You know what, I was pleasantly surprised as to how the 2016 Rio Olympics turned out.
I mean, given all the drama and logistical mishaps that went on leading up to these Olympics, I was expecting one bad incident after another.
Raw sewage found in the ocean. Reports about construction running late on facilities. Horror stories on the horrible living conditions in Sodom and Gomorrah – ERRRRR, I mean the Olympic Village?
And of course, there was the high crime rate of Rio.
So pardon me for not expecting to witness and hear about the feel-good stories that these Olympics produced. Peep the highlights below:
First, there was my man Michael Phelps blowing up the spot once again from the swimming pool.
Phelps said goodbye by finishing his career with a staggering 28 medals, 23 of them gold. However, my favorite part was Phelps giving that South African dude (Chad le Clos, or was it “Santa” Clos?) the ultimate death stare before eventually beating his ass for the gold in the 200m butterfly.
Speaking of swimming, how about the American women dominating their events?
Katie Ledecky won FIVE medals: four gold and one silver. She has definitely become the new face of swimming not only in the U.S., but worldwide. I also loved the fact that she called out that doping swimmer and beat her in the process.
And give it up to Simone Manuel, not just for the four medals she won (two gold and two silver). Her gold medal win in the 100-meter freestyle marked the first time an African-American woman won in an individual swimming event. This was a big deal considering that not many years ago, whole swimming pools would be drained if a black person dipped their toe in the water.
There was the US women’s gymnastics team kicking ass and taking names.
Dubbing themselves “The Final Five”, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez and Aly Raisman made the gymnastics a one-sided affair with all the medals they compiled. Biles alone won four golds and one bronze. I don’t think it’s a stretch to call the “Final Five” the best gymnastics team the U.S. has ever produced – men’s and women’s.
And who could forget about Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt?
Bolt did what was once thought to be unthinkable: winning his third consecutive gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes after confirming this will be his last Olympics. But what I will remember most about Bolt was the grin he broke into even before he crossed the finish line in the 100. Two words: man’s game.
Finally, there was perhaps the best act of sportsmanship seen in recent memory.
American Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin’s moment during the 5,000-meter gave everyone (including your boy) ALL the feels. After Hamblin took a tumble on the track, D’Agostino assisted her to her feet and then realized she too was injured. Hamblin then returned the favor, helping D’Agostino and making sure she was able to finish the race before continuing. Their embrace at the finish line made the entire world remember what was actually more important than winning.
And yeah, the Rio Olympics had their down moments.
The Olympic diving pool from transparent blue to opaque green (Swamp Thing, eat your heart out). Goalkeeper Hope Solo showing poor sportsmanship after the USWNT lost to Sweden in the knockout round. Swimmer Ryan Lochte lying his ass off about getting robbed after he and a couple of other idiots trashed a local gas station bathroom.
However, I’ll chose to remember the Rio Olympics for the awesome acts of dominance from the aforementioned athletes and the Olympic spirit that NEVER gets old…