Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

Chappell's work for NPR includes being the lead writer for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London in 2012 and Rio in 2016 to Pyeongchang in 2018 – stints that also included posting numerous videos and photos to NPR's Instagram and other branded accounts. He has also previously been NPR.org's homepage editor.

Chappell established the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR's website; his assignments also include being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road. Chappell has coordinated special digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing the rundown of All Things Considered. He also frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as The Salt.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to tell compelling stories, promoting more collaboration between departments and desks.

Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that performed one of NPR's largest website redesigns. One year later, NPR.org won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

Prior to joining NPR, Chappell was part of the Assignment Desk at CNN International, working with reporters in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Chappell also edited and produced stories for CNN.com's features division, before moving on to edit video and produce stories for Sports Illustrated's website.

Early in his career, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants, and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

Sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya, whose Olympic dream was derailed after authorities cracked down on her criticism of her coaches, left Tokyo on Wednesday on a flight to Vienna. She insists that her quibbles with her nation's Olympic delegation were only about sports — not politics.

"I love my country and I didn't betray my country," the 24-year-old athlete told the BBC. "This is about the mistakes that have been made by our officials at the Olympics."

U.S. wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock closed out her first Olympics in dominating style Tuesday, winning gold in the women's 68-kilogram freestyle final. She is only the second woman — and the first Black woman — to win an Olympic wrestling gold for the United States.

The top-seeded Mensah-Stock defeated second-seed Blessing Oborududu 4-1 after seizing points with two takedowns in the first period. Neither athlete scored a point in the second period despite Oborududu's increasingly desperate attempts.

Greece will not compete in Olympic synchronized swimming in Tokyo after four of the team's athletes tested positive for the coronavirus. The entire team is now being sent away from the Olympic Village and transferred to a separate hotel, the Hellenic Olympic Committee said.

The bad news came as the athletes' sport, officially called artistic swimming, was just entering its first days of competition.

The duel between Olympic high jumpers Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy seemed destined to end in tears.

Round after round, the two star athletes simply could not outdo one another — prompting an official to tell them the next step was a "jump-off," to see who could simply outlast the other.

But that's when things took a turn — one that quickly became a symbol of the sportsmanship and friendship the Olympics were designed to create.

Team USA's baseball squad lost a 7-6 nail-biter Monday to host nation Japan in extra innings, leaving the Americans with no room for error as they hope to play their way into the gold medal final.

Facing the tournament's only other undefeated team, the U.S. had been poised for a pivotal win after grabbing a 6-3 lead. But Japan fought its way back and then forced extra innings after tying the score 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth.

From there, the tension only built higher. Under Olympic rules, teams start extra innings with runners on both first and second base.

Laurel Hubbard has made history by becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an individual event at the Summer Olympics. The New Zealand weightlifter did not make the podium, after failing to advance to the final.

Competing in the 87+kg class on Monday, Hubbard struggled to lift 125 kg (275 pounds), putting her out of the running. Her official result is "did not finish," as she bowed out after failing to record a clean lift in the snatch section of the two-part competition.

Raven Saunders brought her A game to her shot-put qualifying round Friday — and she paired it with a striking new look. Known by her nickname the Hulk, Saunders wore a large face mask to emulate the Joker instead, complete with purple and green hair.

"That's so Raven," USA Track & Field tweeted as it shared an image of the U.S. star.

Germany's Olympic federation is firing Patrick Moster as the sports director of its cycling program, after he was recorded using a racial slur during the men's time trial Wednesday. Moster is being sent home early from the Tokyo Olympics, German officials said.

TV cameras picked up a German cycling official yelling a racial slur during the men's time trial Wednesday at the Tokyo Olympics, prompting an apology from the official and a reaction from at least two of the cyclists involved.

Patrick Moster, sporting director of the German cycling federation, apologized shortly after he was recorded using a racial slur while cheering on German cyclist Nikias Arndt.

Simone Biles' decision to pull out of the women's team final has prompted comments and analysis around the world, including much praise for Biles' choosing to prioritize her mental health.

Updated July 27, 2021 at 12:16 PM ET

Simone Biles' withdrawal from team competition in Tokyo shocked Olympics viewers, but it followed years of stress and pressure on the greatest gymnast of all time.

Biles says mental health concerns prompted her to pull out of the U.S. team's much-anticipated showdown with Russia on Tuesday.

The racers stood ready, primed to dive into Tokyo Bay to start the men's Olympic triathlon. A camera aboard a media boat captured the moment as the start time neared — and unfortunately, it kept capturing the moment after the official start signal blared. Roughly half of the 51 competitors sprang into the water, but the rest were blocked from diving in by the position of the boat, forcing an unusual false start.

Two U.S. women's teams will compete for gold early Tuesday, as the gymnastics and softball squads try to put their mark on the Tokyo Olympics. They headline a busy day for Team USA.

Here's a quick guide to what could be a dramatic day in Tokyo:

Gymnastics women's team final, 6:30 a.m. ET

Simone Biles leads the U.S. team into a showdown with Russia, which finished first in qualifying on Sunday.

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz made history Monday, winning the Philippines' first gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The country had been trying to reach the podium's top spot for nearly 100 years: It sent its first Olympic delegation to Paris for the 1924 Games.

Diaz won gold in the 55-kilogram category of women's weightlifting — and in the process, she also set an Olympic record with her combined weight total of 224 kilograms across two successful lifts.

Pictogram people become unlikely MVPs

One of the most striking sequences in the Tokyo Olympics' opening ceremony revolved around pictograms. Tokyo organizers have been touting their "kinetic pictograms," which show figures bursting into motion across dozens of disciplines. For Friday's ceremony, they brought all 50 of those pictograms to life.

Fireworks soared above Tokyo's new Olympic Stadium Friday as the delayed Summer Games finally held its opening ceremony — an event that culminates in lighting the Olympic cauldron.

Athletes marched in front of thousands of empty seats as only a sparse crowd was admitted due to COVID-19 restrictions. Those attending included first lady Jill Biden, who chatted with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Czech Olympic officials are looking into a cluster of coronavirus cases that are linked to a charter flight that brought a contingent of athletes and staff to Japan. The country's team has six coronavirus cases in total.

A doctor who was on the flight was reportedly among the first to test positive. As of late Thursday, four athletes had also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Australian Olympics chief John Coates is being criticized after lecturing Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and ordering her to attend the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. Palaszczuk had previously said she wouldn't be attending Friday's ceremony.

"I was reading some questions about you going to the opening ceremony," Coates told Palaszczuk. "You are going to the opening ceremony," he then said, crossing his arms as he spoke.

Two days before the Olympics' opening ceremony, Tokyo is reporting new COVID-19 cases at levels not seen since January — when Japan was enduring a record spike in coronavirus infections.

The 1,832 new cases represent a sharp rise from last Wednesday, when the Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported 1,149 cases.

British women's soccer players took a knee on the first day of competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, in a protest against discrimination and racism that was quickly reciprocated by their opponents from Chile.

It was the first time Olympians in Japan utilized newly relaxed rules on athletes expressing their views.

The CEO of the Tokyo Olympics' organizing committee is not dismissing the idea that the Games could still be canceled if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, sending a jolt through the massive event that is set to begin in a matter of days. Toshiro Muto says officials will make decisions about the viability of the Games based on what happens.

Muto said he can't speculate about whether the rate of new coronavirus cases will rise or fall. But in his response to a question about whether the Olympics, already delayed by a year, could still be canceled, he did not rule it out.

Becca Meyers, a swimmer seen as a favorite to bring gold home from Tokyo, has canceled plans to compete in the Paralympics after being told she can't bring a personal care assistant to Japan. Meyers is deaf and blind. U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) officials say they don't have space for her to bring an aide because of coronavirus restrictions on athletic delegations.

The Hubble Space Telescope is returning to operation more than a month after its original payload computer shut down. NASA said it has successfully switched over to its backup computer — and while the process of bringing the system back online is slow, the agency has started to bring science instruments out of "safe mode."

Now, that's a long — and expensive — trip.

A 132-night "world cruise" sold out in under three hours, despite pandemic worries that have hobbled the cruise industry and steep prices that start at $73,499 per guest — and range up to $199,999 per person for a master suite.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises released the fares for sale at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday. By 11 a.m., all the spots had been snapped up by people eager to spend more than four months on a cruise ship. The strong interest may be a positive sign for the cruise industry as it tries to rebound from the pandemic.

A Utah hate crime case is drawing national attention after local authorities charged a young woman with a hate crime over allegedly defacing a "Back the Blue" sign in front of a sheriff's deputy.

Utah is one of at least five states — along with Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Hampshire — that list law enforcement officers, along with race and gender, in their hate crime laws' protected categories, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

A Utah gun company has halted sales of a Lego-themed pistol kit, after facing fierce backlash from the public and a request from the Danish toymaker to remove the product. With the colorful "Block 19" pistol kit, owners would have been able to use Lego blocks to create their own sights and designs on top of a Glock 19 pistol's slide.

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