As the Games of the 31st Olympiad come to a close and we celebrate the fact that the world didn’t end during the Rio Olympic Games, it is time to celebrate the best of Rio.
From the best of the Aussies, to the best of the rest of the world and finally a look at the most bizarre moments of an eventful Olympic Games.
Best Australian moments
The boy from Port Lincoln is now a household name. Everyone speaks of what a great lad he is and that this medal couldn’t have happened to a better bloke. The fact that he was so far behind at the turn of the 100m freestyle race and then stormed home past all the pre-race favourites speaks volumes of what this man could achieve in the years to come.
Rugby 7’s Girs
Some called it a soft win. I call it the win that saved Australia’s sporting teams from being a complete failure. They did what no other team from Australia could. They won a medal. These ladies are marketable, they’re likeable and now they are damn successful. This is only the beginning for them and this sport.
In a rough week in the pool for the Aussies, McKeon showed enough stamina to claim four medals and to show that she is the future of women’s swimming in this country. What was more impressive though was that she didn’t let a disappointing 100m butterfly final where she finished seventh stop her from giving her best for the rest of the week. Watch this space on this girl.
Yes they had a horror game against Serbia, but they are a force the Boomers. They put everything on the line and played as a genuine team. Both Andrew Bogut and Matthew Dellavedova played through injuries and the Boomers did have an interrupted preparation. Perhaps they got a bit ahead of themselves, but a fourth place finish and enough grunt to give the future of Australian basketball enough positivity heading towards Tokyo in 2020. The game against Lithuania was as dominant and clean a game of basketball as you’ll see.
You probably won’t remember their names, but without them the Australian medal tally would have looked a hell of a lot worse. One gold and three silver medals for the Aussies sailing contingent.
Georgia Baker, Annette Edmondson, Amy Cure, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Melissa Hoskins can hold their heads high after gritting their teeth and coming out some under extreme duress following a training fall in the attempt to still get a medal. In the end it seems it was a little too much, but what these girls did showed the true spirit of both the Olympics and Aussie sport.
Jared Tallent won a silver medal in the 50km walk, Chloe Esposito won a gold in modern pentathlon and Dane Bird-Smith a bronze in the 20km walk.
You can also put these names on your list of athletes within the athletics branch to watch in the coming years –
Ryan Greyson, Eloise Wellings, Madeline Hills, Genevieve Lamaze, Ella Nelson, Jess Thornton, Anneliese Rubie, Caitlin Sargent-Jones, Morgan Mitchell, Cedric Dubler, Damien Birkenhead, Brooke Stratton and Brandon Starc.
Some made finals, some did PB’s, but all showed signs that hint at Australia having a successful home Commonwealth Games and who knows perhaps some success in four years time.
Top 10 marathon/triathlon
Have a listen to these results – Milly Clark 18th, Jess Trengove 22nd, Lisa Wightman 31st. That is three Aussies in the top 35 out of a field of 141 in the women’s marathon. I think that is a result worth celebrating.
In the Triathlon Aaron Royle 9th, Ryan Bailie 10th and Ryan Fisher 24th also showed we are not pushovers this event either. Emma Moffatt held the girls end of the bargain with a sixth place finish.
This man may not have won a medal, but is there a commentator in the world who’s genuine passion and excitement shines through in his work as much as this man? To say Bruce is special would be the ultimate cliché, but this was his best Games yet. His knowledge of every sport he commentates is second to none and if you want three awesome pieces of commentary, look no further than his calls of Bolt’s historic races. His nightly banter with Hamish McLachlan was genuinely brilliant.
Best of the rest moments
Two words. Triple-Triple. He is the greatest of all time. A pleasure to watch and a down right champion. As a generation we have been privileged to watch Usain on the track. His arrogance is dominance and the way he won the 100m, 200m and the relay with his Jamaican team was all so entertaining that I doubt we will ever see anything like it again. Give him a three-day pass to the theme parks or do whatever you need to do to get him to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Twenty three. It is a big number in American sport and now Michael Phelps can add his claims to it as well. That is the number of Olympic gold medals Phelps has won and you wonder whether it will ever be done again. He hasn’t always been the best of boys out of the pool, but in it, he is an absolute fish. Swimming is poorer for his retirement.
Four consecutive Olympic Gold medals is an achievement very few can ever claim to have done. Japanese wrestler Icho became the first to do this in her sport. With the Tokyo Games ahead, could the magic of five gold medals in five Olympics be achieved in her home Games?
400m world record smashed on the track
How was this for a run? South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk thought enough was enough and finally broke Michael Johnson’s long standing World Record. The bar is very high in this event now and you’d have to think he is a fair chance to hang onto that record for a bit. It is great for South African athletics given recent history too.
Elaine Thompson does the double
Wins in the 100m and 200m had not been done in some time. In fact 1988 was the last time a woman had managed to do this. They’re pretty good at athletics these Jamaicans and the celebrations will be going long and hard in the Caribbean. Thompson narrowly missed the triple after Jamaica finished with silver in the 4x100m relay.
Four gold medals and one silver medal at the same Games. I hope they didn’t make her pay for excess baggage. It doesn’t matter the distance. 100m, 200m, 400m or 800m. This girl was absolutely dominant. The scary part is that she is only 19. Yikes.
The year 2000 was a long long time ago. Ervin won gold at the Sydney Olympics in the 50m freestyle at the age of 19. Fast-forward the clock 16 years and at the age of 35, Ervin did the same thing. A lot of water has gone under a lot of bridges in between drinks (so many water puns there) so this is an achievement worth celebrating for the American.
Chinese Table tennis clean sweep
There was four gold medals up for grabs in the table tennis. China won them all. Is there any other sport where a country is so dominant? They also picked up two silver medals. Next best was Japan with one silver and two bronze medals.
War on drugs
Athletes who spoke out about drug use seemed to get more bad press than the athletes who actually take drugs and get caught. Ridiculous, The sporting world needs more people like Mack Horton and Lilly King who slammed the drug cheats. If you are turning on your own, it is a point worth listening too.
Christ the Redeemer
The Redeemer looked good didn’t he? Or she? Regardless, having one of the Seven Wonders of the World overlooking an Olympic Games was a pretty picture. He overlooked the athletes and all the major events. Call me crazy, but I reckon he did his job well.
Most bizarre moments
Usain Bolt and the mascot
Bolt wins the 100m. Bolt gets a soft toy mascot for his troubles. He doesn’t know what to do with it. I think they thought the 100m was some sort of carnival ride where a giant soft toy is a worthy prize. Please.
I’m not sure we still really know the story do we? What a farce. This bloke can’t have too many brains. Perhaps they got killed when he bleached his hair. What a dumb move. His character has to be in serious question. At least he has changed his hair back.
Kitty Chiller v Emma McKeon
This isn’t year 9 school camp and I get security was a big concern. But surely this debacle could have been avoided. McKeon failed to text her mum, (sorry …Kitty Chiller) where she was. Big deal. Common sense prevailed, but what an embarrassment for all involved.
We now know how Shrek was created. He would have been at home in the Rio pool, which absolutely resembled a swamp. Yet they still allowed athletes to compete. What! Apparently it was caused by too much hydrogen peroxide in the pool. Turns out it wasn’t the mosquitoes we needed to be worried about after all!
Alright, now nobody really knows if #kayaksofa is true or not. However the image of some kayakers capsizing into the water after hitting a couch is while somewhat amusing, also serves as a reminder of the struggles Brazil will continue to face long after the Games are gone.
What a 17 days it has been. Let’s do it all again in Tokyo 2020.