By: Aaron Stern, NBC Olympics
Five takeaways from Day 3 of Olympic action in London:
No. 1: 19. That’s how many Olympic medals that Michael Phelps has after winning silver in the 200m butterfly and gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay. Nobody else has ever earned that many and Phelps is now the most decorated Olympian of all-time. He’s not the same swimmer he was four years ago: He got chased down Tuesday night on the home stretch of the 200 fly, his signature event in which he hadn’t place lower than first in international competition in a decade, and he has yet to win an individual gold in London. But even if he’s not the best swimmer in the world anymore he’s still pretty close to it and either way he is very arguably the best swimmer of all time. And with three events left to swim in London he can only add to a legacy that already begs the question of where he stands among the best athletes in any sport, ever.
No. 2: After Jordyn Wieber failed on Sunday to qualify for the individual all-around competition the question loomed of how she would gather herself mentally heading into Tuesday’s all-around team competition was. Just fine, it turned out. Wieber and her four teammates were exceptional Tuesday, executing crisp and at times near-flawless routines across the board – including a jaw-dropping vault by McKayla Maroney. The U.S. dominated a Russian squad that looked a little rattled down the stretch. The victory is Team USA’s second team title and first since the Fab 5 victory of 1996.
No. 3: Tom Daley isn’t a household name in the U.S., but in England he’s basically Justin Bieber in the body of an Olympic diver – young, handsome and incredibly talented, he’s every young girl’s dream. So when the 18-year-old failed to medal in the 10m synchronized diving competition on Day 3, Britain was crushed. Then some kid took to twitter and said a whole lot of pretty awful things to and about Daley, including that he had disgraced his father – who died of brain cancer last year. The whole thing was ugly, and then this morning it just got weird when police arrested the youngster from Weymouth teen responsible for the tweets on so-called suspicion of malicious communication – a strange twist in an already sad story.
No. 4: Andy Roddick was bounced out of the second round of the tennis tournament today in just 54 minutes by Novak Djokovic. The 6-2, 6-1 pounding isn’t going to help Roddick escape questions about retirement. Meanwhile, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France beat Canada’s Milos Raonic in an epic battle that featured the longest set in Olympic history. Tsonga won 6-3, 3-6, 25-23.
No. 5: And in case you were wondering, it’s official: The U.S. has the two best skeet shooters in the world. Hands down. On Monday Kim Rhode became the first American to win an individual gold at five straight Games with a gold medal in the women’s skeet competition and set an Olympic record by hitting 99 of 100 targets in the process. Then on Tuesday Vincent Hancock won the men’s skeet competition, becoming the first two-time gold medalist in the event by shooting a perfect final round with an Olympic record score of 148. If you’re ever looking for someone to go hunting with, give one of them a call.
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.