Six unforgettable moments of the 2016 Rio Olympics

The Rio 2016 Olympics have provided an abundance of memorable moments. We recap some of the best.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The Olympic flame is seen at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 2016 Rio Olympics has indeed made history as the first country to host the games in South America. But as this year's olympic games come to an end, we look back at six of the most memorable moments of the games.

First Refugee team in Olympic history

During the opening ceremony on August 5, the refugee athletes marched into the games to thunderous applause under the Olympic flag.

Their stories of survival have spread far and wide. 

As a teenager, South Sudanese Olympic athlete Guor Marial, was forced to run for his life during Sudan's long civil war in which he lost 28 members of his family, was kidnapped twice and ended up in servitude.after arriving in the United States as a refugee his talent was quickly spotted by his teachers.

Syrian refugee, Yusra Mardini, literally swam her way to the Olympics. Relating her story to reporters, she said was forced to make a treacherous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece and arriving in Berlin with her sister last year. She swam part of that crossing over to the island of Lesbos, helping other refugees who were in the water and were unable to swim. "It was quite hard to think that you are a swimmer and you might end up dying in the water," she said later.

Who said a weightlifter can't dance?

Weightlifter David Katoatau, who lost his family's house in a cyclone, got more cheers than any other lifter, when he danced to raise awareness of the threat climate change poses to his country of the Pacific Island. 

Despite his happy dance, which went viral via social media, he had an important message. 

"Most people don't know where Kiribati is," Katoatau told Reuters. "I want people to know more about us so I use weightlifting, and my dancing, to show the world. I wrote an open letter to the world last year to tell people about all the homes lost to rising sea levels. I don't know how many years it will be before it sinks."

If all else fails, dive

This combination of pictures created on August 15, 2016 shows Bahamas's Shaunae Miller diving to cross the finish line to win the Women's 400m Final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dived over the finish line to win gold in the Women's 400 meter race denying American world champion Allyson Felix the top spot. 

Her controversial finish, although legal, had Allyson's fan in an uproar. 


Lee Eun-Ju of SouthKorea (R) takes a selfie picture with Hong Un Jong of North Korea (L).

In a brief moment of unity, North and South Korea gymnasts took a few moments to smile for a selfie during the training period before the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 

The pictures of the two women have been widely praised as capturing the Olympic spirit.

Beware the death stare

US swimmer Michael Phelps was unimpressed with South African rival Chad le Clos dancing in the ready room before the 200m butterfly semi-final, giving the upstart a deathly stare that that started the hashtag #PhelpsFace on twitter. 

At the London games in 2015, a 20-year old Le Clos denied Phelps a gold medal when he won the 200 metre butterfly event. It was the first time Phelps lost the 200 metre butterfly since 2001.


Swimmer Fu Yuanhui became an online sensation in China after she candidly reacted to her third-placing in the 100 metre backstroke women's final with glee rather than a solemnity that has come to be expected of Chinese Olympians.

Fu, who had thought that she had failed to win a medal, gasped joyfully when told by a television reporter that she had actually won bronze, saying, "I think that that's not bad at all...even though I didn't win first place today I've already surpassed myself and I am happy with that."

TRTWorld and agencies