Arena: The Good, the Bad, and the Funny
For most sports enthusiasts, the Olympics cannot come soon enough. There is always something to root for, whether it's your own country or that charismatic underdog who overcame the odds in their challenging journey. What about the teenage athletes who are on the brink of making history and the legends who leave behind a trail of gold medals, while sporting their native hue. Although each four year interval leaves a lingering desire to see more, we can still rejoice in some of the most memorable times during the games in Rio. There has been a slew of powerful moments ranging from joy to sadness and everything in between. Some Olympic careers reached their peek, while others came to an end. But one thing is for sure: each moment was distinguishable in its own way. Let's take a look at the good, the bad, and the funny.
Man Of The Hour: Michael Phelps will be leaving Rio as a legend. Respected by some of the most notable athletes of our generation, he has not only left his mark as an Olympic swimmer, but as one of the greatest athletes to every compete. He won the crowd over with his comeback, athleticism and the cutest fan club of all time. At age 31, some competitors taunted him, thinking he was old to remain the superior athlete he once was. He won 5 gold medals this year. His favorite memory? This beautiful moment with his son Boomer and soon to be Mrs. Phelps. Imagine being the girl behind them, who looks like she is fantasizing about being part of the Phelps family in that moment. Or maybe that's just me.
Speed and Solidarity: The next most talked about athlete of the Olympics has to be Usain Bolt, after defending his title as the fastest man in the world. He completely demolished his competitors in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m race, walking away with three gold medals. This summer, he became the first athlete to win all three titles at three consecutive games. Already a sports icon, the world has enough reasons to celebrate Bolt, but his character is what is most impressive. The Jamaican superstar stunned people when he actually stopped an interview to pay respect to the U.S. national anthem.
Podium Pandemonium: If you've never heard of Simone Biles before, you definitely learned fast after the Olympics. Showcasing her superior gymnastics skills at the games in Rio, she turned heads across the world. The 4'8 teenage star is part of the "Final Five", a group of U.S. gymnasts who took gold this year for their collective performance. Biles is the all-around champion, winning four gold medals. She become a household name, known as "America's sweetheart" for her unwavering passion and kind hearted manner. At this point, she's essentially competing against herself. She can instill fear in most of her opponents, but did you know she's afraid of bees?
Athletes Unite: This has to be the textbook definition of Olympic Spirit. New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin tripped and fell during the 5,000 meter run, causing American Abbey D'Agostino to trip over her and fall to the ground as well. D'Agostino helped Hamblin up, and the two continued to finish the race, trailing behind the rest of their competitors. D'Agostino hurt her knee during the fall and was limping, but Hamblin stayed with her the whole way through, encouraging her to finish and fight through it. The two embraced at the finish line in a picturesque moment.
These moments were all pretty heartwarming and will provide all of us with a sufficient supply of memes for the next few months. But, that's not to say the Olympics ended without some drama.
Flying Solo: Hope Solo was a bit of a sore loser, after Team USA lost to Sweden in the quarter-finals. She made embarrassing remarks about her opponents during multiple interviews. “We played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I strongly, firmly believe that, said Solo. She also caused a blatant interruption prior to a penalty kick by Sweden. Solo is no stranger to controversy as she has been involved in domestic abuse cases, forced to take anger management classes. She's basically the worst.
Rise Up: Apparently people have been pretty harsh online lately, criticizing Olympic athletes on their physical appearance. Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno was receiving horrible comments on social media about being "fat" and U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas was the victim of cyber bullying and racist commentary about her hair. It is easy to sit behind a computer screen and attack others, but hey, props to these girls for holding their heads high and doing the impossible to make their countries proud.
Lochte at the VMAs: I hate to end on a bad note, but the whole Lochte scandal is definitely one of the most memorable moments from Rio, although it has a stinging feeling of disappointment. People are still talking about the chaotic story and it was even used as a comedy skit last night. What are award shows without pop culture? Jimmy Fallon impersonated Lochte at the VMAs, going as far as mentioning the gun comment and highlighting the lies. And the best reaction of all? Michael Phelps mouthed "OMG" before pulling out his phone to tape the hilarious gag. Lochte is probably cringing but for most, it was really funny as Fallon opened up the skit with Bieber's famous line "Is it too late now to say sorry?"