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Day 7 Olympics roundup: Protests against Russia, dangerous sports, Novak falls

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There's a whole lot going on every day at the Tokyo Olympics. Here, we'll keep you up-to-date with everything you need to know. And on Day 7, there's a whole lot to know.

Olympic story of the day

Russia's presence at the Olympics, as the "Russian Olympic Committee," has raised eyebrows and concerns throughout the Games. In the last few days, those concerns broke the surface on two fronts. U.S. rower Megan Kalmoe seethed that a Russian team won silver, saying that seeing "a crew who shouldn’t even be here walk away with a silver is a nasty feeling." Swimmer Ryan Murphy, sitting right next to the Russian swimmer who's beaten him twice this week, said he believes doping is present in swimming. Asked for specifics, he said, “I’ve got about 15 thoughts. Thirteen of them would get me into a lot of trouble.”

Russians have been clapping back hard against allegations they don't belong at these Games, effectively thumbing their noses at their critics and opponents. For that, and for the entire Russian presence at these Games, the IOC has no one to blame but itself, Henry Bushnell writes

"Some thought [Murphy speaking up] was classless, the accusations baseless, the motives bitter. Murphy thought it was necessary, and he’s right. It is necessary because Russian athletes cheated, and because we’ll never know which ones did, and because authorities don’t seem to care."

Read the full story here. This one isn't going away anytime soon.

Sunisa Lee's victory for both her country and her people 

Sunisa Lee's gold medal victory in the women's individual all-around, the most prestigious event in gymnastics, wasn't just a phenomenal win for the United States. It was a powerful statement on behalf of Hmong refugees and their families, of which Lee is a member. In this piece, Jeff Eisenberg tells the story of how Lee's victory resonated across the Hmong American community, bringing joy and satisfaction to a group that's all too often felt like a people without a home. 

“This is history,” Mai Vang, a Sacramento city councilwoman, told Yahoo Sports. “In my lifetime, I never would have imagined seeing someone who looks like me on the screen competing in the Olympics. It was important for me to make sure I got a chance to witness our first Olympian winning a medal.”

Read the full story here

For BMX riders, catastrophe is always near

Kye White (left) and his fellow Olympic BMX riders know risk comes with the job. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Kye White (left) and his fellow Olympic BMX riders know risk comes with the job. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)

BMX riders go into every event knowing crashes, pain and possible catastrophe are possible at every second. That was apparent on Friday morning, as American Connor Fields, reigning champion and gold medal favorite, wrecked so badly he needed to be taken off the course by ambulance. Here, Hannah Keyser describes what it was like at the scene:

"Even in the replay, it’s almost impossible to see what happens. The riders look like alien centaurs galloping down the hill, helmets obscuring their fragile humanity. It feels like watching a video game until suddenly there’s a tangle of bodies and bikes on the ground and the crowd gasps so fast it’s like their breath knew it before their brains did."

Read the full story here

Sprinters embody the true Olympic ideal

Many of the sprinters that dotted the preliminaries of the women's 100-meter dash, the first track & field event of the Tokyo Games, come from countries with no medal tradition on the track. Even so, Shalise Manza Young writes from Tokyo, their presence means so much more than just an entry line in a race. They represent hope and opportunity for women all over the world, and in many ways, they're the truest embodiment of the Olympic ideal. 

"They didn't have fancy racing spikes provided by major footwear companies that sponsor them," Young writes. "They likely didn't receive a duffel bag full of national team swag, different racing suits and warmups for every weather condition. Several followed Muslim custom and wore hijab, long sleeves and long pants in the exceedingly humid Tokyo heat. But for many of them, just getting here, having the opportunity to represent their country on the biggest stage athletics offers, was an incredible win."

Read the full story here.

Novak no more

The dream of a Golden Slam is dead. Novak Djokovic fell to Germany's Alexander Zverev in three sets, ending his hopes of winning an astounding four majors and Olympic gold in a calendar year. Don't feel too bad for Djoker, though; he can still win bronze in singles and gold in doubles, plus he's three-quarters of the way to a Grand Slam anyway. He'll need only the U.S. Open in September to complete that sweep. 

Accusations of terror affiliation challenge IOC

The International Olympic Committee is facing outcry after it allowed an alleged member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an organization the United States has designated a terror group, to compete and win gold in the 10-meter air pistol on Saturday. Javad Foroughi's victory is the first and only medal so far for Iran in Tokyo. An activist group has called for an investigation, and one of Foroughi's competitors went so far as to deem him a "terrorist." The IOC has asked for more evidence before rendering any decision. 

Photo of the day

(Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images)
(Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images)

France's Teddy Riner, in white, throws around Austria's Stephan Hegyi in the judo men's +100kg elimination round bout. There are many Olympic sports that look like they'd cause us a whole lot of pain, and this one's right up there. 

GIF of the day

(@NBCSports / Twitter)
(@NBCSports / Twitter)

Bullpen pitchers at the Tokyo Olympics travel in style. How do we get one of these beauties stateside?

 

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com.

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