PEOPLE's Week in Photos
When sports-watchers dubbed Carly Patterson the next Mary Lou Retton, they were right. The 16-year-old Allen, Texas, native became the first U.S. female gymnast since Retton to win an all-around gold in 20 years on Aug. 19, beating out retiring Russian Svetlana Khorkina, 25 – the self-proclaimed Queen of Gymnastics. "I have been waiting 20 years," Retton told the Associated Press. "The crown has been sitting and waiting for the next all-around champion. Carly Patterson, it's yours."
Knocking a 17-year-old East German record out of the water, Americans Natalie Coughlin, Carly Piper, Dana Vollmer and Kaitlin Sardeno swam to a gold-medal finish Aug. 18 in the 4 x 200-meter relay with a time of 7:53:42. Only a day earlier, the U.S. men's team – Klete Keller, Dan Ketchum, Michael Phelps and Peter Vanderkaay – had their moment in the spotlight, besting rival Australians in the same race and taking gold by just .13 seconds.
U.S. gymnast Paul Hamm, 21, shot from 12th place to gold medal winner when he nailed his routine on the high bar on Aug. 18, just edging out South Korean Kim Dae-eun in the closest all-around finish in Olympic history. The Waukesha, Wis., native, who had to recover from a hugely stumbled vault landing to win, now faces an appeal by the South Korean team, a move Hamm's coach calls "sour grapes."
MOST TALKED-ABOUT NUPTIALS
Nicky Hilton, 20, rolled the dice on love when she wed longtime boyfriend Todd Meister, 33, in a Las Vegas chapel Aug. 15, capping off a weekend of partying with her sister Paris and actress Tara Reid. Meanwhile, Diane Lane, 39, and Josh Brolin, 36, opted for a quiet hilltop ceremony on his California ranch for their nuptials the same day. Lane had been engaged to Brolin, Barbra Streisand's stepson, for more than a year.
LATEST JACKSON SPECTACLE
With a spate of publicity, Michael Jackson, 45, kicked off a week of court hearings, including a turn on the stand by his accuser's stepfather. First, Jackson, who faces child molestation charges, greeted about 35 kids on Aug. 15 at L.A.'s First AME Church. The next day, he greeted a throng of cheering fans upon arriving at the Santa Maria, Calif., courthouse via a double-decker bus. Also there were sisters Janet and LaToya and other family members, dressed in matching white.
It's back to the tropics for the ninth season of Survivor, which will find its home in Vanuatu, the "Islands of Fire," near Fiji, dashing rumors of a cold Canadian set. Introduced Aug. 17 on CBS's Early Show, the women's Yasur team includes a rancher, a pre-law student and a highway-repair worker, while the men's Lopevi tribe boasts a teacher, a mechanical bull operator and a drill sergeant. No word yet on whether any of the contestants enjoy walking around naked. The show debuts Sept. 16.
After posting handmade signs around L.A. to find her teacup Chihuahua Tinkerbell on Aug. 17, hotel heiress Paris Hilton, 23, was reunited with the pup she says is "like a child to me." It's unclear whether Hilton shelled out the $5,000 reward she was offering, but the Tink saga will continue: The unauthorized Tinkerbell Hilton Diaries: My Life Tailing Paris Hilton, is due to hit shelves soon.
MOST RECOGNIZABLE JUROR
Oprah Winfrey, 50, fulfilled her civic duty Aug. 18, serving on a Chicago jury that convicted Dion Coleman, 27, of first-degree murder in the death of Walter Holley, 23. Billionaire Winfrey, who earned $17.20 per day for her service, said the trial was "one of the saddest experiences of my life." Fellow juror Suzanne Goodman saw it another way: "It was a lot of fun, it was like being on her show."
Ready to belt out Whitney Houston ballads, thousands of American Idol hopefuls coming from as far as Michigan camped out at Washington, D.C.'s Convention Center this week for their shot at the FOX talent contest, which returns to the airwaves in January. One woman put her odds at "a million to one," and by this weekend judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul will already be seeing second-round picks.
NEWEST NEW YORKERS
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen landed on the East Coast this week to start their freshman year at New York University and will soon settle into their $7.3 million off-campus penthouse apartment (which isn't quite finished yet). The duo had one final hurrah before leaving for college: They were spotted at L.A. hotspot Spider Club on Aug. 13 for a goodbye bash with their friends.