This year’s Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro has been clouded in political unrest, drug scandals and pools that turn green. Rio has still had great sporting achievements and shocks though. China are having their worst games in two decades, Usain Bolt is still showing his speed despite being past 30 and Simone Biles is pushing down racial barriers and inspiring a new generation of gymnasts. Here is a few more I am sure we will be looking back at over the years!
We should start with the most pure showing of Olympic spirit which took place in the Women’s 5,000 meters semi-final. On the eighth lap New Zealand athlete Nikki Hamblin fell and brought down american Abbey D’Agostino with her. D’Agostino was quick to jump up and continue,but Hamblin was distraught lying on the floor. The American went back and helped Hamblin back up, but when the two started running it was revealed the American was worse off. The two finished the race, keeping each other motivated, but D’Agostino left the finishing line with a suspect ACL damage and in a wheelchair. It brought back memories of Cool Runnings, but even more emotional. It was a great showing that for some the competition can be worth more than the glory. The sight of two athletes helping each other will always tug the heartstrings for me.
Brazil are of course known for their prowess at Soccer, so it is important for them to put on a good show in the Olympics tournament. Unfortunately their campaign was off to a slow start and two dull draws. Yesterday however, against Honduras to reach the Gold medal match, things finally clicked. It was a 6-0 drubbing which included the fastest ever goal in Olympic history. You would be hard to find and betting tipsters calling this one. It was not pretty, Neymar Jr ricocheting the ball in off the keeper and himself, but was still enough to lift the entire stadium and players. They went on to give a performance worthy of their heritage.
Some moments at the Olympics can capture the imagination for more than just sports, and that was the case for unfortunate pole vaulter Hiroki Ogita. The Japanese athlete appeared at first glance to knock the bar down with his penis. In reality his leg and consequently his arm had done the deed, but it was too late as the video went viral. It was an unfortunate angle for the camera and Ogita is paying for it slightly. He is not happy with the press for the way it was reported but for most of us, including me, it was one of those stories that only happens once every four years. Its a good way to get people watching pole vaulting too!
On a more unpleasant note there has been trouble in the Boxing ring. A list of controversial decisions are building up, and Irish boxer Michael Conlan was on the end of one of them. He lost his quarter-final bout to Russian Nikitan and was so outraged he preceded to swear at the judges, officials and then in an interview with Irish TV station RTE in a shocking manner. I would have called him a sore loser had I not seen a fight he had been training for four years four go down in unfair flames, and a chance of a medal gone. Officials have subsequently been removed but for those athletes that have been affected it comes too little too late.
Mo Farah has to be the greatest British runner of all time. The runner from Milton Keynes has performed above and beyond what anyone was expecting since Beijing and once again he defended his 10,000 metre crown, beating a strong fielding in Rio. There was a heart in the mouth moment in the final however when he fell midway through the race! For most this would have been the end, but not fore Mo. The Team GB athlete got back on his feet and battled back into the pack. He was in a perfect position by the time the final bell was rung and sprinted away from Africans Paul Tanui from Kenya and Tamirat Tola from Ethiopia to claim yet another gold.