So much for steamy Louis Vuitton tub.
Talk about bad timing. Olympic record-breaker Michael Phelps could technically lose his gold after a Louis Vuitton ad he starred in was released last week. According to the Olympic governing body, athletes could not participate in non-Olympic ads between July 18 and Aug. 15. Louis Vuitton claims it did not release the ad prior to the agreed-upon date of Aug. 16, but the picture of Speedo-clad Phelps in a bathtub started spreading across the Web last week. The rule stipulates that athletes could be stripped of their medals for participation in such ads, but other punishments are less severe. The Olympic executive board can also make exceptions, so only time will tell if Phelps remains with the most medals in Olympic history.
Move over, Lindsey Vonn—at just 18, skier Mikaela Shiffrin is generating massive buzz ahead of the 2014 Olympics in February, heading America’s strongest team in years.
America’s next teen sports phenom is on the rise and her name is Mikaela Shiffrin. She’s not a tennis player, golfer, or figure skater; she’s an alpine ski racer. Remember ski racing? Although most Americans only blink at it every four years, Shiffrin’s been making leaps in the sport in the run up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, racking up wins on the World Cup circuit (aka the World Series of skiing) and taking titles from alpine aces 10 years her senior.
Disabled athletes are finally being greeted by stadiums full of fans. But some see a downside to that sudden fame—and new worries for those who aren’t competing.
This time around, they are more than a faint echo. This time the roars of support for the stars of the Paralympics echo across London. The Paralympics have been the poor relation of the Olympic Games since their first appearance on the same stage at the Rome Olympics of 1960. Back then, no one was ready for them: accessibility ideas were in their infancy, and the athletes had to be carried bodily upstairs to the changing rooms. Although they became a fixture of subsequent Games, until London it was assumed that the general public was indifferent at best, derisive at worst.
Nasty criticism of Gabby Douglas’s hair threatened to overshadow her history-making all-around gymnastics gold-medal win in London. Now she’s headed to hairdresser to the stars Ted Gibson, who talked to Allison Samuels about his new client.
Celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson doesn’t get nervous when he greets the famous faces at his Zen-like New York City salon. The Texas native says he’s long past developing jitters, as he regularly coifs the manes of Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway, Ashley Greene, and Gabrielle Union, among other stars. That may all change this coming week, when Gibson adds one more famous name to his already crowded roster of fabulous tresses: Gabrielle Douglas.Douglas made history during the London Olympics by becoming only the third U.
Depression. Alcoholism. Despair. A surprising number of former Olympians find grim fates waiting after the Games go dark. Tony Dokoupil on how new research explains athletes’ post-Games psychological meltdowns.
“He’s pretty athletic,” I said, watching my 3-year-old son crisscross a playground recently. My wife agreed. “But who cares if he’s sporty?” she wondered. “What’s it good for?”That’s precisely the concern likely to bridle the minds of returning Olympians, now that the torch of the 2012 Games has expired, ending the world’s greatest ego-dream: 16-days of rapturous crowd-waving, flag-draping fluid loss.After the buzz of Sunday’s send-off party, and the liquid lobotomy that is night life in London, Monday was a time for dry-swallowing hangover cures and packing up the Olympic village.
With the Olympics’ smashing success behind them, Brits are waking up to an unfamiliar feeling: triumph. Peter Jukes on how the Games took the hard edge off national politics—for now.
It’s been like one of those parties you’re a bit reluctant to attend because it might be crass, embarrassing, or difficult to get to, only to find yourself confounded by the good time you had. For most Londoners—most Brits, actually—Monday was the morning after the night before, and we awoke with the same questions: “Oh my god, did we really do that?” and “Damn ... What do we do now?”For the past 17 days, if TV ratings and venue attendance are anything to go by, the British nation has been transfixed by the spectacle of the London 2012 Olympics.
The torch has been extinguished in London, and the Olympic flag handed over to Rio, but we’re still scratching our heads over some unanswered questions from the last two weeks—from an alleged stabbing to a potentially fixed boxing match.
1. Did Caster Semenya lose on purpose?After a world-title win in 2009 brought an embarrassing scandal to South African runner Caster Semenya, observers are wondering whether she deliberately came in second to avoid attention. Three years ago, after an impressive 800-meter win, the then-18-year-old Semenya was kept from competing for 11 months as South Africa’s sports authorities investigated her gender. The results were never released, but she reportedly has a sexual-development disorder that gives her traits of both genders.
The Spice Girls, Annie Lennox, and more British icons turned out to bid farewell to the Olympics as thousands of athletes cheered. Tom Sykes reviews the best and worst. Plus, photos.
Prince Harry represented his vacationing grandma in London tonight, presiding over a spectacular Olympics closing ceremony featuring Russell Brand performing “I Am the Walrus,” the Spice Girls getting what they really, really want atop London taxis, and, apparently, Monty Python’s Eric Idle fired across the stadium from a giant canon.The five Spice Girls, including Victoria Beckham, were driven into the stadium shortly before 11 p.m. London time to perform a short medley of their classic hits to a packed crowd of 80,000 onlookers, which included thousands of athletes who competed in the Games.
For the gold.
The American men’s basketball team beat Spain 107–100 on Sunday in one of the last events of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Team USA won its second consecutive gold medal in the sport. Spain had been widely considered one of the teams most likely to present a challenge to the undefeated U.S. men’s squad. The American men nearly fell to another serious contender, Argentina, in the semifinals. Beyond a team gold, there were some considerable egos at stake, with LeBron James adding an Olympic gold to what has already been an all-star year for him.
Preparations done in secret.
London’s almost reached the finish line. As the city prepares to close the 2012 Olympic Games, many details for the closing ceremony remain secret—despite British journalists’ best efforts. Director Kim Gavin has said that the three-hour spectacular, titled “A Symphony of British Music,” will be “an elegant mashup of British music, a rich tapestry of British culture and life ... something people remember for years.” The ceremony will pay homage to the United Kingdom’s rich literary traditions and musical culture—and will reportedly include a performance by the reunited Spice Girls.
The London Games have sparked debates in China about everything from the country’s obsession with winning to its victim mentality. Melinda Liu and Paul Mooney on the lessons learned.
For many Chinese, the London Summer Games have been an eye-opener, igniting unprecedented debate about everything from patriotism to sports ethics to obsessing over gold medals.For a number of Chinese, especially younger generations, the London 2012 Games are only the second Olympics they’ve followed closely. And their first, in Beijing four years ago, was hardly a routine sports event. The 2008 Summer Games were a global coming-out party for this emerging economic superpower, and competing on home turf helped China top the gold-medal tally for the first time ever, beating the USA 51 to 36.
From its nerdy reputation to a recent takedown by a legend, competitive table tennis may be America’s most underdog sport. Former Junior Olympian Matt Simon argues: it’s time for the country to embrace it as a “real” athletic pursuit.
In the world of professional sports, table tennis is Rodney Dangerfield. For most Olympic spectators, it falls somewhere between archery and trampolining on the roster of must-see events. Conan O’Brien recently tweeted: “Athletes at the Olympics are being issued 15 condoms each. Or as the men’s table tennis players put it, ‘14 condoms too many.’”As a former Junior Olympian table-tennis player myself, I can attest: when competitive Ping-Pong is your best sport in high school, it doesn’t exactly prove your physical prowess.
Their fifth consecutive Olympic final.
The U.S. women’s Olympic basketball team captured its fifth consecutive gold medal with a win of 86–50 against France Saturday. U.S. women’s basketball has an Olympic winning streak of 41 games—their last loss came in 1992. “You get a lot of chances to win national championships, but to win Olympic gold is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said the U.S. coach. All 12 players scored during the game, and the team says it already has its eye on the 2016 Games.
Call it the ultimate redemption. After Japan defeated the U.S. women's team in the world cup, the Americans came back to win the gold medal against the team.
Japan managed to beat historic Turkey for the 2020 Olympics.
She lost her dad, had surgery, and tested positive for a banned substance. How Hope Solo survived—and put U.S. women's soccer in position to bring home gold.
Hugh McCutcheon’s steely resolve has put the U.S. women’s team in reach of their first gold. Tony Dokoupil on how the coach is coping with the murder that rocked his family at the last Games.