The One with a Cold War Feud

Fun Fact of the Day:  This is American swimmer Maya DiRado’s first and last Olympics. She will call it quits after these games because she has said that all this training is causing her brain to atrophy. We’re sure she has plenty of smarts left, because she skipped 2nd grade, got a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT, graduated from Stanford with a degree in Management Science and Engineering, and will become a business analyst for top management consulting firm McKinsey & Company this fall. Tune in to watch her compete in the 200m IM tonight.


Today's Rundown

OLYMPICS

Swimming.  There must be something in the water, because swimmers are getting into feuds left and right. American Lilly King won gold and beat Russian Yulia Efimova in the 100m breaststroke, after exchanging smack talk and finger wags during the qualification rounds. King said that she didn’t respect cheaters like Efimova, who served a 16-month suspension for doping from 2013-2015. But she didn’t stop at just swimming, she also called out cheaters in track and field like the U.S.’s Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay. Last week, the men started the name-calling. Australian Mack Horton called Chinese swimmer Sun Yang a cheater and they splashed water at each other during a training session. Yang won 2 golds in the London Olympics and then tested positive for PEDs in 2014. This time around, Horton beat Yang to win gold in the 400m freestyle. They will square off again in the 1500m this weekend. 

Fencing. Ibtihaj Muhammad made history by becoming the first American athlete to compete in the Olympics in a hijab. She defeated her first round opponent, before falling in the Round of 16. She still has a chance to win a medal in the team saber event this Saturday. 

Gymnastics. Yesterday, NBC gymnastics announcer AL Trautwig finally apologized after he sent an offensive tweet saying that Simone Biles’s adoptive parents are not really her parents. Biles’s grandfather and second wife adopted Simone and her sister when they were very young, after her mother had issues with drugs and alcohol.


Spotlight on Katinka Hosszu

Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu has won golds in the 400m individual medley (IM) and the 100m backstroke, and she isn’t done yet! She still has 3 more events that she will compete in this week. Here’s what you need to know about this powerhouse swimmer: 

Great expectations. This is Hosszu’s 4th Olympics, but before these Rio games she had never won a medal. At the London Olympics, she was heavily favored to win the 400m IM, but she imploded under the pressure and fell all the way to a disappointing 4th place finish.

A 24-hour coach. After the London games, Hosszu started working with a new coach, her husband Shane Tusup. They met and started dating when they were both swimmers for USC. Tusup quickly changed up her regimen so that she did more weightlifting, less in-water training, and competed in more races. The idea was that the more she competed, the less fixated she would be on any particular loss. So far it’s worked! She’s been traveling the world doing races at a break neck pace, earning her the nickname the “Iron Lady.”

A controversial relationship. The New York Times wrote a profile on Hosszu and Tusup’s relationship that definitely raised some eyebrows. In the piece, coaches and athletes familiar with Hosszu commented that they felt Tusup’s coaching techniques were bordering on abusive and particularly complicated since they are married. One account noted that after a particularly bad race, Tusup suggested that Hosszu should stay in the water and drown.

Suspected doping. After the London Olympics, Hosszu’s body transformed. She credited cutting out fast food and her new weight-training regimen for her new muscular physique, but many suspected PED-use. Hosszu has never tested positive for PEDs, but suspicions were raised again when she broke the 400m IM world record during this Olympic games. Most thought the previous world record would stand for a long time, because it was set by China’s Ye Shiwen at the London Olympics. Shiwen was also suspected of doping when her final 50m split was faster than Ryan Lochte’s, who won gold in the men’s 400m the same night.

Love and basketball. Hosszu’s favorite athlete is LeBron James, whom she has seen play multiple times and even brought a sign to try and get his attention. Hosszu’s father was a Hungarian professional basketball player and her older brother plays pro ball in Germany. 


Hot Read

OLYMPICS

Gymnastics. Tune in for tonight’s women’s team finals! 8pm ET on NBC, 3pm live stream.

Swimming. Watch Michael Phelps and his super intense death stare in the men’s 200m butterfly final. 9:28pm ET on NBC.