The second day of the Rio Olympics saw some of the best American athletes take center stage.Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles all competed, though for different stakes. Here’s what you might have missed:
That’s more or less what the Americans threw Sunday night in Rio. Katie Ledecky obliterated her own world record in the women’s 400-meter freestyle. The 19-year-old beat her previous record by almost two seconds. She’s the world-record holder in the 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle events. To reiterate, she’s still a teenager.
He caused a stir before the race when he was spotted with dark red dots covering his body. There’s actually a perfectly logical explanation.
Simone Biles and the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, to the surprise of no one,routed the competition in qualifying. In a sport decided by tenths of points, the Americans seized a 9.979 lead over second-place China.
Forget asking if they will take gold, writes Nancy Armour, the question might simply be this: Is this team the greatest of all time?
Top seed Novak Djokovic was ousted in straight sets to Juan Martin del Potro, the powerful Argentine who was contemplating retirement. But from an American perspective, that was hardly the upset that mattered.
Venus and Serena entered Sunday a perfect 15-0 in Olympics doubles matches having won three gold medals. But they won’t be going home with any hardware this year after losing a first-round shocker.
Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands suffered a terrifying crash while leading the women’s cycling road race to the point where she was unconscious “for a considerable period of time.” Her crash gave way for American cyclist Mara Abbott to open up a 40-second lead, but she suffered her own heartbreaking finish.
Mother Nature took center stage early Sunday, with extreme winds forcing the complete cancellation of rowing events at Lagoa Stadium, damaging a portion of the Aquatics Center and knocking over tents throughout Olympic Park.
With their beach volleyball match impacted by the wind, American duo Lauren Kendrick and Brooke Sweat lost in three sets against Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzostek of Poland. They’ll look to bounce back Tuesday in their second pool match.
The International Paralympic Committee announced that Russian athletes would be kicked out of its Games, which will run after the conclusion of the Olympics, from Sept. 7-18.
Said IPC president Sir Philip Craven: “The system in Russia is broken, corrupted and entirely compromised. Their medals over morals mentality disgusts me. The Russian government has failed its athletes. It shows a blatant disregard for the health and well-being of athletes. Their thirst for glory at all costs has damaged all sports.”
Rio Olympics: Best images from Sunday, Aug. 7