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PHOTOS: Michael Phelps leads United States delegation into Maracanã Stadium

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The Rio Olympics are officially underway, with the Opening Ceremony being held Friday night at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The United States brought the largest delegation to Rio, with 554 athletes representing the country.

Leading the delegation into the Maracanã was swimmer Michael Phelps, who’s competing in his fourth Summer Olympics and with 22 medals (18 of which are gold) he’s the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.

Usually the United States has to wait until the latter stages of the parade of athletes to enter the stadium, but that wasn’t the case this time around. With the nations entering in order of their name in Brazilian Portuguese, the United States entered as the “Estados Unidos da America,” which meant a much shorter wait for the athletes than usual.

Phelps is just the second swimmer to serve as the flag bearer in United States Olympic history, with Gary Hall receiving the honor in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. In prior Summer Olympics Phelps swam on the first day of the swimming competition, which is traditionally held the day after the Opening Ceremony. But that won’t be the case in Rio, which opened the door for him to be the flag bearer for Team USA.

Julian Finney/Getty Images
Julian Finney/Getty Images
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Buda Mendes/Getty Images
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Lars Baron/Getty Images
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

MORE: Seb Coe: Track and field needs more U.S. meets

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