Rio 2016 Olympics: The Most Memorable Moments


The Rio Olympics ended with a spectacular carnival-inspired closing ceremony, and the official handover to 2020 hosts Tokyo.

The colourful ceremony, lasting almost three hours, celebrated Brazil’s arts and was held in a wet Maracana.

Among the highlights were Tokyo’s impressive showcase and a vibrant carnival parade.

“These were a marvellous Olympics, in a marvellous city,” said International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach.

The ceremony, watched by billions around the world, featured the parade of athletes and a dramatic extinguishing of the Olympic flame.

These are some of the memorable moments of the Rio 2016 Olympics


  1.  Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesa used the stage of Sunday’s Olympic marathon to daringly protest his own government back home: As he neared the finish line and a silver medal, Lilesa raised his arms to form an “X.” The gesture is a peaceful protest made by the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and one that is facing a brutal response to widespread protests that began late last year
  2. Ethiopian runner Almaz Ayana smashes 10km world record in ‘insane’ opening. The Ethiopian won in 29min 17.45sec, 14 seconds inside the record set in 1993 by China’s Wang Junxia, a member of the infamous Ma’s army. It was a margin equivalent to the length of the home straight.
  1. Syrian refugee, Yusra Mardini, wins her heat: Yusra Mardini of the Refugee Olympic Team competes in a heat for the women’s 100-meter butterfly. Mardini won her preliminary heat, but didn’t advance to the semifinals. Before she was forced to flee Syria, Mardini (along with her sister) was a competitive swimmer. She and her sister survived a harrowing journey crossing the Aegean Sea before finally reaching Europe.
  2. Fencer is first U.S. athlete to compete at Olympics in a hijab: Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first American athlete Monday to compete in the Olympics with a hijab, which she wears to adhere to the tenets of her Muslim faith. Muhammad, ranked eighth in the world in sabre, beat Ukranian Olena Kravatska 15-13 in her first match before falling to France’s Cecilia Berder 15-12 in the round of 16.
  3. Runners pick each other up after collision: Abbey D’Agostino, right, of the United States and Nikki Hamblin, left, of New Zealand became inextricably linked in Olympic lore by the chain of events that began when they collided and seemed to sacrifice any chance to win an Olympic medal to help each other to the finish line in the 5,000 meters race, “picking each other up, urging each other to continue, pushing each other to the finish.” D’Agostino was clearly in pain after her right knee gave out and, after she and Hamblin finished the race, both were advanced to the final by track officials.
  4. Usain Bolt wins third consecutive Olympic gold in 100 meters :Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt, left, finishes the 100 meters in 9.81 seconds, becoming the first athlete to win three straight golds in track’s marquee event. The 100 has long been one of the Olympics’ signature events, featuring athletic royalty such as Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis.
  5. 41-year-old Uzbek gymnast attempts the ‘vault of death’: Forty-one-year-old Uzbekistan gymnast Oksana Chusovitina was already something of a sensation before she competed in the women’s vault competition. She had made history by merely qualifying for her seventh Olympic Games in Rio, becoming the oldest athlete ever to compete in women’s gymnastics. But she didn’t stop there. In an attempt to upstage her competition, and perhaps make a run at United States sensation Simone Biles — who is just two years older than Chusovitina’s 17-year-old son — Chusovitina attempted the Produnova, which many have deemed “the vault of death.”
  6. Shaunae Miller of Bahamas dives across finish line to win gold in 400 meters: Shaunae Miller, left, nipped one of the best runners to ever represent the United States, Allyson Felix, by launching herself head-first across the finish line and winning the biggest race of her life in 49.44 seconds. She was just 0.07 seconds ahead of Felix, who despite a late charge, remained upright and stunned at the finish.
  7. Phelps beating Le Clos:The duel in the pool lived up to the hype. Michael Phelps is a phenomenon and the 200m butterfly final underlined that. It was the one he wanted back – upstart Chad le Clos stole it in London – and the American used the death stares, dug deep and reclaimed his gold.
  1. Mo Farah become a double Olympic champion – again: The Brit added a stunning gold medal in the 5,000m in Rio, having already claimed victory in the 10,000m earlier in the Games.

It ensures a long distance double for Farah, four years on from his remarkable success at London 2012.