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Olympics

Rio 2016 organizers dropped the curtain on the Summer Games on Sunday after hosting the world's elite athletes who've competed for 306 medals over the past 19 days here in Rio de Janeiro.

The closing ceremony starts at 8 p.m. local time, which is one hour ahead of Eastern Time. Because of NBC's time delay, it's airing at 8 p.m. ET and progressively later across the U.S.

No one is flying home from Rio with more medals than the U.S. women.

The full American squad — both men and women — won the most medals overall, 121, as has often been the case in the Summer Games. But first in London four years ago, and again in Rio, the U.S. women have captured most of those medals.

The U.S. women took 61, the men had 55, and there were five in mixed events, including equestrian and mixed-doubles tennis.

How good were the American women?

Announcing that two swimmers have now flown out of a Rio airport after being detained by police, U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun is apologizing for how the pair and two other swimmers behaved in Brazil.

"The behavior of these athletes is not acceptable," Blackmun said, referring to swimmers Ryan Lochte, James Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger.

The U.S. had never won an Olympic gold medal in women's freestyle wrestling. Japan's Saori Yoshida had lost only twice in 14 years of competition and was the reigning gold medalist at 53 kg (117 pounds).

But Thursday belonged to American Helen Maroulis. With a couple of quick moves in the second period, she was suddenly up 4-1 over the nearly unbeatable Yoshida. The clocked ticked down. The horn blew.

A euphoric Maroulis won the gold.

A stunned Yoshida, head tucked in her hands on the mat, had to settle for silver.

The U.S. women's water polo team will be back in the pool on Friday, hungry for a second consecutive Olympic gold medal.

The women made it to the gold medal match after a decisive victory Wednesday against Hungary in the semifinals.

I watched that game with the mother of not one, but two players on Team USA.

Leslie Fischer of Laguna Beach, Calif., was sitting poolside, watching anxiously as the Hungarian players beat up on the U.S. team, including her daughters: Makenzie, 19, and Aria, 17, who's still in high school and the youngest player on the U.S. roster.

It was a team that ran alone: The women of the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team raced by themselves under the lights of Rio's Olympic Stadium Thursday, going against the clock for a shot at the final.

The team of Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix, English Gardner and Morolake Akinosun needed a time better than 42.70 seconds to reach the final.

The women posted a 41.77 — the best of any qualifier, edging Jamaica at 41.79. The result means that China's relay team, which owned a slot in the final for more than seven hours, will be left out of the race.

Barring a banana peel appearing in his lane, the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt will likely win a third straight gold medal in the 200 meters today, at the Rio Olympics. Earlier this week, Bolt, who turns 30 at the conclusion of the games, on Sunday, picked up his third gold in the 100 meters, after smiling his way through qualifying heats with characteristic charm and seeming ease.

We should have been prepared for the Ryan Lochte drama in Rio. We've seen this reality show before. Or at least we could have, if we were paying very close attention to the E! television channel back in 2013.

In a twist to a marquee event, Allyson Felix and her teammates on the U.S. women's 400-meter relay team get a second shot to make the final, after successfully arguing that other runners made them drop their baton at the Summer Olympics Thursday.

Track and field's international governing body, the IAAF, agreed with the U.S., setting up an unusual event tonight — 7 p.m. in Rio and 6 p.m. ET – when the Americans will run a race alone on the track at Olympic Stadium.

A day after police pulled two of Ryan Lochte's teammates off a U.S.-bound plane to discuss their claims of being robbed last weekend, we're seeing reports that the group was involved in an altercation that centered on a gas station's bathroom.

The police have scheduled a 2 p.m. ET news conference to discuss the case. But even as new details emerge, Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada downplayed the case's significance at a briefing Thursday morning.

Seven to one. That's all you need to say, and everyone in Brazil knows what you're talking about. The hopes of the South American nation were crushed when Germany humiliated a shell-shocked Brazil by that score in the semifinals of soccer's World Cup in 2014, and in Brazil no less.

Now there's a rematch.

Brazil coasted to a 6-0 win Wednesday over Honduras in one semifinal, while Germany shutout Nigeria, 2-0, in the other, setting up a showdown in the Olympic gold medal game on Saturday.

U.S. Army / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut's own Donn Cabral ran in the Olympic 3,000 meter steeplechase final Wednesday morning. Cabral finished in ninth place -- but his U.S. teammate Evan Jager finished with a silver medal. 

The steeplechase is one of the most grueling and chaotic Olympic track and field events: seven-and-a-half laps around the track at top speed, where runners must negotiate 28 barriers and seven water jumps.

Americans Simone Biles and Aly Raisman became the first U.S. gymnasts to win gold and silver in the women's floor exercise Tuesday, beating out six other elite gymnasts to put an exclamation mark on a stellar Summer Olympics in Rio.

Great Britain's Amy Tinkler, 16, won bronze.

"I'm a little bit relieved because it's been a long journey," Biles said after winning the final women's event in Rio.

She's enjoyed all of her time in Rio, Biles said, but she also admitted to being a little worn out.

Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas won the women's 400-meter final at the Summer Olympics Monday, edging America's star runner Allyson Felix in a time of 49.44 seconds on a damp night in Rio de Janeiro.

Felix closed in on Miller in the closing meters – but she couldn't get ahead of her, finishing at 49.51. At the finish, Miller dove, or perhaps collapsed, across the line. It was a move that Felix later mirrored, as the toll of the race hit home.

Jamaica's Shericka Jackson won bronze, in a time of 49.85.

Michael Phelps went out on top, wrapping up the greatest Olympic career ever with one last gold — his 23rd — on Saturday night. It came on a day when Rio was filled with dramatic performances as swimming wrapped up and track kicked into high gear.

On the track, Jamaica maintained its stranglehold on the women's 100-meter title, but this time it was Elaine Thompson taking gold in 10.71, while her teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the winner in 2008 and 2012, had to settle for bronze. American Tori Bowie took the silver.

At some point, possibly when wandering the remote landscape of NBC's outer channels, you will stumble upon that elusive Olympic creature: water polo.

Do not be alarmed.

It's a sport, not an exotic predator. And no matter how strange it may appear to the novice, with its dome-eared caps, neon ball and whistle-happy refs, water polo is not chaos in a pool; it has rules.

Call it the Summer (Olympics) of love: He Zi of China was standing on the podium after receiving a silver medal for diving in Rio on Sunday when her boyfriend, fellow diver Qin Kai, pulled out a ring and proposed marriage. It's the second proposal of the Rio Games.

Moments before Sunday's proposal, He had been dueling teammate and world champion Shi Tingmao for the gold medal in the 3-meter springboard final. It was shortly after the medal presentation that Qin — who owns gold medals from previous Olympics and has won bronze here in Rio — seized the moment.

On Sunday night in Rio, Andy Murray won a gold medal in the tennis finals — and first place in fact-checking, too.

The world No. 2 had just won the Olympic men's singles title for the second time in a row. BBC presenter John Inverdale stepped up with his microphone.

Watch their exchange here, via The Guardian:

"You're the first person ever to win two Olympic tennis gold medals. That's an extraordinary feat, isn't it?" Inverdale asked.

"Umm," Murray said. "Well."

Jamaica's Usain Bolt retained his title as the "world's fastest man," accelerating past all challengers to win the men's 100 meters for an unprecedented third time on Sunday night in Rio.

In trademark fashion, Bolt unpacked his lanky 6-foot-5 frame and separated himself from the tightly bunched field to win by a comfortable margin in a time of 9.81. His closest competitor, Justin Gatlin, hung with Bolt for the first half of the race, but couldn't match Bolt down the stretch. Gatlin took the silver in 9.89.

Kenya's Jemima Sumgong came into the women's Olympic Marathon as one of the favorites and she lived up to the billing.

Sumgong pulled away in the final stages of the race today in Rio and captured the gold medal. Despite Kenya's wealth of distance running talent, she's the first Kenyan woman to ever win the Olympic Marathon, which has been contested since 1984.

Justin Rose of Great Britain won the first Olympic gold medal in golf since 1904 Sunday, after holding off Sweden's Henrik Stenson. The two traded shots throughout the day in a tight finish to men's golf in Rio de Janeiro.

The title came after a day of great shots and near-misses for both Rose and Stenson, who played in the final group.

With the 18th-hole grandstands in his sights, Rose led by a stroke on the 15th – but he narrowly missed a putt on that would have kept pressure on Stenson, leaving him to watch as Stenson sank his own short putt.

With two main goals already accomplished – gold medals in both the team competition and in the individual all-around – Simone Biles turned to the vault to grab more Olympic gold Sunday. She beat seven other gymnasts in the individual event.

"It's something I wanted so badly," Biles said afterwards, "so I just tried to keep a good mind going into vault."

As U.S. Gymnastics tells us, with today's gold medal, Biles sets a U.S. record for the most gymnastics gold medals in one Olympics for a female athlete. She also becomes the first American woman to win gold on the vault.

Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers were robbed by thieves who put a cocked gun to Lochte's head in Rio early Sunday morning, the U.S. swimmer told NBC.

Lochte and his friends were in a taxi, going to visit a Brazilian swimmer, when the robbers stopped them.

At the Rio Olympics, there are the usual powerhouses:

Team USA, with 554 athletes. Australia, with 420. China, with 401.

And then there are the tiny countries: overwhelmed, but proud.

I went on a quest to find the tiniest of the tiny countries at the Summer Games. And I happened to find the delegation at the Olympic athletes' village, speaking a mashup of English and Nauruan.

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Olympic medals are won by margins of tenths or even hundredths of a second. So, it's no surprise that athletes want any edge they can get — even methods not backed by a lot of scientific evidence.

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