RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil—There’s nothing like drama to spice up the Olympics, and even before the cauldron was lit on Aug. 5 to IGNITE the competition, controversy swirled about the Summer Games. But with events underway, Rio 2016 is delivering lots of thrills and spills.
What sports are you watching? From swimming and diving to BMX racing, 28 sports make up the most famous international sporting event in the world. In the stunningly beautiful Opening Ceremonies, athletes from 206 nations marched into Rio’s famous Macaranā Stadium. A special Refugee Olympic Team made up of athletes not able to represent their home country also marched in.
Doping, athletes using performance enhancing drugs or other methods to cheat, continues to be a problem for the Olympics. Right before the games, Russia was caught in a doping scandal and 113 Russian athletes were banned from competing! Brazil, the first South American country to host the Olympics, faces its own problems including serious political, economic, security and health issues.
Qualifying 292 women athletes, the United States set a new record for the most women sent to the games. There are 263 American men competing. Team USA started off with a bang as 19-year-old sharpshooter Ginny Thrasher took the first gold medal of the games in air rifle.
Fans were awed by the Final Five, the U.S. Women’s gymnastics team led by sensation Simone Biles. They stuck every routine to win the team gold!
As of press time, Team USA leads all nations with 32 medals, followed by China, 25, and Japan, 18.