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Valarie Allman of Team USA after her gold medal win. Photo: Aleksandra Szmigiel-Pool/Getty Images

Valarie Allman won Team USA's first gold track and field Olympic gold medal in Tokyo on Monday, in the discus throw finals.

The big picture: Allman is the first American woman to medal in the discus throw since 2008. Her 68.98-meter throw beat German silver medalist Kristin Pudenz's throw by more than two meters.

The intrigue: Allman hasn't always been a discus-throwing athlete. In fact, she used to be a professional dancer. Allman recalled in a statement that she was looking at taking up an extra activity when she learned throwers were hosting a spaghetti dinner.

  • "They said if you come try any of the throwing events you can come to the dinner," Allman said.
  • "That won me over. Now looking back, gosh darn that was the best spaghetti dinner of my entire life. I can't believe it."

Go deeper

Updated Aug 8, 2021 - Sports

U.S. clinches most Olympic gold medals after women's volleyball win

Team USA celebrate their victory in the women's Olympic gold medal volleyball match against Brazil at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Sunday. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. women's indoor volleyball team beat Brazil in three straight sets to win their Olympic final game and clinch Team USA the Tokyo Games' top spot for gold medals on Sunday.

Of note: The 25-21, 25-20, 25-14 win marked the first ever Olympic gold medal for the U.S. women's indoor volleyball team.

Stock buybacks boom as corporate cash piles grow

The Delta variant is keeping more companies cautious about how to invest the mountains of cash they have at their disposal. That hesitancy has led, in part, to corporate spending on stock buybacks outpacing capital expenditures this year. 

Why it matters: Companies hoarded cash and raised prices over the past year — leaving them with a lot of money and decisions about what to do with it.

2 hours ago - Health

Health policies at stake in Democrats' infrastructure bet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Democrats are at a pivotal moment in their quest to expand health care coverage, slash the cost of prescription drugs and create a social structure that prioritizes people's health.

Driving the news: Democrats have a clear list of health care priorities they'll be fighting for this week. Among them is a measure to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing benefits.