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OLYMPICS ATHLETE TO WATCH: Taylor Phinney

ATHLETE TO WATCH

Two years ago, Taylor Phinney’s cycling career looked bleak. A career-threatening crash during the 2014 United States National Road Race Championships resulted in a compound fracture to his tibia and severed patellar tendon. After a year of recovery and slow reintroduction to competition, Phinney now eyes a pair of medal opportunities at the Rio Olympics, starting with Saturday morning’s road race. Phinney, along with Brent Bookwalter, will represent the United States in a 144-cyclist field as they attempt to bike through a 241.5-kilometer course that starts in Fort Copacabana. Phinney competed in both the time trial and road race during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, placing fourth in both events. He also placed seventh in the individual pursuit at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

THIS DAY IN OLYMPIC HISTORY

Aug. 6, 1948: After two days and 10 events, 17-year-old Bob Mathias took home gold for the United States in the decathlon at the London Olympics, becoming the youngest athlete to win gold in a track and field event. His combined score of 7,139 bested the other 23 in the field, with second-place Ignace Heinrich of France (6,974) finishing 165 points behind. Mathias went on to repeat in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki with a then-world record performance before retiring from athletics. Later on in life, Mathias began a career in politics and served California in the U.S. House of Representatives for eight years (1967-1975).

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