My medal platform of memories is filled by two people and a team that not only successfully defended their titles, but made history doing it.
The bronze goes to judoka Kayla Harrison, who become the first American to win two gold medals in her sport. The silver goes to middleweight boxer Claressa Shields, the first American — male or female — to win two Olympic boxing titles.
And the gold goes to the women’s water polo team, which not only became the first repeat champion in the history of its sport, but did it with a heavy heart after the brother of Coach Adam Krikorian died of a heart attack two days before the Games began.
John Coates, IOC vice president regarding the Rio Games
Dark clouds hovered over Maracana Stadium at dusk, with a sudden wind tugging at flags and whipping the Olympic flame.
Then a drenching rain began to fall.
The storm that intruded on Sunday night’s closing ceremony at the Summer Olympics befit a mega-sporting event that, over the last few weeks, had blended spectacle with more than a few glitches and negative headlines.
After Kevin Durant made a three-pointer early in the second quarter, he walked back down the court while pounding his fist on his chest and yelling at his teammates on the bench.
Turns out he was just clearing his throat.
It was Durant’s monster second quarter that ended any notion of an upset and put the U.S. on the gold-medal stand for the third consecutive Olympics with a 96-66 victory over Serbia, which surprised in these Olympics by taking the silver.