Rio de Janeiro isn’t a city you associate with global sporting events, but is currently playing host to the Olympic games. The motto for the games is the hendiatris Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. And we certainly have seen a lot of instances of each of these in the Rio Olympics.
Now that it’s coming to a close, let’s take a look at the moments that defined these Olympics, one picture at a time.
Opening Night: Fireworks Galore
The action began in the Maracana Stadium, after much worrying and speculation about the capability of Rio to host such a huge event. Several hundred performs enthralled the thousands of spectators inside the arena, while millions enjoyed the live broadcast from around the world.
We’ll stay away from the oil-covered flag-bearer from Tonga, though.
And so it Began
Archery requires total concentration with every archer going for the bulls eye. This is why the following image is so striking where an Australian archer seems to be taking a shot at the infamous favelas of Rio.
Of course, it’s only an illusion of the eye, but a well-timed picture.
Those Without a Home
The Olympics didn’t forget those without a home. There are millions of refugees around the world and artists in Rio paid tribute to the Refugee Olympic Team by painting their images on a wall.
Which painting do you like the most?
The Korean Divide
Lee Eun-ju of South Korea and Hong Un-jong of the North took a selfie together during their training period. Even though relations between the two countries have been strained, little touches like these will go a long way.
Here’s hoping for a similar Indo-Pak selfie in the next Olympic!
Volleyball by the beach? Why not. But hey, when it’s come to respecting your culture, there’s no questioning the Egyptian women’s team.
This photograph captures the cultural divide between the East and West perfectly.
Pool Turns Green
One of the most shocking images to come out the games was that of the swimming pool changing color. It was blue the first day, but slowly turned green over the next day. There were a few theories afloat about why the pool turned green, but it looks like it was treatment with wrong chemicals.
Would you jump in to a pool with changing colors?
Sticking to the pool, let’s not forget the legendary Michael Phelps. That guy now has more Olympic Gold medals than quite a few countries, including India. At the Rio Games, he was photographed staring down at his opponent Chad le Clos, the South African swimmer who had beaten Phelps in the 200 meter butterfly event in 2012.
Phelps needn’t have worried, though, he won the event eventually and Chad le Clos finished 4th.
On Bended Knees
What bigger stage can anyone ask for other than the Olympics to propose? That’s perhaps what was going through the mind of Chinese diver Qin Kai when he got down on one knee shortly after his girlfriend He Zi received her silver medal in the three-meter springboard final.
He Zi did say yes, but not before being overwhelmed by the proposal.
Even though athletes at the Olympics are competitive, they certainly don’t like seeing their fellow Olympian in agony. So when Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand saw Abbey D’Agostino lying on the ground after they collided, she put an arm around the American and told her to finish the race with her.
It was one of the most touching moments of Rio Olympics and widely covered everywhere.
Diving for Gold
Shaunae Miller denied Allyson Felix a shot at Gold by diving in the 400 meters race. Naturally, Twitter was divided in its reaction, but the folks from Bahamas weren’t complaining.
Did you watch this race live? What did you make of the finish?
The Clean Sweep
The USA women’s team claimed gold, silver AND bronze in the 100m hurdles. This was the first time that a team had captured all 3 medals in a women’s event in Olympic track and field. The trio then posed with American flags for the shutterbugs, but this picture surely was the best.
Ain’t no hurdle too big, for these three!
Too Easy for Bolt
Usain Bolt has been the king of the 100 meter dash and Rio was no exception. In fact, the Jamaican felt so dominant that he even had time to look to his side and pose for a photograph. Well, the story is actually more complex than that, but we can still dream.
Are you gonna be rooting for Bolt in the next Olympics, though?
Hopes of a Billion Dreams!
With a population of a billion people, India still hasn’t produced many medals in the Olympics. We can blame that to a lack of proper infrastructure, too much bureaucracy and a lot more. But still, every now and then we get a chance to cheer for a star athlete and this time it was Dipa Karmakar.
She was the first Indian who had qualified for the gymnastics finals and to top that, she was performing the Produnova vault which is a high risk move and can also lead to death if not done right.
Medal at Last!
It seemed all hope was lost for India, but then came Sakshi Malik from the wrestling domain and captured a bronze. The girl hails from a small town, Rohtak, and had started training at the age of 12.
She already has a silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and here’s hoping she can do a whole lot more in the coming years.