The Olympics Sap-o-Meter.

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter.

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter.

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Scenes from the Olympics.
Aug. 20 2008 10:41 AM

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter

NBC reaches yet another milestone on its magically sappy Olympic journey.

The Sap-o-Meter team chatted online with readers about this project; read the transcript. The Olympics Sap-o-Meter is now a widget. Add it to your Facebook page or blog. Check out Slate's complete coverage of the Beijing Games.

Feeling proud of the United States' Olympic performance so far? NBC certainly is. On an evening filled with track-and-field disappointments and taped gymnastics coverage, the network still managed to say the word proud 10 times on its way to a scintillating 56 Sap Points.

NBC's hyperglycemic coverage also received a syrupy injection from dreams, which racked up a chart-topping 11 mentions. Even Sanya Richards, the American runner who was crestfallen not to win gold in the 400 meters, was described as "waltz[ing] around the stadium very proudly" after her shocking loss. Mom also had a decent day, but its tally of seven utterances failed to keep pace with rival dreams. Oh, and you can forget about the Olympic-sized omission we described yesterday. As American Jonathan Horton watched the scoreboard to see if he would win silver on the high bar, NBC's Al Trautwig called the gymnast's pre-medal delay an "Olympic-sized wait." And with that, NBC reached another milestone: The peacock has now clucked out each of the 33 sap words we selected at the outset of this life-changing journey.


Sappiest Line of the Day: "And now begins Shawn Johnson's dream sequence. She looks like a kid on the best of Christmas mornings."—NBC's Al Trautwig, describing the American gymnast's walk to the medal stand after clinching gold on the balance beam. (Emphasis on sap words is ours.)

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Josh Levin is Slate’s editorial director.

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at the Atlantic, where he oversees business coverage for

Chris Wilson is a Slate contributor.