Best Stories of Rio 2016

by Harrison Larner

Going in, the overwhelming feeling surrounding these Rio Olympics was that it would be a colossal failure. Pundits were taking shots at Rio’s capability to host the Olympics. Personally, I really just hoped the actual athletics would outshine the potential problems Rio had.

Simply put, everyone was wrong. Outside of discoloration of pools and a fake robbery story by Ryan Lochte, Rio’s reputation was unscathed and the Olympics were awesome.

For the first time in over two years, I could chant “USA! USA!” in the living room without my mom yelling at me for being too loud. I love the Olympics, and I’m truly sad they came to an end. Here are the top 10 storylines from the Olympics.

10. What’s Next?

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As these Olympics close, we turn our eyes towards the next winter Olympics in 2018, the winter Olympics in Pyeongcheng, South Korea and the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo. With both being major cities with rich culture, it should certainly be something to look forward to.

9. All He Does Is Win!

Swimming - Men's 200m Individual Medley Victory Ceremony

 

Michael Phelps won six medals to push him to an absurd 28 medals total. If Michael Phelps was a country, he alone would be 39th all-time in gold medals.

8. Is the Rest of the World Catching Up?

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The U.S. men’s basketball team also took home the gold, but they didn’t exactly have a smooth path to the Title match. They had scares against Serbia, France, and Australia, and Spain before thrashing Serbia in the Final. What do these close matches mean? Other teams are catching up to America, and fast. Watch out for Australia in future years, as Dante Exum, Thon Maker, and Ben Simmons join the Australian team.

7. Brazilian Redeem Team

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Home nation Brazil moved past their World Cup humiliation from Germany by winning the gold medal in soccer. Despite all countries not sending out their best squads, it was important for Brazil to once against establish themselves among the game’s elite countries.

6. #LochteGate

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As news is still coming out, I won’t speculate on the Ryan Lochte situation. However, it would be silly to not mention it. Lochte and pals shouldn’t have lied. Simple.

5. Lightning Fast

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On the world side, Usain Bolt proved once again he is the fastest human ever timed. (Side note: Isn’t it crazy that we are living in the same time period as the fastest human ever?). Bolt completed the “Triple Triple” with a gold in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m

4. Record Watch

Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa presents his gold medal as he poses on the podium after the men's 400 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing

 

However, Bolt was upstaged just 30 minutes earlier. South African, Wayde van Niekerk defeated Michael Johnson’s 17 year old World Record in the 400m from the far outside lane.

3. Ledecky Domination

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Katie Ledecky would certainly say she was the star for the U.S. women’s team. Ledecky also took home five medals, sometimes dominating competition by over 12 seconds. Just 19 years old, she has lots of medals ahead of her.

2. America’s Sweetheart

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Simone Biles was undoubtedly the star for the U.S. team. The 19-year-old gymnast took home five medals, including a gold in women’s individual all-around. In an era in which U.S. women’s gymnastics is dominating, Biles was passed the torch by her teammate, Gabby Douglas.

1. Social Media Mania

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First off, these Olympics became a social media sensation. On the first day of competition, a picture of 4-foot-6 Gymnast Ragan Smith standing next to 6-foot-11 U.S. basketball player Deandre Jordan swept the internet.

Also, Michael Phelps death stare of fellow swimmer Chad Le Clos went viral. With the current expansion of social media, these Olympics could be followed in a completely new way (including behind-the-scenes looks of athletes on Snapchat).

 

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