, Mich., Tuesday, to celebrate the return home of Olympian Claressa Shields. At 17, Shields became the first U.S. woman ever — and the only American this summer — to win a gold medal in boxing.

In a rare moment of joy, Flint greeted the high school student with a marching band and a motorcycle escort.

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4:53pm

Tue August 14, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Doping Can Catch Up To Olympians Eight Years Later

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Hours after the Olympic torch was extinguished in London, came news of the first medalist to be stripped of a medal for doping. The shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk, of Belarus, was stripped of her gold medal after she tested positive for an anabolic steroid. Earlier this month, another athlete from Belarus - a world champion hammer thrower - was sent home after a retest of his samples from the 2004 Olympics yielded a positive result.

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2:29pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Sports

What Life Holds For Athletes After The Olympics

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:14 pm

American swimmer Carrie Steinseifer, left, hugs Nancy Hogshead after they tied for the gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle competition during the 1984 Olympics.
Courtesy of Nancy Hogshead-Makar

As a kid, Nancy Hogshead-Makar wanted to be the best swimmer in the world. At 14, she got her wish when she was ranked number one in the world for 200-meter butterfly at age 14. Four years later, she was part of U.S. team that boycotted the Moscow Olympics, and at 22, she swam in five Olympic finals at the 1984 Los Angeles games, winning three gold medals and one silver medal.

"I knew that the 1984 Olympics were really going to be my swan song," she tells NPR's Lynn Neary. She retired after those games and went to finish out a year and a half at Duke University.

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7:10pm

Mon August 13, 2012
The Torch

The Torch Is Out: Olympic Moments Will Burn On

Three photos show the Olympic flame slowly extinguishing at London's Olympic Stadium, as the London 2012 Games come to an end. The next Summer Olympics will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Damien Meyer AFP/Getty Images

It's time to extinguish The Torch, and end NPR's three-week marathon of Olympic coverage. From the London Games' opening ceremony through 302 medal events, these Summer Olympics have fed fans a rich diet of history and spectacle. I only wish I'd been able to eat it all — but part of the Olympics' allure is that its smorgasbord is over-stuffed with intense competition.

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5:51pm

Mon August 13, 2012
The Torch

London 2012 Games Set A Viewership Record, At 219.4 Million

It's nearly time to extinguish The Torch, and end NPR's little marathon of Olympic coverage. Before we do, we must note that the games have now become the most-watched television event in U.S. history, with a total of 219.4 viewers over 17 days of coverage.

Those high ratings push the London Games past Beijing 2008, which held the previous record of 215 million viewers. The number seems to include only NBC's TV audience, not mobile or online.

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4:56pm

Mon August 13, 2012
The Torch

Gabby Douglas Gets One More Gold, For Winning Facebook Fans

Gabby Douglas sits in the Olympic Media Lounge at Westfield Stratford City in London. During the Olympics, Douglas' Facebook fanbase grew by nearly 4,000 percent.
Alex Grimm Getty Images for adidas

They've been called the first "Social Games" — and the London Summer Olympics have delivered on that promise, making social stars out of athletes like gymnast Gabby Douglas, who saw her Facebook fanbase grow by nearly 4,000 percent during the games.

Gymnasts Marcel Nguyen and Jordyn Wieber were also among the big winners on Facebook, according to a research firm that tracked athletes' fan numbers during the games.

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3:33pm

Mon August 13, 2012
The Torch

Winners And Losers From London's Summer Olympics, 'The Crying Games'

Sir Chris Hoy of Great Britain cries as he celebrates winning the men's keirin track cycling final. In shedding Olympic tears, Hoy was far from alone in Britain.
Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

The London 2012 Olympics were billed as the Social Games, with Twitter, Facebook and other services making it an immersive experience. But it might be remembered as "The Crying Games," for the swelling of emotions many Britons experienced. We run down some of the Olympics' winners and losers:

The Losers

The Stiff Upper Lip

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1:33pm

Mon August 13, 2012
The Torch

Olympics Closing Ceremony: Both Well-Received And Anger-Inducing

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:09 pm

Fireworks explode at London's Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics. The gala has gotten good reviews — with the exception of those troubled by NBC's presentation.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

11:56am

Mon August 13, 2012
Sports

Can East London Keep The Olympic Spirit Burning?

The Olympics are over, but guest host Jacki Lyden takes a look at the lasting impact of the Games on young people living in the neighborhoods around Olympic Park. She speaks with East London residents Amber Charles and Rumi Begum. Both young adults participated in the Olympic torch relay in recognition of their contributions to sports in the area.

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