Fun Fact of the Day: Bangladesh is the most populous country that has never won a medal in the Olympics. It has the 8th biggest population in the world, but until this year they hadn’t even sent an athlete to the games.
Gymnastics. As expected, Simone Biles won gold in the women’s individual all-around. No biggie. She’s just won every all-around she’s competed in since 2013. This is also the 4th consecutive time that an American has won the women’s all-around at the Olympics. Fellow American Aly Raisman took silver, which is her first Olympic all-around medal after she lost a tie-breaker for bronze 4 years ago in London.
Swimming. Michael Phelps collected his 22nd gold medal (26 medals total) in the 200m IM, finishing body lengths ahead of the rest of the field. And he’s still not done. He has the 100m butterfly left today. Fellow American bro Ryan Lochte failed to medal, finishing fifth.
Judo. Kayla Harrison won her second consecutive gold medal, beating out long-time rival France’s Audrey Tcheumeo. Remember the name ‘Harrison’ because she’s expected to retire from Judo and become the next big MMA fighter.
The Return of the King. Superstar LeBron James signed a 3-year, $100M contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, making him the highest paid player in the league for the first time in his career. And he’s earned it. He brought home the NBA championship to poor starved Cleveland fans for the first time in 52 years.
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Today marks A-Rod’s last game with the N.Y. Yankees. Afterwards, he will move into a special advising role with the team. But the Yankees have not been throwing A-Rod a sentimental farewell tour this past week. He’s seen limited playing time and his last request to play 3B (his old position, rather than DH) was denied. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has taken a lot of flack for the decisions but he says, “We’re still in the business of trying to win baseball games” and “I don’t think we can win with Alex in the lineup.” Ice cold.
Spotlight on Usain Bolt v. Justin Gatlin
Usain Bolt is the fastest man alive. He holds the 100m and 200m world records and has swept the past 2 Olympics, winning a total of 6 golds in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay. The closest thing he has to a challenger is the U.S.’s Justin Gatlin. Here’s what you have to know about these two fierce competitors.
The rise and fall of Justin Gatlin. While Gatlin won the 100m gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, he’s often booed at competitions because of his ugly past with doping. In 2001, he tested positive for amphetamines, but his 2-year ban was overturned because he said the test was a result of a medicine he’s taken since childhood for ADHD. Then in 2006, he tested positive for high levels of testosterone. He was suspended for 4-years and had to watch from home as Usain Bolt burst onto the scene setting new world records and sweeping the 2008 Olympics.
The reign of Usain Bolt. Bolt has won every 100m and 200m World Championship from 2009-2015, except for a 100m false start in 2011. But right before these games he suffered a minor hamstring tear that forced him to pull out of the Jamaican Olympic Trials. Now, he insists that he’s back in shape and even won a race in London at the end of last month.
They respect each other. Gatlin and Bolt actually hang out at media events from time to time and their mothers have become close friends Since meeting at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.
Both of these guys are old. Bolt calls 34-year-old Gatlin “old man” and Gatlin calls Bolt (who will turn 30 on August 21) “middle-aged man.” Both of them are right. Since 1896 the average 100m gold medalist in the Olympics has been 23 years old. If Bolt wins, he will be oldest champ since 1992. If Gatlin wins, he’ll be the oldest champ ever.
Both of them started off in other sports, but should probably stick to sprinting. Gatlin arrived at the college as a hurdler when his coaches noticed his potential for sprinting. During his “drug vacation,” Gatlin tried out for NFL teams as a wide receiver, but wasn’t recruited. Bolt’s first love was cricket, but folks suggested he try track when they noticed his speed. Bolt participated in the 2013 NBA Celebrity All-Star game but only scored 2 points from a single dunk, because his other basketball skills were lacking.
Don't make any plans for the weekend, because we've got your Olympics schedule right here:
- Swimming. Watch Katie Ledecky in her main event, the 800m freestyle and Michael Phelps go for lucky medal #27 (?!) in the 100m butterfly. Tonight at 9:12pm ET.
- Fencing. Find out if Ibtihaj Muhammed and the rest of the U.S. team can medal in saber this Saturday at 8am ET.
- Gymnastics. Watch event finals in women’s vault and uneven bars this Sunday at 1pm ET.
- Track and Field. Tune in to see if Usain Bolt can defend his title as fastest man alive in the 100m final. Track and field medal events begins this Sunday at 7:20pm ET.