10 Best Olympic Moments

Simone Biles' jaw-dropping performance makes the list
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2016 5:37 AM CDT
10 Best Olympic Moments
Jamaica's Usain Bolt holds the flag of Brazil after winning the gold medal in the men's 4x100-meter relay final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The 2016 Olympics came to an end when Rio officially handed things over to 2020 host Tokyo Sunday night in a jubilant closing ceremony that featured, among other things, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rising from a pipe dressed as Super Mario. A look back at some of the best moments from Rio:

  1. Usain Bolt's triple-triple. "I am the greatest," the Jamaican runner declared after winning gold in a third race at a third consecutive Olympics. Few would quibble with that statement.
  2. Michael Phelps' swim into history. He took another six golds in Rio, giving the "once in 10 generations" swimmer a staggering 23 golds over his career—14 more than any other athlete has ever scored.
  3. Team Refugee. For the first time, the Olympics featured a team made up of refugees from the world's conflict zones. "You have inspired us with your talent and human spirit," IOC President Thomas Bach said in his closing address.

  1. Simone Biles' amazing performance. She won a record-tying fourth gold in one of the greatest Olympics a gymnast ever had, displaying what Penelope Blackmore at the Guardian calls "jaw-dropping power, laser precision, and pure dynamism."
  2. Almaz Ayana's record-breaking run. Some 27 world records were broken in Rio. The first to fall inside the Olympic Stadium was the women's 10,000-meter record, which the Ethiopian runner beat by more than 14 seconds.
  3. Liina, Lily, and Leila Luik. The Estonian women set a different kind of Olympic record by becoming the first triplets ever to compete in the marathon.
  4. Helping hands. America's Abbey D'Agostino and New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin showed true Olympic spirit—and won Fair Play Awards—by helping each other after a tumble in the women's 5,000 meters.
  5. The Brits who are being called the best couple. Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh not only became the first same-sex married couple to compete in the Olympics, they won the field hockey gold.
  6. Changing of the guard. Phelps had an Olympic swimming career that might never be matched unless dolphins start competing—though he was beaten in the 100-meter butterfly by 21-year-old Singaporean Joseph Schooling, who grew up idolizing Phelps.
  7. Soccer gold. Brazilians breathe soccer, and they got what the AP calls a "perfect finish to an imperfect Olympics" when their team beat Germany to take the gold.
(More 2016 Olympics stories.)

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