Wednesday saw scandal at the Olympics as eight athletes were disqualified for trying not to win matches, joy as the U.S. continued its dominance in swimming and a dispute as the chairman of the Games organizing committee declined to call Michael Phelps the greatest Olympian of all time.
The disqualifications came in badminton, after two matches Tuesday night in which female athletes were accused of playing to lose so they could face easier opponents in future matches.
A Chinese pair, two South Korean pairs and an Indonesian pair played so badly that they were booed by the crowd. The Chinese pair of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang is the world's No. 1 women's duo.
The Badminton World Federation disqualified all four pairs, but the South Koreans and Indonesians are appealing.
The Chinese Olympic delegation said that it "fully respects" the decision to punish its two players and that it would carry out its own investigation.
"The actions of Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli on the court have violated Olympic principles and the spirit of fair athletic competition," it said in a statement. "The Chinese Sports Delegation feels saddened. We resolutely oppose and severely criticize such actions. The Chinese Olympic Committee has always been against anyone or any team that violates sports spirit and ethics in any form."
There was more joy for the United States in swimming as Nathan Adrian shocked the 100-meter freestyle field, beating world record holder James Magnussen for gold by .01 second.
"I kinda touched well and 'Oh, sweet, I've won,' " he said. "Then there's 10 to 15 seconds. Holy crap, this is the Olympics. I've been watching this since I was a kid."
The Americans added yet another gold -- their eighth in swimming -- when the women's 4x200-meter freestyle relay team rallied to beat Australia.
"I knew it was close, I saw it was neck-and-neck all race," anchor Allison Schmitt said, "and I just wanted to swim my own race like in the 200 meters last night. I just wanted to feed off that energy and bring home the gold."
There were two world bests at the London Aquatics Centre. Hungarian Daniel Gyurta swam the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:07.28 to win gold, and Rebecca Soni of the U.S. clocked 2:20.00 in the women's 200-meter breaststroke qualifying.
For the host nation, it was a golden day. Cyclist Bradley Wiggins, fresh off a win at the Tour de France, won gold in the men's time trial, and countryman Chris Froome captured bronze.
The victory makes Wiggins, a former track cyclist, the most decorated British Olympian, with seven medals.
When asked by a BBC presenter to turn around and show his fans the gold medal, which made the big crowd roar, Wiggins joked, "I know how the Beatles felt now."
An American Armstrong won the women's race. Kristin, no relation to Lance, defended her Beijing Games title.
After the race, she retired -- again.
"Today, my focus was 'this is it,' " she said. "I have to live with this result, and whatever I do today, I have to look back on. No matter what athlete you are, you're only as good as your last performance."
Earlier in the day, rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning brought Great Britain its first gold medal of the 2012 Games.
In the men's artistic gymnastics individual all-around final, Japan's Kohei Uchimura took the gold with an outstanding performance, while Team USA's Danell Leyva rallied to take bronze.
"To win an Olympic medal is a dream come true," Leyva said.
Swimmer Michael Phelps became not only the most decorated American on Tuesday but the most decorated Olympian of all time.
Many, including CNN partner Sports Illustrated, hailed Phelps on Wednesday as "Simply the Greatest."
But Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Olympic Games Organizing Committee, distinguished between "most medals" and "greatest."
"You can say by medal tally, he is the most successful, but I'm not sure if he's the greatest. But he's the most successful athlete; that goes without saying," said Coe, himself a multiple-gold-winning Olympic runner.
At the same time, Coe paid tribute to the crowds who have flocked to watch the events, saying they have created an "extraordinary atmosphere."