The mo­ments I will trea­sure from a Games like no other

The first Olympics to be staged in South Amer­ica of­fered sun, sea and samba as a back­drop to some won­der­ful sport­ing feats

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - NEWS - Ni­cola Adams re­tain­ing her gold medal was an air-punch­ing mo­ment. One of the nicest and hard­est-work­ing ath­letes around. Great to see Cather­ine Free­man, Carl Lewis, Michael John­son, Steve Red­grave and so many more great cham­pi­ons in Rio.

Brazil’s medals on the beach

Ev­ery Games has its unique at­mos­phere. Sun, sea and samba made South Amer­ica’s first Games like no other. Rio, the city of beaches, not sur­pris­ingly em­braced the beach vol­ley­ball, the sport’s nat­u­ral habi­tat, with two medals their re­ward.

Dreams ful­filled

Con­nect­ing ath­let­ics with those Rio rhythms was Noca de Portela, the 83-year-old samba gui­tarist and singer who I met. He lives op­po­site the Olympic Sta­dium and came with his samba school col­leagues to watch his hero Usain Bolt win the 200 me­tres – it was a bucket list for him.

The lo­cal in­spi­ra­tion

Thi­ago Braz’s un­ex­pected pole vault win was Brazil’s ath­let­ics mo­ment with­out doubt. He will be an in­spi­ra­tion na­tion­ally for fans and ath­letes alike.

Foot­ball comes home

Foot­ball is a re­li­gion in Brazil, to which five World Cups tes­tify. Yet a gold medal had eluded Brazil in its na­tional sport since it joined the Olympic move­ment in 1920. That was un­til Satur­day night. How ap­pro­pri­ate that the frus­trat­ing wait for Olympic glory should have ended in Rio – you could feel the whole of the city, prob­a­bly the whole of Brazil, rock as Ney­mar’s goal hit home.

Salut­ing a su­per­star

“Usain Bolt, Usain Bolt, Usain Bolt” re­ver­ber­at­ing around the Olympic sta­dium will be the res­onat­ing me­mory of the Games.

Three ath­let­ics world records

Ethiopia’s Al­maz Ayana’s 10,000 me­tres world record opened the first ses­sion in the Olympic Sta­dium, South Africa’s Wayde van Niek­erk’s 400m run so nearly up­staged Usain Bolt on 100m fi­nal night, while Poland’s Anita Wlo­dar­czyk im­proved her own ham­mer-throw mark.

Gemili’s near miss

Adam Gemili was cap­tain of the Bri­tish ath­let­ics team and a pop­u­lar choice for the role. A miss is as good as a mile. He went home with­out a medal but with the same time as the bronze medal­list. No shame – there was noth­ing more he could have done that night – but I know the hol­low feel­ing.

Rud­isha’s reprise

As some­one who failed twice to win, let alone re­tain, an Olympic 800m ti­tle, I found David Rud­isha’s de­fence of his lau­rels was im­pres­sive.

Punch­ing the air Liv­ing le­gends Fan­tas­tic Farah

With my Bri­tish Olympic As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man’s hat on, Mo Farah’s his­toric 5,000m and 10,000m ‘dou­ble-dou­ble’ was spe­cial. His psy­cho­log­i­cal, let alone phys­i­cal, dom­i­nance of his op­po­nents makes him an icon.

Su­perb sec­ond

Bri­tain vy­ing on the medal ta­ble with US and China is bril­liant – four years on from Lon­don 2012 it does not get much bet­ter.

Clock­wise from left: Adam Gemili, the Brazil beach vol­ley ball team, Ney­mar and David Rud­isha

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