Photograph by John W. McDonough
LET'S TAKE THE WIDE VIEW Michael Phelps might be the most decorated Olympian, but the most electrifying? Usain Bolt, again, blew away the field, making his own historic claims by becoming the first sprinter to win gold in the 100 and 200 meters (pictured) at consecutive Olympics.
Photograph by Simon Bruty
UNEASY LIES THE HEAD ... Matthias Steiner of Germany came to London as the defending Olympic super heavyweight champion, but his chances to repeat ended harshly: While attempting a snatch of 432 pounds, Steiner dropped the bar on his neck. He suffered no serious injury and was able to walk off the mat (inset), but he abandoned the competition.
David E. Klutho
[See caption above]
THIRTY SEVEN PHOTOS
Photographs by Neil Leifer/Courtesy of the Today Show/NBC
HEROES WELCOME Few people have laid eyes—and lens—on more Olympians than Neil Leifer, who has now covered 16 Games. In London the veteran photographer set up a studio outside NBC's Today set and shot U.S. medalists as they visited the show. Nearly 100 athletes modeled their medals for Leifer (with one notable exception—a certain highly decorated swimmer didn't bring his hardware and showed off an autographed ticket instead). Here are 37 of those portraits; more can be seen at SI.com/olympics. TOP ROW, FROM LEFT: Elizabeth Beisel, swimming; Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens, swimming; Kristin Armstrong (and son Lucas), cycling; Erik Kynard, high jump; Sarah Hammer, cycling; Kim Rhode, shooting; Michael Phelps, swimming SECOND ROW: Kelci Bryant and Abigail Johnston, diving; Tyler Clary, swimming; women's eight rowing team; Dana Vollmer, swimming; Marti Malloy and Kayla Harrison, judo; Jenn Suhr, pole vault THIRD ROW: David Boudia and Nick McCrory, diving; Caitlin Leverenz, swimming; Gabby Douglas, gymnastics; Natalie Coughlin, swimming; Michael Tinsley, hurdles; Nathan Adrian, swimming FOURTH ROW: Shannon Vreeland, swimming; Missy Franklin, swimming; Kristian Ipsen and Troy Dumais, diving; Aly Raisman, gymnastics; Ryan Lochte, swimming; Rebecca Soni, swimming FIFTH ROW: Women's soccer team; Vincent Hancock (and daughter Brenlyn), shooting; Lia Neal, swimming; Jake Kaminski, Brady Ellison and Jacob Wukie, archery; Danell Leyva, gymnastics; Matt Grevers, swimming BOTTOM ROW: Claressa Shields, boxing; Matt Emmons, shooting; Katie Ledecky, swimming; Brendan Hansen, swimming; Serena Williams, tennis; Jamie Gray, shooting