The 2016 Rio Olympics were an unqualified success. From the breathtaking opening ceremony to the unique, innovative way Japan was introduced as the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics, people were enthralled. Plus the games featured some amazing performances. Michael Phelps winning gold medals using every stroke imaginable was the talk of the first week of the games while the blazing speed, infectious smile and lovable antics of Usain ‘Lightening’ Bold was the talk of the second week. Plus Brazil got the only victory they really wanted. A gold medal in Olympic soccer.
There were many other things that made the Rio Olympic memorable. There was the glistening, muscular shirtless flag bearer Pita Taufatofua from Tsonga. The Russian women and Danish men’s thrilling victory in handball. The touching display of sportsmanship between American Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin after colliding in a 5,000 meter heat. The dazzling brilliance of 4’8″ American gymnast Simone Biles. The determination of new Olympic modern pentathlon champion Australian Chloe Esposito. The presence of the first ever refugee team. There’s not enough space to mention them all.
There were also some low-lights in the Rio Olympics. It started long before the opening ceremony. There were athletes afraid to come to the games because of Zika fears. Almost the entire Russian team was banned from the games for participating in ‘state sponsored’ doping. There was green water in two of the pools and problems with lodgings in the athletes village. There was also the finger wagging by American swimmer Lilly King at Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova who had been suspended for doping. Probably the biggest black-eye of the 2016 Rio Olympics was caused by American swimmer Ryan Lochte. A drunk Lochte and a few teammates urinated outside a gas station bathroom, Lochte ripped down a sign then ‘over-exaggerated’ saying they were robbed at gun point.
But that couldn’t overshadow all the fun people had in Rio this summer. Things like the dancing weightlifter from Kiribati David Katoatau whose moves delighted the crowd as did Estonia’s marathon running triplets, Leila, Liina and Lily Luik, the first triplets to compete in the Olympics. Spain’s Severo Jesus Juardo Lopez and Lorenzo his dancing horse rocking to the 90’s hit “Smooth” and British twins Alistair and Jonny Brownlee battling for gold in the triathlon gold and silver also brought smiles to people’s faces.
The Rio Olympics also saw a number of records fall as well. There were 91 Olympic and 27 world records were set during the games. Records fell in archery, canoeing, cycling, modern pentathlon, rowing, shooting, swimming and weightlifting. Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana shattered the 28 year old world record in the 10,000m by 14 seconds. Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa broke the world record in the 400 meters and Polish hammer thrower Anita Włodarczyk set a new world record of 82.29 meters. Plus the entire smiling Olympic family set a world record for the most selfies ever taken.