When more than 11,000 athletes from 206 countries come together for sports, great things are bound to happen! A sea of great triumphs, sweet gestures and heartfelt proposals, Rio Olympics 2016 was much more than sports! A jumble of emotions, stories and sweet memories are sure to be etched in the hearts of the people until Tokyo 2020. Let’s take a look at some of the most heart-throbbing moments of Rio Oympics 2016 that won us over!
Girl power makes India proud
India, a country which very often makes headlines for the violence and daily challenges faced by the women basked in joy when women lifted India’s pride at Rio Olympics 2016. The female athletes of the country delivered world class performances and have become national icons for the country. The nation owes both its medals to women.
The wrestler Sakshi Malik who bagged bronze medal in the 58 kg women’s wrestling category opened India’saccount at the games and is the first Indian female wrestler and the fourth Indian woman to win an Olympic medal. P.V. Sindhu whose stunning performance in the badminton singles not only let her reach in the final but also helped her clinch silver medal in the game. In a gripping 84-minute game, she fought like a true champion before losing the gold to Spain’s Carolina Marin. However, Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the Olympic Games and the youngest Indian to achieve an Olympic medal. Dipa Karmakar, India’s first female gymnast at the Olympics failed to bag a medal but she surely won the hearts of the nation with her performance in gymnastics who just lost out on a medal, finishing fourth in the women’s vault gymnastics. The long-distance runner, Lalita Babar became the first Indian woman to qualify for an individual Olympic track event final since 1984, who finished 10th in the 3,000m steeplechase final. Another star, a teenage golfer; Aditi Ashok has become the youngest contender in the women’s golf contest. Clearly, female athletes have made history at Rio 2016 Olympics raised India’s reputation at the international sporting event.
Legends bid adieu at Rio 2016
The Rio games witnessed two living legends bid goodbye. One in the pool and the other on the track, Michael Phelps swam his last competitive lap in the Rio Aquatics Center, and Usain Bolt took his last sprint around the Olympic stadium track. Both fittingly ended their careers with gold, in relays that were less a competition but more of a victory lap. Michael Phelps was lauded as unbeatable until Joseph Schooling did beat him at his own game and rocked the swimming world at the Olympics.
Mankind > Medals
Rio 2016 unleashed not only great athletic skills but also the inner beauty of people and is testament to how mankind is greater than medals. New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin was lying on the track, dazed after a heavy fall and with her hopes of an Olympic medal seemingly over. Suddenly, there was a hand on her shoulder and a voice in her ear: “Get up. We have to finish this.” It was American Abbey D’Agostino, who offered help. D’Agostino rather than sprinting off, stopped and helped Hamblin to her feet. It was a scene which melted many hearts of the fans during a qualifying heat of the women’s 5,000 metres. Both the women left their own hopes aside, it showed that winning hearts is as important as winning the medals and that’s what a true sportsman spirit is all about.The two Olympic runners who helped each other cross the finish line after falling together in the middle of their race have been awarded the International Fair Play Committee Award by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for epitomising the Olympic values of fair play and sportsmanship.
Love blossomed at Olympics
Rio Olympics 2016 had been spectacular so far; the athletes not only went on to win medals but they also did a brilliant job in winning hearts as well. The plethora of love confessions surely won a million hearts. Diver He Zi of China not only bagged a silver medal at the Rio Olympics, she also went home with an engagement ring when her beau and a fellow diver Qin Kai went on one knee, with a beautiful ring in hand and proposed her. This happened when He Zi stepped off the medal podium after winning silver in three-metre springboard event. Well, what made it even better was that she accepted it! Another proposal that made news was when Brazilian Olympics volunteer Marjorie Enya proposed to her girlfriend and on and off field partner Isadora Cerullo. Isadora was stunned when Marjorie spoke a few words dedicated to her beloved on the microphone. The viewers went gaga after seeing such a big gesture at the Olympics.
If this was just one major win for LGBT community, there was another scenario where British race walker Tom Bosworth proposed his boyfriend Harry Dineley for marriage in a very traditional way by going down on one knee with a ring in hand on the Copacabana beach. Harry nodded with a yes after this sweet gesture. Also after clinching her third gold medal, Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin accepted her long-time beau’s proposal. Charlotte was in a great surprise when her boyfriend, Dean Golding cheered for her ladylove and also wore a tee with this message, “Can we get married now?” Well, they are happily engaged and will tie the knot next year. Now isn’t that sweet?
Many nations won their first gold
For some nations, winning gold at Olympics is quite common. But there have been many nations who bagged their first Olympic gold at Rio 2016.
Here are the nations that have hit the milestone by achieving their first Olympic gold:
Fiji conquered their first gold medal at Olympics by beating Britain 43-7 to win the inaugural men’s rugby sevens final at Rio 2016. It gave Fiji its first gold in 14 trips to the Summer Olympics.
Kenya born, Ruth Jebet, now running for Bahrain gave a stellar performance in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. She gave Bahrain the country’s first Olympic gold while Bahrain was making its ninth trip to the Olympics.
- Ivory Coast
Cheick Sallah Cisse made Ivory Coast win their first ever Olympic gold medal in taekwondo after giving a killer kick in the last second of the men’s under-80kg taekwondo final.
- Independent Olympic Athletes
Even though Kuwait was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Fehaid al-Deehani competing at the Rio Games as an independent athlete, won men’s double trap gold.
The other nations who managed to win their first gold medal at Olympics are Jordan, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Vietnam and Tajikistan.