Rio 2016 — golden memories and magic moments from the Olympics
The curtain has come down on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — and with it 16 days of high-class sport, emotion, and memories from Brazil.
This was the first Olympics since the launch of Sportsbet.io, who covered the Games in detail. As well as the 367 markets on each and every event, we previewed the action from Rio on this blog, as well as tweeting about it via our Twitter account.
With the Games now over for another four years, we’re looking back at some of the best moments from a golden games in Brazil.
Usain Bolt’s triple triple
To win the treble of 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold at the same Olympics is the holy grail for any sprinter — something only Carl Lewis and Jesse Owens had ever achieved before Usain Bolt did it in Beijing in 2008.
For Usain Bolt to not just do that once — but twice more, in London and now in Rio, is remarkable, and shows the Jamaican to be the greatest athlete of all time.
Bolt’s charisma and ability make him famous everywhere in the world, and his importance as a clean athlete at a time when doping seems to be prevalent is just as important to his sport.
Rio will be Bolt’s final Olympics, and the Games will be a lot poorer without the fastest man of all time.
Phelps gets five golds at his fifth Games
Like Bolt, American swimmer Michael Phelps is a modern-day Olympic legend.
Taking five golds from a possible six events (he got a silver in the other), for the fourth Olympics in a row he finished as the single most successful competitor.
The 31-year-old initially retired after London 2012, but launched a comeback in 2014 with Rio in mind.
Total dominance in the pool has taken his career gold tally to 23 — setting a record that will surely never be broken.
Phelps has retired once again from swimming so barring another comeback will not be in Tokyo, and like Bolt, will be missed immensely by the Olympics.
Fiji’s first ever medal
The inclusion of Rugby Sevens for the first time lit up the opening week of the Olympics, as fans in Rio and worldwide were treated to the fast-paced and electrifying new sport.
The crowning moment, however, came in the men’s final. Fiji, the island nation who’d never previously won an Olympic medal, let alone gold, faced up against Great Britain in the final.
The country came to a standstill as their heroes dominated their British opponents, romping home 43–7.
Celebrations from the Fijian players and supporters will live long in the memory, as they took home the gold — as called by our tipster in his pre-Olympics picks.
Neymar seals victory for Brazil
No Olympics is complete without a defining moment for the hosts — and no moment was more defining for Brazil than taking gold in the men’s football.
For a country that was won five World Cups, the failure to secure Olympic gold in the sport has been a national embarrassment over the years, and anything other than first place this time around would have been humiliating.
Despite low attendances for many of the other events, there wasn’t a spare seat in the Maracana as Brazil took on Germany, in a pulsating match that could have gone either way, before going to penalties.
After Weverton saved a spot-kick from Nils Petersen, it fell to captain, and national icon Neymar, to score the decisive penalty and deliver gold to Brazil.
Redemption, emotion, and drama — the football had it all, and Neymar’s winner was the perfect way to round off 16 days of fantastic sport in Brazil.