The 2016 Summer Olympics, hosted by Rio de Janeiro, has come to an end. Now, a bit over a week after the official closing ceremony, it is the perfect time to look back at the Games and remember its most important moments. Referred to as one of the most turbulent, controversial, and memorable events in the modern Olympic history, the 2016 Summer Olympics was packed with remarkable moments, brilliant performances, and interesting stories. It was quite a challenge to pick just 25 of them, but hopefully, we made the right choices. The Olympics was marked by a number of controversies and mishaps ranging from the notorious green pools and general safety concerns to doping scandals and Lochte’s disgraceful fabricated tale of robbery. However, these bad moments were eventually overcome by several of acts of kindness, fair play gestures, stunning performances, touching stories, and heart-warming moments. We are happy to tell you that a majority of these memorable moments from the 2016 Summer Olympics will be remembered as great and glorious moments. From Usain Bolt’s golden triple-triple and iconic Shaunae Miller’s dive to the first Olympic marriage proposal, here are 25 Moments From The Summer Olympics That Are Worth Remembering.
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Usain Bolt's golden triple-triple
One of the most iconic athletes of the 2016 Summer Olympics, the famous Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, won all of his 3 events (100-m, 200-m, and 4 x 100-m rely) again. By doing that, Bolt completed his glorious golden triple-triple as he has done the same feat at 3 consecutive Olympics.
Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time
Thanks to the 6 medals (five golden and one silver) he won in Rio, Michael Phelps, the legendary American competitive swimmer, became the most decorated Olympian of all time, with an incredible total of 28 medals.
The story of Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin
USA’s Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin got tangled in a spill during the 5,000-m run. Hamblin crashed, and D’Agostino went over the top. Hamblin conceded her Olympic dreams were dashed while she lay face-down crying. Meanwhile, D’Agostino, hobbled but undaunted, urged Hamblin to rise up and finish the race. The two did, and now they are best friends.
Samir Ait Said's injury
Unfortunately, the 2016 Olympics also witnessed some horrible injuries. After a botched landing following a vault attempt, the Frenchman Samir Ait Said suffered a gruesome double leg break. The photo of his leg dangling at a terrifying angle went viral. Said underwent an operation in Rio and is now walking again.
North and South Korean gymnasts' selfie
North Korea and South Korea are technically still at war with each other, but the gymnasts Hong Un-jong of North Korea and Lee Eun-ju of South Korea showed the world an amazing brief moment of unity when they took a selfie together. The picture of the two women has been widely praised as capturing the Olympic spirit.
The strikingly green diving pool became one of the symbols of the Rio Olympics. The cause of this bizarre phenomenon was unknown at first, but then it was revealed that the green color was caused by algae that bloomed because someone had accidentally added a large amount of hydrogen peroxide to the pool.
Cheerful and open Fu Yuanhi
The Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhi became an internet hit after a series of her funny faces and hilarious reactions to express how happy she was at securing a bronze medal in the women’s 100-m backstroke. She also broke a taboo by talking about her period.
Story of Lukas Krpalek
In September 2015, Lukas Krpalek, the Czech judo fighter, lost his best friend and teammate Alexandr Jurecka in a tragic driving accident. Just before Krpalek left for Rio, he visited Jurecka’s headstone and promised to win a medal for him at the Olympics. Krpalek kept his promise and won the gold in his category. He also brought a photo of his deceased friend to the medal ceremony.
Shaunae Miller's dive
Sprinter Shaunae Miller from the Bahamas became an overnight sensation after she performed a stunning dive across the finish line to win gold in a nail-biting 400-m final. The unusual feat worked out well as Miller won the race, just seven hundredths of a second ahead of the second-placed American Allyson Felix.
Bikini versus hijab
In another iconic moment of the 2016 Summer Olympics, this photo of Egypt’s women’s beach volleyball team playing Germany divided many people all over the world. Some people viewed it as a symbol of a cultural clash, while others regarded it as a great example of the unifying power of sport.
The brightest star and the captain of Brazil’s national soccer team, Neymar delivered what none of his predecessors had done before when he converted the deciding penalty in the penalty shoot-out in the soccer final against Germany, securing Brazil their first-ever Olympic gold medal.
Twin sisters' moment
German twin sisters Anna and Lisa Hahner created one of the most touching moments of the Games when they finished the Olympic marathon holding hands. However, their coach was angry at them for showing off and finishing 15 minutes below their best.
Feyisa Lilesa's gesture
The Olympic men’s marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa from Ethiopia could face death after displaying support for a government protest in Ethiopia as he crossed the finish line. The 26-year-old endurance runner raised his crossed arms to end the race as a show of support for the Oromo people, who are being persecuted by the government in Ethiopia.
Mongolian wrestling coaches' strip show
In one of the most bizarre moments of the 2016 Olympics, two Mongolian wrestling coaches stripped to their underwear to protest the controversial bronze-match defeat of their fighter Mandakhnaran Ganzorig. Ganzorig was already celebrating his victory over his Uzbek rival, but then, to everybody’s surprise, the Uzbek fighter was proclaimed the winner of the match.
The Rio Olympics also had its villain. American swimmer Ryan Lochte got drunk and vandalized a fuel station, but instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he fabricated a story in which he was robbed at the station. He even changed the story several times before telling the truth and apologizing for his disgraceful behavior.
Fiji's first-ever Olympic medal
For Fiji, a little Pacific country, the 2016 Summer Olympics will be unforgettable as the country won their very first Olympic medal at the Rio event. Fiji won the gold medal in men’s rugby sevens competition. The triumph came just 6 months after Cyclone Winston badly damaged a large part of the tiny country.
Death of Stefan Henze
Sadly, the 2016 Olympics also witnessed a tragic death. German Olympic coach and canoe silver medalist Stefan Henze died during the Olympics after his taxi was hit in a high-speed head-on collision in Rio de Janeiro. After his death, Henze’s organs were transplanted to four people, possibly saving their lives.
First Olympic same-sex marriage proposal
Isadora Cerullo, a member of Brazil’s women’s rugby sevens team, was proposed to by her girlfriend and manager Marjorie Enya right at the Deodoro Stadium. Enya said she had decided to propose to “the woman of her life” in this unusual way to show people that “love always wins.”
Hope Solo's disrespectful comments
Renowned American soccer goalkeeper, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and World Cup gold medalist Hope Solo generated controversy after making disrespectful comments following USA’s loss to Sweden in a qualifier, saying that the Swedish Soccer Team were ‘bunch of cowards’.
Russia's Incomplete Olympic team
Originally, Russia submitted a list of 389 athletes for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but the International Olympic Committee cleared just 278 of them, removing the remaining 111 athletes because of a series of doping scandals. However, Russia claimed the fourth spot in the medal table (after USA, UK, and China) with a total of 56 medals.
Monica Puig's gold medal
Monica Puig, 22-year-old Puerto Rican tennis player, was ranked Nr. 34 in the world prior to the Olympics, but she beat the odds and topped her stunning run with the gold medal. What makes her achievement even more impressive is the fact that the gold medal she won was the very first gold medal for Puerto Rico at any Olympics.
Dutch equestrian sparing her ill horse
Dutch dressage rider Adelinde Cornelissen and her horse Parzival arrived in Rio with high hopes, but the rider gave up on her medal ambitions after she decided not to participate at the event because of the horse’s poor health. Veterinarians did clear Parzival to compete, but Adelinde still decided to spare her horse to give him time for a full recovery.
Risako Kawai's gold medal celebration
In one of the most playful and funny moments of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Japan’s freestyle wrestler Risako Kawai performed a very original gold medal celebration when she slammed her coach Kazuhito Sakae (former world champion) to the mat.
Refugee Olympic Team
In March 2016, the International Olympic Committee decided that there would be a special team made from refuges at the 2016 Olympics. Comprising of 10 athletes who competed in 3 sports, the refugee team did not win any medal, but it definitely won many people’s hearts and support.
Story of Joseph Schooling
In 2008, a shy Singaporean schoolboy named Joseph Schooling approached his hero Michael Phelps at a training camp and asked him for a photo. Eight years later, the very same guy (now aged 21), beat his idol in the 100-m butterfly at the Rio Olympics, securing Singapore its first-ever Olympic gold.