Entries in 2012 Olympic Games (4)


Obama Salutes US Olympic and Paralympic Teams at White House

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama welcomed the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House Friday, telling them they are “a portrait of what this country is all about.”

“You guys all find the strength to keep pushing on good days and bad days, because you believe that no matter where we come from, or no matter what hand we’ve been dealt in life, with enough effort, there is no limit to how far we can go,” the president told the large crowd of athletes gathered on the White House South Lawn.

“That’s what sets all of you apart.  That’s what sets America apart.  We celebrate individual effort, but we also know that, together, we can do incredible things that we couldn’t accomplish on our own,” he said.

The president was joined by Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama, who led the U.S. delegation to the Summer Games in London, in saluting the nation’s finest athletes.

“I had so much fun with everyone over in London that when I got home, I told Barack that we had to invite everybody over to the house,” Michelle Obama said.

The president admitted he was “pretty jealous” that his wife got to go to the games, “but like millions of Americans, I had almost as much fun just following you guys from here.”

“I usually work pretty late, but I’ve mastered the DVR,” he quipped. “It was a great way to end the day, watching you guys do things that I did not think were humanly possible.”

After his wife returned to Washington, the president, an avid sports fan and exercise enthusiast, said he and the first lady would talk about the games while they worked out in the morning.

“We’d talk about, did you see that thing?” he recounted. “That was unbelievable. …  And then I’d jog on the treadmill,” he said, making fun of his own athletic prowess.

The president said that he was not supposed to shake everyone’s hands because of his tight schedule but vowed to “break the rule” and do it anyway, which he did.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Olympics: US Women Set 4x100m Record; Bolt Blasts Lewis

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The U.S. women’s 4×100-meter relay team captured the gold in a record time of 40.82 seconds, demolishing the previous record of 41.37 set by East Germany in 1985. Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix and Bianca Knight opened up a big lead for Carmelita Jeter who ran the anchor leg and cruised to victory.

It is the latest record to fall in facilities that were designed to propel athletes to peak performances.  The track was built to put spring in a runner’s step, and the pool was made to absorb waves and reduce drag.

For Oscar Pistorius, "the fastest man on no legs,” not even a track engineered for speed could help him and his South African teammates in the 4×400-meter relay. After being awarded a spot in the finals on appeal after a crash in the semis, South Africa finished in last place with the Bahamas winning gold and the U.S. taking silver.

Meanwhile, the fastest man with legs, Usain Bolt, took a break from relishing in his 200-meter victory to fire off a few choice words about Olympic legend Carl Lewis. Lewis has long voiced his suspicion of Bolt’s natural abilities and after he pointed out Jamaica’s relatively lax drug-testing program, Bolt shot back.

“I’m going to say something controversial right now. Carl Lewis, I have no respect for him,” Bolt said. “The things he says about the track athletes is really downgrading for another athlete to say something like that. I think he’s just looking for attention, really, because nobody really talks much about him.

“That was really sad for me when I heard the other day what he was saying. It was upsetting. I’ve lost all respect for him. All respect.”

On the hardwood, the U.S. Men’s basketball team defeated Argentina 109-83 and advanced to the finals, where they will face Spain. The team was cheered on by their secret weapon, 89-year-old Ray Lump from Long Island. Lump competed on the U.S. team that brought a gold medal home from London in 1948; he later went on to play for the Knicks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Women's Soccer Wins Gold in Rematch Final Against Japan

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/GettyImages(LONDON) -- In front of a crowd of nearly 85,000 at London's Wembley Stadium, midfielder Carli Lloyd led the U.S. women's soccer team to a gold medal in Thursday's final against Japan.

The 2-1 victory was sweet revenge for the Americans, who lost to the Japanese in a 2011 World Cup final upset, the first time they had beaten the United States in 26 games.

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The United States drew blood early, with a goal by Lloyd in the eighth minute. As they celebrated the goal, some players thought it was scored by Abby Wambach, who swung her foot at the ball at a cross by Alex Morgan as Lloyd knocked it in. Wambach cleared up the confusion with an emphatic point of the finger toward her teammate.

Lloyd struck goal again in the 54th minute, her fourth of the Olympics and the team's 16th. She dribbled a ball from Megan Rapinoe near the halfline toward the goal as Morgan and Wambach raced ahead of her. Neither were open, so rather than pass, Lloyd blasted a shot past Japanese goalkeeper Miho Fukimoto's outstretched arms and into the net's left side.

It took Japan until the 64th minute to score. Japan's Yuki Ogimi tapped a ball in that the United States defense failed to clear. Defender Christie Rampone blocked a Japanese shot, but she could not keep Ogimi's rebound out of the net.

Japan gained momentum in the second half as a previously somnolent Japanese crowd at Wembley thunderously awoke.

Confusion near the American net in the 74th minute almost gave the Japanese an equalizing second goal, but a foul called in the penalty box against Japan gave the United States relief from the threat.

The closing 15 minutes of the match were full of intense moments -- physical play that earned Wambach a yellow card and breakaways from both teams -- but the score stayed at 2-1 until the referee blew the final whistle, giving the United States the gold medal.

Despite their World Cup win, Japan came into Thursday's final at a significant disadvantage both in size and experience. History was also against them -- with the exception of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the United States has won the gold medal in women's soccer in every Games since it became an Olympic sport in 1996.

The American reign in the sport was in doubt just three days ago, when the Canadian team nearly advanced to the final in a nail-biting semifinal. Morgan headed a cross into the net in the last minute of extra time, ending a match that some Canadian players later said was unfairly refereed.

While the women's soccer final was the marquee event Thursday, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt cemented his status as the world's fastest man with gold medal-winning 19:32 time in the 200 meters. Fresh off a Sunday gold in the 100 meters, Bolt became the first back-to-back gold medal-winning sprinter ever.

It was a one-two-three finish for Jamaica, as Bolt's countrymen Johan Blake and Warren Weir rounded out the silver and bronze with 19:44 and 19:84 times.

Earlier in the day, U.S. middleweight boxer Claressa Shields earned the first American gold medal in women's boxing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Michael Phelps Wins Gold in Final Olympic Event of His Career

CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/GettyImages(LONDON) -- Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history, so it was only fitting that the U.S. swimmer finished his final race in the course of three Olympic games with a gold medal performance.

Phelps, 27, swam the butterfly leg of the men's 4x100-meter relay, closing the gap between the United States and leader Japan. Nathan Adrian brought the victory home in the anchor leg of the race.

Japan took the silver medal in the relay, while Australia claimed the bronze.

Phelps, who made his Olympic debut in Sydney in 2004, exited the pool in London one final time, sharing a group hug with his teammates.

As he steps onto the medal podium for the last time, the swimmer has said he will not race in the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

Phelps has 18 career Olympic gold medals, two silver and two bronze, making him the most decorated Olympian in history with 22 medals.

He won gold Friday in his last individual race, beating his teammate Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley.

U.S. swimmers dominated in London, winning a total of 30 medals.

Shortly before Phelps' final swim, Olympic darling Missy Franklin and Team USA won gold in the women's 4x100-meter relay.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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