Ah Brazil you poor bastard. Rio 2016 hasn’t been getting great press, what with the muggings, the mosquitoes, the Prime Minister being impeached (yeah, that happened). But if you look past all that, some really awesome shit has gone down. Here are some of the best bits you may have missed.
The marriage proposals – five and counting…
So far, five Olympic athletes are newly engaged after some pretty emotive proposals in a very public forum. First it was Marjorie Enya who asked her girlfriend, Rugby Sevens player for Brazil, Isadora Cerullo for her hand in marriage in front of a packed stadium. The whole crowd went nuts as the couple celebrated their newly engaged status.
Chinese diver He Zi came second in her event receiving a silver medal for diving. Not only second best diver on the planet, but also the object of boyfriend and teammate Qin Kai’s affection, Qin busted out a ring while she was still on the podium. When the shock wore off, she happily said yes.
Moments after American William Claye received his silver medal for triple jump, he burst into the crowd to find his girlfriend and fellow athlete Queen Harrison and popped the question in front of a huge crowd. Overwhelmed with joy she accepted.
And British race walker Tom Bosworth took a more low-key approach proposing to his boyfriend on Copacabana Beach (you’re forgiven if you broke out in some Barry Manilow just then) and posted the wonderful news on Instagram. So much love.
The Refugee Team – an historic moment
Making Olympic history for all the right reasons, massive props to the IOC and Brazil for the first ever Olympic refugee team. A team of ten athletes made up of five runners from Sudan, two swimmers from Syria, two judokas from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a marathon runner from Ethiopia. These exceptional human beings have fled conflict in their respective homelands and represent hope on an international scale. When this team proudly marched out during the opening ceremony, the entire stadium got to their feet and roared with applause. Undoubtedly, a historic moment that will be remembered for generations.
Here’s a heart wrenching video of refugees in Kakuma watching Team Refugee competing on the Amnesty International website.
The swimmer – talks about her period
World, meet Fu Yuanhui, Chinese swimmer, Olympic medalist, all round legend. She first got our attention during her post race interview when the reporter informed her she won a medal. She had no idea!
Then there was that medal ceremony. I love that an Olympic athlete, competing at the highest level doesn’t take herself so seriously. The goofy face, the unabashed smiles, I thought there’s no way I could love this woman more. Then she comes out after a race telling the whole world she felt a bit shit because she had her period!
Fu is a Chinese national, a very modest country that doesn’t locally produce tampons. So it’s kind of a big deal when a Chinese female athlete takes to the world stage declaring she is menstruating. And her home nation (if not the entire planet) fell that little bit more in love with her for doing so. Respect!
The pole vaulter – package problems
Hiroki Ogita, a pole-vaulter from Japan, missed his shot for Olympic medal glory all thanks to his appendage during the qualifying round. As he jumped, his leg just grazed the bar then as he was landing, his downstairs mix-up made contact with the bar and sent it, along with his dream of a medal, tumbling down. Ogita may not have a medal but I’m willing to bet he won’t have any troubles getting a date.
The runners – well played, Nikki and Abbey
This is a story of Kiwi runner Nikki Hamblin and American runner Abbey D’Agostino. During the 5000m heat after a heap of runners bunched up, the American runner Abbey clipped Kiwi runner Nikki’s heel. They both fell to the ground. Abbey gets herself up then quickly offers help to Nikki.
The two had never met before and Nikki was quite taken aback by the American’s show of compassion. Once they were both up, Abbey wasn’t doing so great and she fell again. This time, the Kiwi stopped to offer help. Abbey insisted that Nikki go on, but the selfless runner stood by Abbey and urged her to go on and complete the race, knowing that neither of them would get a place in the final.
Despite both runners finishing last, the officials awarded them a place in the final after reviews and complaints from their teammates. Abbey’s injuries were too severe to allow her to compete, still these are the athletes that should be put in the spotlight for young kids to look up to as role models. Well-played ladies. Watch the full slideshow here at Yahoo Sport.
So incredible was this moment, that Nikki and Abbey have been awarded a special Olympic medal for sportsmanship (do we not have a unisex version of that word yet?). The Pierre de Coubertin medal has only been awarded previously 17 times in Olympic history. Take a bow, ladies!
The pentathlete – Chloe Esposito wins gold
This is a story of an absolute champion with five times the glory. Winning a gold medal is one thing (a fricken amazing achievement to be the best in the whole world at your sport), but winning a gold medal in the Modern Pentathlon is bragging rights to being the best in the world at fencing, swimming, show jumping, running and shooting combined!
Chloe Esposito is Australia’s first ever medal winner in the Modern Pentathlon , not to mention she broke an Olympic Record during her event. All of these things make her an incredible 24 year old. But given she started in seventh place in the final 3200m run with pistol shooting, a whopping 45 seconds behind Poland’s top ranked runner, she overcame all odds to come in first and only miss one of the 25 shots she fired! She’s my new hero in life.
The tennis player – Andy Murray smacks down everyday sexism
And last but by no means least, the Andy Murray smack down for female athletes everywhere.
BBC Reporter John Inverdale: “You’re the first person ever to win two Olympic tennis gold medals. That’s an extraordinary feat, isn’it.”
Andy Murray – “I think Venus and Serena [Williams] have won about four [gold medals] each.”
* MIC DROP *
What was your favourite moment in the Olympics?
Love the Andy Murray and Fu Yuanhui stories!