You know that sadness you feel every January when you realize you have to say goodbye to your beautifully decorated Christmas tree? Well, every Olympics enthusiast should be currently nursing a broken heart knowing they have to say goodbye to our beautifully decorated (22 medals!) Michael Phelps, who finished his final Olympic race before retirement Saturday night. Of course, it's misleading to say Phelps merely "finished" the 4x100-meter medley — along with Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen, and Nathan Adrian, Phelps picked up the gold medal, finishing the race in three minutes and 29.35 seconds, two seconds ahead of Japan's silver medalists. The win marked his 18th gold medal — twice as many as any other Olympian in history. (Take that, Mark Spitz!) That's quite the bling to match with his tracksuit in Boca. Happy retirement! So, though it was difficult to upstage Phelps' legendary career, what were Saturday's other notable, golden moments? Read on!
Missy Hits Her Mark: Olympic breakout and adorable human being Missy Franklin helped the Americans secure the gold during the women's medley relay Saturday. The 17-year-old and teammates Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer, and Allison Schmitt locked in a world record to boot, finishing in three minutes and 52.05 seconds, two seconds ahead of the Australian silver medalists. Franklin will be returning to her senior year in high school this fall with five medals. Remember when you thought owning five gelly roll pens granted you bragging rights? Yeah.
Play Misty For Me: In the beach volleyball quarterfinals, that is. Power volleyball couple Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings have advanced after beating the Netherlands' Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer 21-13, 21-12 in less than 30 minutes. Continue their domination, and the duo could soon be misty-eyed on the Olympic podium.
Maria Sharapova Not so Sharp: Of course, that was to the benefit of Serena Williams, who bested the No. 3-seeded Sharapova in straight sets to win the gold in women's tennis. The 6-0, 6-1 match was an impressive victory for the No. 4-seeded Williams, who has been enjoying an epic six-match run, losing just 17 games. Williams did, however, receive a surprise during her medal ceremony — wind blew the American flag off its pole while the tennis star stood on the podium. Too bad she didn't have a Canon PowerShot for that photo-friendly moment.
LeBron Gets LeLucky: LeBron James led the U.S. Basketball team to victory against the Lithuanian team... but just barely. The U.S. team, coached by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, finished with 99 points, besting their Saturday night rivals by just five points. The team fought back from Lithuania's two-point lead in the final six minutes, winning redemption after a disappointing loss to the team eight years ago during the 2004 Olympics in Athens. James scored an impressive 20 points during the course of the game, while Kris Humphries tuned into a rerun of Khloe and Lamar.
Worth its Pryce in Gold: Jamaican runner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sprinted to victory during the women's 100-meter final Saturday, finishing in 10.75 seconds. Good news for her, bad news for America: U.S.'s Carmelita Jeter crossed the finish line just 0.03 seconds behind Fraser-Pryce. Of course, Fraser-Pryce's win was hardly unexpected: The sprinter became the first Jamaican female to win the gold in the same event in Beijing's 2008 Olympics. But, hey, let Team U.S.A. take solace in the childhood mantra: Second is the best!
More golden days ahead for Team U.S.A. — and more days spent indoors in front of our TV screens. Fresh air? What's that? Onto Day 9!
[Image Credit: WENN.com]
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Let's just go ahead and say it and get it out of the way now: USA! USA! USA! USA! Alright, we good now? It was a pretty historic day out there in Foggy Londontown, as the Olympics ended day four with quite a literal and figurative splash! There were races and routines galore; medals were passed out--some of them silver, some of them gold, and even a few bronze. Whether on a track, a beam, or in a pool, the Olympics were on fire today, and we've got the best highlights for you here:
World's Fanciest Poolboy: Michael Phelps has done what he came to London to do: make records, win medals, and go down in history for doing just that. Phelps took time out of his busy schedule today to become the most decorated Olympian of all time, winning a 19th medal to surpass previous record-holder Larisa Latynina. Phelps took silver in the 200m butterfly, and gold in the 4x200m freestyle today to make this happen. Not a bad highlight to your final Olympic games, eh?
All Tied Up: The United States are now tied with China in the medal count after four days of competition. Both teams now share the top spot with 23 medals per country. In the Olympic Hunger Games, only one country can come out on top. But what happens if they tie at the end? Are we going to have another berries situation on our hands? Because that really didn't work out the way it was planned in Panem.
Golden Girls Again: The ladies of the US gymnastics team (The Fab Five they're calling them! They're just like The Beatles!) took a trip to the top of the podium after scoring their first team gold since the 1996 games. Led by impressive performances from Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman (we're waiting for our customary parents react shot, Internet), Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber, the ladies posted the top scores in three out of four events. The defending champions, China, failed to place (unlike the men who took home gold yesterday).
Water Sports: Allison Schmitt took home the ladies gold medal in the 200m freestyle. Nice work, Schmitty! Our men's water polo team posted a 10-8 win over Romania today thanks to some top-tier work by Peter Varellas and Ryan Bailey. Well at least Romania still has Horia Tecau going for it.
Volleybutts: I'm sorry, balls. I meant balls, not butts. (Teeheehee!) But our beach ballers there sure are kickin' some butt, huh? The US men's team beat Spain out on the beach today, and the women's players April Ross and Jennifer Kessy are now ranked number one.
Tennis Talk: Andy Murray is through to the third round of the men's tennis after beating Jarkko Nieminem, and Venus Williams won her second round match against America's TopHat competitor, Aleksandra Wozniak. Go on brush your shoulders off, America.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]
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