If you’re an average U.S. Citizen like me, chances are the past 10 days have been pure bliss; spent eating countless calories on the couch, while reveling in the glory of our powerhouse United States teams. We cheer at how athletic “we” are and how “we” dominate almost every sport, all while eating a hot pocket and propping our feet up. But really… the 2016 Olympics have not disappointed and I think it’s safe to say, we’ll all be a little sad to see them go in just 6 days. So, here’s your Olympic recap of the top 10 craziest moments in Rio so far.
Side note: A lot of these are about the U.S…. I might be a little biased.
1. Michael Phelps.
Ok, so he’s obviously not a “moment”, but he has given us SO many crazy moments in this year’s games that he gets his own section. First of all, thank you for being you Michael. You have given us so much to be excited about over the last 16 years. ICYMI (which I’m sure you didn’t), MP finished his last race and ended his record-breaking career with 23 gold medals. He did us proud… and truthfully although we’re all saying we’re happy for him, we secretly hope he’ll show up again in 2020 to rack up a few more medals. I know he’s ready to move on with life, but he’s become our real-life super hero and we sort of think he’s immortal. Not to mention, MP provided us with lots of laughs.. This year, Michael gave the death stare seen round the world. Chad Le Clos thought he was all big and bad, but this stare should have forewarned him that a major butt-kicking was about to ensue. Even better! His stare became a meme… it doesn’t get much better than that!
2. Simone Biles has 2 firsts!
Simone Biles may be small, but man, is she fierce! In case you haven’t seen her rock insanely difficult tumbling passes or the mad vertical she gets on the vault, this girl is a force to be reckoned with. As of last night, she is the first U.S. woman to win a gold medal on the vault and the first gymnast to win three Olympic golds in a single Olympics. Not to mention, she still has two events left. Cue me grabbing the popcorn and staying glued to my couch through tomorrow.
3. Simone Manuel becomes the 1st African-American to win a gold in swimming!
Although I didn’t realize at the time that she was the 1st African-American woman to win a gold in swimming, I couldn’t have been more excited watching Simone win her race. All you heard from the commentators was how the two Australian sisters were going to take the cake, no mention of Simone at all (which is a problem in itself), but out of nowhere she races to the finish and has the most priceless reaction. My husband and I literally freaked out, we were so excited. Then on top of it all to hear in her interview that she was the 1st African-American woman to win a gold was groundbreaking. I can’t imagine how many feelings and emotions she was feeling in that very moment and it made watching her in the relay even more exciting!
4. Commentators mentions of Katinka Hosszu’s husband spark sexism debate.
So I have to admit, I’m glad that people are talking about sexism, especially on such a large platform. Katinka Hosszu is an incredible Hungarian swimmer and last week she won an Olympic gold and broke the world record in the 400m individual medley. Sounds great, right? Well, immediately after her win, commentators shift to her husband on screen making remarks such as “There’s the guy responsible for turning Katinka Hosszu, his wife, into a whole different swimmer.” Screeeech.. hold up! Say what? In Katinka’s moment of glory, when all of her hard work has paid off, you shift to her husband and give him the credit? My husband and I have gone back and forth on this point, him pointing out that the athletes’ coaches are often shown on screen after a big win and given some sort of credit, but me also noting that they literally say he is “responsible” and barely give her any credit. I don’t see anyone saying Michael Phelps’ coach is “responsible” for making him the swimmer that he is… am I right? Plus, there’s lots of reports that Hosszu’s husband is somewhat abusive, so let’s add that to the mix. Whether you agree or not, at least it’s being talked about, which is a step in the right direction!
5. Ryan Lochte gets robbed at gun point.
Rio has had a tough time during the games. With reports of the Zika virus, contaminated water, filthy air, Olympic facilities incomplete, etc. Brazilians are probably fed up with all of the bad press the Games has brought with it, but it won’t be ending any time soon. According to Forbes, “Brazil is the murder capital of the world” and Numbeo notes that Brazil’s crime rate is “very high” with a score of “90.44 out of 100”. Ryan Locthe experienced this first hand as he was dragged out of a taxi and robbed at gun point. I think we all felt a little scared for Ryan, but at the same time, it was interesting to hear he was out partying with snowboarder, Shaun White, and that he was too drunk to coherently explain what happened at first. Maybe you should be careful how much you celebrate Ryan… 🙂
6. Ibtihaj Muhammad makes waves as first U.S. Olympian to compete wearing a hijab.
So, Ibtihaj is pretty freakin’ cool. If you aren’t inspired listening to her story, I don’t know what to tell you. Knowing that finding a sport where she could also practice her religion through her dress was really difficult, knowing that people looked at her differently and knowing that she has been targeted for being “suspicious” even though she seems like the coolest girl on the planet is pretty crazy. She has truly defied all odds and reminded Americans just how normal (and definitely not scary) Muslims can be. Despite all of the negativity she faces from her fellow Americans, she wore our colors proudly and we should all be really proud of her!
7. Sam Dorman and Michael Hixon score USA’s best ever 3m Synchronized Dive.
So I have to admit that synchronized diving is a sport that I pretty much only pay attention to… say, uhh… every 4 years? 🙂 Nonetheless, it’s really neat and something that the good ole US of A hasn’t always been the best at. So, it was really awesome seeing another U.S. Olympic first as Sam Dorman and Michael Hixon scored our best ever score in the 3m Synchronized Dive gaining another silver medal for the U.S.!
8. Brazil takes credit for being 1st in flight during the Opening Ceremony.
The commentators tried to warn us that we might be offended, but nothing prepared us for the claim that Brazil was going to make during the opening ceremony. Low and behold though, out came an airplane and so too came the claim that they were the first men in flight. The Twitter world caught on fire with memes of confused faces and others in defense of the Wright Brothers. We were totally the first ones in manned flight though…right?
9. Olympics welcomes back golf after 112 years.
How crazy is that? The Olympic Games have not included golf since the 1904 games in St. Louis. I, myself, don’t find it that entertaining, but it is pretty cool for the golfers to get to be the first to play in the Olympics in over a decade. Plus, my husband has loved watching it, so I know there must be plenty of other interested parties out there. I think my favorite part is watching the non-golf watchers out at the course. Did anyone else see when the lady in the purple dress picked up the ball?! I’m still laughing about it…
10. An Olympic proposal.
Well guys the rest of you can just quit trying because not much can measure up to a proposal on the Olympic podium! In one of the most amazing moments of her life, diver He Zi wins the silver medal in the 3m springboard event. Then to put the cherry on top, her boyfriend of over 6 years proposes to her on the podium. I can’t imagine what a high she was on!
That’s your top 10 Olympic moments for now, who knows what else is to come?!
I can’t get enough y’all!
C’est la vie,