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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  August 4, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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captions paid for by nbc-universal television on this saturday night from london history in the making. michael phelps goes for gold one final time plus the youngest member of the u.s. team makes a big splash and the blade runner sees his olympic dreams come true. a dangerous mix of heat and wildfires torched dozens of homes. all eyes on earnesto.
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"nbc nightly news" from london begins now. >> this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from the olympic summer games in london. >> good evening from olympic park. a look at olympic stadium here bathed in colored lights. they are calling this supersaturday here. medals are being awarded in 25 events including at the aquatics centre where a short time ago michael phelps swam what he says is the last game of his career. and missy franklin tried to win another medal. in case you are waiting for tonight's prime time coverage we are about to spend the next couple of minutes telling you about what happened here today. let's bring in chris jansing with a historic night. >> the crowds have been huge. the mood absolutely electric.
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with those 25 golds up for grabs there was something for everyone though the event everyone wanted to see involved the most decorated athlete in olympic history. all day long in a crowded olympic park the excitement because building. michael phelps was about to swim his last race of his career. >> people are excited. >> reporter: the 4 by 100 relay would be a stunning grand finale. he regained a lead and team usa won gold. it has already been reaffirming his greatness, six golds here bringing his total to 22 olympic medals. >> as soon as i stepped up to the podium i could feel the tears start coming. i tried to fight it. >> reporter: as phelps was saying good bye a new generation of great american swimmers is
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poised to take over led by 17-year-old missy franklin. >> bring it back with another gold medal i think we are so proud of each other. >> reporter: tonight she finished her first olympics setting a world record with her teammates for a total of four golds and one bronze medal in london. the baltimore bullet, katie ladecky showed herself to be another phenomenon last night serving notice that the youngest member of team usa is here to stay. >> i'm 15 so i think i can definitely continue on for four more years at least. >> reporter: history was made, as well, at the opening day of track and field. a deafening ovation making a run for the record as the first ever
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double amputee at the olympics. he overcame his opponents and years of legal battles and qualified for the semifinal. >> it is amazing. >> reporter: krounds cheered for the first appearance for bolt. and a lightning fast serve helps williams capture the one title missing from her impressive resume, olympic champion. >> it's the gold. whoa! >> reporter: organizers said today they have sold 4.2 million tickets to events. the hottest ticket was for phelps where scalpers were reportedly asking $10,000 for a ticket with a $700 face value. as the games progress the medal counts are climbing.
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if for you seeing the medal count would be a spoiler we invite you to look away for a moment. for the top five countries here is where we stand. now it's safe to look back. want to turn to severe weather back home. a line of storms raging across the u.s. tonight triggering flash floods in iowa and forcing officials to evacuate 100,000 people out of grant park in chicago. meteorologist kelly cass is tracking the storm from weather chan head quarters tonight. >> very very storm just blasted chicago with winds up to 80 miles per hour causing trees and power lines to be knocked down. we are talking more than 150,000 customers without power tonight. they continue to race to the east into northern indiana. we continue to have a tornado warning in effect for southern
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michigan and northern indiana. we did see problems earlier along the lake shore in chicago and the downtown area, as well. all of these storms will be moving towards the east as we head into our sunday implicating those to the east towards philly and d.c. there is a look at the storms through chicago. a lot of outdoor events going on. we have the white sox at home, as well. you see the problems we saw with those storms. we are tracking tropical storm earnesto looking healthier in our satellite imagery. if you are vacationing not looking at a direct impact but getting close. the outer rain bands can be effecting us. we can't rule out a possible u.s. impact and we have tropical storm florence off the coast of africa but we have time to watch that one. >> a lot of weather to talk
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about. a different situation in oklahoma. very hot, dry and windy conditions helped are spread more than a dozen wildfires that have destroyed homes and structures in that state. >> reporter: good evening. the winds have died down here a bit but dozens of families are returning to see this, their homes destroyed. police say one of these fires appears to have been set on purpose. along miles of scorched earth in oklahoma today victoria was almost speechless. >> it's very sad. >> reporter: this rubble used to be the home she shared with her seven children in luther outside oklahoma city. >> i don't have anything, nothing at all. >> reporter: the fires burned some 80,000 acres throughout the
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state. >> i felt if there was a tornado at least there would be hope to search around and find our stuff. with this you know it is gone. it's demolished. >> reporter: the fast moving flames fuelled by hot, dry and windy conditions in a state already ravaged by a historic drought. >> we are thankful we haven't had loss of life. >> reporter: today oklahoma's governor toured the disaster area. casey strahan lost everything except this. >> we found the cross that we had on the wall. >> wouldn't you know you find a cross. >> it was sitting straight up. >> reporter: they are praying for rain as firefighters battle blazes in more than a dozen states. in oklahoma county sheriff's deputies are searching for a suspected arsonest believed to have caused one of the fires. witnesses reported seeing a man throwing a flaming newspaper out of his pickup truck. >> we have to start all over
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again. >> reporter: the fire causing heartbreak for the family with no home and no insurance. >> work hard and keep going. >> reporter: and there is late word tonight of another fire just west of tulsa. thousands of people there are evacuated. lester. >> thanks. to the battle for syria where there was heavy fighting in the key city of aleppo and heavy shelling in damascus where syrian troops tried to take back one of the last rebel dominated neighborhoods. >> reporter: urban warfare in the heart of aleppo today. rebels and regime forces fighting for a third straight week to control syria's largest city. in the capital damascus fresh
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clashes suggest the battle is far from over. caught in the middle are civilians like this family taking their final steps to safety today. it took them four days to make this 30 mile trip from aleppo to the border with turkey away from the dangers of war it didn't take long for the kids to be kids again. safely in turkey mohammed described the horrors of what they saw. "we left the city while it was attacked" he tells me. like many escaping he and his family grabbed what they could and all the food they had for the trip. this man told us there was no food or fuel in aleppo, only killing. everybody hundreds are coming here, mostly women and children. officials say more than 40,000 syrians have taken refuge in
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camps like this one. now that syrian rebels control border crossings like this one it is easier for supporters to return and join the battle. for nine months he has been in turkey collecting money and medicine for rebel fighters. the free syrian army has been operating the terminal making it a gate way for those trying to escape the war and now the fighters coming to join it. nbc news, syria. still ahead as "nbc nightly news" continues from london he is the fastest man on earth but has a lot to prove as the competition starts to catch up. how is this for an unlikely love story? half a century after their divorce today they said "i do" a second time around. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain.
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technology that doesn't just drive us, but drives progress. ♪ and driving progress is what we do every day. ♪ ♪ welcome back. tomorrow night in the stadium just over my shoulder the world's fastest man, bolt, will try to remain the man to beat. today he advanced to the 100 meter semi-finals. no man has ever ran the 100 faster than bolt. the expectation is bolt will be sprinting along side a fellow
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jamaican who is known as the biggest threat to his dominance. >> reporter: if the expectations for bolt in london are high, he can only blame himself. after a stunning world record time of 9.69 seconds in the 100 meters in beijing he shattered that record a year later. >> look at the time. world record. >> reporter: in a blazing 9.58. for his next act. >> turn the tv off and just sit down and think about what just happened. >> reporter: incredibly bolt is not built for speed. he was born with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. he is also on the tall side for a sprinter giving him a weak start. the tradeoff, amazing acceleration. >> he has a tremendous ability to pick it up and chew up the ground and move faster which
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means he is getting through the key speed later in the race. >> reporter: bolt grew up in a place where the pace is slow. his first love was cricket but seemed everything was a competition. do you remember your first competitive race? >> i mean, it was a sport thing at primary school. i started running and my coach said to me if you win today i will buy you lunch. and i won and i got lunch. it was a good deal. >> reporter: from his modest roots bolt has soared to become jamaica's most treasured figure since bob marly. to see people celebrating you and what you have done for the country must be bigger than anything. >> you have no idea. it is amazing. >> reporter: lately bolt has looked vulnerable, a loss in the 100 meters to training partner blake at last year's world
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championships seemed like a fluke after bolt was disqualified. >> i think bolt just false started. >> reporter: last month at the olympic trials blake did it again, this time beating bolt outright in the 100 and 200 meter races. earlier in the year both men spoke to me about their relationship. do you think you make him better? >> every day. >> reporter: i saw you and blake yesterday. you looked like friends. what is up with the rivalry talk? >> i think people want the rivalry because it builds the sport up. >> reporter: after recent back problems bolt says he is now healthy and has shaken off the losses to blake and is ready to prove there is still no one faster than him in the world. you can watch the 100 meter finals tomorrow night during nbc's prime time olympics coverage.
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we are back in a moment with another world record far away from these games here in london. ♪ [ male announcer ] ok, so you're no marathon man... but thanks to the htc one x from at&t, with its built in beats audio, every note sounds amazingly clear. ...making it easy to get lost in the music... and, well... rio vista?!! [ male announcer ] ...lost. introducing the musically enhanced htc one x for $99.99. only from at&t. rethink possible. i took my son fishing every year. we had a great spot, not easy to find, but worth it. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that on! symbicort is for copd
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moment. passing right through the center of the rings for another amazing snapshot. tonight the folks at nasa say everything is looking good for what they are calling seven minutes of terror on mars when the curiosity recover is set to plummet through the atmosphere. if all goes as planned it will lower itself down on the planet's surface. this will take place about 1:30 eastern monday morning at nasa's most high tech and high priced mission to mars yet. and the world record broken far away from these games in london. it happened in northern illinois. 138 sky divers at speeds of 228 miles per hour. they held hands in the shape of a giant snow flake. it took 15 attempts over three days shattering the previous
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record of 108 divers set in 2009. talk about an unlikely love story. this is the wedding today of davis and henderson both 85 years old. they first got married in 1944 but four kids and 20 years later things didn't work out and they divorced. they both married other people but always stayed in touch. after his wife passed away he moved back to buffalo and they rekindled their romance. today they said i do again 68 years after the first time. when we come back hard to imagine a summer olympics without michael phelps. a party?
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a view of the aquatics centre here in olympic park in london. if michael phelps were a country he would have more summer olympic medals than india, the second most populous nation in earth and tied with egypt and portugal and just behind ireland. that is how many medals he has won. after four olympics phelps says it is time to go. what an incredible accomplishment we have witnessed. >> what a magnificent night in the pool.
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this time michael phelps says it is the last time. we are as used to seeing michael phelps on top of the podium as we are in the pool. when he is gone things just won't seem right. do you ever get tired of this? >> no. you can never get tired of a gold medal. >> reporter: after nearly two decades following today's race this powerhouse with a 6'7" wing span and 14 feet says he will be hanging up his competitive cap and goggles for good. >> he inspired a lot of people to swim. >> not even just swim but work hard and accomplish your goals. >> reporter: work hard is what phelps has had to do here in london. it began with a loss to ryan lochte in the 400 individual medley. >> after beijing when almost
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like a machine-like athlete and this time around he is human. rather than make that worse for him i think it has made him more human and more relatable. >> reporter: he remains the man who hates losing more than he likes winning. so win, he did. >> this is superman coming out of the phone booth. >> reporter: we have seen another side of phelps, humble, grateful, the team player. >> in the huddle i was saying to these guys thank you for making this possible. >> he has changed the game. he is the toughest competitor i have ever had to go against. i'm going to miss racing against him. >> reporter: phelps credits his success to long time coach. >> he has been there every step of the way. without him i would not be here today. >> reporter: before packing for london bowman thought about what he would say to phelps.
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>> probably the same thing i would say in beijing, good job. and i love you this time. i will put an i love you. >> reporter: after four olympics the most decorated athlete in the history of the games. and to the overwhelming pride of his mother. >> when he was like ten or 11 people would say debbie he is going to do something big someday. he did do something big. >> couldn't ask to finish on a better note. i have done everything i have ever wanted to do. i'm very happy. >> reporter: and when i asked michael phelps what he plans to do now that he is leaving the pool he didn't hesitate. he said have fun at first and for the first time in my life i am going to be able to relax. we are just going to have to get used to not seeing him there on the podium. >> it will be strange.
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thanks. that is "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. don't forget prime time olympic coverage tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern, 7:00 central time. i'm lester holt reporting from london. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow night. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow night. good night everyone. -- captions by vitac --


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