Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who works with NPR's Morning Edition and Digital Media group. In addition to coordinating Web features, he frequently contributes to NPR's blogs, from The Two Way and All Tech Considered to The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to leading the London 2012 Olympics blog, The Torch. His assignments have included being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as establishing the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR.org.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, the site won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

At NPR, Chappell trains both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between departments. Other shows he has worked with include All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

Prior to joining NPR in late 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling coverage in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and coordinating CNN's pool coverage out of Qatar.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, as well as editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division. He also worked at the network's video and research library.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

From 2002-2003, Chappell served as editor-in-chief of The Trans-Atlantic Journal, a business and lifestyle monthly geared for expatriate Europeans working and living in the United States.

A holder of bachelor's degrees in English and History from the University of Georgia, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

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The Torch
10:00 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Let's Catch Up: U.S. Gold In Rifle Event; And A Badminton Bronze

American gold medalist Jamie Lynn Gray celebrates on the podium after winning the 50m rifle 3 positions women final at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Good morning. As we start Day 8 of the London Olympics, big news is already happening. We posted earlier about Oscar Pistorius's historic run in the men's 400 meters, for instance. If you'd like to catch up on yesterday's events, check out our Day in Photos gallery. Here's what's been happening today:

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The Torch
7:23 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Oscar Pistorius Makes Olympic History In 400 Meters, And Moves On To Semifinal

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa, center, became the first amputee to run in the Olympics. He came in second to Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic, to advance to the men's 400m semifinals.
Ian Walton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 7:50 am

Sprinter Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee who has for years sought to race in the Olympic Games, finally got his wish Saturday, when he lined up to run in a preliminary heat in the men's 400 meters in London's Olympic Stadium.

"On the blocks, I didn't know if I should cry or be happy," a breathless Pistorius told a BBC reporter after the race. "And then I was like, no — you've got a job to do. It was just really a mix of emotions. I didn't know what form I was going to be in today. I had a good race tactic, and I stuck to it."

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The Torch
5:49 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Saudi Arabia's First Female Olympian Makes History In Judo Match

Wojdan Shaherkani of Saudi Arabia (left) met Melissa Mojica in the women's +78 kg judo in London. Their match was short, but historic.
Quinn Rooney Getty Images

It's nearly time to set The Torch to "dim" for the night, but we must note something historic that happened today: Wojdan Shaherkani competed for Saudi Arabia in the Olympics, becoming the first woman ever to do so.

Shaherkani wasn't a threat to win her match against Puerto Rico's Melissa Mojica. After all, Shaherkani is only 16, and her highest level of achievement in judo is a blue belt. Their match only lasted 1 minute and 22 seconds.

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The Torch
4:42 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Track Cyclist's Admitting To Intentional Crash Won't Bring Investigation

The British sprint team of Philip Hindes (front), Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy won a gold medal Thursday, but remarks by Hindes caused concerns about athletes' ethics to resurface. The IOC says it will not investigate.
Bryn Lennon Getty Images

If one thing is clear at these London Games, it's that not doing one's best is not only uncool — it's not allowed. Witness the badminton-to-worstminton scandal that erupted earlier this week, when players turned the tournament structure into a "farce" by attempting to lose in order to manipulate their seeds in the next round.

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The Torch
3:22 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Phelps And Franklin Add To Their Medal Totals, And A New Teen Phenom Emerges

American Katie Ledecky seemed to be in disbelief as she hugged bronze medalist Rebecca Adlington of Great Britain. Ledecky, 15, won the women's 800m freestyle by four seconds in London.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 5:08 pm

In one of the last showcase days for swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics, American athletes Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin hit the pool at London's aquatic center Friday. Each of them were on a mission to end their individual event schedules with gold medals.

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The Torch
11:54 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Federer Wins Epic Semifinal, Taking More Than Four Hours To Do So

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina in their Olympic semifinal played at Wimbledon. Federer won the match, which took more than 4 hours to play.
Clive Brunskill Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 12:25 pm

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer kept his Olympic dream alive Friday, when he won the longest tennis singles match in Olympic history. He defeated Juan Del Potro of Argentina, in a semifinal played on Wimbledon's Centre Court.

The final score of the three-set match, which lasted more than four hours and 20 minutes, was 3-6, 7-6, 19-17. Federer will next face the winner of Friday's semifinal between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in the final.

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The Torch
9:39 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Let's Catch Up: IOC Targets Rogue WiFi; A Rower In A Row; And A Rifle Record

Gold medalist Sergei Martynov of Belarus competes in the 50m rifle prone final, in which he set a new world record, at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

It's Day 7 of competition at the London Olympics, and America has found a new contestant in its continual quest for a sweetheart: Gabby Douglas, the only gymnast who already has two gold medals before individual rounds begin. And still, it seems, some folks prefer to talk about Douglas' hair.

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The Torch
9:17 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Coming Up Today: Track And Field Begins; More Swimming Finals

Gold medalist Sergei Martynov of Belarus competes in the 50m rifle prone final, in which he set a new world record, at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

The big news on Day 7 of competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics is that Track and Field events — or, "Athletics," if you're an Olympic scheduler — finally get on the track and field.

Here's a look at Olympic highlights for Friday, and events we'll keep an eye on. All times are EDT:

Swimming

  • 2:30p Women's 200m Backstroke Final
  • 2:38p Men's 100m Butterfly Final
  • 2:45p Women's 800m Freestyle Final
  • 3:09p Men's 50m Freestyle Final

Track and Field

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The Torch
4:49 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Michael Phelps Wins Record 20th Medal; Soni Sets Record In Breaststroke

American swimmer Michael Phelps reacts to winning his first individual gold medal at the London 2012 Games. He beat Ryan Lochte (left) in the men's 200m individual medley final. Phelps completed a historic third consecutive 200m IM Olympic victory.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:51 pm

Breaking News Update at 3:27 p.m. ET: Phelps Wins Gold For 20th Medal.

Michael Phelps has won the men's 200-meter individual medley at the 2012 Summer Games, winning his 20th Olympic medal — and his first individual gold medal in London.

Phelps led Lochte by .16 of one second at the first turn, in the butterfly. He maintained his lead in the backstroke — the discipline Lochte had just raced in half an hour earlier in the day.

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The Torch
1:45 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

U.S. Gymnast Douglas Wins Individual Gold In All-Around

U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas won the gold medal in the women's individual all-around final in London Thursday.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 11:55 pm

American gymnast Gabby Douglas has won her second Olympic gold medal of the London Summer Games, winning the individual all-around event to match her performance anchoring the U.S. team's first-place performance earlier this week.

Douglas scored 15.500 or higher in her first three rotations, with an emphatic 15.966 on her vault. Her final score was 62.232.

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The Torch
12:39 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Wiggin' Out: Bradley Wiggins Drinks To His Gold Medal, And The Mods Applaud

The Mods' New King? Cyclist Bradley Wiggins sits on a chair that looks an awful lot like a throne, after winning an Olympic gold medal Wednesday. Hailed in Britain for his mod tastes and funny tweets, Wiggins celebrated his win by getting "blind drunk," he said.
Alex Livesey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 6:54 pm

Fresh off becoming Britain's most-decorated Olympian, cyclist Bradley Wiggins is back in the news, as he updated his Twitter followers Wednesday night with details of how his celebration was going.

"Well what a day, blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all the messages," Wiggins tweeted to his more than 400,000 followers. "Thank You everyone it's been emotional X."

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The Torch
11:50 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Kayla Harrison Completes Her Comeback With Historic Gold Medal In Judo

U.S. judoka Kayla Harrison reacts after winning the women's 78kg gold medal at London's ExCel arena.
Franck Fife AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 6:39 pm

Kayla Harrison has defeated Britain's Gemma Gibbons in the women's 78kg judo final. It is the first gold medal for Harrison, 22, a native of Middletown, Ohio — and the first Olympic gold medal for an American in the event.

Harrison sprang out to an early lead in the match and then sealed it with another late score. She holds multiple world champion titles, despite her young age.

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The Torch
9:33 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Coming Up Thursday: Women's Gymnastics, Swimming Showdowns

Jose Manuel Martin Dockx of Spain rides Grandioso in the Dressage Grand Prix on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park Thursday.
Alex Livesey Getty Images

It's Day 6 of the London Games, and two big events await: first, the women's gymnastics individual all-around medal will be decided. Americans Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman are in the final round, which begins at 11:30 a.m. ET. Then, swimmers Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Missy Franklin try to add to their medal totals.

Phelps and Lochte face off in the men's 200m individual medley, while Franklin will race in what should be a very competitive women's 100m freestyle. All eight swimmers in her race qualified with times between 53.05 and 53.86 seconds.

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The Torch
9:02 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Let's Catch Up: U.S. Women Rowers Prevail, And NBC's Water Polo Coverage

The U.S. team races to their second straight gold medal in the women's eight rowing event at the London 2012 Olympic Games, at Eton Dorney Rowing Centre in Eton, west of London.
Eric Feferberg AFP/Getty Images

Good morning. Here's a rundown of the news that's catching our eye this morning, from the London Olympics:

-- The women's eight rowing competition was won by the U.S. team, in an encore of their gold-medal performance in Beijing 2008. The team, which led from the start and stayed ahead of silver medalists Canada at the end, consists of Mary Whipple (coxswain), Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, Esther Lofgren, Susan Francia and Erin Cafaro.

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The Torch
4:05 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Nathan Adrian Takes Gold In 100m Freestyle, Defeating France's Agnel

Yo Adrian! Swimmer Nathan Adrian (right) celebrates with Canada's Brent Hayden (left) after winning the men's 100m freestyle at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

American swimmer Nathan Adrian's name hasn't been on everyone's mind, the way that Michael Phelps' or Ryan Lochte's has. But he did something that even Lochte couldn't do this week: beat Yannick Agnel in a head-to-head race.

Adrian's time of 47.52 seconds in the men's 100-meter freestyle gave him his first individual gold medal, as he also beat James Magnussen of Australia, who came in second, and Brent Hayden of Canada.

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The Torch
3:32 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

U.S. Flag-Bearer Zagunis Fails To Medal In Sabre

American fencer Mariel Zagunis (left), the two-time gold medal winner in sabre, shakes hands after losing to Ukraine's Olga Kharlan in their bronze medal match at London's ExCel Center.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Decorated fencer Mariel Zagunis, who carried the U.S. flag into Olympic Stadium as part of the London 2012 opening ceremony, lost in the bronze medal match in the sabre Wednesday afternoon, falling to Olga Kharlan of Ukraine, 15-10.

The loss means that Zagunis, 27, will leave London without a medal — there is no team sabre medal at this year's Olympics (we'll post more about that situation soon).

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The Torch
3:07 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

U.S. Gymnast Danell Leyva Wins Bronze In All-Around

Gymnast Danell Leyva of the United States celebrates after his final rotation in the men's individual all-around final.
Harry How Getty Images

U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva has won the bronze medal in the men's all-around competition in London. The gold was taken by Japanese star Kohei Uchimura, while the silver medal went to Marcel Nguyen of Germany.

With a final score of 92.690, Uchimura was nearly 2 points ahead of Leyva, at 90.698. And with his win, Uchimura vanquished the disappointments of his 2008 Beijing, when his struggles on the pommel horse cost him a gold medal.

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The Torch
1:26 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

What's A Gold Medal Really Worth?

Plenty To Smile About: Weightlifter Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan celebrates on the podium with her new 400-gram gold medal, matching the feat of her compatriot Zulfiya Chinshanlo. The Kazakh Olympians will each receive a $250,000 bonus.
Laurence Griffiths Getty Images

Weighing 400 grams, the Olympic gold medals that are being doled out at the London 2012 Summer Games are the heaviest ever, according to reports. But that doesn't mean they're the most valuable: at an estimated $620.82, they're nearly $590 short of the $1,207.86 value held by a gold medal from the Stockholm Games of 1912.

The discrepancy stems from the fact that the 2012 gold medals contain only 6 grams of gold; the rest is silver and copper. In fact, the London bling contains more copper than gold, which is only used to coat the medals with a plating layer.

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The Torch
11:41 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Cyclist Bradley Wiggins Wins Seventh Olympic Medal, A British Record

Britain's Bradley Wiggins celebrates after winning the gold medal at the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games men's individual time trial road cycling event in London.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

British cyclist Bradley Wiggins has won the gold medal in the men's individual time trial event, beating Germany's Tony Martin by 42 seconds. He took 50 minutes and 39 seconds to cover the course of 49 kilometers (just under 30.5 miles).

Martin took silver, and the bronze went to Britain's Chris Froome, who played a vital support role as Wiggins' teammate in his Tour de France victory last month.

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The Torch
11:19 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Let's Catch Up: U.S. Rowers End Drought, Phelps And Lochte Reload

Adrienne Martelli, Megan Kalmoe, Kara Kohler and Natalie Dell of the United States celebrate on the podium after winning bronze in the women's quadruple sculls at Eton Dorney in Windsor, England.
Harry How Getty Images

Good morning. Things are hopping at the London Games, with 20 medal events today. And conversations are still buzzing about the scandal in Olympic badminton, over players intentionally throwing matches. Here are some highlights from this morning's news:

- The U.S. women's quadruple sculls team has won a bronze medal, ending a 28-year American medal drought in the sport. It's also only the second U.S. medal.

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The Torch
11:19 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Coming Up: Today's Olympic Highlights Include More Swimming And Gymnastics

Boxer Michael Hunter Jr. of the U.S. lost a close bout to Artur Beterbiev (left) of Russia in the heavyweight division's Round of 16 at the ExCel Arena Wednesday.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

There are 20 medal events today — including the cycling women's time trial, which was won by American Kristin Armstrong. Here's a list of other highlights from Wednesday's action; you can also check out our full schedule. All times are EDT:

Gymnastics

  • 11:30 a.m. men's individual all-around final

Swimming

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The Torch
9:13 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Kristin Armstrong Wins Second Straight Gold Medal In Olympic Time Trial

Kristin Armstrong rides on her way to winning the women's individual time trial at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Alex Livesey Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 2:41 pm

Kristin Armstrong has successfully defended her gold medal in the Olympic time trial, winning the race held in Surrey, England. Armstrong finished the 18-mile course in 37:34.82, nearly 16 seconds ahead of Judith Arndt of Germany, who won the silver.

Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia won bronze, seven seconds behind Arndt. American Amber Neben came in sixth, at 38:45.17. Britain's Elizabeth Armitstead, the silver medal winner in the road race, was tenth.

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The Torch
4:53 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Phelps Sets New Olympic Record With 19 Medals; America's Schmitt Wins Gold

U.S. swimmers Conor Dwyer (left), Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens poses on the podium with their gold medals after winning the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 6:35 pm

The U.S. men's swimming team has won the 4x200m freestyle relay, in a race that also gave Michael Phelps a record 19 medals in the Olympics. He netted his 18th, a silver, earlier in the day.

Update at 4:05 p.m. EDT: For the relay final, the American team swam in the fourth lane, next to their greatest rivals, the French, who posted the fasted qualifying time. The French are led by Yannick Agnel, who soundly defeated Ryan Lochte and others in the men's 200m freestyle Monday.

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The Torch
1:55 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team Wins Gold Medal; First In 16 Years

Young Skywalker: Gabby Douglas helped solidify the U.S. women's team grip on gymnastics gold. The Americans beat Russia and Romania.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 6:35 pm

The U.S. women's gymnastics team has won the team gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, handily beating Russia, which took silver, and Romania, which took bronze. China finished fourth.

Update at 2:25 p.m. EDT: The U.S. women led off with their strength — the vault. The apparatus gives them an advantage, and not only because Maroney is the world champion and gold-medal favorite in the event.

The AP describes why:

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The Torch
1:25 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

London 2012 Lives Up To 'Social Games' Title, In Unwelcome Ways

The London Games have lived up to their hype as the first truly "social" Olympics. But social media like Twitter have also brought embarrassments, and even an arrest.
NPR

The London 2012 Games have been touted as the first Olympics to live fully in the age of social media. After all, the organization's Twitter feed has nearly 1.4 million followers, as it lists on its special portal for Facebook and other social sites. But a rash of scandals and news related to Twitter has put a new mark on the face of these games. And, as they say, it ain't pretty.

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The Torch
10:38 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Coming Up: Tuesday's Olympic Events To Watch

Okay, let's start by admitting one thing: all Olympic events are pretty much worth watching. But there are just too many of them — 17 today, alone. For instance, there's the women's synchronized 10m platform dive, happening now. Here's a list of big competitions we'll keep an eye on today. All times are EDT:

Swimming

  • 2:41 p.m. women's 200m freestyle final
  • 2:49 p.m. men's 200m butterfly final
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The Torch
10:13 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Olympics Set Record Ratings; Venus Rolls To Third Round

Venus Williams of the United States returns a shot to Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada in their Olympic singles tennis match, played at Wimbledon. Williams won, 6-1, 6-3.
Clive Brunskill Getty Images

Good morning. Today will be another big one in London — we'll have a preview of the action in a jiffy. For now, here are some stories that caught our eye:

- The London Olympics are a ratings hit, as NBC's coverage has broken records. "Through the weekend NBC averaged 35.8 million viewers in London, five million more than Beijing, and over a million more than the previous record-holder, Atlanta," says the TVNewser blog.

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The Torch
3:42 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Franklin Wins Gold, While Lochte Misses Out; Grevers Wins Backstroke [Results]

Record setter: U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin celebrates winning the women's 100m backstroke final at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:22 pm

Yannick Agnel of France has won the 200m men's freestyle at the London 2012 Olympics, beating a field that included American Ryan Lochte and German world record holder Paul Biedermann. Sun Yang of China and and Tae-Hwan Park of South Korea finished with identical times of 1:44.93 — which means that both of them will receive silver medals.

We'll be updating this post with more results from today's action.

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The Torch
1:46 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

U.S. Men's Gymnastics Takes A Fall During Finals

U.S. gymnast John Orozco runs through his pommel horse routine, in the Olympic men's team final at the 02 North Greenwich Arena in London. The Americans fell short of the promise they established in qualifying rounds.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 2:52 pm

The U.S. men's gymnastics team had an excellent day of qualifying this weekend, putting it in first place entering today's team finals. But the Americans struggled in the final, which does not carry points over from the earlier rounds.

Update at 2:12 p.m. EDT: The U.S. team has taken fifth place in the competition, despite early struggles that put them in last place. Great Britain surged to win the silver medal behind China — but Japan is reportedly now disputing the score one of its gymnasts received on the pommel horse.

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The Torch
12:06 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Olympic Cauldron Is Put Out, Then Relit, In London

In a mostly empty Olympic Stadium, Austin Playfoot lights the Olympic cauldron Monday morning. The cauldron was extinguished Sunday night, so it could be moved to one end of the stadium. Click the enlargement to see a close-up view.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Just when the discussion over the London Olympics' opening ceremony was finally being overshadowed by actual sporting events at the Summer Games, news emerges Monday that the Olympic cauldron was extinguished Sunday night, so it could be moved.

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