Do Americans Still Care About the Olympics?Ratings were way down for NBC. Is that because the U.S. is too good at winning medals?
How Old Is Too Old for Olympians?What we know about aging in elite athletes, and what it can teach us about how everyone gets older.
The Legend of Simone BilesHer gymnastics miracles look effortless, but it’s her rare stumbles that show how magnificent she truly is.
Is Russian Swimmer Yulia Efimova Really a Villain?A wag of the finger to the U.S. fans valorizing Lilly King’s self-righteousness.
No Tears, No Drama, No DoubtNBC’s usual anxiety-amping tricks were no match for the greatness of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.
“I Definitely Cried a Lot”How NBC turned the most dominant performance in gymnastics history into a soap opera.
Everything You Need to Know About Gymnastics ScoringOr, why Simone Biles won’t get a perfect score in Rio.
A Journey Through National Trauma Via Cirque du Soleil–Style Performance ArtThe odd spectacle of the Rio Olympics’ austere, exuberant, didactic opening ceremony.
How Bela and Martha Karolyi Made America GreatA pair of Romanian defectors transformed U.S. women’s gymnastics with a system imported from the former Eastern bloc.
Destroyer of Souls, Earner of EndorsementsA maniac in the pool and adorable on land, Katie Ledecky is the prototype of an American Olympian starlet.
A Basketball Coalition of the WillingThe 2016 U.S. Olympic team isn’t dreamy, and it has nothing to redeem. It’s still incredibly fun to watch, and worth rooting for.
Taking Sprinting to New HeightsThe 6-foot-5 Usain Bolt set a world record in the 100-meter dash. Short sprinters, beware.
The Karolyis’ Tainted GloryThe celebrated coaches’ legacy includes the alleged physical and psychological torment of young gymnasts.
I Just Won at the Olympics. Now What Am I Supposed to Do With My Hands?A comprehensive taxonomy of acceptable gold-medal-winning gestures.
Why Do Gymnasts Have Such Strange, Elaborate Hairdos?An investigation of 50 years of gymnastics hair trends.
The Savior of Gymnastics Dance Is a 16-Year-Old From New JerseyHow Laurie Hernandez can save the floor exercise from horrible pirouettes and herky-jerky poses.
Can Brazil Be Saved?Colossal corruption. Political chaos. The worst recession in its history. The Olympics won’t rescue the once-booming nation. But all is not lost.
Ralph Lauren’s Ties to the U.S. Olympic Team Must Be SeveredA conversation about Team USA’s outfits for the opening ceremony of the Rio Games.
Should Caster Semenya Be Allowed to Compete Against Women?Sex-verification policies in sports have more to do with politics than science. If researchers start studying the right things, that could change.
Skateboarding! Surfing! Sport Climbing! Also Baseball.A guide to all the new sports at the 2020 Olympic Games.