The U.S. Olympics team racked up the medals today. Edging Michael Phelps and his world record-setting ways briefly out of the spotlight were the American women's gymnasts Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson, who won the gold and silver medals respectively in the all-around competition. First-place was determined only after the final rotation--the floor exercise--and Liukin edged Johnson out. China's Yang Yilin won the bronze. Bela Karolyi described Liukin's and Johnson's differences, “Nastia has those long lines and grace, while Shawn is that little fireball constantly moving. They are so opposite, but their outcome and scores are just about the same.” For fun, here's video of Karolyi freaking out (in a good way) during Liukin's performance.
NJ native Rebecca Soni surprised the women's swim team by setting a world record in the 200 meter breaststroke and winning the gold medal. She was shocked and said, "It just kind of flowed, it just kind of happened. It felt great. I just tried to stay relaxed and not rush through the water, keep my stroke strong and power it to the end."
And in men's swimming, Ryan Lochte beat fellow American and 2004 gold medalist Aaron Peirsol in the 200 meter backstroke. He set a new world record--and then 27 minutes later competed in the 200 meter individual medley. Lochte finished third, while Michael Phelps continued his tear through the competition. Phelps won his sixth gold medal and set a new world record for the 200m IM. Basketball star Kobe Bryant was in the Water Cube watching the event and said, "It's the first time I've ever been at a swimming event, and I said, 'This can't be normal.' And they said, 'It's not normal. This is history in the making.' "