Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Olympics recap

I enjoyed the Olympics a little more than I anticipated. Here's my highlights:

1. Seeing countries win their first Gold Medal. Ten countries in all won their first medal. Also Iran had their first female Gold medalist.

2. The sportsmanship shown by Nikki Hamblin (NZ) and Abbey D'Agostino (USA) during the 5000m. Nikki was also awarded the fair play medal

3. Michael Phelps (5), Katie Ledecky (4) and Simone Biles (4), who won the most Gold medals of any athlete at these games . 

4. Kyle Chalmers winning the 100 freestyle. He swam a PB each time he jumped into the pool. Perhaps a sign that Australian swimmers may be more successful if less pressure / expectation was put on them. 

5. Simone Manuel and Penny Oleksiak's tie for Gold in the 100 Freestyle. Simone is the first African American to win a swimming Gold,  I don't think you can understate the impact of her winning that race. Penny Oleksiak won four medals, the most by any Canadian swimmer, and was also Canada's first swimmer to win a Gold medal since 1992 (in Barcelona)

6. Usain Bolt, not just for his results, but equally his manner of his performances.

7. Mo Farah going back-to-back in the 5,000 and 10,000. Especially seeing he won the 10,000 after having a fall during the race. 

8. Both the Australian and Fijian Seven's teams winning the tournaments. Australia were raging favourites going into the tournament and didn't disappoint, but the Fijian's win in the final and the images after the whistle will live long in the memory.  

9. The Refugee team marching in the Opening Ceremony. The team won one gold and one bronze medal. Another magical moments was the Syrian swimmer who won her 100 freestyle heat.  

10. I love surprise medalists, and Eliza McCartney winning the Bronze Medal in the Pole Vault and Chloe Esposito winning the Modern Pentathlon certainly count there. 

Bonus: Japan's wrestler, Kaori Icho, who is the first female athlete to win Gold Medals at four consecutive Olympic games.

Aside one: NZ won their 100th Gold Medal and the US their 1,000th Gold Medals during these games. 
It is also New Zealand's most successful games in history. Another highlight was Zane Robertson breaking a 39 year old New Zealand national record for the 5,000m by eight seconds.

Aside two: I feel incredibly privileged to have witness both Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. Their performances have been out of this word, and I doubt I'll see their likes again. 

Aside three: It's certainly been interesting looking/reading the recriminations about the Australian's performance.

Can totally say now, that I'm looking forward to the Tokyo games in another four years, and wondering who will fill the void left by those two great athletes.  

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