1. After defending his 100m crown, Usain Bolt said he wanted to be a legend. On Thursday night he achieved that goal, beating out his countryman Yohan Blake for the 200m gold. After becoming only the second man to ever repeat in the 100m, Bolt made history by becoming the first 200m champion to defend his title. In doing so he led a Jamaican sweep of the podium, with Blake taking silver and Warren Weir bronze. Bolt has one Beijing title left to defend in the 4x100m relay.
2. Carli Lloyd provided the offense with two goals and Hope Solo unleashed a bevy of incredible saves as the United States women held on to win Olympic gold over Japan, 2-1. The Japanese had upended the world’s No. 1 in last summer’s World Cup, so this victory was extra sweet for the squad. This was the United States’ third straight gold in women’s soccer, and their fourth in five Games since the sport was added in 1996.
[ Photos: More of U.S. goalie Hope Solo ]
3. Ashton Eaton set the decathlon world record at the U.S. Olympic trials, and while he didn’t quite reach those heights in London, I would guess he’ll gladly take the gold medal and traditional title of “world’s greatest athlete.” Finishing just behind Eaton was fellow American Trey Hardee, meaning Americans went gold-silver in the event for the first time since Milt Campbell and Rafer Johnson at the 1956 Melbourne Games.
4. It was a big day for U.S. women both in the ring and in the pool, as 17-year-old Claressa Shields won boxing gold and the water polo team defeated Spain in the final. Shields is the first American woman to win a boxing medal, defeating Russian Nadezda Torlopova 19-12. It was also the United States’ first gold in women’s water polo after a silver in Beijing, and the coaching staff joined the players in the pool to celebrate the 8-5 victory. We also need to acknowledge silver medalist Haley Anderson, who missed out on the 10km open water swim gold by a mere 0.4 seconds.
5. Oscar Pistorius was set to take the baton from his South African teammate in their 4x400m qualifying heat, but Ofense Mogatwane became entwined with Kenyan runner Vincent Kiilu and crashed to the track. As Pistorius tried to get to the fallen runner, track officials stopped him, and their team was eliminated. In a surprising reversal, track’s international ruling body ruled Mogatwane had been obstructed and let the South Africans advance, continuing Pistorius’ London Games for one more day. Mogatwane’s injury wasn’t the only one during qualifying, as U.S. runner Manteo Mitchell (somehow) finished his section of the relay with a broken leg.
Should you ever find yourself at a Swedish handball match, you might want to avoid sitting in front of this fan. The gentleman making his wife wince and the beleaguered spectator in front of him cover her ears is actually King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, giving Will and Kate a run for best royal fan in London. The Swedes won over rival Denmark 24-22, meaning his boisterous efforts were very much worthwhile.
“I made a big mistake. I’m happy my parents didn’t tell me off. They understand that I needed this.” — Belgian cyclist Gijs von Hoecke, who was sent home from London by his national team after getting very, very drunk. Gijs’ mom and dad are our “Parents To Note” today, due to their understanding that their son needed to make international headlines to blow off a little steam.
“I guess [Fab Five] was taken by some basketball team or something.” — the wonderful McKayla Maroney, who is really not impressed, Jalen Rose. This debate is all for the best, because as our own Maggie Hendricks has been saying all Olympics, Fierce Five is a much better nickname for the gold medal-winning U.S. team, anyway.
Thursday’s Gold Medal Moments for Team USA: Ashton Eaton, decathlon; Claressa Shields, boxing; women’s soccer; women’s water polo; Christian Taylor, men’s triple jump.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Martin Rogers, the United States is such a heavy favorite to finish with the most total medals and most golds that London bookmakers are no longer accepting bets. Silly raccoon, leave the predicting to the professionals.
U.S. Olympians with best chance at gold on Friday: Women’s 4x100m relay team
Related Olympics coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
More Olympics coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
• Lightning strikes twice: Bolt finishes off historic double
• U.S. women’s soccer team clinches gold by beating Japan
• Solo saves the day for the United States in final