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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. That's where this article comes in. Consider it a handy guide for those new to the game to make sense of what may seem to be...

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...

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." He was indeed the first...

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...

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. Sumgong, who recovered from a fall to win the London Marathon in April, stayed on her feet in this race and finished in 2 hours, 24...

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 15 th – but he narrowly missed a putt on that would have kept pressure on Stenson,...

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...

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. "We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over," Lochte told NBC. "They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers...

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. That's right, the south Pacific nation of Nauru, the world's smallest island state, wins gold for being the smallest...

How The Placebo Effect Could Boost An Olympic Performance

Aug 14, 2016

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. The alternative practice du jour in Rio, so far, has been cupping . In years past it was special, stretchy tape , said to support sore muscles and improve range of motion. And dietary supplements are an ever-popular option. Like every other treatment or intervention, though, these purported...

Michael Phelps has won so many more medals than any other Olympian that it makes for a pretty dull discussion when he's compared to individual athletes. But let's pretend he's a country — the Republic of Phelps. How does his career medal total stack up against all the countries that have competed in the Summer and Winter Olympics since the dawn of the modern games in 1896? Hint: 205 countries are now competing in Rio, and others, like the Soviet Union, have disappeared along the way. Phelps...

Puerto Rico now has its first Olympic gold medal, courtesy of tennis star Monica Puig, who beat Germany's Angelique Kerber in the women's singles tournament at Rio's Summer Olympics Saturday. "I"m speechless," a smiling Puig said after her historic win. "I wanted it so bad." "I never imagined in my wildest dreams that this would happen," Puig added — and she said her experience in Rio de Janeiro has been like a dream. She's looking forward, she said, to waking up tomorrow morning and seeing...

U.S. Swimming hopes to close Rio's Summer Games with a bang Saturday, in what could be the last Olympic event ever for Michael Phelps. On swimming's last night, the American men's and women's 4x100-meter medley relay teams hope to repeat their golden races of the London 2012 games. In addition to Phelps, we'll also see newly minted Olympic champion Simone Manuel – who made history this week as the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in swimming. Manuel is expected to race in two...

The Kenyans vs. the Ethiopians. Like many distance events at the Rio Games, and Olympics past, it often boils down to a race featuring the indefatigable runners from these two African neighbors. And that's a likely scenario in the women's marathon this Sunday, and the men's next Sunday, the final day of the Summer Olympics. In every men's and women's marathon since 1996, at least one Kenyan or Ethiopian has made it to the medal stand, with one exception. And that exception proves the rule. At...

USA Swimming Wants More Diversity In The Pool

Aug 13, 2016

Simone Manuel made history Thursday night by becoming the first female African-American swimmer to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event. Juan Caraveo, a sports diversity and inclusion consultant for USA Swimming , points to Manuel, as well as Olympic swimmers Lia Neal and Anthony Ervin, who has won two golds in Rio, as evidence that a historically white-dominated sport is now beginning to draw from a wider base. The U.S. Swim Team competing in Rio is the most diverse yet, he says....

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Olympic swimming wraps up tonight in Rio. Fans are still recovering from last night. Katie Ledecky, 19 years old, of Bethesda, M-D, won another gold medal. She smashed her own world record in the 800-meter freestyle, one of the most dominating performances in swim history. Michael Phelps - another day, another medal. But this one was silver. He finished in a three-way tie for second in the 100-meter butterfly. As...

Michelle Carter Wins Historic Shot Put Gold With a final, herculean hurl, Michelle Carter scored a gold medal in the women's shot put final Friday night in Rio — a first for any U.S. woman in the event. "I knew I had more in the tank," Carter told reporters. "And to be able to go out there and put the pieces together and pull it out, I'm just really excited." Taking advantage of that reserved energy, Carter truly saved her best for last. Her winning throw, and a personal best, came in her...

There are no women in the world who can swim faster than Katie Ledecky in her freestyle events. And she proved that again at Rio's Summer Olympics, setting world records and dominating distances from 200-800 meters. Ledecky closed out her Rio trip with a bang, shattering her own world record in the 800-meter freestyle Friday night. The win gave her four gold medals — three individual — to go along with the silver she won as part of the 4x100 freestyle relay in Brazil. "I had a lot of fun...

Female Olympians put in years of practice before ultimately achieving gold, silver and bronze medals. But some are finding their accomplishments are being downgraded by commentators who have focused more on their personal lives. Here & Now s Robin Young speaks with Dana Hooper , a sports agent who works with female Olympians. Interview Highlights: Dana Hooper On how media members and commentators talk about female athletes “I think that with female athletics, its often compared to not only...

Thursday night in Rio, for the first time in history, a black woman won an individual swimming medal in the Olympics. Simone Manuel, a 20-year-old from Sugar Land, Texas, tied for the gold medal in the women's 100-meter freestyle with an Olympic record time of 52.70 seconds. After winning, Manuel said, "The gold medal wasn't just for me. It was for people that came before me and inspired me to stay in the sport. For people who believe that they can't do it. I hope I'm an inspiration to others...

With a dramatic performance on the high bars, Japan's Kohei Uchimura defended his Olympic title in the men's individual all-around on Wednesday and added to his lustrous reputation as the best male gymnast ever. Uchimura, who has won every all-around title at the world championships or the Olympics since 2009, was heavily favored. But after five of the six events, he was slightly behind Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev. They were the last two to compete in the final rotation, on the high bar, and...

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