John Perez and Kyle Leaver,
Staff Writers, Lake Worth and Palm Beach Gardens Campus
With many dazzling performances and a bevy of athletes facing international scrutiny, the 2016 Rio Olympics was as captivating as it was controversial. Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and the U.S. women’s gymnastics team all made headlines for a multitude of reasons.
The athlete who arguably made the biggest wave around the world was Ryan Lochte, but he did so for all of the wrong reasons. Lochte made worldwide headlines when him and three other U.S. swimmers Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger falsely claimed that they were robbed at gunpoint at a Rio gas station. Once the four Olympians lies were discovered, they were chastised by media outlets around the world. Lochte, who the three other Olympians claim was the alleged “ringleader” of the international debacle, still faces charges from the Brazilian government. One of these charges is falsely claiming a robbery. If found guilty of these charges, Lochte will face up to 18 months in jail.
Lochte’s teammate Michael Phelps stupefied the world with another magnificent performance during this year’s Olympic games. Phelps medaled in every single event he competed in. He received gold in the 200-meter medley and butterfly, 4×100 meter freestyle and medley, 4×200 freestyle, and finished with silver in the 100-meter butterfly. Jesse Vassallo, a former U.S.A. Olympic swimmer, shared his thoughts about Michael Phelps. Vassallo said that “Phelps was just unbelievable; it has been a real treat watching him mature as an athlete. Five Olympics in twenty years, and to do as well as he has in the different stages of his life for so many years makes him the best athlete ever in my book.”
Some of the most awe-inspiring performances from the thirty-first Olympiad came from the U.S. women’s gymnastics team. Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas, and Madison Kocian stunned the crowd with their electric routines. From Simone’s signature move “The Biles” to Raisman overcoming the odds by making the Olympic team, these ladies were just a sight for everyone to behold. Jesse Vassallo shared this same sentiment, saying “the gymnastics team was awesome, they were all great and put on a show that we will never forget. It was complete dominance.” Vassallo also celebrated the complexion of the U.S. gymnastics squad, stating that “it was good to see the diversity in this year’s women’s team.”
The U.S. was not the only powerhouse in this year’s Olympics. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt ended his Olympic career with brilliance by running away with gold in every Olympic event he competed in. At points in the competition, it seemed as if Bolt was running so fast his competitors appeared to be running in slow motion. His unrivaled speed shocked the system of every spectator, whether they were in the Olympic arena with him, or in the safety of their own home. He showed every country what it truly means to be the fastest man on Earth.
The world is treated to some of the most impressive and mesmerizing physical feats every four years. In 2016, every nation was able to bask in the glory of their countrymen competing to the fullest of their capabilities. While medals were not awarded to every country, the fact that they were being represented by home-grown athletes who are conditioned to their peak was enough for everyone to feel pride in their homeland.