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Fifteen years ago today: Michael Phelps wins first gold medal

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Michael Phelps made his first Olympic team at age 15, finishing fifth in the 200-meter butterfly in Sydney.

Four years later, the expectations were much higher. He broke the 200 fly world record in 2001 and broke it again to win his first world championship later that year. In the 2003 world championships, he defended his title and added championships in the 200-meter medley, the 400-meter medley and 4×100 medley relay.

On Aug. 14, 2004, still barely 19 years old, Phelps jumped into the pool for his first final of the Athens Olympics, the 400-meter medley.

Even the yellow line for world-record pace was no competition for Phelps.

That year, Phelps took gold in both medleys, both butterflies and two relays. He added bronze in two other events for a total of eight medals.

Twelve years later, he wrapped up with a career total of 23 golds, three silvers and two bronzes.

The full list:

2004 Athens

Gold (6): 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m medley, 400m medley, 4x200m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay

Bronze (2): 200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay

2008 Beijing

Gold (8): 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m medley, 400m medley, 200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay, 4x200m freestyle relay

2012 London

Gold (4): 100m butterfly, 200m medley, 4x200m freestyle relay. 4x100m medley relay

Silver (2): 4x100m freestyle relay, 200m butterfly

Did not medal: 400m medley (fourth)

2016 Rio

Gold (5): 200m butterfly, 200m medley, 4x100m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay, 4x200m freestyle relay

Silver (1): 100m butterfly

David Rudisha escapes car crash ‘well and unhurt’

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David Rudisha, a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder at 800m, is “well and unhurt” after a car accident in his native Kenya, according to his Facebook account.

Kenyan media reported that one of Rudisha’s tires burst on Saturday night, leading his car to collide with a bus, and he was treated for minor injuries at a hospital.

Rudisha, 30, last raced July 4, 2017, missing extended time with a quad muscle strain and back problems. His manager said last week that Rudisha will miss next month’s world championships.

Rudisha owns the three fastest times in history, including the world record 1:40.91 set in an epic 2012 Olympic final.

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Tokyo Paralympic medals unveiled with historic Braille design, indentations

Tokyo Paralympic Medals
Tokyo 2020
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The Tokyo Paralympic medals, which like the Olympic medals are created in part with metals from recycled cell phones and other small electronics, were unveiled on Sunday, one year out from the Opening Ceremony.

In a first for the Paralympics, each medal has one to three indentation(s) on its side to distinguish its color by touch — one for gold, two silver and three for bronze. Braille letters also spell out “Tokyo 2020” on each medal’s face.

For Rio, different amounts of tiny steel balls were put inside the medals based on their color, so that when shaken they would make distinct sounds. Visually impaired athletes could shake the medals next to their ears to determine the color.

More on the design from Tokyo 2020:

The design is centered around the motif of a traditional Japanese fan, depicting the Paralympic Games as the source of a fresh new wind refreshing the world as well as a shared experience connecting diverse hearts and minds. The kaname, or pivot point, holds all parts of the fan together; here it represents Para athletes bringing people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity. Motifs on the leaves of the fan depict the vitality of people’s hearts and symbolize Japan’s captivating and life-giving natural environment in the form of rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water. These are applied with a variety of techniques, producing a textured surface that makes the medals compelling to touch.

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Tokyo Paralympic Medals

Tokyo Paralympic Medals