Sunday, August 12, 2012

London 2012: Denouement

The Closing Ceremony has now concluded. Unless you're watching NBC. As provided at the close of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver two years ago, we close out London 2012 with this recap of the 30th Summer Olympiad.

DAY 1: The 2012 Olympics get underway with women's soccer. Great Britain plays New Zealand in the first match of the Games; Great Britain wins 1-0.
DAY 1: NBC's online coverage, touting complete live coverage of every event, fouls up in its very first task, offering only a dark screen for the first 11 minutes of the first only-live-online match between Japan and Canada in women's soccer. (Japan wins 2-1.) They then fail to air the first 16 minutes of the match between Cameroon and Brazil, waiting until NBC Sports commences coverage to go live online. In the process, they miss two goals by Brazil. Then they privatize a live feed of Sweden/South Africa for about the first 10 minutes of the game.
DAY 1: The North Korean women's soccer team delays their opening game against Colombia for over an hour when the person working the Jumbotron accidentally displays a South Korean flag next to a picture of a North Korean player. North Korea wins 2-0.
DAY 1: Nine athletes are removed from the Olympics for doping violations via the Athlete Biological Passport program, in use for the first time in London. The athletes represented Bulgaria, Greece, Morocco, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
DAY 2: Japan's men's soccer team stuns Spain by the score of 1-0. Meanwhile, Gabon similarly shocks Switzerland by achieving a 1-1 draw.
DAY 2: Two members of the Moroccan men's soccer team are held for two and a half hours after their 2-2 draw against Honduras in order to satisfy a drug test. The athletes had little fluid to supply, as they were fasting in observance of Ramadan.
DAY 2: Triple jumper Voula Papachristou of Greece is kicked off the team after tweeting the message "With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!"
DAY 2: Greece loses another athlete as high jumper Dimitrios Chondrokoukis fails a doping test and is pulled from the team.
DAY 3: The Opening Ceremony takes place. Seven different athletes act as final torchbearers. The true final torchbearer, however, is 1948 torch relay runner Austin Playfoot, age 82, who relights the cauldron after it is temporarily put out after the Opening Ceremony (and the flame saved in a miner's lamp) in order to move the cauldron into the field level of the stands.
DAY 3: NBC comes under fire for, among other things, failing to recognize World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, cutting the athlete's, judge's and coaches' oath, and cutting a tribute to the victims of terrorism, specifically the London bombings that occurred soon after London won the right to host. Instead of the segment honoring the victims, Ryan Seacrest interviewed swimmer Michael Phelps of the United States.
DAY 4: Shooter Yi Siling of China wins the first event of the Olympics, taking gold in the women's 10-meter air pistol. Sylwia Bogacka of Poland wins silver. Yu Dan of China wins bronze.
DAY 4: Swimmer Park Tae-Hwan of South Korea is initially disqualified after a perceived false start. After an appeal, it was found no false start existed, and Park's time qualified him for the final. Ryan Cochrane of Canada, originally in the final, was bumped by Park, and Cochrane filed an appeal; that appeal was rejected. Park eventually wins silver. Sun Yang of China wins gold. Peter Vanderkaay of the United States wins bronze.
DAY 4: Held shortly after the Tour de France, cyclist Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan wins the men's road race. Vinokourov had announced his intent to retire after the Games. Rigoberto Uran of Colombia wins silver. Alexander Kristoff of Norway wins bronze.
DAY 4: The first post-Opening Ceremony failed doping test takes place, ejecting weightlifter Hysen Pulaku of Albania. Pulaku was stripped of credentials and kicked out of the Olympic Village.
DAY 4: Swimmer Michael Phelps of the United States fails to medal in the men's 400-meter individual relay. NBC tape-delays this so that Ryan Seacrest can interview the United States women's gymnastics team. Ryan Lochte of the United States wins gold. Thiago Pereira of Brazil wins silver. Kosuke Hagino of Japan wins bronze.
DAY 4: Judoka Ilgar Mushkiyev of Azerbaijan and Hovhannes Davtyan of Armenia, two nations that are severe rivals, are drawn against each other in the men's 60kg round of 32. The match passes without incident, save for a moment where Mushkiyev is inadvertently rendered shirtless. Davtyan wins. Arsen Galstyan of Russia wins gold. Hiroaki Hiraoka of Japan wins silver. Rishod Sobirov of Uzbekistan and Felipe Kitadai of Brazil win bronze.
DAY 5: Great Britain takes their first medal of the Games in cycling, as Elizabeth Armitstead takes silver in the women's road race. Marianne Vos of the Netherlands wins gold. Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia wins bronze.
DAY 5: Shooter Kim Rhode of the United States medals in her fifth consecutive Olympics by winning gold in women's skeet shooting, tying a world record in the process held by bronze medal winner Danka Bartekova of Slovakia. Rhode is the first American to medal in five straight Olympics, pulling within one of that record, set by fencer Aladar Gerevich of Hungary. Wei Ning of China wins silver.
DAY 5: Kazakhstan's Zulfiya Chinshanlo wins gold in the women's 53kg weightlifting competition with two lifts to spare. She uses her second lift to set a world record with a 131 kg clean and jerk. (The 226-kg total is an Olympic record.) Her third lift, used to try to set another record four kg's later, is unsuccessful, but by then it's just for fun. Shu-Ching Hsu of Chinese Taipei wins silver. Cristina Iovu of Moldova wins bronze.
DAY 5: In men's weightlifting, 62-kg division, Om Yun-Chol of North Korea, weighting 123 pounds, hoisted 168 kg (370 pounds) in the clean and jerk, becoming only the fifth known weightlifter ever to have successfully lifted three times his body weight. Needless to say, he won gold, lifting 293 kg overall. Wu Jingbao of China won silver. Valentin Hristov of Azerbaijan won bronze.
DAY 5: Reigning world champion gymnast Jordyn Weiber of the United States is eliminated from the all-around competition in qualifying. Only two athletes per nation are permitted to advance, and Weiber came in third amongst American gymnasts, behind Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas. Qualifying in Weiber's place is Aurelie Malaussena of France. Eliminated in similar fashion are Anastasia Grishina of Russia (replaced by Marta Pihan-Kulesza of Poland), Jennifer Pinches of Great Britain (replaced by Rie Tanaka of Japan), and Yao Jinnan of China (replaced by Ashleigh Brennan of Australia).
DAY 5: Swimmer Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa sets a new world record in the 100 meter breaststroke for that country's first medal, with a time of 58.46 seconds. Christian Sprenger of Australia wins silver. Brendan  Hansen of the United States wins bronze.
DAY 5: The World Cup champion Spanish men's soccer team is eliminated from contention after a second consecutive loss, this time 1-0 to Honduras.
DAY 5: Opening Ceremony choreographer Akram Khan, who produced the segment tributing the victims of the London bombing, as well as loved ones lost by those in attendance, first learns that NBC had cut the segment for an interview between Ryan Seacrest and Michael Phelps. He is visibly upset and confused as to why NBC would possibly do such a thing.
DAY 5: Divers He Zi and Wu Mingxa of China win gold in the women's synchronized 3-meter springboard. After winning, Mingxa is first informed by her parents that her grandparents had both died and that her mother had been battling breast cancer. A firestorm of criticism ensues over the lengths China will go to in order to ensure Olympic success. Kelci Bryant and Abigail Johnston of the United States win silver. Jennifer Abel and Emilie Heymans of Canada win bronze.
DAY 6: Soccer player Michel Morganella becomes the second athlete ejected from the Games for a racist tweet, after referring to South Koreans as "mentally handicapped retards" in the wake of his team's 2-1 loss to South Korea.
DAY 6: After winning gold in the men's individual sabre, fencer Aron Szilagyi of Hungary sees his medal ceremony tarnished when the Hungarian national anthem, conducted by the London Philharmonic, turns out to have been off-key. The Philharmonic is asked to rerecord the anthem for any future Hungarian golds. Diego Occhiuzzi of Italy wins silver. Nikolay Kovalev of Russia wins bronze.
DAY 6: Some highly controversial judging leaves Ukraine out of the medals in men's team gymnastics. A disastrous performance leaves the United States in fifth place. China wins gold. Japan wins silver. Great Britain wins bronze.
DAY 6: In women's individual epee, fencer Shin A Lam of South Korea lodged a formal appeal after losing a semifinal match to Britta Heidemann of Germany. Shin was contesting a late lunge by Heidemann that was scored as the match-winning point. She sat down on the piste while the appeal as filed by her coach, as leaving the piste would constitute acceptance of the decision. After over an hour, the appeal fails and she is escorted off the piste. Yana Shemyakina of Ukraine wins gold. Heidemann wins silver. Sun Yujie of China wins bronze.
DAY 6: Lithuania claims their first-ever swimming medal as Ruta Meilutye wins gold in the women's 100-meter breaststroke. Meilutye is only the second Lithuanian woman to win gold in anything. Rebecca Soni of the United States wins silver. Satomi Suzuki of Japan wins bronze.
DAY 7: Rower Hamadou Djibo Issaka of Niger, dubbed 'The Sculling Sloth', completes his three-race program, finishing far behind the field in all his competitions but becoming a crowd and media favorite for having gutted it out and enduring despite clear exhaustion and the known lack of Nigerien rowing infrastructure. Djibo Issaka has been rowing for only three months, making it in on the back of the Tripartite Commission. The public-address announcer joins in cheering him to the finish line.
DAY 7: The United States cruises to a convincing gold in the women's gymnastics team competition, a victory punctuated by eventual silver medalist Russia collapsing in their last apparatus- floor exercise- and China stumbling to fourth place. Romania wins bronze, their tenth consecutive medal in this event. The last time Romania failed to medal in women's team gymnastics was Munich 1972.
DAY 7: Fencer Alaeldin Aboelkassem of Egypt becomes the first African ever to medal in fencing, after defeating Byungchui Choi of South Korea in a thrilling semifinal match of men's individual foil. Lei Sheng of China beats Aboelkassem in the final. Choi wins bronze.
DAY 7: Tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France wins in the longest tennis match in Olympic history, beating Milos Raonic of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in men's singles. Adding to the length of the 3-hour, 57-minute match itself was a rain delay lasting nearly three hours.
DAY 7: In the final of the men's 200-meter freestyle, swimmer Michael Phelps of the United States is pipped at the line by Chad Le Clos of South Africa. Phelps still, in winning silver, ties the all-time record for most medals won at the Olympics of 18, set by gymnast Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union. Takeshi Matsuda of Japan wins bronze.
DAY 7: Phelps, later in the day, passes Latynina in the 4x200 freestyle relay for medal #19 as the United States wins gold. France wins silver. China wins bronze. Latynina, now 77 years old and in attendance for the event, offers to present Phelps with the record-breaking medal herself, but is prevented from doing so by IOC regulations.
DAY 8: Four women's badminton doubles teams- two from South Korea, and one each from China and Indonesia- are disqualified for trying to throw matches in order to secure more favorable draws in later rounds of competition. The crowd watching their respective matches booed vigorously while the throwing was taking place, erupting into cheers when one of the South Korean teams and the Indonesians were simultaneously disqualified. However, the teams were reinstated moments later and finished the "match". One of the disqualified players, Yu Yang of China, promptly retires from the sport.
DAY 8: The boxing competition also comes under fire as the judges stand accused of fixing bouts. In one instance, Satoshi Shimizu of Japan is ruled to have lost his fight with Magomed Abdulhamidov of Azerbaijan despite knocking him down six times in the final round, a decision later overturned. The referee, Ishanguly Meretnyyazov of Turkmenistan, who failed to count any of the knockdowns as a knockdown, is subsequently expelled from the Games and sent home, as well as technical official Aghanian Abiyev of Azerbaijan. Two bouts later, Ali Mazaheri of Iran accuses the judges of corruption following his disqualification against Jose Larduet Gomez of Cuba. The referee, Frank Scharmch of Germany, is suspended for five days; however, the result of the fight stands.
DAY 8: The host nation wins their first gold medal as rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning of Great Britain win the women's pair. Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait of Australia win silver. Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown of New Zealand win bronze.
DAY 8: The second British gold quickly follows in the men's cycling time trial, with Bradley Wiggins claiming victory to set a British record of seven all-time medals. Tony Martin of Germany wins silver. Chris Froome of Great Britain wins bronze.
DAY 8: Weightlifter Ghada Hassine of Tunisia becomes the first Olympic weightlifter to compete in a full-body unitard including hijab in the women's 69kg class. Weightlifters until 2011 were required to leave arms and lower legs uncovered. Rim Jong Sim of North Korea wins gold, that country's third weightlisting gold in these Games. Roxana Daniela Cocos of Romania wins silver. Maryna Shkermankova of Belarus wins bronze.
DAY 8: The men's gymnastics all-around competition is won by Kohei Uchimura of Japan. Marcel Nguyen of Germany wins silver. Daniel Leyva of the United States storms back from 19th place in the 24-person field to win bronze.
DAY 8: Swimmer Rebecca Soni of the United States sets a world record in the women's 200-meter breaststroke in a semifinal, with a time of 2:20.00.
DAY 8: Gymnast Luzia Galiulina of Uzbekistan becomes the second athlete to be formally expelled from the Olympics and have her athlete credentials revoked after failing a drug test. She had been provisionally suspended after her A sample failed on Day 1; her expulsion comes on the back of a failed B sample.
DAY 8: Swimmer Nathan Adrian of the United States wins the gold in the men's 100-meter freestyle, edging out James Magnussen of Australia by .01 seconds. Brent Hayden of Canada wins bronze.
DAY 8: The Spanish men's soccer team's humiliation is complete, as a 0-0 draw against Morocco sees the defending World Cup champions leave London without scoring a single goal.
DAY 9: Basketball player Yi Jianlian of China, that nation's flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony, twists his knee during a loss to Australia.
DAY 9: Equestrian rider Jan Ebeling of the United States takes Rafalca, the horse co-owned by Ann Romney, wife of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, into the dressage competition. Ebeling scores 70.243%, barely enough to qualify for the second round.
DAY 9: The men's cycling team from Great Britain sets a world record in the qualifying round of the team sprint, and then another in the gold medal final against France. Germany wins bronze.
DAY 9: Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas of the United States wins gold in the women's individual all-around competition. Victoria Komova of Russia wins silver. Aliya Mustafina of Russia wins bronze, winning a tiebreaker over Ali Raisman of the United States. Of the four who qualified under the two-per-country rule, Rie Tanaka of Japan places highest, finising 16th out of 24.
DAY 9: Swimmer Rebecca Soni of the United States follows up her semifinal world record in the 200-meter breaststroke with another in the final, winning gold with a time of 1:19.59. Satomi Suzuki of Japan wins silver. Iuliia Efimova of Russia wins bronze.
DAY 9: Michael Phelps makes it medal #20, and gold medal #16, with a third straight gold in the 200-meter individual medley. Ryan Lochte of the United States wins silver. Laszlo Cech of Hungary wins bronze.
DAY 9: It takes an entire week, but the underperforming Dutch team finally manages to win gold in the pool as Ranomi Kromowidjojo takes the women's 100-meter freestyle after setting an Olympic record in the semifinals. Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus wins silver. Tang Yi of China wins bronze.
DAY 9: The United States men's basketball team sets an Olympic single-game scoring record as they steamroll Nigeria 156-73.
DAY 10: Rower Nadja Drygalla of Germany leaves the Olympic Village. She personally had done nothing wrong, but she leaves on reports that her boyfriend was a far-right extremist and a member of a Nazi-inspired political party, an ideology not tolerated in Germany in modern times. Drygalla had already completed her program.
DAY 10: Hammer thrower Ivan Tsikhan of Belarus is found to be guilty of doping in a retest of urine samples from Athens 2004. He was pulled from the team before competing in London.
DAY 10: Shooter Sergei Martynov of Belarus becomes the second athlete in Olympic history to shoot a perfect score of 600, doing so in qualifying for the men's 50-meter rifle prone. The first was done by Christian Klees of Germany in Atlanta 1996, who went on to win gold.
DAY 10: The boxing competition, under fire again, sees the result of the match between Errol Spence of the United States and Krishan Vikas of India overturned, as four points that should have been given to Spence as the result of penalties against Vikas were not given, altering the result of the fight.
DAY 10: The first female athlete to compete in the Olympics for Saudi Arabia takes the field in the form of judoka Wojdan Shaherkani, wearing a traditional Islamic headscarf. She loses by ippon to Melissa Mojica of Puerto Rico in her first bout in the women's +78kg weight class. Idalys Ortiz of Cuba wins gold. Mika Sugimoto of Japan wins silver, ending a disappointing outing for Japan's judo team. Karina Bryant of Great Britain and Tong Wen of China win bronze.
DAY 10: During a women's soccer quarterfinal between Japan and Brazil, NBC goes to commercial during the run of play in the second half. While in commercial, Japan scores a goal to put them up 2-0, the final score.
DAY 10: The Tsonga/Raonic tennis match's record length is beaten by the semifinal between Roger Federer of Switzerland and Juan Martin Del Porto of Argentina, with Federer winning 3-6, 7-6, 19-17. It is the longest three-set men's match of the Open era, at 4 hours 26 minutes.
DAY 10: Michael Phelps makes it 21 medals with a third straight victory in the 100-meter butterfly. Chad Le Clos of South Africa and Evgeny Korotyshkin of Russia tie for silver.
DAY 10: Runner Amine Laalou of Morocco is banned from entering the United Kingdom prior to his scheduled appearance in the 1,500 meters upon failing a doping test.
DAY 11: Runner Kim Collins of St. Kitts and Nevis, that nation's flagbearer, is sent home by his team officials hours before his event, the 100-meter dash. According to team officials, he broke team rules by leaving the Olympic Village. According to Collins, he was in a hotel room with his wife. Collins subsequently tweets, "Even men in prison get their wives to visit", and "For those who saw me run in Mexico. That's the last time I represent my country."
DAY 11: In the women's 100-meter dash, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica narrowly defeats Carmelita Jeter for gold, with a time of 10.75 seconds. In so doing, Fraser-Pryce is the first repeat female 100-meter winner since Gail Devers of the United States. Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica wins bronze.
DAY 11: Runner LaShawn Merritt of the United States, defending gold medalist in the men's 400 meters, pulls a hamstring in his qualifying heat. He does not finish the race.
DAY 11: North Korea and South Korea are drawn against each other in the first round of men's team table tennis. South Korea wins the match 3 sets to 1.
DAY 11: Rower Kissya Cataldo da Costa of Brazil is forced out of the women's single sculls event for failing a drug test taken in July. Costa had to that point qualified for the C final, a race without medal hopes conducted to determine final placement.
DAY 11: The women's triathlon ends in a photo finish between Nicola Sprig of Switzerland and Lisa Norden of Sweden after 1:59:48. After a review, Sprig wins gold and Norden wins silver. A Swedish appeal asking for two golds to be awarded is denied, Erin Densham of Australia wins bronze.
DAY 11: Guatemala wins its first ever Olympic medal as Erick Barrondo wins silver in the men's 20k race walk. Ding Chen of China wins gold, setting an Olympic record of 1:18:46 in the process. Zhen Wang of China wins bronze. Valery Borchin of Russia collapsed on the track, did not finish, and was carried off in an ambulance.
DAY 11: In Michael Phelps' purported final Olympic swim, the United States takes gold in the men's 4x100-meter relay. Phelps ends the Games with 22 medals, 18 of them gold. Japan wins silver. Australia wins bronze.
DAY 12: To the delight and relief of beleaguered British tennis fans, Andy Murray of Great Britain wins gold in men's singles at Wimbledon, defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina wins bronze.
DAY 12: A tightly-contested women's marathon is broken only in the final kilometer as Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia wins gold with an Olympic record time of 2:23:07. Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya wins silver. Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova of Russia wins bronze. The last finisher is Caitriona Jennings of Ireland, who completes the course in 3:22:11.
DAY 12: Fencer Shin A Lam of South Korea gets her Olympic medal, as part of the women's team epee competition. China wins gold. The United States wins bronze.
DAY 12: Women's boxing makes its Olympic debut. The inaugural bout sees Elena Savalyeva of Russia defeat Kim Hye-Song of North Korea.
DAY 12: The once-feared Indian men's field hockey team drops to 0-4, with a 4-1 loss to South Korea assuring their elimination in the group stage and a berth in the 11th/12th placement match, in a field of 12, with one group match still to play against Belgium. India would lose that match as well, with Belgium winning 3-0.
DAY 12: In the men's final of the 100-meter dash, Usain Bolt runs a 9.64 to defend his title of Fastest Man On Earth, a new Olympic record. Yohan Blake of Jamaica wins silver. Justin Gatlin of the United States wins bronze. Asafa Powell of Jamaica pulls up and finishes with an 11.99.
DAY 12: The boxing competition is hit by scandal twice more as Siarhei Karneyeu of Belarus and Jose Larduet of Cuba file protests over clearly erroneous losses to Teymur Mammadov of Azerbaijan and Clemente Russo of Italy. Teddy Atlas, NBC's boxing announcer, is so incensed at the decisions that he offers to pay the protest filing fees himself. Protests are filed, but both are denied.
DAY 12: After qualifying out of his heat the previous day, runner Oscar Pistorius of South Africa, the runner with his two amputated feet replaced with carbon-fiber blades for track purposes, is eliminated from the 400 meters after finishing last in his semifinal heat. Upon his defeat, the event favorite, Kirani James of Grenada, trades name bibs with Pistorius.
DAY 12: In the unlimited-weight class of women's weightlifting, Zhou Lulu of China sets a world record total of 333 kg to claim gold, while Tatiana Kashirina of Russia sets a world record snatch of 151 kg on her way to silver. Hrissime Khurshudyan of Armenia wins bronze.
DAY 12: Equestrian rider Ahmad Saber Hamcho of Syria, the son of the financial adviser for Maher al-Assad, brother of dictator Bashar al-Assad, is eliminated in the second day of qualifying in individual show jumping, finishing 62nd out of the total field of 75.
DAY 13: Runner Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria, a medal contender in the men's 1,500 meters, is excluded from further competition after an incident in the his heat of the 800 meters. Makhloufi, who had not wanted to run in the 800, deliberately pulled up and stopped shortly after the start of the race. The referee ejected him from the competition for failure to try. However, the possibility is left open for him to return pending a note from a local doctor citing injury, and after such a note is obtained, Makhloufi is reinstated.
DAY 13: Two referees in the men's water polo competition, Boris Margeta of Slovenia and Radoslaw Koryzena of Poland, are dismissed from further duties after disallowing a legitimate goal by Spain in their group-stage match with Croatia. Croatia won 8-7, a result upheld on appeal.
DAY 13: Judoka Nick Delpopolo of the United States is formally expelled from the Games after testing positive for marijuana, the result of eating a pot brownie. Delpopolo had already competed in the 73kg weight class, finishing 7th. Race walker Alex Schwazer of Italy is also expelled after failing a doping test.
DAY 13: The Great Britain men's basketball team wins their first Olympic game since London 1948, soundly beating China 90-58.
DAY 13: 34-year-old runner Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic comes out of nowhere to reclaim gold in the men's 400-meter hurdles, after having previously won it in Athens 2004. Michael Tinsley of the United States. Javier Culson of Puerto Rico wins bronze.
DAY 13: Grenada wins its first ever Olympic medal as runner Kirani James dusts the field for gold in the 400 meters. Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic wins silver. Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago wins bronze.
DAY 14: Runner Liu Xiang of China, 2004 gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles, stumbles into the first hurdle, is injured for the second straight Olympics, and for the second straight Olympics, fails to clear a single hurdle. He ends up symbolically completing the course hopping on his one good leg. He kisses the last hurdle.
DAY 14: Cyprus wins its first ever Olympic medal when sailor Pavlos Kontides takes silver in the men's Laser class. The medal brings a brief bit of good news to a nation sorely in need of something to celebrate after their economy was pounded by its proximity to that of Greece. Tom Slingsby of Australia wins gold. Rasmus Myrgren of Sweden wins bronze.
DAY 14: Rafalca, Ann Romney's horse, scores 69.302% in the second round of the dressage competition, not good enough to advance. The United States is knocked out of the team competition as well.
DAY 14: Swimmer Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa admits to the Sydney Morning Herald to having cheated during a world-record performance in the men's 100-meter breaststroke. van der Burgh took three dolphin kicks instead of the one permitted at the start and after each turn prior to commencing the breaststroke. He notes that when there is no underwater video judging keeping track of swimmers, as was the case in London, things like this commonly happen out of fear that, if you don't do it, your opponent will and is unlikely to get caught, but when underwater judging is in place, nobody tries it. His admittance, unlikely to result in personal consequences having come a week after the actual swim, appears to be mostly an attempt to embarrass FINA, swimming's governing body, into adopting the technology.
DAY 14: The men's triathlon is not only won by Alastair Brownlee of Great Britain, but his brother Jonathan crosses the line 31 seconds later for bronze. Javier Gomez of Spain wins silver.
DAY 14: 36-year-old cyclist Chris Hoy of Great Britain wins gold in the men's Keirin, the final event in the velodrome, setting a British record for most golds by an Olympic athlete with six. Hoy also has one silver medal from Sydney 2000. The results make for Great Britain's 8th gold and 12th medal in cycling during these Games, and their 7th gold and 9th medal in the velodrome. To this point, with only mountain biking and BMX to go, no other nation has more than one cycling gold or five overall cycling medals (or three in the velodrome). Maximilian Levy of Germany wins silver. Simon van Velthooven of New Zealand and Teun Mulder of the Netherlands win joint bronze after a dead heat for third.
DAY 14: Iran takes gold and silver in the men's unlimited-class weightlifting division, with Behdad Salimi winning gold and Sajjad Anoushitavani winning silver. Meanwhile, Matthias Steiner of Germany, in an attempt to lift 196 kg during the snatch portion of the competition, drops the barbell on his head. He does not take part in the clean and jerk, and is taken to a hospital for observation. Steiner suffered ligament and muscle injuries but no spinal injuries or anything permanent. Ruslan Albegov of Russia wins bronze.
DAY 14: There are three bronze medalists in the men's high jump: Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, Derek Drouin of Canada, and Robert Grabarz of Great Britain. Ivan Ukhov of Russia wins gold. Erik Kynard of the United States wins silver.
DAY 14: Seven members of the Cameroonian delegation are announced to have "absconded" from the Olympic Village two days prior, suspected of wishing to remain in the United Kingdom for economic reasons.
DAY 14: A 49-year-old fan from Essex, Conrad Readman, collapses and dies of a heart attack at the velodrome. Readman had tickets for every day of the Games and had attented nearly every sport on offer to that point, in addition to the Opening Ceremony.
DAY 15: Runner Caster Semenya of South Africa, the athlete forced to undergo gender verification in 2009 to prove she was female, runs her preliminary heat in the women's 800 meters. Semenya finishes second, taking one of the heat's three automatic qualifying spots in the semifinals.
DAY 15: Elsewhere in the women's 800 meters, Saudi Arabia's first female track athlete, Sarah Attar, takes her heat. She finishes last, in 2:44.95, but nobody really minds.
DAY 15: Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria, after his reinstatement into the men's 1,500 meters, wins gold in convincing fashion, leaving some less than convinced that the injury he claimed in the 800 meters was legitimate. Leo Manzano of the United States wins silver. Abdalaati Iguider of Morocco wins bronze.
DAY 15: A swarm of flying ants descends on the Olympic Stadium. The bugs are ultimately harmless, but result in a stadium-wide swatfest.
DAY 15: During post-match interviews of the women's gold medal match in beach volleyball, the floor of the interview zone gives way under the weight of all the reporters. Nobody is injured. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States win gold. April Ross and Jen Kessy of the United States win silver. Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Silva of Brazil win bronze.
DAY 16: Cyclist Gijs Van Hoecke of Belgium is sent home by his national Olympic committee after pictures appear in British newspapers of Van Hoecke drunk and covered in liquid, with his eyes closed, and being carried by teammate Jonathan Dufrasne after a night partying.
DAY 16: The South African men's 4x400-meter relay team fails to complete their semifinal heat after a runner from the Kenyan team runs into Ofentse Mogawane, sending both runners to the ground. However, after a successful protest that rules Kenya to have obstructed South Africa, they are permitted into the final anyway. Kenya is disqualified. Meanwhile, the United States qualifies out of their heat despite Monteo Mitchell breaking his leg during his section of the run.
DAY 16: The women's 10-kilometer swim ends in not one, but two photo finishes for the medals. Eva Risztov of Hungary beats out Haley Anderson of the United States by 0.4 seconds to win gold. Martina Grimalri of Italy, three seconds later, wins bronze by another 0.4 seconds over Keri-anne Payne of Great Britain.
DAY 16: Botswana wins its first ever Olympic medal in the men's 800 meters, as Nigel Amos takes silver. David Luketa Rudisha of Kenya wins gold, setting a world record of 1:40.91 in the process. Timothy Kitum of Kenya wins bronze.
DAY 16: Jamaica sweeps the men's 200 meters, with Usain Bolt winning gold, Yohan Blake winning silver and Warren Weir winning bronze.
DAY 16: The decathlon is won by Ashton Eaton of the United States. Trey Hardee of the United States wins silver. Leonel Suarez of Cuba wins bronze.
DAY 16: In a rematch of the 2011 Women's World Cup final, the United States flips the result, beating Japan 2-1 in the gold medal match. Canada wins bronze.
DAY 16: The first ever gold medal in women's boxing is won by flyweight champion Nicola Adams of Great Britain. Ren Cancan of China wins silver. Marlen Esparza of the United States and Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom of India win bronze.
DAY 16: Montenegro, first recognized by the IOC in 2007, assures itself its first Olympic medal after beating Spain 27-26 in a semifinal of women's handball.
DAY 17: The IOC formally strips cyclist Tyler Hamilton of the United States of his gold medal in the road race time trial from Athens 2004 after Hamilton's admission of doping. Gold is to be reawarded to Viatcheslav Ekimov of Russia. Bobby Julich of the United States is upgraded to silver. Michael Rogers of Australia is upgraded to bronze.
DAY 17: Runner Hasan Hirt of France fails a doping test and is formally expelled from the Olympics. Hirt had finished 11th in a first-round heat of the men's 5,000 meters.
DAY 17: The men's 10-kilometer swim is won by Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia. In doing so, Mellouli becomes the first person to win gold in both the pool and open water in the same Olympics. Thomas Lurz of Germany wins silver. Richard Weinberger of Canada wins bronze.
DAY 17: The United States women's 4x100-meter relay team sets a world record of 40.82 seconds, claiming gold. Anchor leg runner Carmelita Jeter knows it immediately, pointing at the timing display as she crosses the finish line. Jamaica wins silver. Ukraine wins bronze.
DAY 17: The South African relay team finishes eighth in the men's 4x400-meter relay, coming in ahead only of Cuba, who did not finish. The storyline about Oscar Pistorius's final run never really materializes, as South Africa was out of contention well before his anchor leg. The Bahamas wins gold. The United States wins silver, their first non-gold performance in this event since Los Angeles 1984. Trinidad and Tobago wins bronze.
DAY 17: Five members of the Ukranian boxing team sign a professional deal with AIBA, amateur boxing's governing body, as part of an attempt by AIBA to create a pro league, AIBA Professional Boxing (APB). APB boxers, unlike other professional boxers, would retain Olympic eligibility.
DAY 17: The South Korean men's soccer team wins the bronze medal match, beating Japan 2-0. In so doing, the South Korean team earns exemptions from otherwise mandatory military service. However, the IOC requests that one player, midfielder Park Jong-Woo, be barred from the medal ceremony after holding up a sign supporting Korean ownership of the Dokdo Islands (or, as Japan refers to them, the Takeshima Islands), as per IOC policy prohibiting political statements. Park complies, misses the ceremony, and, at as of the close of the Games, does not receive his medal.
DAY 17: NBC boxing announcer Teddy Atlas and co-commentator Bob Papa are asked by officials to leave their ringside booth, stating that Papa and Atlas had been "very disturbing" in their commentary. They are offered space with the rest of the broadcasters, but Papa and Atlas opt to leave London entirely and return to New York.
DAY 18: In the longest footrace of the Games, the men's 50K race walk, Sergei Kirdyapkin of Russia wins going away, setting a time of 3:35:39, a new Olympic record by a margin of 1 minute, 10 seconds. Jared Tallent of Australia also would have set an Olympic record had he not come in 54 seconds behind Kirdyapkin. Instead, he wins silver. Si Tianfeng of China wins bronze.
DAY 18: Modern pentathlete Hwang Woojin of South Korea suffers a catastrophic fall in the equestrian portion wheh his horse, refusing a jump, falls backwards on top of him. Woojin eventually gets back on the horse and completes the riding portion. David Svoboda of the Czech Republic wins gold, the first to combine shooting and running in one final event. Cao Zhongrong of China wins silver. Adam Morosi of Hungary wins bronze.
DAY 18: In the men's soccer final, Mexico stuns Brazil 2-1 to claim their first soccer medal, and deny Brazil their first gold.
DAY 18: Elena Lashmanova of Russia passes countrywoman Olga Kaniskina on the home stretch and wins gold in the women's 20K race walk in 1:25:02, setting a new world record by six seconds. Qieyang Shenjie of China wins bronze.
DAY 18: Runner Mohamed Farah of Great Britain not only becomes the first Brit ever to win gold in the men's 5,000 meters, but in doing so, he completes a double to go with the 10,000 meter gold he had won earlier. In the 5,000 meters, Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia wins silver and Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa of Kenya wins bronze. In the 10,000 meters, Galen Rupp of the United States wins silver and Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia wins bronze.
DAY 18: Trinidad and Tobago wins its first ever medal in a field event, as Keshorn Walcott wins gold in the men's javelin. Oleksandr Pyatnytsya of Ukraine wins silver. Antti Ruuskanen of Finland wins bronze.
DAY 18: Caster Semenya of South Africa takes silver in the women's 800 meters. Mariya Savinova of Russia wins gold. Ekaterina Poistogova of Russia wins bronze.
DAY 18: Runner Ghfran Almouhamad of Syria is expelled from the Games after failing a doping test. Almouhamad finished last in her heat in the women's 400-meter hurdles. She is the second athlete, after judoka Nick Delpopolo of the United States, to fail a test in competition.
DAY 18: The Jamaican 4x100-meter relay team demolishes the world record, setting a new mark of 36.84 to win gold. The United States wins silver. Trinidad and Tobago wins bronze after would-be third-place Canada is disqualified.
DAY 18: Montenegro's first Olympic medal is a silver, as the women's handball team loses 26-23 to Norway in the gold medal match. Spain wins bronze.
DAY 18: Gabon wins its first-ever Olympic medal as taekwondo fighter Anthony Obame wins silver in the unlimited-weight men's division, losing to Carlo Molfetta of Italy in the gold-medal match. Robelis Despaigne of Cuba and Liu Xiaobo of China win bronze.
DAY 19: After spending the entire Games under fire for refusing to provide a live feed of the Opening or Closing Ceremonies, NBC announces that they will provide a live feed for today's Closing Ceremony.
DAY 19: Runner Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda wins the first gold medal for Uganda since Munich 1972 in the signature event of the Olympics, the men's marathon. Abel Kirui of Kenya wins silver. Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich of Kenya wins bronze. South Sudanese runner Guol Marial, competing as an Independent Olympic Athlete, finishes 47th. The last-place finisher is Tsepo Ranomeme of Lesotho, who comes in 85th, ahead of 20 people who failed to complete the course, including the entire Ethiopian and French delegations and two of the three Americans.
DAY 19: The boxing competition concludes. After all the controversy surrounding Team Azerbaijan's alleged attempts at bribery in an attempt to secure at least two gold medals, in the end Azerbaijan manages only a single bronze, in the super heavyweight division, won by Magomedrasul Medzhidov, as well as Ivan Dychko of Kazakhstan. Anthony Joshua of Great Britain wins gold. Roberto Cammarelle of Italy wins silver.
DAY 19: Cyclist Marco Aurelio Fontana of Italy wins bronze in men's cross-country biking despite losing his bicycle seat and seat post with approximately three miles yet to ride. Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic wins gold in a sprint finish. Nino Schurter of Switzerland wins silver.
DAY 19: Once again, the United States men's basketball team wins gold, beating Spain 107-100 in the final. Russia wins bronze, their first medal in basketball since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
DAY 19: The final gold medal of the Games is won in the women's modern pentathlon. Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania takes the honor. Samantha Murray of Great Britain wins silver. Yane Marques of Brazil wins bronze.
DAY 19: The Closing Ceremony takes place. The cauldron is extinguished, and the Olympic flag passed from London mayor Boris Johnson on to Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, due to host in 2016. NBC's broadcast catches one final beating for heavy editing, including, among other things, cutting the marathon medal ceremony.

See you in Sochi, two years hence.

Actually, could you head over there now? The preparations are... well, they'll be on time for sure, but they're being very not-nice in how they prepare.

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