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Today at the Olympics: US gymnastics goes for gold, Phelps goes for history

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  July 31, 2012 04:48 AM

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LONDON -- Zipping off for an early Carl Lewis press conference this morning
(pretty sure he's not coming back to challenge Usain Bolt, but you never know), so here's an abbreviated morning update as we enter Day 5 of competition. I'll pop back in later to beef this up in what should be the most memorable day of the summer games yet, with two huge events.

Tuesday's must-see event: Michael Phelps's official coronation as the winningest Olympian of all-time. Should Phelps medal in the 200-meter butterfly and 4x200 freestyle relay tonight -- and he should -- he will be the most decorated Olympian of all-time, with 19 medals, surpassing gymnast Larisa Latynina. These Olympics may have started slowly for Phelps when he failed to make the podium in his first race, the 400 individual medley. Tonight, he can reclaim his place in the spotlight, though he may end up sharing it with ...

Also worth watching: ... the United States women's gymnastics team. The team final would qualify for the Must-See Event designation on most any other day, and there's sure to be plenty of drama Tuesday. Led by captain Aly Raisman of Needham, the five-person squad was first after qualifying and is in an excellent position to win its first team gold since Kerri Strug and the storied Magnificent Seven of 1996. Raisman could play a significant role on how the US fares -- she is in the lineup during the final two disciplines, the balance beam and the floor exercise. Can't wait to see her parents' reaction tonight.

Tweet of the day: "heard @FranklinMissy is a fan of mine. now im a fan of hers too. CONGRATS on winning GOLD! #muchlove --- @justin bieber, after Missy Franklin's victory in the 100-meter backstroke Monday.

The 17-year-old swimmer's response:

@FranklinMissy: ” I just died! Thankyou!

Mind the gap, and we'll have a ton on the blog today, so stay right here for further updates.

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