There seems to be a vague logic that dictates which Olympic sports are conducted against a backdrop of noise, and which operate in a cone of silence.
For the most part, the more a sport depends on a fine motor skill, the quieter the spectators are meant to be. Shooters squeeze triggers before mostly hushed crowds. But in many shooting disciplines, the competitors line up in a group and can shoot at any point during their time allotment. So not only is gunfire ringing in their ears, crowds often become noisy, depending on the results.
It should come as no surprise that Olympics organizers take brand endorsements and official suppliers very seriously. That extends beyond logos on shorts and shoes — up to, and including, condoms. That's right, the Olympics has an "official" condom — and organizers want to get to the bottom of how a bucket of rogue condoms reached the Olympic Village.
Good morning. Only five days remain in the Summer Games, and China leads the United States in the medal count, with a total of 73 (34 gold) to America's 71 (30 gold). Here's other news that caught our eye this morning:
The Olympics' twelfth day features an all-USA showdown in beach volleyball for the gold medal. In all, there are medals up for grabs in 16 events Wednesday. Here are some of the highlights of the action. All times refer to the Eastern time zone:
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
The Fierce Five have finished their run at the London Summer Olympics. Fierce Five is the nickname given to America's whiz-kid female gymnasts - average age just a bit over 16. They started the Games by winning the most important gold medal, in the team event. They finished yesterday with their team captain finally getting a break that seemed elusive. From London, here's NPR's Tom Goldman.
I always like it when Olympic champions from one sport go to another competition, so I was particularly touched to see Kobe Bryant, with his children in tow, watching as the magnificent Michael Phelps bid adieu to his sport by winning yet one last gold.
Phelps and Bryant are connected these days, too, because both have prompted some historical conversation. Kobe boasted that his current U.S. basketball squad could beat the sainted Dream Team of '92, while Phelps, simply by piling up more medals, opened up the barroom debate about who might be the greatest Olympian ever.
The American women's water polo team will again chase an elusive gold medal, this time at the London Olympics. The team qualified for the gold medal match by defeating longtime Olympic rival Australia.
Tied after regular time expired, the Americans scored two goals in overtime to beat the Australian water polo women, 11-9. Now the U.S. team moves on to the gold medal match Thursday.