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What Makes the Olympics Memorable?


What Makes the Olympics Memorable?

It’s more than the anthem playing as winners stand on the podium. 

As we reflect on the Olympics Games in Rio, we thought it might be fun to take a look back – with a twist. Rather than just offer the medal count, or provide a by-the-numbers recap of the event, we thought we’d take a different tack. To do so, we made note of some of the memorable moments, stories behind the stories and interesting tales that occurred relative to these games. 

Here are some stories you might have missed. Keeping things positive, there will be no discussion of algae-contaminated diving wells, Zika or dangerous seawater. So, without further ado, here’s our list of the Ten Things You’ll Want to Remember About These Games in Rio. ‚Äč

  1.  Triple Take. Fans and course judges alike had to do a double-take, twice, when they witnessed the women’s marathon at Rio. Estonian triplets, Liina, Lily and Leila, are believed to be the first triplets to compete at the Olympic Games. The Luiks weren’t the only siblings to be competing in this event. The Hahner twins of Germany joined them in the marathon. More, from ABC news
  1.  Some Records Die Hard. When some of us think of Olympic history, our minds can travel back to black and white newsreel footage of Jesse Owens making his bold statement for humanity, or footage of Babe Didrikson winning gold medals in track (later winning 10 LPGA  golf majors!). But this year at Rio, we reached way, way back for a record that was broken by American swim hero, Michael Phelps. Phelps broke the 2,168-year-old record of Leonidas of Rhodes by grabbing his thirteenth individual Olympic title. Leonidas’ victories included gold in the ‘hoplitodromos,’ a run performed while wearing armor. More from SBNation
  1.  Teens Take on ‘Mom.’ In a sport where the world-class contestants are often just a few years removed from being labeled ‘tweens’, one competitor shattered that stereotype, competing in a record-breaking seventh Olympic Games. For Oksana Chusovitina (41) of Uzbekistan, it wasn’t enough to just compete. She went for broke, even attempting the “Vault of Death,” a front handspring entry with two tucks off the table, in a bid to beat US phenom Simone Biles. Full story from USA Today. In a related vein…
  1.  Mom. Hospital Community Relations Director. Gold Medalist. Kristin Armstrong has a regular job, a son and just won a gold medal at age 42. Now 43, Armstrong became the first cyclist to win three consecutive golds in the same discipline. From NPR
  1.  Picture this. You will Beat him Someday.  Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling probably couldn’t imagine, back in 2008, that he might someday beat his hero Michael Phelps. At that point, Joseph Schooling was just 13. And Michael Phelps had already won 14 Olympic gold medals. 8 years after that meeting, photos of which have been widely distributed now via Twitter and social media, Joseph Schooling beat his hero in the 100 meter butterfly to capture Singapore’s first-ever Olympic gold medal. Picture and full story in Fortune. 
  1.  The Other Simone. Swimming’s Memorable Tie. While Olympic viewers were enthralled with gymnast Simone Biles’ excellence, there was another Simone making history as the first African-American women to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. Simone Manuel won the 100 freestyle in a tie with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak. The tie led one follower to ask, “Why are there so many ties in swimming?” From Deadspin.
  1.  Blown Away. At the Olympics!? It’s almost heartbreaking to see the razor-thin margins separating swimming’s gold medalists from the rest of the field. The rest of the field is often just hundredths of a second off the pace. Then there’s Katie Ledecky, who finished the 800-meter freestyle more than 11 seconds ahead of her closest competitor at Rio. 11 Facts from Fox Sports. 
  1.  She said, “Shi”. You just won a silver medal for springboard diving in the Olympics. And your boyfriend is already carrying around a bronze from three-meter synchronized diving. What could be better? Following her silver medal performance, He Zi, the silver medal winner from China propositioned with marriage on the natatorium deck in front of thousands of onlookers. She said, yes. Two medals and a ring. Nice haul! From BBC News.  
  1.  Men’s Synchronized Swimming Isn’t Even an Olympic Sport Though our headline references a classic Saturday Night Live skit, the inspiration here is a Washington Post article that details the ‘coolest sport in Brazil’ that isn’t even an Olympic sport. For more on ‘Footvolley,’ go here
  1.  Fastest Man in the World. Usain Bolt amazes the world. Not always first out of the blocks, the big-framed Jamaican sprinter routinely pours it on down the stretch in the 100-meter dash, overwhelming the competition – making it look easy. One of the greatest joys in watching him perform is the relish with which he competes. The picture that is the subject of this article shows how he won the race and the Internet on August 14th. From the Washington Post
  • Just for fun: Chinese divers jump into red solo cups. From CNET

 

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