They've been called the first "Social Games" — and the London Summer Olympics have delivered on that promise, making social stars out of athletes like gymnast Gabby Douglas, who saw her Facebook fanbase grow by nearly 4,000 percent during the games.
Gymnasts Marcel Nguyen and Jordyn Wieber were also among the big winners on Facebook, according to a research firm that tracked athletes' fan numbers during the games.
The London 2012 Olympics were billed as the Social Games, with Twitter, Facebook and other services making it an immersive experience. But it might be remembered as "The Crying Games," for the swelling of emotions many Britons experienced. We run down some of the Olympics' winners and losers:
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:36 am
When Michael Phelps came to London for the 2012 Summer Games, he had 14 Olympic gold medals. He's leaving with 18 and a record 22 overall. And now he's retiring at 27, leaving the sport in which he always said he wanted to do things that had never been done before.
Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 10:45 pm
On the last full day of competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the athletes are competing in 32 medal events. Many of these athletes are pretty darn fast — making it hard to keep tabs on them. So, here's a rundown of results from this afternoon's events, rolled up into one post:
American Brigetta Barrett has won the silver medal in the women's high jump, setting a personal best of 2.03 meters (6 feet 8 inches) to eke out a spot on the podium between two Russian athletes: Anna Chicerova, who jumped 2.05, and Svetlana Shkolina, who tied Barrrett at 2.03 meters.
Barrett, 22, took the silver over Shkolina because she cleared the height on her second attempt, while the Russian managed it on her third try. Neither of them could clear 2.05 to match Chicerova, who came into the games as the reigning world champion.
British runner Mo Farah has won the men's 5,000 meters, sending Olympic Stadium into a frenzy. His time of 13:41.66 barely edged Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia. American Bernard Lagat came in fourth, while Galen Rupp finished seventh.
Farah is now the sixth man in Olympic history to have won both the 5,000m and 10,000m events at the same Summer Games. He emerged at the front of the pack 700 meters from the finish, and held on to stay ahead of Gebremeskel.
Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 4:18 pm
Mexico shocked Brazil in the Olympic men's soccer final, winning gold 2-1, in a game in which it never trailed. Mexico's Oribe Peralta scored just 29 seconds into the game, after pouncing on a turnover to scorch a ball that tracked low and bounced to elude goalkeeper Gabriel.
Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 12:25 pm
U.S. cyclist Georgia Gould has won bronze in the women's mountain bike cross-country race. The gold medal went to France's Julie Bresset, who led from the start. Sabine Spitz of Germany won silver, after a late spill caused her to lose contact with Bresset.
On the penultimate day of the Olympics, an astounding 32 medal competitions will be decided today. Highlights include the men's soccer final, and women's basketball's gold medal game. Here's a quick rundown of events we'll be (trying to) watch:
Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 3:37 pm
NPR's Asma Khalid lived in London for two years, before moving to Washington, D.C. And when Khalid returned to England during this summer's Olympics, she found that things — perhaps even people — had changed. She explains:
I had never heard of Mo Farah.
But as soon as I stepped on British soil, I would have struggled to miss him — his face plastered on every paper, his name unashamedly idolized in an almost un-British like manner.
An unusual choice, perhaps, for a British national hero - a man born in Somalia.
The London Summer Olympics are winding down, and by most accounts, the games have been a success. There were plenty of "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" moments; big, enthusiastic crowds — although there were too many blocks of empty seats; and for those who like a helping of scandal served up at their Olympics, there was that, too.
It wasn't the usual scourge of doping. Instead, the London Olympics had incidents of bending the rules and ethics of sport.
Now to London and some of today's Olympic results. Several American athletes picked up gold. At least one U.S. team that was expected to get gold did not and another team set a world record. NPR's Mike Pesca is in London with the details. And, Mike, let's start with track and field and the women's 4x100 relay, a sport where women - the U.S. women tend to dominate in that event. How about today?
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: More than dominate, world record.