58 Faster ThanFast
Usain Bolt won the 100 meters so easily you wonder: How much lower than 9.69can he go?
By Tim Layden

64 NationalAgony
China was stunned when an old injury kept its hero, Liu Xiang, from competingin the hurdles
By Tim Layden

68 We'reWitnesses
After the Greatest Performance in Olympic History, here's what's ahead forMichael Phelps
By Susan Casey

74 One for theAged
At 41, Dara Torres swam her fastest times ever
By Kelli Anderson

78 PrizedFriendship
That's what drove U.S. gymnasts to a one-two finish
By E.M. Swift

82 Play by theRules
The Redeem Team adapts to international play
By Alexander Wolff

88 Party Like It's1984
The U.S. women's eight rowed to its first gold since L.A.
By Brian Cazeneuve

90 Golden Guns
With six medals, American marksmen hit the jackpot
By Brian Cazeneuve

92 LondonCalling
Great Britain prepares to take the torch in 2012
By Michael Farber


6 Leading Off

17 From theEditor

18 Letters

20 Players
• China's Truman Show
• Sports talk duo signs off
• Roger Federer's rocky year
• Olympic look-alikes

28 Faces in theCrowd

29 Just My Type byDan Patrick
• Bruce Jenner talks trash

96 Point After
Is Michael Phelps the greatest Olympian ever? by S.L. Price


30 Such Sweet Relief
Led by their mighty bullpen, the Cubs have the most complete club in thegame
By Luke Winn

36 Jermaine Question
Can Jermaine O'Neal overcome injuries and turn his new team into acontender?
By Ian Thomsen

40 Drawing the Line
Fed up with the Bengals' bad behavior, coach Marvin Lewis finally got mad
By Jim Trotter

PHOTOSIMON BRUTY68 TREASURE CHEST U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps hangs the eight gold medals he won in Beijing, the richest haul ever from a single Olympic Games.