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Going For Gold

Princes William and Harry See UK Get First Gold

ERIC FEFERBERG

Royal seal of approval

Princes William and Harry were back at their old school, Eton College, today, where the Olympic rowing events are taking place, to see Team GB clinch its first Olympic gold of the 2012 games when Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won the women's rowing pair.They are the first female British Olympic gold medal winners in the history of British rowing.Princes William and Harry were in the thick of the jubilant crowds at Eton's Dorney Lake celebrating Britain's first gold of the games.

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London Mayor Stuck on Zip Line

Barcroft Media / Landov

After celebrating country’s gold-medal win.

After the country’s first gold-medal win of the 2012 Olympics Tuesday, spirits in Britain were flying high. So was London Mayor Boris Johnson. The politico gamely agreed to travel down a zip line waving two tiny Union Jack flags to celebrate the occasion, only to get stuck halfway through the precarious trip. “Get me a rope, get me a ladder,” Johnson was heard shouting to the giggling crowd. “I think the brakes got stuck.” He was eventually pulled the rest of the way by a grounds crew.

Read it at ITV

MEN’S GYMNASTICS

Japan’s ‘Superman’ Wins Gold

Ronald Martinez

U.S.’s Levya clinches silver in all-around.

Japan's Kohei Uchimura, nicknamed "Superman," clinched the gold medal at the men's gymnastics all-around competition Wednesday in London. After struggling early in the day on the pommel horse, the same element that gave him trouble during Monday's team competition, Team U.S.A.'s Danell Levya came from behind to win the bronze medal. Germany's Marcel Nguyen took silver. Though China won the team gold, the country had no individual competitors in the all-around finals.

Read it at The Wall Street Journal

THROWING THE GAME

4 Badminton Pairs Expelled

Bazuki Muhammad, Reuters / Landov

For deliberately losing.

Eight Olympic players have been expelled from the Olympic games following an investigation by the Badminton World Federation into accusations that the players had been deliberately losing their matches. Two of those players are from China, prompting the Chinese Olympic sports delegation to launch an investigation. A spokesman for China's Olympic Committee said it was against any behavior going against "sporting spirit and morality," and the committee could take further action against the players based on the results of the investigation. The other players charged with "not using one's best efforts to win" were from South Korea and Indonesia. According to reports, both the Chinese and South Koreans appeared to deliberately play poorly in order to guarantee an easier draw in the finals. When the players were warned by a referee, one Chinese player insisted that they'd simply been trying to save their strength. "We've already qualified, so why would we waste energy?" said Yu Yang.

Read it at Telegraph

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

NBC’s Olympics Snafus

CARL COURT

NBC’s Olympics are a disaster if you go by what you read on Twitter, and yet the network is boasting the highest viewership numbers for any Summer Games in history. How are both these things possible? Maria Elena Fernandez reports.

You’re watching the summer Olympics in record numbers. But you’re also complaining in record numbers. Which is it, America? Are you enjoying NBC’s London Olympics coverage—or aren’t you?NBC is glowing from its record-breaking Olympics ratings that even industry analysts say they didn’t expect. The network is averaging 35.8 million viewers, the best first weekend of any Summer Olympics in history. But we see your #NBCFail hashtags and your angry tweets, and all of it is making for a very interesting moment in cultural history.

Sentimental Favorites

Olympic Underdogs

Whether impoverished, ravaged by war, or just plain tiny, these competing countries may not win many Olympic medals, but their athletes are some of the most persistent and determined. From Haiti to Brunei, here’s a look at the countries least likely to take the gold but most likely to win your heart.

Oops!

8 Biggest London Olympic Fails

NBC spoils Missy Franklin’s gold-medal win, officials confuse North Korea’s and South Korea’s flags, and more embarrassing goofs from the London Games.

The London Olympics have been brimming with exhilarating “wins.” Wunderkind backstroker Missy Franklin won gold at the tender age of 17. The stellar female gymnastics squad creamed the international competition. Michael Phelps made Olympic history. But far too often, the 2012 Games have made more headlines for embarrassing gaffes, frustrating fails, and boneheaded controversies. Here’s a look at some of the biggest.The Today Show Promo Fail   If backlash were an Olympic sport, NBC would win the gold medal by a record margin after the heat it’s received for its controversial insistence on airing the Games’ major events on tape delay.

WATCH THIS!

London Olympics’ Must-See Moments

Daniel Ochoa De Olza / AP Photo

From Ryan Lochte’s big swim win to Jordyn Wieber’s crushing gymnastics defeat, our picks for the can't-miss moments of the 2012 Olympic Games. Check back daily for updates.

Thursday, August 9 U.S. Women's Soccer Wins GoldCall it the ultimate redemption. After Japan defeated the U.S. in the world cup, the U.S. women won 2-1 to take home the gold medal. And, that wasn't the only thing worth celebrating: the match broke the Olympic women's soccer attendance record with 83,000 people watching in Wembley Stadium. The medal is the third consecutive gold for the U.S. in women's soccer. Watch the team receive their precious hardware.

VICTORY

U.S. Women Win Gold

At Gymnastics.

The U.S. women's gymnastics team bested the Russian team to take first place at the finals in London. The U.S. won with a final score of 183.596; 5 points ahead of the Russian team that scored 178.530. Romania came in third with 176.414. The win offered some redemption to U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber, who was hoping to bounce back in the wake of her failure to advance to the individual all-around finals on Sunday (she was bested by two teammates in the preliminaries, and there’s a two-competitors-per-country rule in the finals), which left her in tears. Wieber, Gabby Douglas, Ali Raisman, Kyla Ross, and McKayla Maroney all competed in the finals, going up against women from Russia, China, Romania, Great Britain, Japan, Italy, and Canada.

Read it at The Wall Street Journal

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London 2012 Closing Ceremony and More Great Photos From the Olympics

Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

US gymnasts celebrate their gold medal and more great photos from the Olympics.

Where’s the Heat?

Baffled and Bored by the Olympics

Michael Sohn / AP Photo

Who cares about synchronized diving? Is beach volleyball really a sport? And where is the good-versus-evil-empire competition that characterized U.S.–Russian match-ups and made the Games so much more fun? Buzz Bissinger sorts it out.

I am in confusion about the London Games.Perhaps not as confused as the queen during the opiated opening ceremonies in witnessing a gaggle of beds form the initials of the National Health Service, which I doubt she knows about because I imagine neither she nor her corpulent Corgis utilize it, but personally confused nonetheless.Like the Burt Lancaster character in Louis Malle’s film Atlantic City, who gazes at the seedy resort shore and says wistfully, “You should have seen the Atlantic Ocean back then,” I too long for the Olympics back then.

interactive

Olympic Medal Tally

Who’s racking up the gold this year? Follow the latest stats for each competing nation here, with daily updates. Plus, click on a country to see more details on its performance.

Not updating fast enough? Let us know. Last updated: August 12, 4:41 p.m. EST.

Zara's Agony

Zara Knocks Down a Fence As Royal Family Look On

ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP / Getty Images

UK team wins silver medal

Zara Philips won a silver medal today as part of the british eventing team, after a heart-stopping final day during which Zara and her horse High Kingdom were penalised for knocking down a fence in the deciding show jumping round of the team eventing competition.Zara was watched by William, Kate, Harry, Beatrice, Eugenie, Camilla and her mum Princess Anne.As a result of Zara's unfortunate knock, a gold medal for the the British equestrian team now seems unlikely, however the penalty was far from a  complete disaster and the team are now competing for a silver medal against New Zealand.

Wieber Wuz Robbed!

The Gymnastics ‘Travesty’

Gregory Bull / AP PHoto

Favorite Jordyn Wieber was ruled out of the all-around final because of an inane rule, but at least she’s in good company. Tricia Romano on the legends who never won the gold—and some forgettable winners.

Jordyn Wieber is no doubt depressed as hell that she failed to qualify for the all-around competition this Thursday. The International Federation of Gymnastics’ ill-advised two-gymnasts-per-team limit kept the gold-medal favorite out of the final, despite her fourth-place finish overall, only .6 points behind the leader, Russian gymnast Viktoria Komova.The result has sent the already excitable former gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi into spastic fits on television, where he is barely able to conceal his rage, calling it a “travesty” that the “reigning world champion” would not be competing.

SHOW STEALERS

Olympics’ Helicopter Moms

Mark J. Terrill / AP Photo

Forget about the hot young athletes. It’s all about the parents at this year’s summer games, captured on the mommy cam weeping, screaming, and performing their own gymnastics routines as their kids compete.

Everyone’s furious with NBC for generally making a hash of its Olympics coverage: for the occasionally brainless commentary; the refusal to carry some popular events live; the Soviet-style suppression of dissent; and the bizarre decision to narrate pretaped specials as if they were unfolding in real time. This is all indeed frustrating, but it misses a larger point. The best action coming out of London isn’t in the pool or the dressage ring or the giant gymnastics Pepto-Bistorium.

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More From Olympics Beast

U.S. Women's Soccer Wins Gold

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