Merrit Kennedy

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.

Kennedy joined NPR in Washington, D.C., in December 2015, after seven years living and working in Egypt. She started her journalism career at the beginning of the Egyptian uprising in 2011 and chronicled the ousting of two presidents, eight rounds of elections, and numerous major outbreaks of violence for NPR and other news outlets. She has also worked as a reporter and television producer in Cairo for The Associated Press, covering Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Sudan.

She grew up in Los Angeles, the Middle East, and places in between, and holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from Stanford University and a master's degree in international human rights law from The American University in Cairo.

Updated August 6, 2021 at 10:50 AM ET

TOKYO – U.S. star Allyson Felix now has the most Olympic medals ever for a female track athlete, after winning a new bronze medal on Friday in the 400 meters at the Tokyo Olympics.

This is Felix's fifth Olympics and her 10th medal. She first competed in Athens in 2004 and has medaled in every Summer Games since then.

"This one is very different, and it's very special. And it just took a lot to get here," Felix said after the race.

Updated August 6, 2021 at 8:50 AM ET

TOKYO — At the Tokyo Olympics, more elite athletes than ever are speaking out about the need for more support for mothers. When the starting pistol went off at the Olympic Stadium for the women's 400-meter final on Friday, two mothers were on the starting line – Allyson Felix and Quanera Hayes.

Updated August 6, 2021 at 5:03 AM ET

TOKYO — U.S. women's beach volleyball pair Alix Klineman and April Ross have taken gold at the Tokyo Olympics, handily defeating Australia in the final match.

It was a "fairy tale ending," as Klineman put it, for the duo who started playing together in 2017 shortly after Klineman switched from indoor volleyball.

Ross, 39, has a silver medal from the 2012 London Games and a bronze from 2016 at the Rio de Janeiro Games. The victory today completes her medal set.

TOKYO — In equestrian dressage, horses maneuver through complicated, dance-like choreography. The animals pirouette, step high, extend their legs long, and side step to music, signaled by an expert rider.

Olympic teams are turning to special composers to put together music tailored to highlight the best qualities of the horse and the routine.

"The music side of it really brought our sport to life," said Winnie Murphy, a spokesperson for British Equestrian. That's particularly true for spectators who aren't already attuned to the highly technical aspects of equestrian.

TOKYO — In an upset, 18-year-old Spaniard Alberto Ginés López has taken the first-ever Olympic gold medal in sport climbing, edging out U.S. climber Nathaniel Coleman. Jakob Schubert of Austria won bronze.

Seven of the top male climbers in the world faced off on a wall in Tokyo on Thursday evening local time, as two announcers — a woman speaking in Japanese and a man speaking in English — gave live commentary and a DJ blasted upbeat music. Breakdancers performed — wouldn't you know it — during a break.

Pages