Simone Biles: In gymnastics, like many Olympic sports, the difference between the gold and bronze medal can sometimes only be tenths of a point. From 1972 to 2012 the average margin of victory between gold and silver has been .208. Simone Biles won by 2.1 points. That’s bigger than the margin of victory from 1980 to 2012 combined. That’s insane!
Simone Manuel: Going into the 100 meter freestyle Simone Manuel was not expected to win. She was going up against the current world record holder Cate Campbell and as well as her sister Bronte Campbell of Australia. The final was not only noteworthy because there was an Olympic record setting time as well as a tie for gold but most importantly Manuel became the first black woman to win an individual gold medal in swimming. Her very genuine reaction when she saw the score board brought tears to my eyes. You can see the joy on her face.
Michael Phelps: This man is easily the greatest swimmer that has ever lived. In fact he’s basically a swimming machine. He’s won more gold medals than anyone else ever. Since his first gold in 2004 he has won a total of 23 golds and 5 silvers. It’s insane to think that he’s been winning gold for 12 years. The crazier fact, the one that most people miss is that Athens in 2004 wasn’t his first Olympics. Phelps completed in Sydney in 2000 but didn’t win a metal. So if your trying to do the math in your head, he was only 15 at the time. 5 Olympics and 16 years. Wow.
Aly Raisman: Aly was on the women’s team who won gold in 2012 in London. When she competed in the All-Around competition she tied for the bronze. A tie breaking rule was used which pushed her down to 4th despite having the same score as bronze winner Mustafina. Determined she came back in 2016 and found herself once again battling her old rival Mustafina for 3rd place. After a good balance beam performance and an outstanding floor routine she ended up winning the silver in the Women’s All-Around. As soon as she landed the final flip in her floor routine tears of joy rolled down her face. Way to go Aly.
Ryan Lochte: Lochte is a great swimmer and if he had been born 10 years earlier or 10 year later he might have avoided being outshined by Michael Phelps. However everyone’s favorite Jan Brady has stolen the spotlight in one key area: hair. Ryan’s silver died hair has been one of my minor obsessions of the Rio games. Long live the silver fox.
Johnny Weir: NBC brought Johnny Weir to Rio as a special commentator and he has been winning gold for his daily fashions. Make sure to follow his Instagram account because he has been giving be so much life. Go Johnny Go!