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Fewer medals, more heart for US at a most unusual Olympics

TOKYO (AP) — Kara Winger is the American record-holder in the javelin throw who just wrapped up her fourth Olympics. She has never finished higher than sixth place.

When she got the call over the weekend telling her she would be carrying the flag Sunday for the United States at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Games, her first reaction was “shock.”

“I expected tweets with people saying ‘What has she done?’” Winger said.

Turns out, an awful lot over a career that has spanned two decades. That the American athletes chose her as flagbearer is a . . .

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Paris calling: After Tokyo, Olympians hanker for 2024 Games

TOKYO (AP) — They’ll always have Paris. That thought, full of promise, has been a lifebuoy for athletes to cling to as they coped, as best they could, with thickets of restrictions at the pandemic-hit Tokyo Games that severely crimped their Olympic experience — and left some hungry for more.

Barred from bringing family and friends with them to Japan, playing in empty arenas and not allowed to sightsee in Tokyo, some athletes found themselves day-dreaming about the French capital’s Olympic rendezvous in . . .

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Mixed bag: Erratic Pandemic Olympics wind to a nuanced end

TOKYO (AP) — It began with a virus and a yearlong pause. It ended with a typhoon blowing through and, still, a virus. In between: just about everything.

The Tokyo Olympics, christened with “2020” but held in mid-2021 after being interrupted for a year by the coronavirus, glided to their conclusion in a COVID-emptied stadium Sunday night as an often surreal mixed bag for Japan and for the world.

A rollicking closing ceremony with the theme “Worlds We Share” — an optimistic but ironic notion at this human . . .

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Dream season for Nelly Korda now includes Olympic gold medal

KAWAGOE, Japan (AP) — Her parents used to call her a lion when Nelly Korda was young because she was relentless in everything she played, from gymnastics to ice skating to golf.

“I’ve always been super determined and super focused on what I want,” Korda said.

Now she is more than she ever imagined: major champion, No. 1 in the world and Olympic gold medalist, all of this happening . . .

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Jepchirchir beats heat in Sapporo to win Olympic marathon

SAPPORO, Japan (AP) — Peres Jepchirchir led a 1-2 Kenyan finish in the women’s marathon, withstanding the heat and humidity while running through the streets of Sapporo.

Jepchirchir crossed the line in a winning time of 2 hours, 27 minutes, 20 seconds Saturday in a race moved up an hour to avoid the heat. A smattering of fans lining the course applauded as the Tokyo Games went north for the . . .

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The long journey leads to an Olympic record for Felix

TOKYO (AP) — She describes herself as “old.” She concedes she wasn’t sure she’d make it this far. There were times, though, when “making it” had nothing to do with the Olympics and everything to do with simply climbing out of her hospital bed.

No wonder Allyson Felix came to these, her last Olympics, with little fear of losing.

And it shouldn’t surprise anyone by now to learn that instead, on Friday night, she won.

Not the gold medal in the women’s 400 meters. But a bronze that might wind up taking center stage in her trophy case. It is . . .

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