Good morning! Here are the plays everybody will be talking about on Monday.
We may never see an athlete more dominant than Katie Ledecky. Watching Ledecky swim in the Rio Olympics must be what it was like to watch Babe Ruth in person, or maybe Gale Sayers, or Wilt Chamberlain. She is so much better than everybody else that winning is not a mystery, just whether or not she will break her own records. On Sunday it was the 400-meter freestyle and at times it seemed like Ledecky was the only swimmer in the pool. Nobody else was even close.
The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team put the rest of the world on notice. In a sport where tenths of a point usually make the difference, Team USA slaughtered the competition in the qualification round, winning by nearly ten points. As usual, Simone Biles led the way, posting the highest scores in floor exercise (where she soared above everybody), balance beam, and in the vault, where she completed this near-perfect routine.
Michael Phelps wins gold again. While most people were trying to figure out why Phelps had all those red circles on his skin (for an explanation, go here), he was quietly prepping for the first race of his fifth Olympic games. Phelps swam the second leg of the 4×100-meter freestyle relay and he nailed it, posting one of his best relay splits ever and completing what his coach called “probably the best turn that might have ever been done.” The result was gold for the team, the 19th of Phelps’ career and his 23rd career medal overall.
BONUS: The cycling road course has been a disaster. Between the cobblestones and the downhill, winding stretch shortly before the finish line, the road races at the Rio Olympics have seen far too many competitors on the ground. The scariest crash came in the women’s race on Sunday when Dutch cyclist Annemiek Van Vleuten looked like she was cruising to a gold medal and instead ended up in intensive care with three broken vertebrae because of this scary crash.
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