Rio 2016 Olympics: Looking back at a record-breaking first week

  • United States’ Katie Ledecky competes in a semifinal of the women’s 200-meter freestyle during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 8, 2016.
  • Simone Biles of the United States competes on the balance beam during the Artistic Gymnastics Women’s Team Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on Aug. 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Hao Chang of Chinese Taipei pictured shortly after finishing his RS-X class race on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Marina da Gloria on Aug. 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • A general view as the sun sets on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Beach Volleyball Arena on Aug. 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • USA’s Michael Phelps competes in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley heat during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 10, 2016.
  • Cameroon’s Dieudonne Wilfred Seyi Ntsengue reacts to winning against Colombia’s Jorge Luis Vivas during the Men’s Middle (75kg) match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Riocentro - Pavilion 6 in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 9, 2016.
  • Rafaela Silva of Brazil celebrates after winning the gold medal of the women’s 57-kg judo competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016.
  • South Korea’s Park Sangyoung (R) competes against Switzerland’s Benjamin Steffen during their mens individual epee semi-final bout as part of the fencing event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, on Aug. 9, 2016, at the Carioca Arena 3, in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Canada’s duet Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion compete in the Women’s Synchronised 10m Platform Final during the diving event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 9, 2016.
  • United States’ Jake Dalton sports a tattoo on his back as he attends the artistic gymnastics men’s qualification at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 6, 2016.
  • China’s Xu Lijia is reflected in a puddle as she hoses off her boat after competing in the Laser Radial women sailing race at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 9, 2016.
  • Matej Benus of Slovakia competes during the Canoe Single (C1) Men’s Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Whitewater Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Serghei Cechir of Moldova competes during the Men’s 69 kg Group B Weightlifting contest on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Riocentro - Pavilion 2 on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Mauritius’ Merven Clair (R) receives a punch from Egypt’s Hosam Hussein Bakr Abdin during the Men’s Middle (75kg) match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Riocentro - Pavilion 6 in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 9, 2016.
  • Sergey Tetyukhin #8 of Russia in action during the men’s qualifying volleyball match between Russia and Argentina on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracanazinho on Aug. 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Fans wave flags during a women’s preliminary volleyball match between China and Puerto Rico at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 10, 2016.
  • Water drops fall down China’s Zhao Minggang’s face as he is attended to ahead of fighting Azerbaijan’s Kamran Shakhsuvarly during the Men’s Middle (75kg) match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Riocentro - Pavilion 6 in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 9, 2016.
  • Anna Marton of Hungary, right, fences against Manon Brunet of France during women’s saber individual fencing competition in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 8, 2016.
  • Max Whitlock of United Kingdom competes on the rings during the men’s team gymnastics final during the Olympics at Rio Olympic Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 8, 2016.
  • Viktor Minibaev and Nikita Shleikher of Russia compete in the Men’s Diving Synchronised 10m Platform Final on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on Aug. 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • United States’ Jessica Parratto, left, and Amy Cozad compete during the women’s synchronized 10-meter platform diving final in the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 9, 2016.
  • Rebekah Tiler, of Great Britain, competes in the women’s 69kg weightlifting competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 10, 2016.
  • Doaa Elghobashy of Egypt and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany compete during a women’s beach volleyball match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 7, 2016.
  • Axel Augis of France competes on the horizontal bar during the Men’s Individual All-Around final on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on Aug. 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Germanys Lisa Unruh shoots an arrow during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women’s competition at the Sambodromo archery venue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 10, 2016.
  • Tunisia’s Ines Boubakri reacts after losing Italy’s Elisa di Francisca in their women’s individual foil semi-final bout as part of the fencing event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 3 in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 10, 2016.
  • North Korea’s Kim Song I eyes the ball as she serves against Japan’s Ai Fukuhara in their women’s singles bronze medal table tennis match at the Riocentro venue during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 10, 2016.
  • South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, top, looks to United States’ gold medal winner Michael Phelps in the men’s 200-meter butterfly final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Aug. 9, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Rowers warm up prior to competition during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 11, 2016.
  • Jonelle Price, of New Zealand, competes on Faerie Dianimo in the equestrian eventing cross country phase at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 8, 2016.
  • A member of the Italian men’s track cycling team rounds the track during a training session inside the Rio Olympic Velodrome during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 9, 2016.
  • A fan from Thailand sports both the Thai and Brazilian flags on his face and hat during the men’s 77kg weightlifting competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 10, 2016.
  • Violetta Kolobova of Russia celebrates after defeating Irina Embrich of Estonia to help Russia win the Women’s Epee Team Bronze Medal Match bout on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Carioca Arena 3 on Aug. 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Simone Manuel of the United States celebrates after winning gold in the Women’s 100m Freestyle Final on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Aug. 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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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.

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