Rio Recap: Day 10

While the United States is still comfortably in the lead in the medal count, yesterday was the first time since 2008 that they did not win a gold medal, snapping a 29-day streak. However, American athletes still did quite well:

Star of the day: Sanne Wevers, Netherlands, Gymnastics

I’ve written before about my admiration of the Dutch Women’s Artistic Gymnastics team, who rely on a combination of elegant dance moves and strong artistry to “work the code” to craft difficult routines. Yesterday, Sanne Wevers did the balance beam routine of her life to score a 15.433, and won the gold. This is the first-ever individual medal for the Dutch women’s gymnastics program. The last time Netherlands won a medal in women’s gymnastics was 1928.

Also shining brightly: Clayton Murphy, USA, Track and Field

Clayton Murphy won the bronze medal in the 800m after a crazy come-from-behind sprint during the final few hundred meters. This is the first American medal in the 800 since 1992–three years before Murphy was even born.

The silver lining: Laurie Hernandez was all smiles yesterday when she took the silver medal on the balance beam. (Teammate Simone Biles took the bronze after an uncharacteristic slip on a front tuck.) Hernandez performed a clean routine with only the most minor wobbles. This is her first individual Olympic medal, and she’s the youngest individual medalist in U.S. gymnastics since Shannon Miller. The future is very bright for this one.

Wait, what: Like many people, I assumed that a person whose feet crossed the finish line first in a race was in fact the winner of the race. Last night, I discovered that this was wrong, and that it’s actually the first torso to cross the finish line is the winner. Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dove across the finish line in the 400m final, upsetting American Allyson Felix, who took silver.

The winds are blowing: The diving venue has been subjected to some crazy winds, and it’s having serious impacts on the divers’ performance. Some medal contenders have been completely thrown off their game by the weather and did not advance.

Coburn hops barriers, wades through water for bronze: The steeplechase is probably the most unusual event in the track and field competition, requiring competitors to jump over barriers and run through water for 3,000 meters. The United States had never medaled in the event, until Colorado’s Emma Coburn took the bronze yesterday.

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