2016 Rio Olympics!

Kelsey Heffernan, Social Media Manager

Despite the Zika virus rumors and various problems at the Olympic village, the Rio Olympics went down in history as two weeks that will never be forgotten. The Olympics were hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5 to August 21, 2016.

We said goodbye to well-known faces, and welcomed in new athletes to the Team USA family. The Rio Olympics brought a close to Michael Phelps’ successful career. Phelps added six more medals to his collection, five of them being gold. Phelps got revenge on South Africa’s Chad le Clos in the 200 meter butterfly, after le Clos out touched him in that event at the London Olympics. According to USA Today, “It was the cherry on top of the cake that I wanted,” Phelps said in Rio. “I couldn’t be happier with how things ended.”

Katie Ledecky also ruled the pool, and was named the Female Athlete of the Olympics. Ledecky won four individual gold medals and and made history as the only female Olympian to win gold in three freestyle events. At only 19 years old, Ledecky will become a familiar face at the upcoming Olympic Games.

Another young athlete that demonstrated the ultimate “girl power” was 19-year-old Simone Biles. Biles took first in the all-around competition, and her teammate Ally Reisman followed behind her in second place. Team USA’s “final five” took gold in Gymnastics and these girls rewrote the future of gymnastics in the Olympics.

Speaking of female athletes named Simone, Simone Manuel became the first female African American swimmer to get a medal, let alone a gold medal, in US history.

“The gold medal wasn’t just for me. It was for people that came before me and inspired me to stay in the sport. For people who believe that they can’t do it, I hope I’m an inspiration to others to get out there and try swimming. You might be pretty good at it,” said Manuel to the New York Times.

American distance runner, Abbey D’Agostino, also made Olympic history by delivering one of the most inspiring races ever seen when she gave up chances of winning gold in her event to help a rival runner who had hurt her leg in a fall during the race.

The most dominant U.S. Olympic sport continues to be basketball. The US men’s team won their third consecutive gold medal and the women’s team won their sixth.

Boxer Claressa Shields brought the games to a close by winning Team USA’s final gold on Sunday afternoon. This win made her the first American to win back-to-back Olympic golds.

Team USA ended the Olympics with 121 medals, the highest medal count they have had in three decades. American women stole the show yet again, with 27 of the 46 gold medals.