Track and field competition revs up on Saturday, but not before swimmers -- among them, the most decorated Olympian of all time -- make one final splash in the pool. Here are five things to look for Saturday at the 2012 London Games:
The city of Livingstone, in Zambia, is located just 10 kilometers from the spectacular Victoria Falls. Its proximity to the falls makes it a tourist destination, but it also boasts an almost-forgotten past as the home of one of the oldest Jewish settlements in Africa.
RIGA, Latvia -- All quiet here on the morning after the FIBA U19 World Championships, except for the footsteps of scattered tourists making their way over the cobblestones, admiring the Medieval and Gothic architecture. Riga is Europe's more underappreciated destinations, a beautiful Baltic capital famous for its Old Town (where I'm sitting outside, writing my final missive), its wealth of Art Nouveau buildings in the city center, and its night-time mix of sprawling summer beer gardens and sweaty Euro-clubs. Its latitude is so far north that it only gets truly dark for a few hours each day, and so the drunks go home around 6 a.m. and give way to the camera-toters only a few hours later.
RIGA, Latvia -- Outside the Arena Riga press room, after the U.S. suffered a stunning 79-74 loss in the quarterfinals of the FIBA U19 World Championships, one of the Russian-speaking writers stopped me and said while smiling, "This has to be really humbling for you guys, no?"
There is still a prevailing belief among some Americans that any country that dares to take the floor against the U.S. basketball team should be blown right back off it. They remember 1992, when the Dream Team of Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson walked over the world by an average of 43.8 points per game at the Barcelona Olympics. This is our sport, they reason in bars across the country. No one should be able to touch us.
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- On Thursday nights here at the A.E. Mascaro Unit of the Boys & Girls Club, an athletically unexceptional gaggle of men gather to play a brand of pickup basketball one would indisputably describe as "bad."
Usain Bolt makes the impossible seem commonplace. His running has been so spectacular here that he has forced hard-traveled track scribes to consider the question: Can Bolt break Michael Johnson's 12-year-old record in the 200? The time to beat is 19.32.
A message awaited members of the U.S. team a few hours ago, as they boarded the bus for Tuesday afternoon's practice at Beijing Normal University. On every seat someone had left a piece of paper that read, TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED [0-0].
Former Lithuanian president Valdas Adamkus, who guided the ex-Soviet, pro-West republic into the European Union and NATO, has won the Baltic nation's presidential election over Peasants' Party leader Kazimira Prunskiene.