It wasn’t as easy, but the victory was just as sweet when the Dream Team tipped Spain for the Gold Medal, thanks to some late heroics from Lebron James and 30 points from Kevin Durant.
The victory completed a weekend that saw the U.S. claim the other Gold Medal in Basketball when the women swamped France for their fifth straight gold medal on Saturday.
AUG. 10: Bring on the gold medal basketball game, the U.S. is ready. The Dream Team pounded Argentina, 109-83, on Friday after yet another slow first half, earning the right to play Spain for all the marbles on Sunday.
Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony all scored double-figures in one quarter alone to key the victory and display the team’s offensive firepower. They will need good shooting against Spain, which boasts a powerful inside game with Marc and Pau Gasol, along with Serge Ibaka.
AUG. 9: Call it revenge. Call it redemption. The American women will simply call it a Gold Medal effort as they defeated Japan 2-1 on Thursday in the Olympics soccer finals. The victory gives the Americans their third straight gold medal (fourth overall) and avenged the team’s heartbreaking loss to Japan in the World Cup championship.
The U.S. scored 8 minutes into the game on a header by Carli Lloyd off a great crossing pass from Alex Morgan and maintained that 1-0 lead at half. Lloyd scored again on a a beautiful crossing strike in the second half to extend the margin before the Japanese got on the board on a goal by Yuki Ogimi. From there on in it was “white-knuckle” time, especially when goalie Hope Solo made a miraculous diving save on a breakaway shot late in the game to preserve the victory. St0ry & Boxscore.
The Olympics bring out the the best in Usain Bolt. The charismatic Jamaican sprinter defended his 200-meter crown with a Gold Medal performance on Thursday, just days after he defended his 100 meter title. He’s the only man to ever do that. Even more impressive? Jamaica swept the top three spots in the race, with American Wallace Spearmon fourth.
Better news for Americans on the track came when Ashton Eaton, as predicted, won the decathlon ahead of teammate and two-time world champion Trey Hardee.
Also: LoLo Jones defended herself against claims by other athletes that Jones had been “overhyped” and American Manteo Mitchell provided the day’s most inspirational moment by helping the US quality for the 4X400 Final on Friday while running on a broken leg.
For ALL results from the Olympics, visit here.
AUG. 8: It’s a three-peat for Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in Olympic beach volleyball. The American pair beat the other team from the states, Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, in straight sets to claim gold for the third straight time.
On the hardcourt, Kobe Bryant finally ramped it up (6 straight 3-pointers!) as the Dream Team roared to life in the second half to crush Australia and set up a difficult rematch with Argentina in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, an American gold rush finally began on the track, thanks in large part to the Women’s Team.
- Allyson Felix, after earning silver in the past two Olympics, finally won gold in the 200 meters, beating 100-meter champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica. Fellow American Carmelita Jeter claimed bronze.
- Brittney Reese won the long jump, a rare win for U.S. women.
- It wasn’t ALL about the women, Aries Merritt of the U.S. won gold in men’s 110-meter hurdles.
- Usain Bolt warmed up for Thursday’s 200 final by winning his heat, as did his teammate (and 100 silver medalist) Yohan Blake.
AUG. 7: The U.S. is guaranteed gold AND silver in women’s beach volleyball after Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, as well as Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, each won semifinal matches. Walsh and May-Treanor are going for a third Olympic gold. Also at the Olympics on Tuesday:
- Gymnast Gabby Douglas tumbled again — this time on the balance beam — but teammate Aly Raisman claimed bronze in beam and gold in floor exercise.
- In the men’s 1,500-meter final, the favored Kenyans faded and Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria pulled away for the win. That’s the same Taoufik Makhloufi who had been expelled from the Olympics by the governing body of track and field because he had not put in a real effort in 800-meter qualifying the day before. Find out how he got back in the race.
- Team USA crushed Canada 91-48 in women’s basketball to reach the semifinals against Australia.
AUG. 6: What a game! U.S. Women’s Soccer rallied not once, not twice, but three times in its semifinal game against Canada before Alex Morgan headed home a perfect centering pass from Heather O’Reilly late in injury time for a thrilling victory.
Canada’s Christine Sinclair was brilliant, recording a hat trick, while Megan Rapinoe (2 goals) and Abby Wambach accounted for the other U.S. goals. Morgan’s score, her first since the Americans’ first game of the tournament, pushed the Americans into a finals rematch with Japan, which won the World Cup last year over the Americans.
In basketball, the Dream Team only led nemesis Argentina by one point, but then went on a 42-17 spree behind Kevin Durant’s 17-point third quarter to blow the game open and win 126-97. Durant had 28 in the game, which was marked by chippiness after Argentinian player Facundo Campazzo seemed to strike Carmelo Anthony in the groin after he made a shot.
AUG. 5: Just call it another “bolt from the blue.” Usain Bolt, after injuries and uneven results in the past year, blasted to the head of the class on Sunday to re-claim the title of “World’s Fastest Man” by winning the 100-meters at the Summer Olympics. In the process, he broke the Olympic record he set at the last Olympics. More. In other track and field news, American Sanya Richards-Ross won the 400-meters.
Also at the Olympics on Sunday:
- Andy Murray spanked Roger Federer in straight sets to finally win a major event.
- Serena Williams kept on winning, claiming the Gold medal in doubles with sister Venus Williams.
- And while Oscar Pistorius did not advance to the finals of the 400, bowing it out in the semis, it’s doubtful that Olympics fans will soon forget the talent and courage of the double amputee, who also will compete in the relays with South Africa later in the meet.
AUG. 4: Did you expect anything less from Michael Phelps? The most decorated Olympian ever added one more gold, his 18th out of 22 career medals, in the 4X100 Medley relay on Saturday night. Speaking of golden performances in swimming relays, the U.S. Women set a world record in winning gold. Take a bow: Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni , Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt. In other Olympics news:
- Serena Williams added to her hardware haul, winning gold in tennis by blasting Maria Sharapova and becoming the only woman besides Steffi Graff to have won a Gold Medal and all the major tennis events.
- The Bryan Brothers also completed the “Golden Slam” by beating France.
- The Dream Team came back to earth, barely beating Lithuania in pool play thanks to Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony.
- Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce repeated as the women’s 100 meters champ, just edging out American Carmelita Jeter.
- In the day’s feel-good story, Oscar Pistorius became the first amputee to compete in track at the Olympics, finishing second in his 400-meter heat to reach Sunday’s semifinals.
AUG. 3: The U.S. swimming team continues to make BIG news in the pool. How big? Consider these efforts on Friday:
- Michael Phelps extended his already amazing record medals haul by winning his 17th career gold medal (now 21 medals in all), and third of these games, by winning the 100-meter butterfly in what he has said will be his final competition. But he does still have one relay left, which Team USA is expected to win.
- Meanwhile Missy Franklin, the young American superstar from Denver, won gold and set a world record in the 200-meter backstroke to position herself as the next big thing in swimming. She also has a relay left.
In other news: The U.S. Women’s Soccer team beat New Zealand 2-0 to reach the semifinals. Men’s Beach Volleyball, was not so lucky. The defending champs lost to Italy in the round of 16. The finals are set in tennis: Serena Williams will play Maria Sharapova while Roger Federer will face Britain’s Andy Murray. Federer reached the final after an epic, 19-17 third set win over Juan Martin Del Potro. Murray reached the final with a straight-sets win over Novak Djokovich.
AUG. 2: It was a good day to root for Americans at the London Summer Olympics, but perhaps not as great a day for much-hyped swimmer Ryan Lochte. Here’s a sampling of U.S. heroics:
- The irrepressible Gabby Douglas won gold as the best overall gymnast.
- Tyler Clary set an Olympic record, winning the 200-meter backstroke, with fellow American Lochte finishing third.
- The amazing Michael Phelps extended his “golden” results by winning the 200-meter IM, beating (you guessed it) the star-crossed Lochte.
- Rebecca Soni lowered her own world record in the 200-meter breaststroke to claim gold.
AUG. 1: It has been a BIG two days for American Allison Schmitt, who struck gold twice. Schmitt started late Tuesday with an Olympic Record and win in the 200-meter freestyle, then capped Wednesday by winning the 4X200 freestyle relay with Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer and Shannon Vreeland.
The Franklin juggernaut took a temporary break earlier when the talented 17-year-old only managed fourth place in the 200-meter freestyle. That being said, it isn’t Missy’s best event and Schmitt earned gold. See what happened.
Now the British REALLY have something to cheer about. Bradley Wiggins overpowered the field in the Olympics time trial to claim gold, while fellow Brit Chris Froome earned the bronze. See how they did it. Sadly, American Taylor Phinney collected his second fourth-place finish of the Olympics.
Meanwhile, American cycling fans got to cheer for women’s time trial winner Kristen Armstrong, who topped the field.
Cheating in Olympics badminton? It’s true. And the cheaters have been expelled, 8 players in all, including a Chinese team, two South Korean teams and an Indonesian pair. Read what happened in the National Post.
JULY 31: It’s official: Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian ever. The swimming legend won a gold in the 4X200 freesyle relay and just missed silver in the 200-meter butterfly to record his 19th medal (15 gold) to surpass the previous record of 18. And he still has three events left. Read more.
JULY 30: It was a pool party for the U.S.A. at the Summer Olympics on Monday as swimmers Missy Franklin and Matt Grevers struck gold.
Rising superstar Franklin won gold in her first individual event, the 100-meter backstroke, just minutes after a 200-meter freestyle semi-final. Then Grevers followed that up with an Olympic record in the men’s 100-meter backstroke. Learn more and see what American came in second. The news wasn’t as good for Ryan Lochte, as the American star failed to medal in the 200 freestyle.
Au revoir, France. It took the latest Dream Team a while to find its rhythm, but when they did, Lebron James and company easily put away Tony Parker and France 98-71 in the Olympics opener for both teams. Next up for the U.S.? Woeful Tunisia. More. In other events on Sunday.
- American swimmer Dana Vollmer didn’t just win the gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly, she set a world record, too.
- A day after failing to reach the podium, Michael Phelps helped put the U.S. in position to win the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, but the French pulled off an amazing comeback for gold. Here’s what happened.
- One day after the British men failed to bring home a gold medal in the road race, a woman cyclist from Great Britain, Elizabeth Armitstead, managed to bring home silver in the driving rain.
- U.S. Soccer officials said goalie Hope Solo would not be disciplined for recent tweets critical of color commentator Brandi Chastain. Learn more and see why Julie Foudy finds the whole thing sad.
July 28: So much for perfection. U.S. superstar Michael Phelps not only didn’t top the podium in his first event at the London Olympics, he didn’t even make it on the podium. You read that right: U.S. rival Ryan Lochte won the 400-meter IM on Saturday,with Phelps a distant fourth. See what happened. In other events on Saturday:
- The U.S. Archery team stunned favored South Korea in the semifinals and then came within a point of gold in the finals, losing to the Italians but winning silver, America’s first medal in the Games. More.
- The American Women’s Soccer team cruised to a 3-0 win over Colombia, but the big news was the Twitter trash talk goalie Hope Solo directed at NBC color commentator Brandi Chastain. Find out why Solo was criticizing the former World Cup-winning defender. More.
- The U.S. Women’s basketball team struggled, but pulled away from Croatia while the Women’s Volleyball team also opened with a win over South Korea.
- The men’s road race produced a surprise winner when Alexander Vinokourov joined a big breakaway, then out-dueled Colombian Rigoberto Uran in the final 200 meters for the win. More.
JULY 25: The U.S. Women’s Soccer team had a slow start to its Summer Olympics, falling behind France 2-0, but then Abby Wambaugh scored, followed by a pair from Alex Morgan, as the team rallied to win 4-2. More.