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Rio Olympics: Samba sensations

News wire services
Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton had plenty of support from her American husband, who wore Canadian colors.

A journey around the Rio Games:

Uh, nice hat ... 

American decathlete Ashton Eaton showed up to the women's heptathlon competition last weekend — wearing a hat with "Canada" plastered on the front.

Imagine the grief he took from some offended Americans who decided not to bother to find out why he was wearing such a hat.

Eaton, of course, had a very, very good reason for wearing that Canadian hat.

His wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, happened to be competing for Canada in that event — winning a bronze — and like any supportive spouse, Ashton Eaton wanted to make it clear he was in Brianne's corner.

Women’s sports have been front and center on NBC’s coverage in Rio.

Screen time

During the first half of the Olympics, women have dominated the screen on NBC during prime-time coverage.

Through last Saturday, 58.5 percent of the competition time on NBC’s prime-time telecasts involved women’s sports, according to research released Monday by three college professors writing a book.

“We take great pride in knowing that no one devotes more broadcast network prime-time coverage to women’s sports than NBC,” said Jim Bell, executive producer of the Olympics.

Gymnastics has accounted for nearly three hours more screen time for women, and beach volleyball — where the competitors wear bikinis — has logged 2:45. The men had been on for 35 seconds.

That’s an emoji

As Laurie Hernandez stepped to the balance beam last week, TV cameras caught her mouthing, “I got this.”

It was a poignant moment of focus and determination ... only to be topped the next day when Hernandez winked at judges before her floor routine.

The tactic seemed to work — the judges awarded her a score of 14.833 that helped the U.S. clinch the team gold medal.

Meet “The Human Emoji.”

“She is 100 percent herself,” said Brant Lutska, chairman of the New Jersey chapter of USA Gymnastics.