Sports OLYMPICS

The 2016 Rio Olympics have come to a close with Americans earning 121 medals -- 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze -- their biggest haul ever, not counting the boycotted 1984 Los Angeles Games or the 1904 St. Louis Games, when hardly anyone else showed up.

Rio Olympics: Swimming platform breaks loose and washes up on beach

Beachgoers were met with a huge surprise on Saturday in Copacabana. Locals and tourists arriving at the shore found a huge blue Olympic swimming platform washed up on the sand right where dozens of people swim every day. 

"Yeah, it's clearly a bit dangerous to smash up right there. That's why they put up those little guard rails and tape," says Roberta Tostes, whose mother runs a beach business in front of the ocean and was kind enough to let the L.A. Times use her phone to snap the scene (since your correspondent had intended to take a dip right there).

A small group of men in Rio 2016 gear milling about at the scene said the powerful ocean had snapped the cable and someone should be around to get it sometime. Workers at the Tostes family business, which sells coconuts and drinks on the sand, said the structure was there when they arrived at 7 a.m. As of 2:30 p.m. Rio time, it remained beached in front of them, with locals ignoring it. A few meters to each side of the platform, children swam in the waves.

Just before 3 p.m, a boat came and towed the platform away.

The platform was to be used for the marathon swimming events, which start in just 48 hours.

"Security measures have been adopted, and there are no risks for the swimmers," a Rio 2016 spokesperson said. "So that these measures can be carried out, the training scheduled for Saturday has been canceled."

The women's 10k race is still scheduled for Monday, with the start to be performed on a reserve platform.

Strong winds have been a problem for the Rio Games, with two days of the rowing regatta canceled by heavy winds.

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