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5 Things to Know: Olympics Opening Weekend

Gearhydrate-postMatt From London/Flickr

The 2012 Olympics kicked off on Saturday—if you don't count soccer, which you should—and a lot of things happened. It's not easy to keep up with it all, especially since NBC's streams have been especially screwy, so here are the five things you should know if you were only going to know five things about what happened over the weekend in London.

1. Kim Rhode, the 33-year-old shooter from California, became the first American to win a medal in five straight Olympics. She hit 99 out of 100 targets in the skeet shooting competition to win her third gold to go along with a bronze and a silver. Rhode won her first medal (a gold) in Atlanta at 16, and she plans to compete in Brazil in 2016.

2. American Dana Vollmer set a world record in the 100m butterfly. The 24-year-old won gold with a time of 55.98 despite losing one of her swimming caps midway through the race. Vollmer won a gold as part of the 4x200m freestyle team in 2004, but failed to qualify in any events for the Beijing Olympics.

3. The manufactured Phleps-Lochte rivalry is, well, somewhere. Lochte took gold in the 400m individual medley, while Phelps finished off the medal stand for the first time since 2000. But then in a reverse of 2008’s 4x100m freestyle relay, France snatched victory from the U.S. on the last leg—swam by Lochte. Phelps’ 47.15 split-time on the second leg gave the U.S. a huge lead. Important note: Lochte occasionally wears a grill.

4. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, is pretty much the weirdest human being currently inhabiting Planet Earth. Johnson on women’s volleyball players: “They are glistening like wet otters and the water is plashing off the brims of the spectators’ sou’westers. The whole thing is magnificent and bonkers.” Read his entire column, now. 

5. It is a terrible Olympics to be really good at whatever sport you do. Spain, currently the greatest soccer nation in the world, was knocked out of the competition after losing their first two games. The South Korean men’s archery team lost to the U.S. in the semis, a day after setting a world record in the event. Mark Cavendish, a favorite in the men’s road race, finished in 29th place. The Australian 4x100m freestyle relay team didn’t medal, leading some to call it “Australian swimming’s darkest day.” And American Jordyn Wieber, the defending world all-around gymnastics champion, didn’t qualify for the competition, losing out to her BEST FRIEND by 0.359 points.



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