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5 things we’ll miss most from Rio 2016

2016-08-23 18:53
Chad le Clos and Michael Phelps (Getty)

Cape Town - The Rio Games have ended and, to be honest, we're feeling something of a void ever since the Olympic torch was extinguished.

It's been exceptional and lasting memories have been made.

Here are the top 5 things we'll miss from the Rio Games:

The wide variety of sport

In Rio, there were 28 sports played throughout the 17 days of competition and this year we saw two "new" sports - the return of golf and rugby sevens. Where else at one tournament would you get to see golfers, gymnasts, swimmers, judokas and weightlifters all competing in the same venue? Only at the Olympics!

Rio 2016 highlight: Golf returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 and there was some concern prior to the Games as many top golfers such as Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth, among others opted out. However, as soon as proceedings got underway, there were no problems whatsoever and it proved a major success with Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar (in the men's) and Inbee Park, Lydia Ko and Shanshan Feng winning the medals.

The rivalry

One thing was evident during the Rio Games - there was intense rivalry!

There was Michael Phelps’ revenge against our very own Chad le Clos, which resulted in the epic unimpressed stare he gave the South African.

Another rivalry of greats occurred on the track between Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin. The two have been competitors since 2004 in Athens and Bolt even went on to say that Gatlin “will feel his wrath”.

Rio 2016 highlight: An incident which made the citizens of Brazil upset was the behaviour of American goalkeeper Hope Solo. Prior to the Games, Solo took pictures of herself packing in multiple mosquito repellents and another wearing a hat with mosquito netting. Every time the goalkeeper received the ball, the crowd chanted an audible 'Zika'.

Retiring legends

This is where the best of the best go head to head, there’s no bigger or better stage. To be an Olympian is any sportswoman and sportsman’s dream and to become an Olympic medallist is an even greater accolade.

In Rio 2016, a few of our beloved stars bowed out, legendary athletes we’ll be talking about for eternity, such as Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.

Watching these athletes perform with passion and excel in what they do - despite having the whole world's gaze upon them - is amazing.

Rio 2016 highlight: Michael Phelps won the most medals out of all the athletes competing at the Games, as the American stepped on the podium no fewer than six times with five of them being gold and one silver. Phelps confirmed that he will now retire, giving him a total of 28 Olympic medals, 23 of them gold.

Seeing new records being broken

At the Rio Games, a whopping 27 world records were broken, eight of which each came from swimming and weightlifting. The rest of the world records came from track cycling (7), athletics (3) and archery (1).

Rio 2016 highlight: South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk broke Michael Johnson‘s 17-year-old record when he smashed it by 0.15 seconds in the men’s 800m. Van Niekerk became South Africa’s - and the world’s - newest sensation, even receiving acclaim from the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt.

Watching your country with pride

The thrill of watching your country participate in any sport at the Olympics is something to saviour.

South Africa had 137 athletes, with 22 of them picking up medals in five sports.

The South African national anthem was played twice, on both occasions at the Athletics stadium a feat that hadn’t been done in over 90 years.

However, the medallists aside, all our athletes made us proud (regardless of where they ended).

Rio 2016 highlight: Fiji won their first Olympic medal ever and it happened to be gold when they defeated Great Britain in the rugby sevens tournament. It was an emotional experience and accolade for the South Pacific island who has been in all, but two Olympic Games.

All images: Getty and ©Christiaan Kotze/SASPA

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