Sports news

The U.S. men's gymnastics team had an excellent day of qualifying this weekend, putting it in first place entering today's team finals. But the Americans struggled in the final, which does not carry points over from the earlier rounds.

Update at 2:12 p.m. EDT: The U.S. team has taken fifth place in the competition, despite early struggles that put them in last place. Great Britain surged to win the silver medal behind China — but Japan is reportedly now disputing the score one of its gymnasts received on the pommel horse.

Just when the discussion over the London Olympics' opening ceremony was finally being overshadowed by actual sporting events at the Summer Games, news emerges Monday that the Olympic cauldron was extinguished Sunday night, so it could be moved.

Stronger, faster, fiercer, finer. That's what the Olympics promise us — higher performance, new world records. But not if you throw things.

Judo is a sport of leverage, strength, tactics and cunning. These attributes can appear to the uninitiated to be two people attempting to grab each other, without success, for five minutes. And then when no points are scored, they try to grab each other for another three minutes of overtime.

One of these gripping contests — the men's quarterfinals at 66 kg — has become the source of international indignation over a perceived injustice. But with the sport of Judo, an apparently firm set of circumstances can flip in an instant.

Good morning. Here's a roundup of London 2012 Olympics news stories that have caught our interest. We also have a highlight list of today's upcoming events, in a different post. You can also check out our main schedule. Here's what's been happening already today:

The opening weekend of the Summer Olympics was marked by highs and lows, of course, and the swimming pool had its share of both. World records, a stunning loss and a medal for the home team — and that was all in just one afternoon.

Before American Dana Vollmer answers how a 55.98-second 100-meter butterfly — the fastest time ever, and worth a gold medal — feels, consider this: Vollmer was diagnosed as a teenager with two life-threatening heart conditions that prompted her mom to carry a defibrillator to Dana's races.

Swimming is again the big draw in the London 2012 Olympics today, with four gold-medal races scheduled. But gymnastics also has a big day. Competitions are being held in 22 sports Monday — meaning there are dozens of events vying for your attention. Below, we list the ones we'll be keeping a close eye on.

As always, we'll be reporting results and stories as they happen. So if you're someone who worries about spoilers and prefers to watch on tape-delay, steer clear of our Twitter feed... and possibly the entire Internet.

All times are EDT:


In what appeared to be payback for their 2008 loss in Beijing, France chased down the U.S. team and took the gold in the men's 400-meter relay on Sunday.

With Michael Phelps swimming the second leg of the race, looking much stronger than he did in his fourth place finish the night before, the Americans built a substantial lead during the first three legs of the race.

Ryan Lochte, leaping into the water in the anchor leg of the race with a half-body length lead, was simply outgunned by France's Yannick Agnel. The Associated Press reports:

Enduring symbols of the Olympics are everywhere in London, and I'm not just talking about ATMs for Visa, a ubiquitous Olympic sponsor.

The five Olympic rings grace every wall, walk, sign, banner and building in and around the Olympic Park and other venues.

But the Olympic flame, the other most recognizable symbol of the Olympics, is invisible to all but a relative few.

Today, London Olympic organizers find themselves beating back insults like serves in a gold medal table tennis match.

On Day 1, there were empty seats at wildly popular events like beach volleyball and gymnastics. And even at the Aquatics Center, where Ryan Lochte smoked everybody in the men's 400 individual medley.

Fans who would've gladly paid the exorbitant ticket prices were fuming. British politicians worried that the empty seats made the country look uninterested.

Two big disappointments this morning: American gymnast and defending world champion Jordyn Wieber failed to qualify for the all-around finals.

The AP reports that it was nonetheless a great day for other Americans, who are favorites for gold:

The Olympics have officially had a "Salahi moment." Remember, the White House gatecrashers? Well, on Friday during the opening ceremony, a young woman wearing a red jacket and turquoise pants was seen walking with the Indian delegation into Olympic stadium. Not only that, but she was walking alongside the flag bearer.

The only problem? No one knew who she was.

Update at 11:28 a.m. An Easy Win:

With the help of a generous LeBron James, assisting more than he scored, the United States breezed through France 98 to 71.

It wasn't a flashy win, but it showed U.S. dominance.

During an interview after the game, Kevin Durant was asked how the team chooses which of the All Stars gets to a take a shot.

"We don't care who scores," he said.

Our Original Post Continues:

Good morning! While you were sleeping, American Kimberly Rhode broke the Olympic record when she missed only one of 75 targets during the qualifying round of women's skeet shooting.

(UPDATE at 9:20 a.m. ET. Rhode has won the gold.)

The first full day of Olympic competition brought moments of tense excitement, in the pool and on the archery course, among other places. At the time of this post, China leads the overall medal count, with 6, followed by Italy and the United States, with 5. Four of China's medals are gold.