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Olympics

At some point, possibly when wandering the remote landscape of NBC's outer channels, you will stumble upon that elusive Olympic creature: water polo.

Do not be alarmed.

It's a sport, not an exotic predator. And no matter how strange it may appear to the novice, with its dome-eared caps, neon ball and whistle-happy refs, water polo is not chaos in a pool; it has rules.

Call it the Summer (Olympics) of love: He Zi of China was standing on the podium after receiving a silver medal for diving in Rio on Sunday when her boyfriend, fellow diver Qin Kai, pulled out a ring and proposed marriage. It's the second proposal of the Rio Games.

Moments before Sunday's proposal, He had been dueling teammate and world champion Shi Tingmao for the gold medal in the 3-meter springboard final. It was shortly after the medal presentation that Qin — who owns gold medals from previous Olympics and has won bronze here in Rio — seized the moment.

On Sunday night in Rio, Andy Murray won a gold medal in the tennis finals — and first place in fact-checking, too.

The world No. 2 had just won the Olympic men's singles title for the second time in a row. BBC presenter John Inverdale stepped up with his microphone.

Watch their exchange here, via The Guardian:

"You're the first person ever to win two Olympic tennis gold medals. That's an extraordinary feat, isn't it?" Inverdale asked.

"Umm," Murray said. "Well."

Jamaica's Usain Bolt retained his title as the "world's fastest man," accelerating past all challengers to win the men's 100 meters for an unprecedented third time on Sunday night in Rio.

In trademark fashion, Bolt unpacked his lanky 6-foot-5 frame and separated himself from the tightly bunched field to win by a comfortable margin in a time of 9.81. His closest competitor, Justin Gatlin, hung with Bolt for the first half of the race, but couldn't match Bolt down the stretch. Gatlin took the silver in 9.89.

Kenya's Jemima Sumgong came into the women's Olympic Marathon as one of the favorites and she lived up to the billing.

Sumgong pulled away in the final stages of the race today in Rio and captured the gold medal. Despite Kenya's wealth of distance running talent, she's the first Kenyan woman to ever win the Olympic Marathon, which has been contested since 1984.

Justin Rose of Great Britain has won the first Olympic gold medal in golf since 1904, after holding off Sweden's Henrik Stenson on Sunday. The two traded shots throughout the day in a tight finish to men's golf in Rio de Janeiro.

The title came after a day of great shots and near-misses for both Rose and Stenson, who played together in the final group. At one point, a playoff seemed inevitable in the first medals tournament for golf since it was reinstated as an Olympic sport for Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

With two main goals already accomplished — gold medals in both the team competition and in the individual all-around — Simone Biles turned to the vault to grab more Olympic gold Sunday. She beat seven other gymnasts in the individual event.

"It's something I wanted so badly," Biles said afterward, "so I just tried to keep a good mind going into vault."

As U.S. Gymnastics tells us, with Sunday's gold medal, Biles sets a U.S. record for the most gymnastics gold medals in one Olympics for a female athlete. She also becomes the first American woman to win gold on the vault.

Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers were robbed by thieves who put a cocked gun to Lochte's head in Rio de Janeiro early Sunday morning, the U.S. swimmer told NBC.

Lochte and his friends were in a taxi, going to visit a Brazilian swimmer, when the robbers stopped them.

At the Rio Olympics, there are the usual powerhouses:

Team USA, with 554 athletes. Australia, with 420. China, with 401.

And then there are the tiny countries: overwhelmed, but proud.

I went on a quest to find the tiniest of the tiny countries at the Summer Games. And I happened to find the delegation at the Olympic athletes' village, speaking a mashup of English and Nauruan.

Olympic medals are won by margins of tenths or even hundredths of a second. So, it's no surprise that athletes want any edge they can get — even methods not backed by a lot of scientific evidence.

Michael Phelps has won so many more medals than any other Olympian that it makes for a pretty dull discussion when he's compared to individual athletes.

But let's pretend he's a country — the Republic of Phelps.

How does his career medal total stack up against all the countries that have competed in the Summer and Winter Olympics since the dawn of the modern games in 1896?

Hint: 205 countries are now competing in Rio, and others, like the Soviet Union, have disappeared along the way.

Puerto Rico now has its first Olympic gold medal, courtesy of tennis star Monica Puig, who beat Germany's Angelique Kerber in the women's singles tournament at Rio's Summer Olympics on Saturday.

"I"m speechless," a smiling Puig said after her historic win. "I wanted it so bad."

"I never imagined in my wildest dreams that this would happen," Puig added — and she said her experience in Rio de Janeiro has been like a dream. She's looking forward, she said, to waking up Sunday morning and seeing her gold medal sitting on her bedside table.

Michael Phelps dropped both the hammer and the mic on the Rio Olympics Saturday night, turning in a scorching butterfly leg in the men's 4x100m medley relay that helped his team secure gold and set a new Olympic record on the last night of Olympic pool swimming in Brazil.

Both the American men's and women's medley relay teams repeated their golden races of the London 2012 games, with the women's relay bringing Team USA its 1,000th gold medal in the Summer Olympic Games (dating back to 1896).

The Kenyans vs. the Ethiopians.

Like many distance events at the Rio Games, and Olympics past, it often boils down to a race featuring the indefatigable runners from these two African neighbors.

And that's a likely scenario in the women's marathon this Sunday, and the men's next Sunday, the final day of the Summer Olympics.

In every men's and women's marathon since 1996, at least one Kenyan or Ethiopian has made it to the medal stand, with one exception. And that exception proves the rule.

Simone Manuel made history Thursday night by becoming the first female African-American swimmer to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Michelle Carter wins historic shot put gold

With a final, herculean hurl, Michelle Carter scored a gold medal in the women's shot put final Friday night in Rio — a first for any U.S. woman in the event.

"I knew I had more in the tank," Carter told reporters. "And to be able to go out there and put the pieces together and pull it out, I'm just really excited."

Taking advantage of that reserved energy, Carter truly saved her best for last.

There are no women in the world who can swim faster than Katie Ledecky in her freestyle events. And she proved that again at Rio's Summer Olympics, setting world records and dominating distances from 200-800 meters.

Ledecky closed out her Rio trip with a bang, shattering her own world record in the 800-meter freestyle Friday night. The win gave her four gold medals — three individual — to go along with the silver she won as part of the 4x100 freestyle relay in Brazil.

Female Olympians put in years of practice before ultimately achieving gold, silver and bronze medals. But some are finding their accomplishments are being downgraded by commentators who have focused more on their personal lives.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Dana Hooper, a sports agent who works with female Olympians.

Interview Highlights: Dana Hooper

On how media members and commentators talk about female athletes

Thursday night in Rio, for the first time in history, a black woman won an individual swimming medal in the Olympics. Simone Manuel, a 20-year-old from Sugar Land, Texas, tied for the gold medal in the women's 100-meter freestyle with an Olympic record time of 52.70 seconds.

With a dramatic performance on the high bars, Japan's Kohei Uchimura defended his Olympic title in the men's individual all-around on Wednesday and added to his lustrous reputation as the best male gymnast ever.

Uchimura, who has won every all-around title at the world championships or the Olympics since 2009, was heavily favored. But after five of the six events, he was slightly behind Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev.

Cyclist Kristin Armstrong has a regular job and a son. And as of today, she also has three Olympic gold medals. After becoming the only cyclist — male or female — to win three consecutive golds in the same discipline, Armstrong, who turns 43 Thursday, said she hopes to inspire other moms.

After calling this victory at Rio's Summer Olympics "the most gratifying" of her three individual championships, Armstrong urged other female athletes not to let negative ideas seep into their minds about what they're capable of.

She said:

If there's such a thing as an average U.S. Olympic athlete at the Rio Games, she might look something like this: a 26-year-old woman from California who stands about 5 foot 8 — and is now at her first Olympic Games.

Those qualities are among the most common NPR found after sifting through data about Team USA's 554 athletes in Rio, identifying averages and common characteristics.

Are any U.S. Olympic athletes from your town? To find out, you can check our listing of Olympians' hometowns and birth cities below, which draws from data we got from Team USA.

The Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C., are represented in Rio — but not every American state is: No U.S. athletes said they were from North Dakota, West Virginia or Wyoming.

Of the American team's 554 athletes, 47 were born in other countries — the most came from China and Kenya, which account for five each.

Simone Biles seized a gold medal in the individual all-around gymnastics final Thursday, recovering from second place — where she was halfway through the event — to take gold. Raisman also had to make up ground to earn the silver.

The 1-2 finish came days after the pair seized a second consecutive gold medal for the U.S. women's gymnastics team. But Thursday, they were up against both each other and 22 of the world's top gymnasts, with athletes from Russia and China turning in performances that made the final an thrilling competition.

Judo was founded in Japan around 1882. It’s an aggregate of techniques drawn from various martial arts. It’s been an Olympic sport since 1964 and has been gaining popularity ever since.

What does it look like?

“Bodies flying through the air…you’ll see a lot of them are very acrobatic,” says Jake Freedman, Head Coach of the University of New Hampshire Judo Club. “They may go very high into the air, and somehow spin in the air like a cat, and land on their fronts.”

Sovijja Pou, a senior at Brown University, will compete next week as one of two swimmers representing Cambodia. His event, the 100-meter freestyle, is scheduled for Tuesday.

Netflix

Start with four parts "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial." That's your base. Then you'll need two parts "The Goonies," two parts "Poltergeist," and two parts "Alien." Mix in one part each of "It," "Stand by Me," "Firestarter," "Explorers," "Carrie," and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Add a Winona Ryder-shaped dollop of "Beetlejuice," and top off with a dash of the covers of classic '70s and '80s horror novels.

That's the recipe for the newish Netflix series "Stranger Things."

It came down to penalty kicks — and after two of the U.S. women's soccer team players missed theirs, Hope Solo couldn't stop Sweden's shots in an elimination game in the quarterfinals of Rio's Summer Olympics.

Facing their old coach Pia Sundhage, the Americans were trying to improve on a draw with Colombia that marred an otherwise stellar opening round to the games in Brazil. But they couldn't capitalize on early chances against Sweden, and Sundhage's squad made them pay in the end.

Thursday's theme in Rio was the head-to-head competition among some of America's biggest stars in marquee events.

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