Bryanna McDermott | Asst. Photo Editor
On Sunday, Aug. 21, the world said goodbye to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics through a colorful closing ceremony which included carnival dancers, Brazilian balao music and torrential downpours.
Before we start looking toward the 2020 Tokyo games, let’s look back on some of the top stories from Rio.
Bolt Strikes Again
Usain Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter, celebrated his last Olympics by winning gold in all three events in which he competed. The world’s fastest man placed first in the 4×100-meter relay, along with the individual 100 and 200-meter.
The 11-time World Champion completed a triple-triple with his three gold medals in three consecutive Olympics and entertained the world with his exuberant finishes, including Bolt waving a finger at Canada’s Andre De Grasse as he tried to make a pass.
You simply can’t beat the fastest man alive.
Phelps Reigns Supreme
Michael Phelps, a swimmer for Team USA, became the most decorated Olympian in history while in Rio.
The 31-year-old won five more medals in his fifth and last Olympic Games, bringing his total to 28 medals, with 23 being gold.
Phelps also broke a 2,000-year-old record when he earned his 13th individual gold medal. Previously, Leonidas of Rhodes, a runner who competed from 164 to 152 BCE, held the record with 12 individual gold medals.
Zenoorin Makes History
No woman has ever won an Olympic medal for Iran. Until now.
Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin defeated Sweden’s Nikita Glasnostic 5-1 for bronze in the taekwondo under 57kg division. “I am so happy for Iranian girls because it is the first medal, and I hope at the next Olympics we will get a gold,” the 18-year-old said after falling to the ground and kissing the mat.
America’s Golden Girl
American gymnast Simone Biles is a typical 19-year-old girl. She’s heading off to college, obsessed with Zac Efron and she’s won five Olympic medals. OK, maybe not so typical.
Biles won four gold medals at her first Olympic appearance, taking first in the individual all around event, team competition, vault and the floor exercise. She also received bronze for her work on the beam.
Olympic Spirit Shines
The Olympics celebrate impeccable feats of athleticism, but sometimes it’s not the event that steals the show.
During the 5,000-meter preliminary race, New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblim fell, bringing down America’s Abbey D’Agostino.
In a true act of Olympic spirit, D’Agostino helped Hamblim up and they continued to run. However, D’Agostino, who was injured during the fall, couldn’t keep up and encouraged a worried Hamblim to keep running.
It was later discovered that D’Agostino suffered a torn ACL and meniscus and a strained MCL.
The pair did not win gold, silver or bronze, but they did receive an even more prestigious medal. Hamblim and D’Agostino received the Pierre de Coubertin Medal, or the International Fair Play Committee Award, which is given to athletes who exemplify the Olympic spirit. The medal has only been awarded 17 times in Olympic history.
The 2016 Rio Olympics showcased some all-time Olympic performances that put the world in awe. Rio had the storylines and it had the big names, but most of all, it united the globe for a few short weeks. It inspired kids to chase their dreams just as the Olympians were fulfilling their own. Brazil delivered quite the spectacle in 2016, and now it’s South Korea’s turn to try and capture the hearts of millions across the globe when they host the Winter Olympics in 2018.