On 5 August 2016, the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro were officially declared open by Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer. Former Brazilian long-distance runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, who won the bronze medal at Athens Olympics in 2004, lit the Olympic Cauldron during the opening ceremony.
Five-time Olympian and gold medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Abhinav Bindra led the biggest ever Indian Olympic contingent as it entered the Maracanã Stadium. Among the Indian athletes was tennis ace Leander Paes making a record seventh Olympic appearance.
The 2016 Rio Olympics were declared closed on 22 August 2016, by the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, following a ceremony which culminated in the handover of the Olympic flag to 2020 hosts Tokyo. The 2016 Games, which were the first to be held in South America, saw 11,000 athletes from 207 National Olympic Committees compete for 306 sets of medals.
Mascot: The mascot of Rio games was named Vinicius (after the poet of Bosa Nova), a mixture of all the Brazilian animals.
Bronze medal-winning wrestler Sakshi Malik was India’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony.
USA topped the medals tally with 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze medals. Great Britain was second with 27 gold, 23 silver and 17 bronze medals. China came third with 26 gold, 18 silver and 26 bronze medals. India could manage only two medals-bronze in Wrestling and silver in Badminton.
- South Korean archer and former world number one Kim Woo-jin set a new world record, during the ranking round of the men’s individual archery competition. He scored the first-ever 700 in archery recurve, beating the previous record of 699 set by compatriot Im Dong-Hyun at London 2012.
- American swimmer Katie Ledecky broke the world record in 400-metre freestyle, giving her country its first swimming gold of the Rio Olympics. The 19-year-old clocked 3:56.46 to better the previous record of 3:58:37, also held by her.
- Kenya’s middle distance runner Conseslus Kipruto set a new Olympic record in the men’s 3000-metre steeplechase event after clocking 8:03.28 minutes in the final.
- Jamaica’s Omar McLeod became the country’s first-ever Olympic 110-meter hurdles champion. He clocked a time of 13.05 seconds, which is the slowest winning time in an Olympic final since 1992.
- Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson completed the double of 100-m and 200-m Gold to become the world’s fastest woman. This was also the first time a woman had completed a double since USA’s Florence Griffith Joyner at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Thompson clocked timings of 10.71 seconds and 21.78 seconds in 100-m and 200-m, respectively.
- Usain Bolt became the first athlete to complete a triple-triple of winning golds in 100-metre, 200-metre and 4X100-metre at three consecutive Olympics. With a total of nine golds in as many events, Bolt has the second most number of Olympic gold medals, behind American swimmer Michael Phelps.
- American sprinter Allyson Felix became the first female track and field athlete to win five Olympic gold medals.
- Great Britain’s 58-year-old Nick Skelton won the gold medal in the individual jumping event in equestrian, thereby becoming the oldest medallist in Olympic equestrian history. He also became the oldest medallist at the Rio Olympics and Britain’s oldest Olympic gold medallist since 1908, when shooter Joshua Milner won the gold, aged 61 years.
- Great Britain women’s hockey team won its first ever Olympic gold after defeating defending champions Netherlands in the penalty shootout.
- Argentinian men’s hockey team beat Belgium 4-2 to win their nation’s first ever medal in the men’s hockey event in Olympic history. The silver-medal finish for Belgium was their best finish at the Olympic Games in 96 years.
- Brazil won its first ever Olympic gold in football after defeating Germany on penalties in the final.
- German women’s football team won its first-ever Olympic gold medal after defeating Sweden 2-1.
- American athlete Ryan Crouser broke a 28-year old Olympic record to win the gold in men’s shot put. His 22.52-meter throw broke the previous record of 22.47-metre made at 1988 Olympics.
- Claressa Maria Shields of the United States won gold in women’s middle (69-75kg) boxing to become the first US boxer, male or female, to win two Olympic boxing golds.
- USA’s Gwen Jorgensen won the gold medal in the women’s triathlon.
- USA’s Ashton Eaton won gold in the men’s decathlon.
- Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet won gold in Steeplechase with the second fastest time in history–8:59.75.
- Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the men’s marathon gold.
- Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas threw herself across the finish line in a daring lunge to beat out favourite Allyson Felix of the US for gold in the women’s 400m. By diving past the finish line, Miller crossed .07 seconds ahead of Felix.
- Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana won the women’s 10,000 meters as also broke the world record set in 1993 with a time of 29 minutes, 17.45 seconds.
- Monica Puig of Puerto Rico won the Tennis women’s singles gold—first gold medal ever won by Puerto Rico.
- USA’s Michelle Carter, won the women’s shot put final, becoming the first-ever female American shot put gold medallist, and the first to take the medal stand since 1960. (Her father, Michael Carter, a former NFL player, had won the shot put silver medal at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.)
- The artistic gymnastics women’s team gold was won by USA.
- Cyclist Kristin Armstrong, just shy of her 43rd birthday, won her third consecutive gold medal in the women’s individual time trial. She became the first person to win the same event three times in a row, and the oldest woman to clinch gold in any Olympic sport.
- Swimmers Yusra Mardini and Rami Anis were part of the refugee team—refugees of war-torn Syria who survived making the dangerous journey from Syria across the Aegean Sea to Greece in boats. It was the first time the International Olympic Committee allowed a team made up of Stateless refugees to compete in an Olympics.
- Dipa Karmakar, India’s first ever female gymnast at the Olympics, became the first ever Indian to qualify for the apparatus finals of artistic Gymnastics at the Games. She bagged the fourth position, missing the bronze medal by a whisker.
- Sakshi Malik clinched the bronze medal in 58-kg freestyle wrestling. Notably, Malik also became the first Indian female wrestler to ever win an Olympic medal.
- P.V. Sindhu became the first Indian female and first ever Indian shuttler to win an Olympic silver after she lost to world number one Carolina Marin in the final. She also became India’s youngest individual Olympic medallist. Before her, Vijender Singh was India’s youngest Olympic medallist. Sindhu became the fifth Indian woman to win an Olympic medal after Karnam Malleswari, Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal and Sakshi Malik