Rio 2016 Olympics: Looking back at a record-breaking first week
It has been an exciting and record-breaking first week of the 2016 Summer Olympics as competitors from all over the world showcased their athletic prowess in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
On Thursday night, U.S. swimming legend Michael Phelps claimed the 22nd Olympic gold of his career with a dominant win in the 200-meter individual medley, marking the fourth straight Olympics that he has won this event. The victory provided Phelps his 13th individual gold of his long and storied Olympic career, surpassing an ancient Olympic record that has been held by athlete Leonidas of Rhodes for thousands of years. As a runner, Leonidas last competed in 152 B.C., winning 12 individual events over four Olympics.
Phelps wasn’t the only American swimmer to make history this week. Later that same evening, Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual swimming gold medal. In a tight race, she tied for first with Canadian Penny Oleksiak as the two set a new Olympic record as well. Manuel’s roommate in athlete’s village has been none other than American Katie Ledecky, who in her own events has continued her massive record-setting success at the games.
It was also a triumphant week for the Americans in gymnastics, another marquee event of week one. Three-time world all-around champion Simone Biles of the U.S. snagged Olympic gold after a near-perfect floor routine on her final rotation. American Aly Raisman took silver and Russia’s Aliyah Mustafina took the bronze. Earlier in the week, the United States ‘Final Five’ team of Biles, Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian sealed their legacy as the best gymnastics team in the world by taking the gold in the Women’s Olympics Gymnastics team final. On the men’s side, Japan topped Russia and China for the gold in the team competition. They were led by defending 2012 champion Kohei Uchimura, known as “Superman,” who also took home the gold for the second consecutive games in the men’s individual all-around.
Judo champion Rafaela Silva provided home country Brazil its first gold medal this week. Growing up fighting in one of Rio’s impoverished favelas, Silva beat Sumiya Dorjsuren of Mongolia in the 57 kg gold medal match as the home crowd erupted with excitement.
Fiji won the first rugby sevens Olympic gold on Thursday with a win over Great Britain in the final match. It marked the nation’s first gold medal. Australia defeated New Zealand to win the first-ever Olympic women’s rugby sevens gold medal as well.
The 112-year wait for golf to be back in the Games was over this week. Britain’s Justin Rose gave the sport’s big return some extra splash with the first hole-one in Olympics history.