The 2016 Rio Olympic Games is now in its halfway point and the world has seen no shortage of controversy, shattered dreams and heroic medal hauls. For those who haven’t been keeping up to speed with the sporting world’s biggest event, we’ve taken the liberty to compile the competition’s most dramatic events to date.
#1 Michael Phelps Becomes Greatest Olympian Ever
With the first week down, American swimmer Michael Phelps became the world’s greatest Olympian to date with 23 Olympic gold medals to his name. That’s 14 gold medals more than his closest competitor. The 31-year-old ‘veteran’ came out on top in his last race at Rio for the 4×100-metre medley relay, a race which he deemed his final competitive race. He also said the same thing after the 2012 London games. Watch Phelps’ 22nd individual gold medal taking above.
#2 Australia Give The Dream Team A Scare
In a match that was widely expected to be the taking of the American side, the Boomers gave the Dream Team a fight right until the dying minutes of the 4th quarter, ending the match 98-88 the Americans’ way. The close win was credited to the Australian-born Kyrie Irving who contributed 19 points to his American side and prevented the surging Aussies from from closing in any further than four points with 1:35s left on the clock. See what the Americans were up against in the video above.
#3 Novak Djokovic Leaves Rio Crying In First Round Exit
One of the world’s greatest tennis players made a shock first round exit at the Rio Olympic Games and his emotions couldn’t be contained. Given that this could well be the last Olympic Games for Djokovic, the devastating result obviously wasn’t what he had in mind. The Serbian player went down to Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2). See Djokovic’s emotional exit from the stadium above.
#4 Weightlifter Dislocates Arm
Do not watch this if you have a weak stomach. Armenian weightlifter Andranik Karapetyan attempted to lift 195kg when his left arm buckled under the weight and bent awkwardly above his head. The result was a badly dislocated arm which is enough to make any audience member wince.
#5 French Gymnast Breaks Leg
Similar to the weightlifting, French gymnast Samir Aït Saïd looked composed as he embarked on his run. Things went awry when he landed wrong and snapped his leg. Aït Saïd, visibly distraught did take it like a real champion though, looking more disappointed than in pain. He even managed to wave to the crowds as he was stretchered off the floor. Ambulance staff even dropped him as they were loading him into the car.
#6 Middle Finger Motivation
One way to fight the nerves of international competition at the Rio Olympics? Flip the bird to your father watching on from the stands. That’s exactly what Canadian swimmer Santo Condorelli does to his father before every race since he was eight years old. Dad, being the good man that he is, returns the kind gesture. Cameras at Rio have captured the moment with officials not too pleased that it appears the swimmer is giving attitude to a global audience of billions. Nonetheless, he told the press that: “You’ve got to build your confidence yourself and say eff everybody else you’re racing. [My father] said ‘every time you’re behind the blocks, give the finger and I’ll give it back to you.”
#7 Backflip Weightlifting
Losing gold can also mean winning at life. That’s what Lithuanian weightlifter Aurimas Didžbalis showed the world when he failed to lift 223kg but scored gold for a bronze medal celebration the world should be proud of.