Tensions boil in the pool
Lilly King, the 19-year-old American who called out Russian rival Yuliya Efimova for her two failed drug tests, won gold and backed up her sizable talk of keeping the Olympics clean. She also set an Olympic record in the 100-meter breaststroke. The loss left Efimova sobbing for nearly five minutes. King went on to say that U.S. drug cheats aren’t any different, and have no place in these Olympics.
American Ryan Murphy took home gold as well, setting an Olympic record in the men’s 100 backstroke.
All of this set the stage for Michael Phelps, who has been appointment viewing for the majority of his career. It takes some kind of crazy to stare down and possibly taunt Phelps, who captured his 19th gold medal on Sunday night, but that’s what reigning Olympic gold medalist Chad le Clos did ahead of their 200 butterfly semifinal. He appeared to shadow box just feet away from Phelps in the ready room, and then continued to stare at him throughout the event. Phelps qualified second, le Clos fourth, meaning that the two will go head-to-head in the final Tuesday night.
Basketball teams leave zero doubt
After a somewhat nervy quarter and a half, the U.S. men showed little restraint in pounding the Venezuelans to improve to 2-0 in group play. Paul George was the leading scorer with 20 points, but his mere presence should be celebrated after his devastating leg injury two years ago. That’s why, after what happened to French gymnast Samir Ait Said, George vowed that he would offer inspiration and “become friends” with him once they meet.
The U.S. women had little trouble dispatching Spain for their 43rd consecutive Olympic victory. The total margin of victory over four games for both U.S. teams has been (drum roll) … 206 points. Like we said, zero doubt.
So much for the amenities
When you’re Usain Bolt, you get yourself a personal room in the Olympic Village. Is a TV on top of that too much to ask? Bolt went and bought himself a TV after someone promised they’d pick him up one and didn’t come through. The six-time gold medalist was then serenaded by a credentialed reporter at a press conference. Such is life for the swaggering samba star.
NBC analyst does the right thing after controversy
After a series of remarks about Simone Biles’ adoptive parents Sunday, NBC analyst Al Trautwig issued an apology Monday afternoon.
Trautwig sparked a furor online when he suggested the American gymnast’s adoptive parents are not really her parents. “They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents,” he wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
Ron and Nellie Biles adopted Simone and her younger sister Adria in 2001. The girls spent time in foster care as Shanon Biles, their biological mother and Ron’s daughter, struggled with drugs and alcohol.
“I regret that I wasn’t more clear in my wording on the air,” Trautwig said in a statement emailed by NBC Sports. “I compounded the error on Twitter, which I quickly corrected. To set the record straight, Ron and Nellie are Simone’s parents.”
Male American gymnasts stumble in team final
The United States scored 268.560, rallying in its last three events, but were unable to overcome a sloppy start en route to a fifth-place finish. On floor, Alex Naddour fell on his final tumbling pass and Sam Mikulak went out of bounds on his first two. It didn’t get much better on pommel horse, where Mikulak, Naddour and Danell Leyva managed to stay on the apparatus but all scored in the 14s. Japan won gold, finishing 2.6 points ahead of the Russian team.