by Jenne Brookes
The United States had an extremely successful Rio Olympics this summer. By the end of the games, the USA picked up 121 medals (46 gold, 37 silver, 38 bronze).
Unique to Rio:
- Brazil was the first South American country to host the games. Rio beat out Chicago, Madrid, and Tokyo for the 2016 Olympics.
- President Thomas Bach of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the IOC would be choosing 5 to 10 refugees, who were not part of a certain country, to participate in the 2016 Rios.
- After 112 years, men’s and women’s golf returned to the Olympic playing field. The last time golf was an Olympic event was during the 1900 and 1904 games.
- 60,000 meals were prepared for the athletes each day, spiced up with local flavors like acai, tapioca, and pao de queijo (cheese bread).
- There were 7.5 million tickets available.
USA swimmers “fly”ed to victory in this year's Olympics.
- Simone Manuel became the first African American woman to win a medal in an individual swimming event.
- Michael Phelps picked up 6 more medals, adding to his impressive 28 medal collection (23 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze). The Rio games were Phelps’ last Olympic games.
- Ryan Lochte, 12-time Olympic medalist, claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint at a Rio de Janeiro gas station, while video footage proves that he and three other American swimmers actually vandalized the gas station. This Olympic scandal has lost Lochte most of his sponsors.
- Due to legal requirements, a lifeguard had to be present during the Olympic swimming events.
- The youngest swimmer to participate in the 2016 Olympics Trials was 13 years old.
During men’s soccer, Brazil beat Germany, winning their first Olympic soccer gold, while Germany beat Sweden 2-1 during women’s soccer.
Track and Field:
The United States picked up 32 medals (13 gold, 10 silver, 9 bronze). Women’s 4 by 400m relay sprinted to victory, anchored by Allyson Felix, and won their sixth straight gold in the event. Ashton Eaton of the USA won gold in men’s decathlon and picked up the Olympic record.
60 men and 60 women from 41 nations competed. Justin Rose of Great Britain won the gold for men’s individual, while Inbee Park of South Korea took the win for women’s individual. Paulina Gomez (12th), an accomplished golfer and swimmer, commented, “I got really excited when I heard there was going to be golf in the Olympics!” Her favorite golfers include Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, and Stacy Lewis, among others.
The Dream Team (Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, and Gabby Douglas) crushed on the Olympic stage. Simone Biles picked up 4 gold and 1 silver in women’s vault, floor exercise, individual and team all-around, and beam.