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2016 Rio Olympics

After Rio risk, Olympic officials can learn lessons

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Taking the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro was always considered a bit of a risk. Now that South America’s first games are drawing to a close, the question is: Did the gamble pay off? The answer, according to experienced Olympic officials and experts, is a mixed bag. Yes, Brazil managed to pull it off under difficult economic and political conditions, with the sports competitions, venues, athletes, friendly hosts, television images and Rio’s scenic backdrops all rising to the occasion. Yet,…

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Brazil got its golden moment, but at what cost?

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Remember this moment, Brazil. Nothing feels better than winning. Remember how it felt on that balmy Saturday night in this fabled temple of soccer, the Maracana, when the Selecao held its nerve through 120 minutes and a penalty shootout to gain some small measure of revenge against Germany. Remember, too, how Neymar, without doubt one of the five best players in the world, won it all. How he kissed the ball before the fifth penalty kick and how his teammate,…

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For 10 teams, Rio was a welcome to the Olympic gold-medal club

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For some nations, winning Olympic gold is quite the regular occurrence. At the Rio de Janeiro Games, plenty of first-timers got to hear their anthems played in celebration as well. Going into Sunday’s final day of competition in Rio, 10 teams – including the independent team of Olympians – were assured of leaving these games with their first gold medals. That’s the most first-timers since 16 nations got their inaugural feel of Olympic gold at the Atlanta Games in 1996.…

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The good, the bad and the ugly of the Rio Games

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Michael Phelps won more medals than anyone else, again. And then he said farewell, also again. Usain Bolt kissed the finish line good-bye after enhancing his Olympic legacy. Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky delivered under the burden of enormous expectations. Two strangers went from rivals to forever linked by a display of kindness, an entire nation seemed to celebrate a tennis match, and a gold medalist scampered home to avoid legal issues after a robbery story unraveled. The Rio de…

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Usain Bolt saved his sport – and kept the Olympics relevant

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It began in a rain-drenched 5,000-seat stadium on an island between Manhattan and Queens. Some Jamaican kid with the improbably awesome name of “Bolt” was in the Big Apple, not so much to announce his presence to the world, but to figure out who he was. We clambered into a van and headed over to Ichan Stadium. The headliner that night: American sprinter Tyson Gay. Or so we thought. Wearing a white top and black shoes — nothing flashy —…

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Good as gold: U.S. women win 6th straight Olympic hoops title

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Geno Auriemma and Diana Taurasi shared a long, emotional embrace. Mission accomplished. The U.S. women’s basketball team won a sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal in dominant fashion, routing Spain 101-72 on Saturday. Taurasi and the Americans played nearly flawless basketball in Rio, and were never challenged. They have won 49 consecutive games in the Olympics with only one of those decided by single digits. With that kind of sustained success, no one wants to say this is the best women’s…

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#Blackgirlmagic takes spotlight at Olympics

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Andrea Lawful-Sanders has a ritual for cheering the black heroines of the Summer Olympics. She gets into her corner of the living room, sets up her chair, demands silence before screaming at the top of her lungs, flails her body wildly and — in keeping with her and heritage — bangs pot covers together to celebrate victories. From Simone Biles‘ gravity-defying flips to the history-making medal trifecta of the U.S. women racing in the 100-meter hurdles, many of the Olympics’…

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