When a team dominates the way the U.S. men's basketball team had dominated coming into Wednesday's game against Australia, a challenge might qualify as a 20-point win, or maybe even a 25-point win. No one this side of Sydney thought the Aussies would push the U.S. team like they did, sitting within four points with under two minutes remaining. The U.S. held on, despite the Australians' tendency to play "a little dirty" (according to Paul George).
And while the U.S. risked its streak of 47 consecutive international victories, including 19 in a row on an Olympic stage, there's no doubt that they needed a game like this.
Three-time volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner April Rossdropped the second set vs. Swiss pair Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre, which normally wouldn't mean much since the U.S. team ultimately prevailed. However that was just the second set Walsh Jennings has ever dropped in her Olympic career.
That's more or less what Katie Ledecky is gunning for in Rio. She anchored the 4x200 freestyle relay on Wednesday and came from behind to beat the Australians and Canadians. That's three golds and a silver in four races. Obligatory reminder: She's 19.
Daryl Homer became the first American to win a silver medal in men's individual sabre in 112 years. He fell to his longtime Hungarian rival and admitted that he "got a little of the heebie-jeebies" during the gold medal match.
NBC has caught its fair share of flack for broadcaster blunders this Olympics. But one person who has proven to be an incredible asset after major swimming races is Michele Tafoya, who has unearthed nuggets about Katie Ledecky's nerves and Michael Phelps' revenge on Tuesday night. She also basically stoked the entire Lilly King-Yulia Efimova rivalry with the help of NBC's production team. That feud was still ongoing as of Wednesday night.
One thing Tafoya hasn't answered: Why did the competition pool turn a deep shade of green? We have one explanation.
Cyclist Kristin Armstrong fought off rain, a tough Russian challenger and a nose bleed to capture the gold medal in the road cycling individual time trial. It was an early birthday present for Armstrong, who turns 43 on Thursday.
Armstrong had some help from teammate Mara Abbott, who had hidden inspirational notes in Armstrong's coffee, on her hair brush and on her pillow.