Best moments from the Rio Olympics 2016 Advertisement

Best moments from the Rio Olympics 2016

Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu set new records. Plus, the sweetest homecomings ever!

By Salva Mubarak  August 9th, 2016

Rio 2016 Olympics has been a series of amazing wins and heart-warming moments. Here’s our pick of best #Rio2016 moments yet:

1) Just when you thought supermodel Gisele Bündchen had retired, she came back to own the opening ceremony. She officially completed the longest runway walk ever – 500m, in case you wanted to know – to ‘Girl From Ipanema’ in a stunning gown by Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch.

Brazilian national treasure #GiseleBundchen wins gold for the longest runway walk ever at the #rio2016 #OpeningCeremony

A video posted by ELLE India (@elleindiaofficial) on Aug 6, 2016 at 12:11am PDT


2) Dame Judi Dench drew attention to climate change with a moving poem. Oh, and every athlete at the games received a seed to be planted in the Athletes Forest in Brazil.


3) Dipa Karmakar became India’s first gymnast to enter the finals at the Olympics. She qualified for the individual vault finals after finishing on the eighth position.

Gymnast #DipaKarmakar made history (again) as the first Indian to qualify for the individual vault finals, at #Rio2016.

A photo posted by ELLE India (@elleindiaofficial) on Aug 7, 2016 at 9:55pm PDT


4) Ranked eighth in the world, sabre fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, became America’s first athlete to compete wearing a hijab, making an incredible statement against stereotypes.


5) World’s first refugee team is to compete in Rio 2016, with athletes from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This team represents the displaced millions who have no country.


6) Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo said YES! Her girlfriend Marjorie Enya, a volunteer at the stadium, gave us the #RelationshipGoal to end all #RelationshipGoals!


7) With his 23rd gold medal, American swimmer Michael Phelps was here to remind us just what makes him the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. Phelps also has the maximum number of Olympic golds to his credit. But after creating this new record, Phelps has decided to officially retire from competitive swimming. He insists that this time it’s absolutely final and he wants to focus on raising a family with fiancée Nicole Johnson.

8) Ryan Murphy won gold in men’s 100m backstroke, which makes this letter he wrote as a kid even more precious:


9) Thirteen year old Gaurika Singh, from Nepal, is this year’s youngest athlete. She survived the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last year and has decided to donate all her winnings to the earthquake relief fund.


10) Even though Brit swimmer Adam Peaty made history by fetching Britain its first gold after a long spell, it was Peaty’s grandma who stole the spotlight with her adorably supportive tweets. #OlympicNan is a *thing* now!


11) We met another Leonardo DiCaprio doppelganger! American archer – and silver medalist –  Brady Ellison went viral because of his striking resemblance to Leo.  


12) Images of Egyptian volleyball player Doaa Elghobashy wearing a hijab and German player Kira Walkenhorst in a bikini went viral. The picture seemed to embody the spirit of Olympics and celebrated the cultural contrast.


13) The Rio Olympics took ‘going green’ to another level when the normally blue pool water at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre mysteriously turned green for the women’s synchronised 10m platform final. This, of course, spawned several (hilarious) internet memes and tweets:

14) Now it may seem like Ryan Lochte took a page out of Kylie Jenner’s book. But that’s not really why his hair is this curious shade of green. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you bleach your hair before jumping into a coloured pool.

Screen Shot 2016 08 16 at 5.44.55 PM

15) India’s lone male archer Atanu Das won against Cuba’s Adrian Puentes and entered the pre-quarterfinals of the individual recurve event.


16) Vikas Krishan Yadav kick-started India’s boxing campaign with a 3-0 win over USA’s Charles Conwell in the men’s middleweight category. Vikas has now entered the pre-quarterfinal of the competition.

17) The men’s hockey team added to Team India’s incredible performance on Day 4 after a surprising 2-1 win against Argentina!

18) Canadian swimmer Santo Condorelli wasn’t afraid to let the world witness his weird and funny pre-race ritual – he flips off his dad before he jumps into the pool. “It calms him down on the blocks for sure,” his father Joseph said. “It’s a communication between him and I to calm down and get ready. Racing is about being at peace.” 

19) Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui is officially the goofiest athlete around. The 20-year-old thought she placed fourth in the semi-finals of the 100m backstroke on Day 2 of the Olympics, till a reporter informed her she came third. Her reaction was priceless.



And then this:


20) Simone Manuel became the first African American woman to win an individual gold medal in swimming after winning the women’s 100m freestyle competition. 

21) Yusra Mardini, the Syrian refugee who helped rescue 20 other refugees by pushing their sinking ferry for three and a half hours until they reached the shore, won her 100m butterfly swimming heat. She didn’t qualify for the semifinals, but she’s already a huge inspiration.


22) Simone Biles cemented her status as the world’s greatest gymnast by cinching the woman’s all-around Olympic gold medal. In case that wasn’t awesome enough, get this- Biles also became first woman in 20 years (yes!) to hold both world and Olympic titles at the same time.


23) US gymnast Aly Raisman’s parents deserve the warmest hugs. No one has ever looked more terrified and uneasy watching their kids perform.  

 And of course the internet was quick to react too:

24) The men’s rugby sevens team from Fiji won the country its first medal ever – a gold at that – by defeating Britain. Needless to say, Fiji’s celebrations soon took over Twitter:


25) Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is winning the internet with his enthusiastic support of Team USA in Rio.




26) American gymnast Gabrielle Douglas’ performance was weighed down by cyber bullies. Haters claimed she was being unpatriotic in not placing her hand on her chest during the American national anthem, that she wasn’t smiling enough, or cheering for her teammates. Note: All completely unrelated to her performance. Ghostbusters star and comedienne Leslie Jones stood up for her and countered the hateful hashtag #CrabbyGabby with her own #LOVE4GABBYUSA. 

Soon support for Douglas poured in from around the world:




27) While Usain Bolt made history by becoming the first person to win gold in 100m racing for the third consecutive time, all the Internet could talk about was the incredible picture, clicked by photographer Cameron Spencer, that has now led to Rio 2016’s most popular meme:



28) Game Of Thrones fans around the world rallied to support Australian high jump finalist Brandon Starc. Because, Brandon Stark! You remember the freshly-minted three-eyed-raven. #HouseStarc started trending and the memes just kept on coming:




29) American swimmer Katie Ledecky made a new world record in women’s 800m freestyle, and took home four golds to boot. It prompted Michael Phelps to recreate an adorable old photograph – with a twist. A nine-year-old Ledecky once sought Phelps’ autograph, and now here he was queueing up! Aww.


30) Dipa Karmakar narrowly missed creating history as India’s first Olympic medal-winning gymnast, when she finished fourth in the competition. But support from her fans continued:


31) Wrestler Sakshi Malik became a national hero after bringing India its first medal of the Rio 2016 Olympics. Malik won a bronze in the 58 kg women’s wrestling category, after beating Krygyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova, and became India’s first female wrestler to bag an Olympic medal.

The video capturing her family’s response went viral too:


32) After beating China’s Wang Yihan in the women’s badminton quarter finals, India’s PV Sindhu went on to secure a spectacular win against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the semi-finals. She also made history by becoming the first Indian to reach the finals. After a thrilling match against Spain’s Carolina Marin, PV Sindhu finished with a silver, bringing up India’s medal tally up by two! 

Sindhgu getty 875


33) The world’s best gymnast (who, incidentally, inspired us to try glitter eye make-up), Simone Biles met her celebrity crush Zac Efron and freaked the hell out. Biles even admitted to having a cardboard cut-out of him in her room, so when Today’s Hoda Kotb finally got them to meet, it was the stuff of dreams:


34) American weightlifter Sarah Robles won Team USA its first weightlifting medal in 16 years. Robles won a bronze despite suffering from Madelung’s deformity, which makes her wrists erupt with pain every time she lifts.

A photo posted by Sarah Robles (@roblympian) on Aug 16, 2016 at 7:29am PDT


35) Swimmer Joseph Schooling made history as Singapore’s first-ever Olympic gold medallist by beating his idol Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly final event.

 100mbutterfly 0

Over 400 people waited to greet him at the airport back in Singapore, where he was received with a special water cannon salute.

36) American swimmer Missy Franklin shared a heart-warming video of her homecoming after a disappointing run at the games. Franklin, who had won four gold medals and a bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, managed to secure a gold for her team but had hoped for much more. Her friends and family did the sweetest thing: