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Hope's glory: Solo leads US to Olympic soccer gold
WEMBLEY, England (AP) -- In the closing minutes of the Olympic final, goalie Hope Solo flung her body toward the ball and managed to push it away. The lead stayed intact. The Americans would win the gold medal and redemption from a year-old World Cup heartache.
The U.S. women's soccer team puts up with a lot from Solo. The candid comments. The Twitter tangents. The pause she put on her training to appear on "Dancing With the Stars."
But when the game is on the line, she's still hands-down - not to mention hands-up and hands-to-the-side - the best goalkeeper in the world.
"You can't go without saying that Hope saved the day," U.S. forward Abby Wambach. "Literally. Five times."
The Americans became champions for the third consecutive Olympics, beating Japan 2-1 Thursday in a rematch of last year's World Cup final. Carli Lloyd scored early in both halves, and the entire roster found the salve it had been seeking since that penalty kick shootout loss in Germany 13 months ago.
"They snatched our dream last summer," U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe said. "And this kind of feels like the nightmare turned back around."
Turned back around with every shot turned back by Solo, who leaped high with her left hand to knock one off the crossbar early in the game and then made the save of the Olympics in the 83rd minute, when Mana Iwabuchi stripped the ball from captain Christie Rampone and swooped in toward the net - only to be thwarted when the goalie lunged left to deflect the ball out of harm's way.
"I knew I had to make the save," Solo said. "That was pretty much my only thought. I had to make that save."
Solo now owns two Olympic gold medals as well as the golden glove award as the top goalie at last year's World Cup.
|In her first Olympics, Maggie Steffens wanted to make sure Brenda Villa and Heather Petri won that long-elusive gold medal in their last.|
|The only way the U.S. men's basketball team fails to reach the gold-medal game is if Argentina figures out how to be 30 points better in five days.|
|As far as Usain Bolt is concerned, it's a done deal.|
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|INTERACTIVE SPECIALS: Click the headline to go In-Depth on the following topics|
OLYMPIC MEDALS : An interactive looking at the number of medals won by the top 10 countries; includes athletes who captured Olympic magic and a video on this year's medals.
OLYMPIC GYMNASTICS: Interactive looks at the Olympic event of gymnastics; includes an interview with former Olympian Shannon Miller.
WHAT IT TAKES: How different body types and training methods suit specific sports.
ATHLETE PROFILES : How certain Olympians train, eat, focus and what music they listen to.
OLYMPIC VENUES: An interactive map of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
OLYMPIC EVENTS: Interactive looks at the different sports at the 2012 London Olympics.
OLYMPIC DIVING : Interactive looks at the Olympic event of diving.
OSCAR PISTORIUS -BLADE RUNNER : A South African amputee competes in Track & Field
E a r l i e r :
There will be no gold medal, or for that matter, any medal, for the US men's volleyball team, inlcuding West Seneca's Matt Anderson. They were eliminated in the quarterfinals. The fifth-ranked United States struggled to fend off Italian team captain Cristian Savani, who had 19 points in the 28-26, 25-20, 25-20 victory for the sixth-ranked Italians.
From left, Anderson, spikes the ball past Italy's Dragan Travica, Luigi Mastrangelo and Cristian Savani during a men's quarterfinal volleyball match between the United States and Italy, . (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
USA's Donald Suxho (7), David Lee (4), Matthew Anderson (1) go up for a block on a spike by Italy's Ivan Zaytsev (9) during a men's volleyball quarterfinal match
USA's Matthew Anderson (1) hugs teammate Sean Rooney (2) after the team lost 3-0 to Italy during a men's volleyball quarterfinal match at the 2012 Summer Olympics Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Italy's Ivan Zaytsev (9) gets the ball past USA's Matthew Anderson (1)
|Even when he slows to a jog, Usain Bolt is as fast as he needs to be.|
|A day before the Olympic gold medal game, players and coaches from the U.S. and Japanese women's soccer teams stood in front of reporters side-by-side, like buddies on the same squad, arms linked around each other's waists. The white warmup jackets of the United States alternated with the blue ones from Japan.|
|Now that Kobe Bryant, strangely missing, has finally joined the fun, the U.S. appears complete.|
|For 11 years, they have been Kerri and Misty, the most recognizable faces in Olympic beach volleyball and a team that dominated the sport.|
|Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:|
|Four years ago, Maggie Steffens watched from the stands as her sister Jessica and the rest of the U.S. women's water polo team fell one goal short against the Netherlands in the final of the Beijing Olympics.|
|Aly Raisman was ready to claim her Olympic legacy. She just needed a little bit of karmic justice to help her do it.|
|The U.S. men's boxing team is headed home from an Olympics empty-handed for the first time.|
|Sanya Richards-Ross already knows she'll head home to the United States with at least one gold medal - the one she won in the 400 meters.|
Fredonia Native Jenn Suhr Takes Polevaulting Gold
SEE A WBEN PHOTO ALBUM
London (AP/WBEN) Fredonia native Jenn Suhr walked with a purpose over to the stands to see her husband, who gingerly wrapped an American flag around her shoulders while she sobbed into his chest.
Yes, they've come a long way together. From training in a pair of huts connected together to form a jumping pit - to winning an Olympic gold medal on her sport's grandest stage.
Suhr, America's best female pole vaulter for the better part of a half-dozen years, got the Olympic gold she needed to round out her resume.
She vaulted 15 feet, 7 inches (4.75 meters) to defeat Cuba's Yarisley Silva, who cleared the same height but lost on a tiebreaker because she had one more miss in the competition.
Suhr also beat two-time defending Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, who settled for bronze with a vault of 15-5 (4.70).
United States' Matthew Anderson, right, spikes the ball past Tunisia's Ahmed Kadhi, left, and Noureddine Hfaieda during a men's preliminary volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
LONDON (AP) -- David McKienzie scored 17 points and the defending champion U.S. men's volleyball team clinched a top tournament seed at the London Olympics on Monday with a win over Tunisia.
Sean Rooney added 12 points in the 25-15, 25-19, 25-19 win, which set up a quarterfinal against Italy on Wednesday. Tunisia finished the competition at Earls Court without a win.
The United States was coming off a five-set loss to Russia, which ended an 11-match winning streak in Olympic play, dating to the Americans' undefeated march to the gold medal in the Beijing Games.
The Americans' preliminary round was highlighted by a four-set victory over top-ranked Brazil, a rematch of the Beijing final.
The fifth-ranked U.S. men weren't considered among the medal favorites at the London Games, but they claimed silver in the recent World League tournament before opening the Olympics with dominant straight-set victories over Serbia and Germany.
Against No. 20 Tunisia, coach Alan Knipe rested veterans Clay Stanley, Reid Priddy and David Lee. The team didn't need them, claiming the first set on Matt Anderson's spike and cruising the rest of the way. David Smith spiked for match point.
"We have some guys that haven't played much that are extremely talented volleyball players. On one side they're fresh so you knew they were going to be full of energy and really excited about getting their opportunity," Knipe said. "And on the other side of that we got some guys who have played a lot of sets.
"So we have important matches hopefully coming up. We wanted to manage both and I think we accomplished that tonight."
Stanley, a three-time Olympian who was named MVP of the Beijing Games, appreciated the break before the knockout round.
"It's nice when you have 12 guys who can all get the job done," he said.
The top four teams in each pool, based on a point system, advanced to play in the quarterfinals. The top finishers in each pool face the fourth-place finishers in the opposite pool, while the other matches were determined by drawing lots.
In addition to the U.S. match against Italy, Bulgaria plays Germany, Poland faces Russia and Argentina plays Brazil.
Tsvetan Sokolov scored 21 points in Bulgaria's straight-set victory over Italy to secure the top seed in its pool.
Todor Aleksiev added 13 in the 32-30, 25-20, 25-19 victory for the surprisingly strong Bulgarians, who dropped only one of five preliminary round matches.
Ivan Zaytsev had 15 points for Italy, which finished the opening round 3-2.
The ninth-ranked Bulgarians came to London in disarray. After the team earned an Olympic berth, the coach and a top player resigned to protest their country's leadership of the sport. Nine of 12 players are first-time Olympians.
"We have created this really good climate among all the players," coach Nayden Naydenov said. "That's why we are playing so well. They are a really good team."
|Mike Krzyzewski said this was the plan all along: Get to the final week of the Olympic tournament healthy and playing well.|
Legs churning fast, arms swinging high, Usain Bolt finally made it to warp speed a few steps past the halfway point of the Olympic 100 meters. Emerging from behind, he put clear daylight between himself and the field.
America's new sweetheart was the final gymnast to attempt her routine. She stalled in the middle of it, and took a step on the landing. Her score of 14.90 was eighth in the field.
Last week Douglas won the individual individual all-around competition gold medal and lead the US women's olympic team to their team gold medal.
United States' Matthew Anderson, right, controls the ball as teammate Sean Rooney looks on during a men's preliminary volleyball match against Russia at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
West Seneca's Matt Anderson and the U.S. men's volleyball team learned there's no relaxing against the Russians.
The United States took a two-set lead against Russia in preliminary round play on Saturday, but ultimately lost 3-2. It snapped an 11-match winning streak in Olympic play, dating to the Americans' undefeated march to the gold medal in Beijing.
The fifth-ranked U.S. would have clinched the top seed in its pool with a victory. It gets another chance on Monday against winless Tunisia.
Maxim Mikhaylov scored 27 points and Sergey Tetyukhin added 21 for No. 2 Russia in the 27-29, 19-25, 26-24, 25-16, 15-8 victory. Tetyukhin spiked for match point.
"Something you can never do against
Reclaiming the lead with his trademark butterfly stroke, Phelps won the 18th gold of an unparalleled career when he helped the U.S. win the 4x100-meter medley relay Saturday night.
Phelps retires with twice as many golds as any other Olympian, and his total of 22 medals is easily the best mark, too.
"It's been a great career," he said. "It's been a great journey. I can't be any more happy than I am."
Two days after running and gunning to a record-shattering 83-point win, the United States needed a strong finish from LeBron James to eke out a 99-94 victory over Lithuania.
The Americans trailed 84-82 with 5:50 to play, but James scored nine of his 20 points in the final four minutes to help the U.S. remain unbeaten.
"I've worked for six years ... to get my chance," said the South African, who became the first amputee to compete on the track at an Olympics. "I found myself smiling in the starting block. Which is very rare in the 400 meters."
Russia is relax," U.S. wing spiker Sean Rooney said. "When they're firing on all cylinders they're tough to beat."
Matt Anderson scored 18 points for the U.S. men, who had won three straight matches to open the London Games.
The Americans were coming off a four-set victory over top-ranked Brazil, a preliminary round rematch of the Beijing final. But they couldn't counter Russia's powerful serves and blocks.
Middle blocker David Lee was unconcerned. It's the preliminary round, after all.
"I think that it's good that this happened in pool play," Lee said. "We'll regroup against Tunisia and clinch our pool and go on from there."
The U.S. men weren't considered among the favorites to medal in London but claimed the silver in the World League tournament before opening the Olympics with dominant straight-set victories over Serbia and Germany. Then came the upset over Brazil.
The U.S. landed in a difficult pool in London with Brazil, Russia, Serbia, Germany and Tunisia. The other six-team pool includes Italy, Poland, Argentina, Bulgaria, Australia and host Britain.
A points system decides which top four teams from each group advance to play in the quarterfinals.
Russia lost in straight sets to Brazil earlier in the round but beat Germany and Tunisia. It will face Serbia on Monday.
The United States rallied to go ahead 21-20 in the first set on Lee's monster kill before Anderson's ace won it. Alexander Volkov's block made it 12-all in the second, but Russia couldn't pull ahead and Reid Priddy's block sealed the set.
The U.S. was one point away from the win in the third, but Russia scored three straight points capped by Tetyukhin's ace.
"That inspired us to win the match," Mikhaylov said through a translator.
Russia dominated the final two sets.
"They know how close that was to being a win for us (but) they know that it happened in the right arena. If it's going to happen it happened in pool play," U.S. coach Alan Knipe said. "It's not what we wanted but if we're the team that we pride ourselves on being we'll respond well from this."
Russia and the United States each have three gold medals in volleyball, which became an Olympic sport in 1964.
The Russians, who won the bronze in Beijing, have not won gold since 1980.
The Americans return six players from the emotional gold-medal run in Beijing. Hugh McCutcheon's father was stabbed to death at a popular Chinese tourist site a day before opening ceremony and the coach missed the team's first three matches before leading them to the Olympic title.
McCutcheon has since gone over to the U.S. women's team and Knipe took over the men.
United States' Matthew Anderson, right, spikes the ball past Brazil's Dante Amaral during a men's preliminary volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
The United States pulled away 23-18 in the third set when Murilo Endres' kill went long. The team won it when Brazil's blockers couldn't stop Anderson's smash.
The 23-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-17 victory extends the U.S. team's Olympic winning streak to 11 matches, dating to Beijing.
The fifth-ranked U.S. team dropped the first set but rebounded to win the next two at London's Earls Court, where the Brazilian fans far outnumbered their U.S. counterparts.
- Kayla Harrison became the first American judo champion in the Olympics, winning the gold medal in the under-78-kilogram division by beating Britain's Gemma Gibbons 2-0. Harrison was sexually abused as a child by a judo coach who later was sentenced to 10 years in prison and expelled for life from the sport.
- American Rebecca Soni set her second world record in as many days to defend her Olympic title in the 200 breaststroke. She finished in 2:19.59, breaking her own mark of 2:20.00 set in the semifinals.
- American Tyler Clary rallied on the final lap to pull off the upset in the 200 backstroke, passing Ryan Lochte on the last lap to win the gold medal. Ryosuke Irie of Japan got the silver and Lochte ended up with the bronze.
- Carmelo Anthony set the U.S. Olympic mark for points in a basketball game - in less than three quarters. He scored 37, going 10 of 12 on 3-pointers, to lead the U.S. to an epic blowout against Nigeria, 156-73. Russell Westbrook scored 21 and Kobe Bryant added 16. The Americans also set the Olympic record for points in a game and points in a half (78). Brazil held the previous Olympic record of 138 points, against Egypt in 1988
- Rafalca, a horse part-owned by Ann Romney, and rider Jan Ebeling posted a score good for 13th place in equestrian dressage with half the 50 competitors still to go.."
On a roll, the team went up 17-10 in the fourth on Russell Holmes' block, even though Brazil had finally inserted star Giba into the match. Reid Priddy spiked for match point.
Priddy finished with 17 points. Leandro Vissotto Neves led No. 1 Brazil with 15.
The Americans went undefeated in Beijing and beat Brazil for the gold. The march came after coach Hugh McCutcheon's father-in-law was stabbed to death at a Beijing tourist site the day before the opening ceremony.
The U.S. men weren't considered among the favorites to medal in London. But the Americans claimed the silver medal in the recent World League tournament before opening the Olympics with dominant straight-set victories over Serbia and Germany.
The U.S. men took their first lead of the opening set when Captain Clay Stanley's ace made it 10-9. Brazil stayed close, but couldn't manage to retake the lead until Vissotto Neves' ace made it 24-23.
Anderson's ace put the U.S. in front 9-5 to open the second set, and Priddy's kill extended it to 19-13. Brazil scored eight straight points, helped by three straight U.S. errors, to pull ahead 21-19.
After Priddy's ace gave the U.S. a 23-21 lead, his kill looked to claim the set but a questionable call gave the point to Brazil. The United States won it when Sidnei dos Santos Junior's spike went wide.SEE: Earlier Coverage of Anderson's Victories
SEE: NBC Olympics.com's Special Photo Gallery on Anderson
Earlier Coverage: Elma native Jake Kaminski's bid for individual gold in archery has come to an end. He lost in his round of 64 match Wednesday. Kaminski won the first two sets of his showdown against Dan Olaru of Moldova. But the third set ended in a tie, and Olaru came back to win the final two sets to force a shootoff. In that shootoff, Kaminski lost 9-7. Kaminski helped the US win silver in the team archery event this past weekend.
West Seneca's Matt Anderson and Men's Volleyball Team Notch Another Win
Clay Stanley scored 16 points and the U.S. men's volleyball team improved to 2-0 in preliminary pool play at the London Olympics with a three-set victory over Germany on Tuesday.
Anderson added 15 points in the 25-23, 25-16, 25-20 win for the defending Olympic champions. The Germans were led by Georg Grozer with 12.
The United States opened preliminary pool play with a three-set sweep of Serbia on Sunday. The men's and the women's volleyball teams play on alternating days at London's Earls Court.
< < Anderson, left, spikes the ball over Germany's Gyorgy Grozer during a men's preliminary volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
United States' Matthew Anderson, right, spikes the ball past Germany's Max Gunthor, left, and Bjorn Andrae during a men's preliminary volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Germany's Gyorgy Grozer, center, tries to spike the ball between United States' Matthew Anderson, left, and David Lee during a men's preliminary volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Phelps Sets Medal Record
Michael Phelps cruised through the anchor leg of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay to earn his record 19th career Olympic medal and 15th gold on Tuesday night, etching a place in history as the most decorated Olympian of all time.
"It has been a pretty amazing career but we still have a couple races to go," he said. Now his remaining four days in the pool at the London Games are all about putting that mark even further out of reach. Phelps has three events to go - the 200 individual medley, the 100 butterfly and the 4x100 medley relay.
US Womens' Gymnastic Team Captures Gold
Jordyn Wieber. Gabby Douglas. McKayla Maroney. Aly Raisman. Kyla Ross. Teenagers. Champions. And maybe - just maybe - the greatest team of all time.
"Others might disagree, the '96 team might disagree," coach John Geddert said. "But this is the best team. Difficulty-wise, consistency-wise, this is USA's finest."
For 16 years, the Magnificent Seven defined the U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics program, setting the standard by which every American team is judged. But now, these girls are called the Fantastic Five, the fiercest team the US has ever fielded.
Intimidating the rest of the eight-team field with an eye-popping vault set in which the Americans soared so high they may have been picked up on radar at Heathrow Airport, the U.S. stormed to an emphatic victory that put them atop the podium for the first time since Kerri Strug and company hobbled to gold in Atlanta.
The U.S. posted a score 183.596, more than five points ahead of Russia and seven clear of Romania. "They're just so far ahead of anyone else," said Britain's Rebecca Tunney. "They definitely deserve it."
Exclusive WBEN Audio
On The WBEN Liveline
CBS's Steve Futterman in London with the Tuesday Recap and a look ahead:
TUESDAY RECAP: American Allison Schmitt won the 200 freestyle with a dominating performance | Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love scored 16 points apiece to lead the U.S. basketball team to a 110-63 victory against Tunisia. | Chinese teen swimming sensation Ye Shiwen now has two gold medals - but all anybody wants to talk about is whether she's doping. She shattered the world record in the 400 individual medley, then broke her own Olympic record to take the 200 IM title. | Rochester's Abby Wambach scored to lead the U.S. women to a 1-0 win over North Korea in soccer - a victory that gave the Americans first place in its group.| Beijing gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the United States improved to 2-0 in the preliminary round of the beach volleyball tournament by beating Spain in three sets. The win against the only other unbeaten team in their pool virtually assures the Americans of a trip to the knockout round.
American teenager Missy Franklin won the women's 100-meter backstroke at the London Olympics on Monday.
Franklin won the two-lap race in 58.33 seconds for her first Olympic gold and second medal after taking bronze in the 4x100 freestyle relay.
Emily Seebohm of Australia touched in 58.68 to take the silver medal and Aya Terakawa of Japan finished in 58.83 to take bronze.
Franklin swam little more than 10 minutes after she took the final qualifying spot in the 200 freestyle semifinals.
Michael Phelps is chasing more Olympic history in his next two events at the London Games. Winning medals in the 200-meter butterfly and a relay would let him get it done in the same night.
SPOILER: NBC must really think everybody knows the results before showing a tape-delayed race, or else someone was asleep at the switch. The network ran a "Today" show promo about interviewing Missy Franklin on her swimming gold medal - just BEFORE televising the race
MONDAY RECAP: Fifteen-year-old Ruta Meilutyte broke into tears on the podium after she became the first Lithuanian to win a swimming medal, winning the gold in the 100 breaststroke. | One day after anchoring the 4x100 relay to win a gold medal, Yannick Agnel of France got a second, winning the 200 free in perhaps the most star-studded race of the London Games. | Americans Matt Grevers and Nick Thoman had a 1-2 finish in the men's 100 backstroke. | The Chinese men won their second straight Olympic title in gymnastics and third in four games after a dismal performance in qualifying. | A schedule backlog turned the tennis venue at Wimbledon into a parade of Grand Slam champions, and all won. Advancing were Venus and Serena Williams and Roger Federer.
MEDALS: Kim Un Guk won North Korea's second weightlifting gold medal and third gold medal overall at the London Olympics while setting a world record total of 327 kilograms in the men's 62-kilogram division. | Britain initially was announced as the silver medalist in the team gymnastics - setting off a wild celebration by the home crowd, including Princes William and Harry. But Japan questioned the outcome, and after judges huddled around a video screen, the score was revised, giving Japan the silver and dropping the British to a bronze. It was still the British men's first gymnastics medal in a century.
Michael Phelps opened defense of his Olympic title in the 200-meter butterfly with the fifth-fastest qualifying time in the preliminaries Monday.
Phelps has yet to have the quickest time in the morning heats at the London Games four years after he won a record eight gold medals in Beijing. He finished third in his heat at 1 minute, 55.53 seconds, trailing Dinko Jukic of Austria and U.S. teammate Tyler Clary to the wall.
"I'm pretty happy with that swim," Phelps said. "That's all I needed it to be." Phelps has won the 200 fly at the last two Olympics and set the world record at the 2009 world championships. READ MORE
On The WBEN Liveline
CBS's Steve Futterman in London
Elma's Jake Kaminski and his Team on NBC's Today Show Monday
And beyond the metro region, Canandaigua native Ryan Lochte has taken Gold and Silver in Swimming. Fredonia native Jen Suhr now of suburban Rochester competes for the first time this coming Saturday . READ MORE
It's another "Race of the Century" in the Olympic pool, and this time Michael Phelps isn't even in it.
The great swimming showdown to open the Olympics was a giant bust - unless, of course, your name is Ryan Lochte. Saturday Lochte may have shattered the Phelps mystique once and for all.
In the age of social media, NBC now has millions of television critics who make their opinions known about every aspect of Olympics coverage instantly.
Hope Solo met with the coach and captains of the U.S. women's soccer team Sunday to discuss her latest outburst of candor, a Twitter rant that did no good for the image of the squad and distracted from preparations for the upcoming game against North Korea in the Olympic tournament.
Troops, teachers and students are getting free tickets to fill prime seats that were empty at some Olympic venues on the first full day of competition.
WBEN Extra: Preparations for The Games | Local Ties | Interactive Special
OLYMPIC MEDALS An interactive looking at the number of medals won by the top 10 countries; includes athletes who captured Olympic magic and a video explainer on this year's medals.
OLYMPIC EVENTS Interactive looks at the different sports at the 2012 London Olympics.
OLYMPIC GYMNASTICS Interactive looks at the Olympic event of gymnastics; includes an interview with former Olympian Shannon Miller.
OLYMPIC DIVING Interactive looks at the Olympic event of diving.
OLYMPIC ATHLETES PROFILES Interactive asks Olympians how they train, eat, focus and what music they listen to.
OLYMPIC ATHLETES AND THEIR BODIES Interactive looks at how different body types and training methods are best-suited for specific sports.
OSCAR PISTORIUS An interactive on Olympian Oscar Pistorius
OLYMPIC MEDAL TRACKER Daily medal tracker