15 GREAT MOMENTS IN OLYMPICS INCLUDING OUR 7S RUGBY GOLD
‘THERE ARE HOURS UPON HOURS OF FOOTAGE TO CHOOSE FROM, FAMOUS OLYMPIANS FROM PAST YEARS TO ROOT FOR ONCE AGAIN, AND NEW ATHLETES TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS TIME AROUND’ ‘Team Fiji secured Fiji’s first gold medal when they beat Great Britain in rugby sevens
The Olympics are a blur. Those of us obsessed with the games spend our days snacking on the livestreams and our nights drinking from the NBC primetime firehose. There are hours upon hours of footage to choose from, famous Olympians from past years to root for once again, and new athletes to fall in love with this time around. If you haven’t been glued to your multiple streaming devices, however, you might not be up to date on some of the most amazing, shocking, funny, and moving moments these games have given us. Even if you have, the events that made you gasp, laugh, and cry can all start to run together when there’s just so much.
So here, a little over halfway through the 2016 Olympics, are the 15 best occurrences from the Rio games so far that are worth singling out.
1. SIMONE MANUEL’S GOLD MEDAL IN THE 100M FREESTYLE
Simone Manuel became the first black woman to win an Olympic medal in an individual swimming event when she tied Canadian Penny Oleksiak in the 100m freestyle. She covered her mouth with her hand in disbelief and was crying through her post-race interviews as she talked about her historic win.
The minute the NBC cameras spent showing Chad le Clos clowning around in front of an unamused Michael Phelps before the two faced off in the 200m butterfly semi-finals spawned amazing memes and launched the hashtag #PhelpsFace (the hashtag really should’ve been #PhelpsPhace, but what can you do).
3. WHEN SIMONE BILES BROUGHT ALY RAISMAN UP TO CELEBRATE HER WIN WITH HER
After Simone Biles won gold in the women’s all-around gymnastics competition, she pulled her teammate and silver-medal winner Aly Raisman up onto the floor to celebrate with her.
4. IBTIHAJ MUHAMMAD AND THE US WOMEN’S SABER TEAM’S BRONZE MEDAL
Ibti Muhammad made history by being the first woman to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab. Winning the bronze with her teammates was “a portrait of America,” writes USA TODAY’s Dan Wolken. 5. THE FIJIAN MEN’S RUGBY SEVENS GOLD MEDAL
Team Fiji secured the first gold medal their small island nation has ever taken home when they beat Great Britain in rugby sevens.
6. MONICA PUIG’S GOLD MEDAL IN TENNIS
Speaking of winning the first ever gold medal for your country:Monica Puig did so for Puerto Rico when she defeated Angelique Kerber of Germany in women’s singles tennis.
7. JUSTIN ROSE’S CHIP ON THE 18TH HOLE
Great Britain’s Justin Rose hit an incredible 25 yard chip that secured him a gold medal in men’s golf for the first time the sport has been in the Olympics since 1904.
8. KRISTIN’S ARMSTRONG’S DETERMINATION, COLLAPSE
Kristin Armstrong fought off awful rain and a nose bleed to win gold in cycling a day before her 43rd birthday. After the race, she dropped off her bike and collapsed in exhaustion; someone lifted her five-year-old son over the fence and he sprinted into her arms as she lay on the ground.
9. USAIN BOLT’S TURBO-CHARGED 100-METRE RACE
It seemed like Usain Bolt hit a button to kick into turbo mode when he came up behind Justin Gatlin to win gold in the men’s 100 meters. The photo from the semi-finals beforehand launched almost as many memes as #PhelpsFace.
10. LILLY KING’S FINGER WAG
Lilly King started a new American victory celebration when she wagged her finger at a picture of Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, who’d been suspended from the sport for doping. It launched a war between the two (neither was the clear winner out of the pool), as well as a new way for Americans to celebrate: Phelps waved his finger after winning several of his bajillion gold medals, too.
11. WHEN A LITHUANIAN WEIGHT LIFTER CELEBRATED WINNING BRONZE WITH A BACKFLIP
Aurimas Didzbalis was so, so jazzed about winning bronze that he promptly flipped over backwards with joy. Which means that if he ever wants to change sports, gymnastics seems like a pretty safe bet.
12. ADELINDE CORNELISSEN BOWING OUT OF DRESSAGE TO PROTECT HER HORSE
Andelinde Cornelissen of the Netherlands took herself out of the Olympics to protect her horse, who’d gotten sick. “My buddy, my friend, the horse that has given everything for me his whole life does not deserve this….” she wrote in a Facebook post.
13. SARAH ROBLES’ BRONZE MEDAL
Sarah Robles won the first medal in weightlifting for the United States, since 2000 when she took home the bronze in the women’s over-75-kilogram category, ending a 16-year drought.
14. EVERY KATIE LEDECKY RACE
More so than anyone else in these Olympics, Katie Ledecky’s dominance in the pool has been utterly captivating. The high point came at the 800-meter freestyle, where she claimed an incredible 11 second victory, set a new world record (8:04.79), and won her fourth gold medal of the games.
15. THE DIVE
Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dove across the finish line to edge out Allyson Felix for the gold in the women’s 400 meters.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS...Our sevens team are the best in the world.
Ibit Muhammad (left), celebrates in her hijab.
Michael Phelps seemed angry as Chad le Clos was clowning around.
Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dove to the finish line.