Rio Olympics Daily Preview: August 21

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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It’s been real, Rio, so let’s send the Olympics off in style with a gold-medal finish to the Games.

Sunday brings us the final day, Day 16, beginning with wrestling and ending with a star-studded Closing Ceremony.

MORE: FULL Day 16 streaming schedule

USA gymnast Simone Biles will bear the flag for the Americans in the event, which hopefully sees the country throw a few more golds on the table.

That an outstanding Olympics for USA is currently set to end with the U.S. men’s basketball team scoop a gold medal is fitting for the tournament.

What to Watch: Day 16, Aug 21

7:30 a.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE — wrestling

USA’s Frank Molinaro (65 kg) and Kyle Snyder (97kg) go for gold after waiting til the final day to open their Olympics.


8:30 a.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE — Men’s marathon

American lunatics runners Galen Rupp, Mebrahtom Keflezighi, and Jared Ward hope to make their own bit of history for the USA in this grueling race.


8:30 a.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE — Men’s volleyball bronze

Matt Anderson and the USA hope to leave Rio with a medal. Russia stands in the way.


9:30 a.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE — men’s handball bronze

Poland looks for its first men’s handball medal since 1976 in a match-up against Germany.


10 a.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE — – rhythmic gymnastics group final 


10:30  a.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE –men’s basketball bronze

Australia has finished fourth three times, and would love its first medal. Spain, meanwhile, is hoping to make it three-straight trips to the podium in men’s hoops.


11:30 a.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE — men’s mountain bike final

American rider Howard Grotts starts 33rd, on the fifth line.


12:15 p.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE — men’s volleyball gold

Brazil will make up for a lot of stumbles if it can leave the host nation with a gold win over Ivan Zaytsev and Italy.


1 p.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE — boxing gold medals

USA boxer Claressa Shields looks to make it back-to-back goals when she fights the Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn.


1 p.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE — – men’s handball gold

France looks to make it three-straight Olympic golds versus a Denmark team that has never medaled, finishing fourth in 1984.


2:45 p.m. EDT — STREAM LIVE — – basketball gold

Klay Thompson and Team USA want to keep Olympic glory in America, having won two-straight gold and 15 of 20 overall. Standing in the way is a Serbia team who would love to etch its name in gold for the first time as an independent nation.

World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine
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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”

Ilia Malinin wins U.S. Figure Skating Championships despite quadruple Axel miss

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One year ago, Ilia Malinin came to the U.S. Championships as, largely, a 17-year-old unknown. He finished second to Nathan Chen in 2022 and was left off the three-man Olympic team due to his inexperience, a committee decision that lit a fire in him.

After the biggest year of change in U.S. figure skating in three decades, Malinin came to this week’s nationals in San Jose, California, as the headliner across all disciplines.

Though he fell on his quadruple Axel and doubled two other planned quads in Sunday’s free skate (the most ambitious program in history), he succeeded the absent Chen as national champion.

Malinin, the world’s second-ranked male singles skater, still landed two clean quads in Friday’s short program and three more Sunday. He totaled 287.74 points and prevailed by 10.43 over two-time Olympian Jason Brown, a bridge between the Chen and Malinin eras.

“This wasn’t the skate that I wanted,” said Malinin, who was bidding to become the second man to land six quads in one program after Chen. The Virginia chalked up the flaws at least partially to putting more recent practice time into his short program, which he skated clean on Friday after errors in previous competitions.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Results

Brown, a 28-year-old competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Olympics, became the oldest male singles skater to finish in the top three at nationals since Jeremy Abbott won the last of his four titles in 2014. As usual, he didn’t attempt a quad but had the highest artistic score by 9.41 points.

Brown’s seven total top-three finishes at nationals tie him with Chen, Michael WeissBrian Boitano, David Jenkins and Dick Button for the second-most in men’s singles since World War II, trailing only Todd Eldredge‘s and Hayes Jenkins‘ eight.

“I’m not saying it’s super old, but I can’t train the way I used to,” Brown said after Friday’s short program. “What Ilia is doing and the way he is pushing the sport is outstanding and incredible to watch. I cannot keep up.”

Andrew Torgashev took bronze, winning the free skate with one quad and all clean jumps. Torgashev, who competed at nationals for the first time since placing fifth in 2020 at age 18, will likely round out the three-man world team.

Japan’s Shoma Uno will likely be the favorite at worlds. He won last year’s world title, when Malinin admittedly cracked under pressure in the free skate after a fourth-place short program and ended up ninth.

That was before Malinin became the first person to land a quad Axel in competition. That was before Malinin became the story of the figure skating world this fall. That was before Malinin took over the American throne from Chen, who is studying at Yale and not expected to return to competition.

Malinin’s next step is to grab another label that Chen long held: best in the world. To do that, he must be better than he was on Sunday.

“You always learn from your experiences, and there’s always still the rest of the season to come,” he said. “I just have to be prepared and prepare a little bit extra so that doesn’t happen again.”

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