After one week, the Olympics have given us some thrilling moments that will go down in history — Katie Ledecky getting a medal in every event she swam, Usain Bolt crushing the field again, and Michael Phelps winning another five golds. But for every moment highlighted on primetime TV, there are other lesser-known yet still epic events going down in Brazil's capital city. Here are nine ones you might have missed.
1. In a move that would have made Vince McMahon, and the World Wrestling Federation proud, Cuban wrestler Mijáin López celebrated his victory in the Greco-Roman heavyweight final by hugging his coach, and then body slamming him to the mat. He had reason to celebrate, it was his third straight gold medal, but maybe the next time he wins he could just high-five his coach.
2. In what may be one of the funniest commentaries ever on an Olympic sport — seriously it could have come straight from Monty Python — Irish broadcaster Francis Higgins spends three-and-a-half minutes attempting to describe what he is watching. Unfortunately, he has absolutely no idea what is going on, and spends most of the time mocking, insulting, and making fun of the starting lineup for the women’s Laser Radial sailing event. It’s a gem.
3. Before each race he competes in, Canadian swimmer Santo Condorelli goes through one of the strangest rituals ever seen. He flips the bird to his father. It started when the then eight-year old Condorelli was frustrated by getting beat by older swimmers. His father suggested that flipping him off would send a message to the other swimmers that his son was there to win. Something must have clicked with that off-color gesture; he finished fourth in the 100-meter freestyle.
4. Just making it to the Olympics was a big deal for David Katoatau. His homeland of Kiribati is quickly disappearing under the Pacific Ocean as waters rise. He dances after every single lift he accomplishes to remind the world of his tiny, embattled country. He told Reuters this: “Most people don’t know where Kiribati is. I want people to know more about us, so I use weightlifting, and my dancing, to show the world. I don’t know how many more years it will be before it sinks.”
5. Simone Biles draws a dollar sign on the balance beam every time before she climbs upon it to compete. She says the gesture wasn't planned, but many point back to the 2013 world championships when an announcer mispronounced her name calling her Si-Monay saying that’s when it started. She could just be being modest. After one of the greatest performances this year in Olympic History, raking up four gold’s and one bronze, her legend can only soar up from here.
6. Watching the Olympic women’s rugby final had to have been tough for Brazilian player Isadora Cerullo. Her team was defeated earlier in the tournament. But after the gold medal ceremony, her girlfriend Marjorie Enya, the stadium manager, walked onto the field and asked her longtime girlfriend to marry her, making it the first marriage proposal of the games.
7. When you know you have secured a medal you just want to celebrate. Some people jump up and down, others cry, but Lithuanian weightlifter Aurimas Didzbalis did something quite unexpected: a standing backflip. That might not seem like much to you, but remember he had just lifted 864 pounds. Now, that’s an impressive feat.
8. Most post-race interviews with athletes are boring affairs filled with clichés, catchphrases, and practiced comments. Not so with Irish brothers Gary and Paul O’Donovan. Once the dust settled on their surprise silver medal finish in the lightweight double sculls rowing competition, the two gave one of the most hysterical interviews ever. Touching on their drug test, how hungry they are, and their thirst for a beer really made it one for the books.
9. Winning a silver medal at the Olympics can certainly be filed away as a lifetime highlight. For Chinese diver He Zi, it undoubtedly was. But, when teammate Qin Kai came out onto the pool deck immediately after the ceremony with a diamond ring, dropped to one knee, and proposed, things got even more memorable. Zi said yes to the thunderous applause of the spectators.
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