Fourth-Place Medal
  • Vince Hancock on why American shooters dominate Olympics

    Getty Images

    LONDON — In the last three days of the London Olympics, American shooters broke Summer Games records in winning gold.

    Kimberly Rhode sniped 99 out of 100 targets for a world record in skeet, becoming the first American athlete to win individual medals in five straight Olympics. Vince Hancock, meanwhile, set a skeet shooting record with a 123 in qualifying, before becoming the first American man to defend an Olympic gold in skeet, having won in Beijing in 2008.

    So why is the U.S. so dominant in the sport over the last several years?

    "I really think it's because we want it more. And we've been bringing the youth along with us," Hancock said.

    [ Related: How U.S. shooting star set new medal standard ]

    Read More »from Vince Hancock on why American shooters dominate Olympics
  • (Munich 11 website)In 1972, Israeli Olympic wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg was the first person to encounter Palestinian terrorists who invaded the Olympic Village in Munich. He fought with them as they broke into his apartment, and he was shot in the cheek.

    When they asked him where the other Israeli athletes were, Weinberg led them past apartment two, which housed fencers and track athletes, and brought them to apartment three, which housed wrestlers and weightlifters. After being shot, Weinberg had the presence of mind to save the smaller athletes, and have the bigger, stronger ones take on the terrorists.

    Weinberg's brand of heroism  should be celebrated by the International Olympic Committee. Instead, it ignored the 40th anniversary of the Munich Massacre during Friday's Opening Ceremony. Guri Weinberg, Moshe's son, spoke to the Wiesenthal Center about the omission of a moment of silence from the IOC.

    [ Related: Memorable Olympic moments ]

    "It's nothing more than racism and anti-Semitism. They had a memorial for the bombing in England, which is, I think, a wonderful thing. Every terrorist attack should be remembered, and we should all be against terrorism," Weinberg said.

    Read More »from Son of Munich Massacre victim speaks out on the IOC’s Opening Ceremony omission
  • (Getty Images)The former Soviet gymnast whose record for most career Olympic medals was broken by Michael Phelps wanted to give the American swimmer his record-setting 19th medal Tuesday night in London. Her request was rejected by the International Olympic Committee.

    The New York Times reports:

    [Larissa] Latynina had hoped to congratulate Phelps and present him with his record-setting medal. But her daughter and others said that Olympic rules did not allow it. It seemed a shame, a grand moment to celebrate the most prolific Olympic champions squandered by red tape.

    You almost have to give the IOC credit for its inflexibility. Nothing, least of all common sense, is going to sway the organization from its rigid rules and bylaws.

    When it comes to matters like this, the IOC either stays silent (as it undoubtedly will in this circumstance) or it issues statements that are as obstinate as you'd expect. But you can almost hear the internal conversations. Officials don't want to honor the Munich victims

    Read More »from Larissa Latynina wanted to present Michael Phelps with his record-breaking medal. The IOC wouldn’t allow it.
  • Michael Phelps held a half-body-length lead in the final 15 meters of a race he hadn't lost in a major competition since 2001. He passed under the flags of the 200 butterfly ahead of his closest competitor, Chad le Clos, and appeared to be in full control of the race. The man who never loses a close touch while ahead or behind was one stroke from victory.

    So you can't blame Michael's mother, Debbie, for thinking that her son had won the race. Everyone watching at the London Aquatics Centre and at home on television thought the same thing. We only knew Chad le Clos pulled off a miracle finish, the kind usually associated with Phelps, when the "1" graphic flashed in his lane after the touch.

    [ Pat Forde: Michael Phelps alone as history's most decorated Olympian ]

    Debbie Phelps didn't see that. She watched the finish and triumphantly raised her arms, celebrating what she thought was her son's 15th gold medal and his becoming the first man in history to ever win the same event at three

    Read More »from Michael Phelps’ mother thought her son had won the 200 fly (PHOTOS)
  • France's Tony Parker (center) drives through Argentina's Manu Ginobili (left) and Luis Scola. (AP)

    During the NBA playoffs, more media members cover each game than you can stuff into already crowded locker rooms. To make things easier, postgame chats with each contest's top performers are conducted in a separate interview room, up on a stage, with spotlights shining on the athletes and cameras carrying every question and answer to the fans at home. Only a select few ballers take part in these postseason Q&A sessions — if you're one of them, you just had what's called a "podium game."

    In the Olympics, of course, "podium" carries a slightly different meaning. At the end of each day of hoops competition in London, we'll bridge the gap between the two, celebrating those performers who shone for their national teams, helped their squads get closer to the medal stand, or both. This is Podium Games.

    The gold goes to ... France's Tony Parker. To be sure, Parker didn't win this one alone — multiple teammates made timely contributions to France's huge 71-64 win over Argentina, FIBA's third-ranked team in the world (France is 12th).

    After an (allegedly) Opening Ceremony-induced disappearing act against the U.S., Nicolas Batum's strong first quarter (eight points, three rebounds, one assist, one block) got France off to a good start. Young guns Nando De Colo and Kevin Seraphin played huge minutes in the second quarter that let coach Vincent Collet rest his starters; swingman Mickael Gelabale's three third-quarter 3-pointers kept Argentina at bay. But with the game in the balance late, France turned to its bespectacled leader. And he responded, scoring eight of his team-high 17 points in the final 5:04 of the fourth quarter.

    [ Related: Opponents want autographs from Team USA hoops ]

    While Parker shot just 4 for 17 from the floor in the game, two of the makes came late and were huge. On the first, he dragged exhausted 35-year-old Argentine point guard Pablo Prigioni out near half-court, made him fight through three straight screens from center Ronny Turiaf and then, after losing him, drained a jumper from the top of the key to make it a two-possession game. Less than a minute later, after a Luis Scola miss, Parker danced with the Argentina defense, darting back and forth from left to right around multiple screens before eventually getting what he wanted — a one-on-one mismatch with the lumbering Scola at the free-throw line.

    Read More »from Parker leads late, Splitter and Huertas hurt hosts, Khryapa connects and a Tunisian towers: Tuesday’s Podium Games


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