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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10:34am

Tue August 7, 2012
The Torch

National Zoo Names Cheetah Cubs After U.S. Sprinters

The Cheetahs In Question: Two three-month-old cheetah cubs play during their first week of being on public view at the National Zoo. The animals were named after U.S. track stars Justin Gatlin and Carmelita Jeter. But like even the smallest of felines, there is precious little chance they will ever show even a flicker of recognition upon hearing their name called.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Two cheetah cubs whose cuteness recently landed them on Facebook and Tumblr pages around the Internet have been named after U.S. Olympians competing in London.

Presumably, it was the cheetahs' fabled speed, not cuteness, that inspired officials at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., to name them Carmelita and Justin, after sprinters Carmelita Jeter and Justin Gatlin.

The three-month-old felines' namesakes won silver (Jeter) and bronze (Gatlin) medals in the 100-meter sprint at the Summer Games.

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10:14am

Tue August 7, 2012
The Torch

Gold Medal In Hand, U.S. Vaulter Suhr's 'Hangar Time' Seems Well Spent

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 11:32 am

American gold medalist Jenn Suhr and Cuba's silver medalist Yarisley Silva celebrate after the women's pole vault final at the London 2012 Olympics. Suhr won silver at the 2008 Games.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

U.S. pole vaulter Jenn Suhr had a long-awaited breakthrough Monday evening, when she won the gold medal in her event at the London Olympics, clearing the bar at 15'7. She defeated a field that included two-time gold medalist Elena Isinbaeva of Russia, who has dominated women's pole vaulting in recent years.

Suhr, 30, won the silver medal in the event at the Beijing 2008 Games. In London's Olympic Stadium Monday, the vaulters were challenged by windy conditions that kept them well below world-record heights — and even had them clutching blankets to stay warm between attempts.

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9:08am

Tue August 7, 2012
The Torch

Let's Catch Up: Australia's Quiet Summer, And A U.S. Invasion

Triathlon gold medalist Alistair Brownlee of Britain (right) and silver medalist Javier Gomez of Spain lie on the ground after crossing the finish line in the London Games.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Good morning. A lot has been happening in London, where the Summer Games are in their eleventh day. Here's a rundown of the news that caught our eye:

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8:47am

Tue August 7, 2012
The Torch

Coming Up On Day 11 Of The London Olympics

On the Olympics' eleventh day, artistic gymnasts will go for their last big batch of medals. There are 21 medals up for grabs Tuesday. Here are some of the highlights of the day's action:

Gymnastics

  • 9:00a Men's Parallel Bars Final
  • 9:47a Women's Beam Final
  • 10:37a Men's Horizontal Bar Final
  • 11:23a Women's Floor Exercise Final

Athletics (a.k.a. Track and Field)

  • 2:00p Men's High Jump Final
  • 2:15p Women's 100m Hurdles Semi-finals
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4:34pm

Mon August 6, 2012
The Torch

Boxer Claressa Shields,17, Reaches Olympic Semifinal, Where A Medal Awaits

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:44 pm

U.S. boxer Claressa Shields is declared the winner on points over Anna Laurell of Sweden in the women's middleweight boxing quarterfinals at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Olympic boxer Claressa Shields, the teenager whose dream of being in the first crop of Olympic women boxers led her to tell her story on All Things Considered back in February, will fight for a medal in London.

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4:00pm

Mon August 6, 2012
The Torch

Watching The Olympics Online: Fans Find Ways Around NBC's Control

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 9:42 am

Jamaica's Usain Bolt gestures to a camera after running in an Olympic 100-meter semifinal. There's no telling when Americans might have seen his actions, as NBC tape-delays top events. Online, fans are finding ways around the network's strategy.
Sergey Ponomarev AP

When we posted about the apps and streaming options NBC and others offer for the London 2012 Games, many readers responded that as non-TV subscribers, they were cut out of the plan. Many added that they aren't scofflaws — they're people who watch broadcast television, and occasionally pay for cable shows or movies via Netflix or iTunes.

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1:22pm

Mon August 6, 2012
The Torch

Protests Filed For Two Boxers After Questionable Calls By Referee

Siarhei Karneyeu of Belarus (in blue) landed most of the punches in the third round of his bout with Teymur Mammadov of Azerbaijan, who wasn't penalized for holding.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Olympic boxing continues to be mired in controversy at the 2012 Summer Games. Over the weekend, Belarus and Cuba filed protests about questionable decisions involving their fighters.

Two decisions Sunday angered fans and boxing commentators. Judges awarded victory to Teymur Mammadov, a heavyweight fighter from Azerbaijan, even though his opponent from Belarus, Siarhei Karneyeu, appeared to land most of the punches in a third round in which the Belarussian was repeatedly held.

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11:08am

Mon August 6, 2012
The Torch

Mustafina Wins Gold In Uneven Bars, As 'Drained' Douglas Struggles

Aliya Mustafina of Russia won gold in the women's uneven bars final at the London 2012 Olympics Monday. American Gabby Douglas came in eighth.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Gymnast Aliya Mustafina of Russia has won the 2012 Olympic gold medal in the uneven bars, standing atop the podium in a highly competitive event that also featured American star Gabby Douglas, defending medalist He Kexin of China, and British favorite Beth Tweddle.

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10:21am

Mon August 6, 2012
The Torch

American Sees Silver Slip Away In Rifle Event's Final Shot

Matthew Emmons of America (right) celebrates his bronze medal, along with Italy's Niccolo Campriani (center) and South Korea's Kim Jonghyun, after the men's 50m rifle 3 positions final.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

U.S. rifle shooter Matthew Emmons has won a bronze medal in the 50-meter three positions rifle event. That may sound like a slight let-down for the man who had been poised to win silver — a horrible final shot of 7.6 dropped him into third place — but it's far better than Emmons' earlier Olympic experiences.

First there was Athens 2004, when he inadvertently fired upon the wrong target.

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9:24am

Mon August 6, 2012
The Torch

Let's Catch Up: U.S. Women's Basketball Blowout, And Maroney's Vault Woes

American Diana Taurasi drives to the basket past Xiaoyun Song #5 of China during their preliminary round match on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

As we enter the final week of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and athletes from the United States have won a total of 60 medals. That's just behind China, at 61. The two countries have stayed in lock-step with one another all through the London Games. Here's a quick rundown of other news out there:

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3:54pm

Sat August 4, 2012
The Torch

Phelps Wins His 18th Gold Medal, As His Olympic Career Ends

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 4:32 pm

One more time: American swimmer Michael Phelps dives in to swim the butterfly leg of the men's medley relay Saturday. Phelps' team won the Olympic gold medal, giving him 22 overall and 18 gold when he leaves the London Games.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Swimming the final race of his Olympic career, Michael Phelps gilded his resume just a bit more, helping the U.S. men's 4x100m medley relay team claim the gold medal at London's aquatic center. Phelps turned away a surprising challenge from the Japanese team, which had the lead when he went into the water to swim butterfly, the relay's third leg.

It was the 18th gold medal of Phelps' record-setting Olympic career. He leaves the London 2012 Games with 22 Olympic medals overall.

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3:41pm

Sat August 4, 2012
The Torch

Swimming: U.S. Women Set A World Record As They Take Gold

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 4:30 pm

U.S. gold medallists (L-R) Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Volmer, and Allison Schmitt pose on the podium after their world-record 4x100m medley relay final.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Swimming in London's Aquatic Center, the U.S. women's 4x100m medley relay team set a new world record in winning a gold medal, with Allison Schmitt swimming freestyle to anchor a relay that finished two seconds ahead of the competition, at 3:52.05.

All four members of the women's relay team had previously won gold in their events: Dana Vollmer (butterfly), Missy Franklin (backstroke), Rebecca Soni (breaststroke), and Schmitt.

The victory gave Franklin, 17, four gold medals and one bronze in the London 2012 Games.

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3:21pm

Sat August 4, 2012
The Torch

Williams Sisters Advance To Gold Medal Game In London

It's been a big day for Serena Williams. First, she started the day by winning her first individual Olympic gold medal. Then she earned a chance for another gold in the women's doubles match, playing with her sister, Venus. The pair defeated the Russian team of Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko, 7-5, 6-4.

The Americans will next face the Czech team of Hlavackova and Kradecka in the Olympic final, Sunday at 7 a.m. ET.

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2:17pm

Sat August 4, 2012
The Torch

U.S. Women Win Silver In First Team Pursuit Event

Dotsie Bausch, Jennie Reed and Sarah Hammer of the United States ride in a heat against Australia on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Velodrome in London, England. The Americans took silver in the final.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

The U.S. team won the silver medal in the inaugural women's team pursuit event of the Summer Olympics, finishing behind Great Britain in the final.

The British team set a new world record of 3:14.051 as they claimed the gold medal. The Americans finished 5 seconds behind them. Canada won the bronze-medal matchup, beating Australia in London's velodrome.

The American team of Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch, and Lauren Tamayo averaged a speed of 54.073 Km/h, or 33.5 mph, on the track.

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1:18pm

Sat August 4, 2012
The Torch

Bryan Brothers Win Doubles Gold At London Olympics

American doubles team Mike Bryan (top) and Bob Bryan celebrate after defeating France's Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the men's doubles gold medal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the All England Tennis Club.
Luis Acosta AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. men's doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan won their first Olympic gold medal Saturday, beating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra, 6-1, 7-6 (6-2), in a game that was far more entertaining than its score might suggest. Both teams played creative and focused tennis, sustaining fast-paced volleys and inventing shots that delighted the crowd at Centre Court.

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10:48am

Sat August 4, 2012
The Torch

Serena Williams Wins Olympic Gold, Beating Sharapova 6-1, 6-0

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 12:21 pm

Serena Williams hits a return to Russia's Maria Sharapova during their final tennis match in the 2012 London Olympic Games at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon. Williams won, 6-0, 6-1.
Luis Acosta AFP/Getty Images

American Serena Williams stormed her way to an Olympic gold medal Saturday, dominating the final against Maria Sharapova of Russia. It is the first individual gold medal for Williams, who has twice won in Olympic doubles.

Williams won the first set, 6-0, in only 30 minutes. She hit only a handful of unforced errors in each set, and feasted on Sharapova's second serve. She won the second set by 6-1, with the entire match taking only a bit more than an hour to complete.

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10:00am

Sat August 4, 2012
The Torch

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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7:23am

Sat August 4, 2012
The Torch

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

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

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

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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5:49pm

Fri August 3, 2012
The Torch

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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4:42pm

Fri August 3, 2012
The Torch

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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3:22pm

Fri August 3, 2012
The Torch

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

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

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

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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11:54am

Fri August 3, 2012
The Torch

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

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

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

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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9:39am

Fri August 3, 2012
The Torch

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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9:17am

Fri August 3, 2012
The Torch

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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1:45pm

Thu August 2, 2012
The Torch

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

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

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

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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12:39pm

Thu August 2, 2012
The Torch

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

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

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

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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11:50am

Thu August 2, 2012
The Torch

Kayla Harrison Completes Her Comeback With Historic Gold Medal In Judo

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

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

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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4:05pm

Wed August 1, 2012
The Torch

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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3:32pm

Wed August 1, 2012
The Torch

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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3:07pm

Wed August 1, 2012
The Torch

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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