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"I'm very excited, and I can't wait for my team to be with me so I can do that," says gymnastics star Simone Biles, hours before becoming the first gymnast to carry the U.S. flag since 1936.

Biles received that honor Saturday, being named the flag bearer for tonight's closing ceremony in a nod to an exceptional Summer Olympics in Rio. In Brazil, Biles, 19, collected four gold medals and a bronze. But the gymnast, who is listed at 4'8", admits that she's a little concerned about how she'll carry the flag.

One of the most surprising stories of the Olympics, which end on Sunday, was the unseeded Monica Puig's improbable march to the gold medal in women's singles tennis. Puig's win captured Puerto Rico's first-ever gold medal in the Olympics, and set off massive celebrations across the island. It was a big-ass deal.

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What It's Really Like To 'Walk' In Space

Aug 21, 2016
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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

In portions of a full interview with NBC's Matt Lauer Saturday night, U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte attempted to clarify his role in the early morning episode at a Rio de Janeiro gas station last weekend.

In an action-packed night on the track, Matt Centrowitz held off the closely clustered field in the final straightaway to become the first American man to win the 1,500 meters since 1908.

And it was another record-setting night for Allyson Felix. She anchored the U.S. to victory in the 4x400 relay victory, giving her a sixth career gold medal, the most ever by a woman in track. She broke her own record, which she set on Friday night as part of the gold-medal winning women's 4x100-meter relay.

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The U.S. women's basketball team trounced Spain, 101-72, on Saturday, winning their sixth consecutive gold and their 49th straight Olympic game.

The American women so overpowered their opponents that the tournament was almost certainly the least competitive event at the Rio games, which end on Sunday.

The average margin of victory for the U.S. in their Olympic games was nearly 40 points, and the closest game was a 19-point victory over France in the semifinals. Since 1996, the American have only had one game where they won by fewer than 10 points.

Boxer Shakur Stevenson lost the gold medal to Cuba's Robeisy Ramirez at Rio's Summer Olympics Saturday, in a split decision that left the American distraught after their three-round fight.

"I felt Robeisy won the last 30 seconds," Stevenson said later.

The two rounds that Stevenson, 19, lost in this gold medal bout were the first he'd lost in Rio.

The fact that he'd just won the highest Olympic medal for the U.S. men's boxing team since 2004 did little to console Stevenson.

"I don't look at it as an accomplishment," he said. "I look at it as a loss."

"Ryan Lochte is too much with us," William Wordsworth might have written if he were covering the Summer Olympics in Rio.

Okay, I admit it: William Wordsworth would never have written that. But that's the sentiment that hung over Rio this week, as the temporary community that the Olympics creates every two years found itself unexpectedly distracted from its normal duty of watching talented and dedicated people introduce their dreams to Olympic reality.

Firefighters are gaining ground on the aggressive Blue Cut wildfire in Southern California's San Bernardino National Forest that has destroyed nearly 100 homes and more than 200 other structures.

It's one of several major fires impacting the drought-stricken state. And as NPR's Kirk Siegler tells our Newscast unit, hundreds of the 80,000 put under evacuation notice are now cleared to return home, but "controlling a blaze like this will take weeks." He explains:

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and in The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

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Copyright 2016 North Country Public Radio. To see more, visit North Country Public Radio.

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When Scott Gatz and his husband decided to become fathers several years ago, pursuing parenthood meant finding both an egg donor and a surrogate to help them conceive a baby. Their first round of in vitro fertilization produced seven healthy embryos. One of those embryos was successfully transferred to their surrogate's womb, resulting in their son Matthew, who is now 6-years-old.

While the San Francisco couple feels their family is now complete, they are still in a quandary over what to do with their six remaining embryos — what they call their "maybe babies."

It's a story that might sound familiar: A promising U.S. men's 4x100m relay team was disqualified from a marquee race because of a bad baton exchange. Team member Tyson Gay calls it both weird and bad luck.

In fact, in a post-race interview that lasted less than 3 minutes, Gay used the word "weird" no less than seven times to describe how this race went for the Americans.

Nine Olympic sprint finals, nine gold medals.

Usain Bolt carved his name in the Olympic record books as he anchored the Jamaican 4x100-meter relay team on Friday night, taking the gold for the third straight time in this race and claiming the ninth gold of his extraordinary career.

The relay gave Bolt an unprecedented triple-triple. He's now won the 100 meters, the 200 meters and the 4x100-meter relay in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.

A federal judge has ordered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to answer written questions posed by a conservative watchdog group about her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. That means she will not have to sit in a lengthy deposition and answer questions from lawyers during the campaign.

As NPR's Carrie Johnson reports for our Newscast unit,

On the same day Donald Trump was touring areas of Louisiana affected by record flooding, the White House announced President Obama will be heading to Louisiana, too.

Here was the White House's statement released Friday afternoon:

When scientists tallied the temperature readings from around the world last month, this is what they discovered:

"July, 2016 was the warmest month we have observed in our period of record that dates back to 1880," says Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

And July wasn't a freak occurrence, he notes. The past 10 years have seen numerous high temperature records.

Construction of a controversial crude oil pipeline set to span at least 1,168 miles from North Dakota to Illinois has temporarily been halted in North Dakota amid protests by Native American tribes.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux fear the pipeline could potentially contaminate their local drinking water and lands sacred to the tribe.

A microscopic parasite is ravaging the fish population of the Yellowstone River in Montana prompting state officials to ban water-based recreation along a 183-mile stretch of the river and all of its tributaries.

The state's Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced the closure, which extends from Yellowstone National Park's northern boundary at Gardiner to the Highway 212 bridge in Laurel.

The U.S. women's water polo team dominated Italy in a 12-5 win in their gold medal match Friday to become the first women's team to win gold at consecutive Summer Olympics.

It's the most goals ever scored in a women's water polo final, and the widest margin of victory, according to the Olympic News Service.

For Gawker Media's websites to live, Gawker.com, the actual namesake website, has to die. It will be shut down next week by its new owner, a victim of its own poisoned legacy.

Any obituary should start by acknowledging the good the subject rendered to the world. There's no reason not to do that here, other than the extent to which that impulse might appall some of Gawker's own writers were it a piece about the demise of another publication.

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