Photos: The 2016 Rio Olympics Comes to a Close

  • A picture taken with an underwater camera shows Ukraine’s Lolita Ananasova and Ukraine’s Anna Voloshyna competing in the Duets Technical Routine final during the synchronised swimming event at the Maria Lenk Aquatics at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 16, 2016.
  • Puerto Rico’s Grace Claxton warms up before competing in the Women’s 400m Hurdles Round 1 during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 15, 2016.
  • Sharon van Rouwendaal, of the Netherlands, swims with fellow competitors as they make their way to the starting line off the shore of Copacabana beach for the women’s marathon swimming event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 15, 2016.
  • People are seen in front of a large sculpture created by artist JR on the seaside on Aug. 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The artist has unveiled numerous art installations celebrating olympic athletes. 
  • Mexico’s Paola Espinosa competes during the women’s 10-meter platform diving preliminary round in the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 17, 2016.
  • Ester Qin of Australia in photographed in action during the Women’s 3m Springboard Final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Diving events at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 14, 2016.
  • United States’ Danell Leyva prepares for his performance on the parallel bars during the gymnastics exhibition gala at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 17, 2016.
  • Competitors await the start of the Women’s 10km Marathon Swimming on day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Fort Copacabana on Aug. 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Eliza Mccartney of New Zealand competed in the Women’s Pole Vault qualification on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Fans of Brazil cheer on their team during the Women’s Quarterfinal match between China and Brazil on day 11 of the Rio 2106 Olympic Games at the Maracanazinho on Aug. 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Agatha Bednarczuk of Brazil celebrates winning the beach volleyball Women’s Semi final against Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross of the United States on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on Aug. 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Mohamed Farah of Great Britain celebrates after winning the Men’s 10,000m on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Yannick Brauchli and Romuald Hausser of Switzerland in action before their 470 class race was postponed for strong winds on Day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Marina da Gloria on Aug. 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Colombia’s Jhon Murillo competes in the Men’s Triple Jump final during the athletics competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 16, 2016.
  • Cuba’s Jhoanis Portilla, left, Spain’s Orlando Ortega, center, and Jamaica’s Deuce Carter during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 15, 2016. 
  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men’s 100 meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • People celebrate at the Jamaica House while watching a live broadcast as Jamaica’s Usain Bolt wins the 100m final during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug. 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Christabel Nettey of Canada makes an attempt during the women’s Long Jump Qualifying round of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Athletics, Track and Field events at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 16, 2016.
  • American Kerri Walsh Jennings celebrates after winning the women’s beach volleyball bronze medal match between Brazil and the USA during the 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 17, 2016, in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
  • Athletes compete during the Women’s 3000m Steeplechase Round 1 on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • A picture taken with an underwater camera shows Japan’s Yukiko Inui and Japan’s Risako Mitsui competing in the Duets Technical Routine final during the synchronised swimming event at the Maria Lenk Aquatics at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 16, 2016.
  • An official is seen to withstand rain during the evening session of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Athletics, Track and Field events at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 15, 2016.
  • Jamaica’s Yohan Blake reacts during the Men’s 200m Round 1 during the athletics competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 16, 2016.
  • The Men’s 470 class sail back to shore after competing on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Marina da Gloria on Aug. 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Brazilians celebrate while watching a live broadcast as their men’s soccer team defeats Honduras during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug. 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Sarat Sumpradit of Thailand in action during the Weightlifting - Men’s 94kg on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 2 on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • China’s Yang Bin, red, competes against Morocco ‘s Zied Ait Ouagram during the during the men’s Greco-Roman xx-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 14, 2016.
  • Mima Ito of Japan plays a match against Tianwei Feng of Singapore during the Womens Team Bronze Medal match on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Riocentro - Pavilion 3 on Aug. 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • United States’ Kristi Castlin stretches on the practice track before competing in the semifinals of the women’s 100m hurdles at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 17, 2016.
  • United States’ Simone Biles, bottom, and compatriot Aly Raisman warm up before the start of the artistic gymnastics women’s apparatus final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 16, 2016.
  • A man watches the Olympics in a shop basement, Aug. 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Approximately 22 percent of Rio’s population resides in favelas which often lack proper sanitation, health care, education and security. 
  • Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller dives across the finish line ahead of United States’ Allyson Felix to win the gold medal in the 400 meter finals during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 15, 2016. 
  • In this photo taken with slow shutter speed, Jelle van Gorkom of the Netherlands competes in the men’s seeding run at the Olympic BMX Center during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 17, 2016.
  • Gold medallist USA’s Brianna Rollins (2ndL) celebrates as she crosses the finish line ahead of silver medallist USA’s Nia Ali (R) and bronze medallist USA’s Kristi Castlin (L) to win the Women’s 100m Hurdles Final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 17, 2016.
  • Gemma Beadsworth of Australia is smashed during the Women’s Water Polo qualification match between Australia and Brazil at Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Aug. 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Helen Maroulis of the United States celebrates her win over Jong Myong-suk of North Korea during women’s freestyle wrestling quarterfinal, Aug. 18, 2016. Maroulis won the match 3-1. 
  • Abbey D’Agostino of the United States (R) hugs Nikki Hamblin (L) of New Zealand after the Women’s 5000m Round 1 - Heat 2 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Helen Maroulis of the United States reacts to defeating Saori Yoshida of Japan during 53kg women’s freestyle wrestling title match on Aug. 18, 2016. 
  • An overview shows USA’s Helen Louise Maroulis (R) celebrating with her coach after winning against Japan’s Saori Yoshida in their women’s 53kg freestyle final match on Aug. 18, 2016, in Rio. 
  • Helen Louise Maroulis celebrates after winning the gold medal during the women’s 53-kg freestyle wrestling competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 18, 2016. 
  • Brazilian teammates run to Neymar (bottom) after he scored the winning penalty kick against Germany in the men’s soccer gold medal match of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Aug. 20, 2016.  
  • Spectators celebrate after watching Brazil defeat Germany to win the gold medal of the Men’s Football final at the Olympic Boulevard live site during the Rio 2016 Olympic games on Aug. 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes attends the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 21, 2016. 
  • Artists perform during the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 21, 2016. 
  • Performers take part in the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Aug. 21, 2016. 
  • Performers take part in the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Aug. 21, 2016. 
  • Performers wait to take the stage during the Rio 2016 closing ceremony, Aug. 21, 2016. 
  • Mariene de Castro performs during the closing ceremony for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 21, 2016. 
  • Performers take part in the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Aug. 21, 2016. 
  • Dancers perform during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on Aug. 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • This picture shows an overview of fireworks during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug.21, 2016. 
  • People watch from the Mangueira slum fireworks exploding above the Maracana stadium during the closing ceremony for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 21, 2016. 

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The Summer Olympics came to a colorful close on Sunday night– some are even calling it carnivalesque– following a week of record-breaking performances, heroic moments and controversy.  

In total, the U.S. led the games, taking home 121 medals, followed by China with 70, Britain with 67 and Russia with 56. The games ended on a high note for hosting country Brazil, after the men’s football team beat out Germany for the gold medal on Saturday night.

Helen Louise Maroulis made history on Thursday night when she became the first U.S. woman athlete to win an Olympic gold medal for wrestling. Maroulis, a 24-year old Maryland native, took out Japan’s 13-time world champion Saori Yoshida in the 53kg elimination round. 

“In the semifinals, I remember thinking, it is an honor to wrestle Yoshiday,” Maroulis said on Twitter. “For someone to win three gold medals and come back and to risk that and accept that challenge, that is another four years of work and dedication and giving your life to the sport. Yoshida is an incredible, incredible athlete. The more I studied her, the more it was like, she is not my enemy, no one here is really my enemy. God taught me that these are women who want the same thing that you do and are sacrificing the same things that you are. It is not about hating that person you are going against, but it is about respecting that person so much that you are going to give it your all.” 

As the world said goodbye to Michael Phelps, the events in track & field were just getting started with another sports icon set out to perform his craft. In a short 9.81 seconds, Jamaican superstar sprinter Usain Bolt cemented his status as the world’s fastest man, winning the 100m for the third time. Out of the blocks Bolt’s main rival, American Justin Gatlin, got off to a quick start and just as those watching held their breath thinking he could perhaps dethrone the springing king, Bolt kicked it into a higher gear. With the finish line nearing Bolt passed Gatlin, gliding across the track, making it look easy and even appearing to smile as he passed the competitors and cameras. Bolt is now the only man or woman to win that race three times, which he was able to do in three consecutive Olympics. On Thursday night, the Jamaican runner sprinted toward his eighth Olympic gold medal after winning the 200m race, coming in ahead of Canada’s Andre de Grasse and France’s Christophe Lemaitre in just 19.78 seconds. He will run in the 4x100-meter relay final on Friday.

Also on the track, the women’s 400-meter race ended in a dramatic fashion as Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas lunged her body forward across the finishing line just as American sprinting legend Allyson Felix was closing in on the inside. At first it was hard to determine who had taken first in the photo finish, but it quickly became apparent that the desperation dive had provided Miller with the gold, defeating Felix by a mere 0.07 seconds. Miller’s time, 49.44, was a new personal best, and the silver made Felix, medals-wise, the most accomplished American female in the history of track and field. 

On Wednesday the U.S trio of Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin swept the 100m hurdles. It marked the first time a nation has swept the podium in the event.

 American sensation Simone Biles continued to prove her dominance over the women’s gymnastics field, finishing her first Olympics with five medals- four of them gold. With tremendously high expectations surrounding her, Biles was nearly flawless in all her events, but for an uncharacteristically sub par performance on the balance beam. As she worked through her routine, the most difficult of the group, Biles slipped, impressively saving herself from falling off the beam entirely, but still putting her hands down to catch her balance. Even with that error Biles still was able to medal, snagging the Bronze while teammate Laurie Hernandez took Silver. Biles now joins the elite group of Mary Lou Retton, Shannon Miller, and Natia Liukin as the only four American female gymnasts to win five medals in a single Olympics and is the most decorated American gymnast, male or female, with her 17 medals in Olympic and world-championship competition. 

In a stunning upset, second-seeded Brazilians Agatha and Barabara defeated three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings and 2012 silver medalist April Ross in women’s beach volleyball semifinals. This was the first loss of Walsh-Jennings’s Olympic career, but she and Ross rebounded quickly and went on to take the bronze. Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst eventually defeated Agatha and Barbara in the gold medal match.

The Swedish women’s soccer team became the Cinderella story of the tournament, defeating the heavily favored American and Brazilian teams both in penalty kicks to reach the finals. They now face German in the gold medal match. On the men’s side, home country Brazil was off to a quick start in the semi-finals against Honduras with crowd favorite Neymar wasting no time and scoring 15 seconds into the game. Brazil went on to win 6-0 and will also face Germany in the finals.

Amidst all the competition, the true Olympic spirit was on display this week as runners Nikki Hamblin, from New Zealand, and American Abbey D’Agostino showed the true meaning of sportsmanship. It started during the women’s 5000-meter race when Hamblin and D’Agostino appeared to have contact while running causing them to both take a hard fall on the track. First D’Agostino got up as Hamlbin stayed lying, but rather than continue running she offered to help Hamblin and telling her, “Get up. We have to finish this.” With D’Agostino’s help Hamblin picked herself up and they both continued to run but it soon became apparent D’Agostino was the one who needed more help with a severe knee injury. Even with the crash, both were able to finish the race and at the end Hamblin waited for D’Agostino to finish to embrace each other. It was the kind of Olympics moment and act of kindness between competitors that will be remembered in the years to come.

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