RCS Sidelines

August 13, 2008 12:35 PM

Olympic Wrap-Up: Day 5


Thanks to NBC, a lot of the big events are being shown live here on the East Coast, but a majority of the games are still taking place while you sleep. To help keep you updated, here's a quick look back at the past 12+ hours in Beijing.

The story of Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) was the same story of the entire Olympic Games: Michael Phelps. With two more wins last night (in the 200m Butterfly and 4x200m Freestyle Relay), Phelps became the most successful Olympian ever, earning his 10th and 11th career gold medals. In the Beijing Games, that's five events, five gold medals and five world records. Tonight Tomorrow night his quest for eight continues with a tough 200 IM. Amazingly, America has 10 gold medals -- Phelps has five of them.

Elsewhere in the pool, Italy's Federica Pellegrini won gold in the women's 200m Freestyle, while American Natalie Coughlin took the bronze in the women's 200m IM (Australian Stephanie Rice won gold).

A night after the U.S. men's gymnastics team surprised everyone with a bronze-medal finish, the women's squad took home silver, but was left disappointed. The Americans led early, but then struggled in the final two events, leaving the door open for China who rallied and earned their countries first ever gold medal in women's gymnastics.

The U.S. team went into the final two routines — balance beam and floor exercise, both strengths — with an excellent shot at its first Olympic gold since 1996. But from the moment Alicia Sacramone, the veteran of the squad, mounted the beam, then fell off, those hopes were doomed.
In other less-than-impressive performances, U.S. baseball lost their opening game, as South Korea scored two in the 9th inning to win, 8-7, and U.S. men's soccer is already on its way back home after dropping their match to Nigeria, 2-1.

On a more positive note, U.S. women's basketball easily cruised past Mali, 97-41, and America no-hit Australia in softball, 3-0. USA is after its fourth-straight gold medal in softball -- their dominance is rather unbelievable: in Athens, America outscored their opponents, 51-1, and finished with a 9-0 record. Perhaps not the worst move ever to eliminate it from Olympic competition.

Be sure to follow the medal count in our 2008 Medal Count Map.

Photo courtesy Getty Images

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