Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoub will miss the London 2012 Olympics because he needs a 10-day course of antibiotics, according to reports. But few Olympic observers are worried about the health of Mahjoub, 21. Many of them see the withdrawal as a ploy to keep from competing against an Israeli.
From London, Tom Goldman filed this report for NPR's Newscast:
Torchbearers have brought the Olympic flame to London's streets. The relay is wrapping up a 70-day journey from Greece, ahead of Friday's Opening Ceremony. And although it wasn't always this way, the runners carrying the torch come from all walks of life.
If somebody hadn't thought to start them up again 116 years ago, would ESPN have invented them to fill in summer programming?
I'm not being cranky. It's just that most of the most popular Olympic sports are the groundhog games. Swimming, gymnastics and track and field come out every four years, see their shadow and go right back underground where nobody pays any attention to them for another four years. Can you even name a gymnast?
With the London 2012 Opening Ceremony just days away, armies of costumed performers are rehearsing in Olympic Park.
In the bowels of the stadium, dancers, acrobats and actors wait patiently for their turn on the field. Gentlemen in top hats use cellphones to take pictures of each other. Chimney sweeps step outside to have a smoke. In the stands are thousands of people lucky enough to have scored tickets to watch dress rehearsals.
Two American women cyclists from Idaho will race at this summer's Olympics. And their events couldn't be more different: Kristin Armstrong races the clock, wearing an aerodynamic teardrop helmet in the time trial.
Meanwhile, mountain biker Georgia Gould combines speed with technical prowess to navigate rocky descents and dirt trails.
Chances may be good for a U.S. medal in mountain biking and in swimming, gymnastics and a lot of other events where the U.S. tends to dominate the podium, but when's the last time we saw a U.S. victory in table tennis? We got to wondering about which sports Americans just can't master and who are the top rival countries in those events. And Olympic historian David Wallechinsky is with us for more.
The U.S. Olympic basketball team narrowly beat Argentina late Sunday, 86-80, as the two teams prepare for the start of the London Games Friday. The tight score came despite a fast start for the U.S. squad, who were dressed in throwback uniforms inspired by the 1992 Dream Team.
The Americans raced to a 31-16 lead early on, but they were only 4 points ahead late in the game, and pulled away thanks to three-pointers by Kevin Durant and Chris Paul — who posted a photo of his uniform on Instagram.