Rio Recap: Day Three

After three days of competition, the US remains atop the leaderboard with 19 total medals.

Star of the day: Lilly King, USA, Swimming

On Sunday, King basically reignited the Cold War by calling Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova (who has been suspended twice for doping) a drug cheat. In Monday’s final in the 100m breaststroke, all eyes were on King and Efimova in what effectively was an aquatic reboot of Rocky IV.  Much like the plot of Rocky IV, the good guys won this round and King defeated Efimova and set a new Olympic record. Fellow American Katie Meili took the bronze. The internet exploded with Miracle on Ice-level patriotism:

And King even took the chance to throw shade one more time:

Also shining brightly: Ryan Murphy, USA, Swimming

Murphy won the 100m backstroke and set a new Olympic record. Fellow American David Plummer won the bronze.

As a bonus, Murphy lived out his childhood dream on Monday night:

Today’s adorable parent moment:  Ryan Murphy’s parents were caught celebrating in the stands after their son won gold.

Pommel horse of death: The U.S. Men’s Artistic Gymnastics team was seeking redemption from their disastrous team final in the London 2012 games, and unfortunately history repeated itself. Despite qualifying in the second position, the U.S. finished in fifth place behind Japan, Russia, China, and Great Britain. A very disappointing day for the Americans, but they still have a chance to earn medals in the individual competitions.

Ukraine forfeits the final:  On the other end of the gymnastics spectrum we have Ukraine, who scratched on several apparatuses in the team final to get scores of zero. (In the team final, the format is “three up; three count” and no scores are dropped.) According to one of the team members, it was due to an injury–but some suspect other motives. In 2012, Ukraine was edged off of the medal podium following a controversial judge’s inquiry by the Japanese.

Michael Phelps might be Darth Vader:  Still giddy from King’s victory over the possibly-doping Russian, the internet got quite a kick out of Michael Phelps giving South African swimmer Chad le Clos the death stare to end all death stares. Phelps went on to defeat le Clos in the semifinals of the 200m butterfly, and both will swim in tomorrow’s final. It’s safe to say that Angry Michael Phelps is the Rio version of McKayla Maroney’s “Not Impressed” face.

Americans dive into second place: China has dominated the synchronized diving events during the past few Olympic cycles, meaning that the rest of the world is essentially competing for second place. Americans David Boudia and Steele Johnson took second in Monday’s 10m synchronized platform event, finishing behind the Chinese team of Chen Aisen and Lin Yue by a mere 39.87 points. (Seriously, whut. How is China so good at diving?) Team GB’s Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow took bronze.

Belated congrats: To Majlinda Kelmendi, who won Kosovo’s very first gold medal on Sunday, and to Hoang Xuan Vinh, who won Vietnam’s first-ever gold medal on Saturday. Kelmendi won the 52kg Judo competition, and Vinh won the 10m air pistol.


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David Strom 4:01 PM on October 03, 2022