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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The Torch
7:42 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Pistorius And South Africa's Relay Team Win Reprieve, Will Race In Final

Anticipation: Oscar Pistorius of South Africa waits for the baton in the team 4x400m relay at London's Olympic Stadium. His teammate fell in the race, but officials deemed he had been interfered with. South Africa will run in the final.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius, who made history last weekend when he became the first amputee to run in an Olympic race, saw his London 2012 experience come to an abrupt end Thursday — before a successful appeal put his South African 4x400m relay team back in business.

Pistorius never got a chance to run in the relay's qualifying heat, as he awaited the baton handoff from teammate Ofentse Mogawane. But Mogawane, who was running the second leg of the race, slammed into the back of a Kenyan runner who had drifted into his lane.

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The Torch
3:30 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

May-Treanor And Walsh Jennings Go Out Golden, With A Three-Peat

Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings (left) and Misty May-Treanor yell after winning a record third-straight gold medal in women's beach volleyball, at the Horse Guard's Parade in London.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings have won an unprecedented Olympic three-peat in women's beach volleyball, as they defeated their fellow Americans, the team of Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, in the gold medal match.

The match lasted just 36 minutes, as May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won the first and second sets by the same score: 21-16. On the final point, Ross' serve floated long, and the celebration was on. May-Treanor started dancing on the sand, and the players ran to the stands to hug their loved ones.

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The Torch
1:23 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Shut Out Of London Games, Video Artists Get Inventive

A video pays homage to the Olympic Games — and to the video games of the 1980s. It's one of many inventive videos around the web, inspired by the London Games.
Flikli

It's not easy to find video of the London 2012 Olympics on the Internet — even on YouTube. And that's inspiring people to "interpret" the Summer Games for themselves. For instance, you can see puppet shows, 8-bit video, and Taiwanese animation, all related to the Olympics... or, at least sort of related.

Here are some of my favorites — feel free to put yours into the comment section below:

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The Torch
12:44 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

How Do You Stack Up Against An Olympic Athlete?

Weightlifter Kazuomi Ota of Japan takes a moment after failing to lift the required weight in the men's +105kg final in London. At 6 feet and 324 pounds, Ota is one of the largest Olympians.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Sure, you might spend a lot of time on your couch, as you watch the Summer Olympics. And hey, maybe you've drifted a couple pounds above your fighting weight. But there's all kinds of athletes competing in London — one of them has to be around the same size as you, right?

Now you can find that out, thanks to the BBC, whose site has an interactive chart that lets you enter your height and weight — and then tells you which two Olympic athletes you most resemble.

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The Torch
8:53 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Rogue Condoms Appear In Olympic Village; Organizers Take Action

London Mayor Boris Johnson picks up a packet of Olympic branded condoms during a visit to the Olympic Village last month. Durex, the official Olympic supplier, has sent 150,000 condoms to the village. A bucket of rogue condoms has created a small controversy.
Scott Heavey Getty Images

It should come as no surprise that Olympics organizers take brand endorsements and official suppliers very seriously. That extends beyond logos on shorts and shoes — up to, and including, condoms. That's right, the Olympics has an "official" condom — and organizers want to get to the bottom of how a bucket of rogue condoms reached the Olympic Village.

As has happened before at the London Games, it started with a tweet.

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The Torch
7:48 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Let's Catch Up: London Abuzz Over Women's Soccer; Alternate Medal Count

Chinese trampoline gold medalist Dong Dong competes in London. An analysis by Yahoo finds that China's Olympians outpace their U.S. counterparts in judged competitions, such as trampoline and diving.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Good morning. Only five days remain in the Summer Games, and China leads the United States in the medal count, with a total of 73 (34 gold) to America's 71 (30 gold). Here's other news that caught our eye this morning:

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The Torch
1:17 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Equestrian Group Clears Way For Cloned Horses To Compete In The Olympics

A cloned foal named "ET Cryozootech Stallion" stands with Hugo Simon, Austrian former Olympic rider of "princeps" (initial donor) ET. The main equestrian organization has ended its ban on clones in the Olympics
Laurent Cipriani AFP/Getty Images

Will the London 2012 Games be remembered as the last Olympics of the pre-clone era? The answer is maybe — because the group that oversees equestrian events has given its OK to allowing cloned horses to compete in the Summer Olympics.

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The Torch
11:23 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Aly Raisman Becomes First U.S. Woman To Win Olympic Gold In Floor Exercise

Gymnast Aly Raisman became the first American woman to win a gold in the floor exercise, with her victory at the London 2012 Games.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman has won the gold medal in the women's floor exercise at the London 2012 Games. Her powerful routine garnered a score of 15.600 — enough to beat the 15.200 of Romania's Catalina Ponor, who turned in a technically strong performance.

Russia's Aliya Mustafina took bronze, with 14.900. American Jordyn Wieber finished seventh, with a 14.500 score.

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The Torch
9:31 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Venezuela's Olympic Hero Gets A Parade To Celebrate Long-Awaited Gold

Venezuelan gold medal fencer Ruben Limardo (center) greets supporters after arriving in Caracas Monday. Limardo was received at the airport as a national hero, after winning the first gold medal for Venezuela in 44 years.
Juan Barreto AFP/Getty Images

The streets of Caracas, Venezuela, were awash in joy Monday, as fencer Rubén Limardo brought home the country's first gold medal in 44 years. That's right: the last time a Venezuelan Olympian won gold was in 1968. So, Limardo's fans could be forgiven for going a little crazy over it.

"I never imagined they'd receive me like this," he said.

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The Torch
8:34 am
Tue August 7, 2012

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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The Torch
8:14 am
Tue August 7, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 9:32 am

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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The Torch
7:08 am
Tue August 7, 2012

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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The Torch
6:47 am
Tue August 7, 2012

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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The Torch
2:53 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:44 pm

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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The Torch
1:40 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

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

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

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

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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The Torch
11:22 am
Mon August 6, 2012

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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The Torch
9:08 am
Mon August 6, 2012

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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The Torch
8:21 am
Mon August 6, 2012

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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The Torch
7:24 am
Mon August 6, 2012

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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The Torch
2:13 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 2:32 pm

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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The Torch
1:41 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 2:30 pm

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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The Torch
1:21 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

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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The Torch
12:04 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

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

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 12:17 pm

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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The Torch
11:18 am
Sat August 4, 2012

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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The Torch
8:48 am
Sat August 4, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 10:21 am

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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The Torch
8:00 am
Sat August 4, 2012

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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The Torch
3:49 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

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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The Torch
2:42 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

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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The Torch
1:37 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

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

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

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

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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The Torch
9:54 am
Fri August 3, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 10:25 am

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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