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HOT WATER

Ad May Cost Phelps Medals

Louis Vuitton

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.

Read it at New York Daily News

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ICE MAGIC

Curling: You Will Become Addicted

Ints Kalnins/Reuters

Why are those people screaming at the little round things? Why are those other people sweeping the ice? Why have you been glued to the TV for three hours? Brett Singer explains curling.

During the Winter Olympics, viewers can count on seeing plenty of figure skating, ski-jumping (this year with women!) and ice hockey in primetime. But here is the first in an occasional series of articles about some of the weirder, Winter Olympics events primetime may overlook.Sport: CurlingWeirdness Factor If You've Never Seen It Before: High.Reason To Watch: Curling is fun to watch because it seems like something you could do if you practiced.

Breakthrough

The Paralympics Gets Its Due

Clive Rose / Getty Images

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.

Olympic Makeover

Gabby’s New Star Hairstylist

Alex Katz / AP Photo

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.

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Olympians’ Post-Game Blues

Matt Dunham / AP Photo

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.

Hurrah

Take a Bow, London

Leon Neal / AFP / Getty Images

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.

CASTING COUCH

London Olympics: The Movie

Getty Images (6)

Now that the games have ended, who will play Gabby Douglas, Ryan Lochte, Lolo Jones, and the other star athletes of the XXX Olympiad? The Daily Beast sprints to the casting couch.

London Stumpers

Unsolved Olympic Mysteries

Adrian Dennis / AFP / Getty Images

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.

That’s a Wrap

London Rocks Out

Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

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.

DREAM TEAM 2.0

U.S. Basketball Beats Spain

Eric Gay / AP Photo

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.

Read it at The Guardian

OLYMPICS

London Preps for End of Games

Marianna Massey / Getty Images

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.

Read it at The Telegraph

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China’s Neurotic Olympic Spirit

Yuri Cortez / AFP / Getty Images

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.

That’s a Wrap

30 Amazing Olympics Photos

Donald Miralle for Newsweek Daily Beast

For two action-packed weeks, Newsweek/Daily Beast photographer David Miralle captured the most exciting events at the 2012 Summer Games. See the best of his work here.

Respect

Ping-Pong’s Got Game

Feng Li / Getty Images

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.

SCORE

U.S. Women Win Basketball Gold

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.

Read it at USA Today

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