The Rio Olympics come to an end today with final events and then the closing ceremony.
As expected, it has been a wild ride with tremendous individual performances and a gold medal bonanza for the United States.
These games were also marked with the Ryan Lochte robbery controversy as well as more failed doping tests and some criminal activity in the streets of the host city.
All in all, however, it was another spectacular two weeks of athletic competition that will be continued in four years in Tokyo.
The honor of carrying the U.S. flag tonight goes to gymnast Simone Biles. She was given the honor yesterday by her Team USA teammates.
The final game for the U.S. men’s basketball team was no contest as the Americans blew out Serbia for the gold medal 96-66. After several close games the final contest was never in doubt. Kevin Durant led the way with a game high 30 points while DeMarcus Cousins added 13. The U.S. has won three straight gold medals now in men’s basketball.
Boxer Claressa Shields from Flint, Michigan, has achieved her goal, a second straight gold medal in women’s boxing. She was in charge of the gold medal match and won with a unanimous decision. After hearing the decision Shields did a cartwheel in the ring before running around the ring while holding the American flag over her head. She leaves Rio with her second career gold medal, which makes her the only American, male or female, to have won two gold medals in boxing.
American wrestler Kyle Snyder won the gold in the 97 kilogram class to become the youngest Olympic wrestling champion in U.S. history. The 20-year-old beat Khetag Goziumov of Azerbaijan 2-1 in the men’s freestyle final. Snyder is the second straight American wrestler to win Olympic gold in his weight class. Jake Varner, who Snyder beat at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April, won in London four years ago.
The men’s marathon has been completed and American Galen Rupp won the bronze, finishing behind Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya and Feyisa Lelisa of Ethiopia. The winning time was 2 hours, 8 minutes and 44 seconds. Rupp is the first American to medal in this event since 2004.
The United States rallied from a two-set deficit against Russia in men’s volleyball to win the bronze medal with a 3-2 victory. Ranked fifth in the world, the Americans won 23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13. Matt Anderson spiked for match point against the stunned Russians. The United States has three gold medals in men’s volleyball, most recently in the 2008 Beijing Games.
The gold medal match was won by the host country, beating Italy in three sets, 25-22, 28-26, 26-24.
U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun says further action is coming in the matter of 12-time swimming medalist Ryan Lochte and his three teammates whose story of a robbery overshadowed the Rio de Janeiro Games. Blackmun offered no details on what disciplinary action may be coming, but made no effort to hide his frustration with the matter.
“They let down our athletes,” Blackmun said. “They let down Americans.”
As the last day of competition winds up, the medal count shows the U.S. on top with 121. Broken down, the Americans have 45 gold medals, 37 silver and 38 bronze. China is a distant second with 70 medals while Britain has 67.
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