Five-ring Circus
Five-ring Circus

How Sappy Were the Olympics?

The schmaltz of NBC’s coverage, measured scientifically.

Aug. 22 2016 12:37 AMDo Americans Still Care About the Olympics?Ratings were way down for NBC. Is that because the U.S. is too good at winning medals?
Aug. 19 2016 5:11 PMHow 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.
Aug. 18 2016 4:42 PMA Tribute to Sprinters’ Jowls at the Rio OlympicsA supercut of the world’s floppiest faces.
Aug. 15 2016 1:38 AMUsain Bolt’s Best Races, RankedHis only competition is himself.
Aug. 14 2016 7:00 AMKatie Ledecky vs. SecretariatWhich machine was more tremendous?
Aug. 12 2016 1:05 PMThe Legend of Simone BilesHer gymnastics miracles look effortless, but it’s her rare stumbles that show how magnificent she truly is.
Aug. 11 2016 8:54 PMIs Russian Swimmer Yulia Efimova Really a Villain?A wag of the finger to the U.S. fans valorizing Lilly King’s self-righteousness.
Aug. 10 2016 1:20 AMNo Tears, No Drama, No DoubtNBC’s usual anxiety-amping tricks were no match for the greatness of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.
Aug. 8 2016 4:04 PM“I Definitely Cried a Lot”How NBC turned the most dominant performance in gymnastics history into a soap opera.
Aug. 8 2016 10:44 AMEverything You Need to Know About Gymnastics ScoringOr, why Simone Biles won’t get a perfect score in Rio.
Aug. 6 2016 12:02 AMA Journey Through National Trauma Via Cirque du Soleil–Style Performance ArtThe odd spectacle of the Rio Olympics’ austere, exuberant, didactic opening ceremony.
Aug. 5 2016 11:11 AMHow 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.
Aug. 5 2016 9:29 AMDestroyer of Souls, Earner of EndorsementsA maniac in the pool and adorable on land, Katie Ledecky is the prototype of an American Olympian starlet.
Aug. 3 2016 5:30 PMIs It Possible to Fit All of Brazil’s Woes in a Single Article?We tried!
Aug. 2 2016 11:34 AMWhich Sports Held in Rio’s Sewage-Contaminated Waters Present the Biggest Health Risk?Some have it better than others.
Aug. 19 2016 6:04 PMShould We Feel Bad for Ryan Lochte?An Olympics debate.
Aug. 19 2016 10:35 AMA 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.
Aug. 17 2016 7:06 PMWhy Isn’t Gabby Douglas Smiling?How a champion gymnast became the Olympics’ easiest target.
Aug. 14 2016 6:37 PMTaking Sprinting to New HeightsThe 6-foot-5 Usain Bolt set a world record in the 100-meter dash. Short sprinters, beware.
Aug. 12 2016 3:55 PMThe Karolyis’ Tainted GloryThe celebrated coaches’ legacy includes the alleged physical and psychological torment of young gymnasts.
Aug. 12 2016 10:41 AMI Just Won at the Olympics. Now What Am I Supposed to Do With My Hands?A comprehensive taxonomy of acceptable gold-medal-winning gestures.
Aug. 10 2016 10:42 PMThe Greatest Gymnast of All TimeWhen Simone Biles grows up, she wants to be like Kohei Uchimura.
Aug. 9 2016 2:40 PMWhy Do Gymnasts Have Such Strange, Elaborate Hairdos?An investigation of 50 years of gymnastics hair trends.
Aug. 8 2016 2:37 PMThe 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.
Aug. 7 2016 6:00 PMCan 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.
Aug. 5 2016 12:54 PMRalph 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.
Aug. 5 2016 11:01 AMShould 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.
Aug. 4 2016 10:00 AMIn Defense of the OlympicsThey are horrible. I love them.
Aug. 3 2016 4:40 PMSkateboarding! Surfing! Sport Climbing! Also Baseball.A guide to all the new sports at the 2020 Olympic Games.
July 21 2016 12:15 PMA Smear Campaign Against Russia’s Olympic HeroesHow Vladimir Putin will spin the country’s likely ban from the Rio Games.