2016 Rio Olympics left athletes, fans with many lasting memories

Bailey Ayres, Sports Editor

Every four years during the summer the world comes together to watch the best athletes from all around the world and compete in summer Olympic sports. These athletes dedicate their lives to competing in the Olympics and trying to make their gold medal dreams come true.

This Olympics was truly special because it was the first Olympics that were held in South America.

Before the games where held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there were news stories about mosquitos carrying the disease Zika, body parts floating up on Rio beaches due to high crime rates, the failing economy and spotty government in Brazil.

Despite all that, the Olympics went well. In fact, so well that the positive stories coming out of the Olympics easily overshadowed the bad.

That is what the Olympics is about, bringing together the world and showing that through hoping, dreaming, teamwork, and cheering everyone on that there is good in the world.

Rio did just that and then some.

It was also very special because the International Olympic Committee had a special team just for refugees. The IOC had the refugee team to spread attention to the refugee crisis that is going on and also to give hope to other refugees in the world as well.

Sadly, the refugee team won no medals in Rio, but they left a lasting impression that is truly bigger than any gold medal. They inspired the world.

The displays of sportsmanship at the Olympics were also inspiring. During a semifinal heat during the women’s 5000 meter race, two athletes collided in a crash. Abbey Dags of the United States, who injured her knee in the fall, helped up Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand after the collision and the two finished the race together. After they finished, Hamblin helped Dags get medical help for her knee.

The United States had 558 athletes competing, the majority of them being women (294 women athletes). It was the first time a team had more female competitors than male. The United States topped the medal count by winning 121 medals. 46 of them were gold, 37 of them were silver, and 38 of them were bronze. The 121 medals that where won were the most ever won by Team USA in an Olympics.

The world saw Michael Phelps career come to an end with him winning 28 medals total, with 23 of those being gold. Phelps’ career started 16 years ago in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He has become the most influential and greatest swimmer in the world. Breaking records in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with all of the medals he won there being gold, and still dominating in the pool at the 2012 London Olympics.

Phelps popularized the sport of swimming. The world tunes in to watch him swim. Phelps said this will be his last Olympics as a competitor. He said the same thing in London, but he showed up in Rio. Time will tell. If it was his last Olympics, Phelps ended his career on an amazing note in the 4×100 medley relay race winning the gold with his teammates: Nathan Adrian, Cody Miller, and Ryan Murphy.

Usain Bolt ended his perfect career with nine medals, and all of them gold, proving he is the fastest man in the world three Olympics in a row. In each, Bolt won gold medals in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 4×100 meter races. In every race, he made it look easy.

Simone Manuel was the first African-American and African-American woman to win a gold medal in the Olympics. Manuel also tied with Canada’s Penny Olessiak. Katie Ledecky swam by her competition breaking records and racking up five medals, four of them being gold.

The Final Five dominated in gymnastics. Simone Biles was looking to get five gold medals in Rio. She ended up with four, but got bronze in the balance beam event. In every event that the U.S. women’s gymnastic team participated in, someone got a medal. It was the last Olympics for their long time coach Márta Károlyi, who coached in many Olympics, who is retiring.