If you followed some media reports, the Olympic Games in Rio were set to be a disaster; buildings were not going to be completed or not up to standard, top athletes were going to be absent and the Zika virus was rampant. As has been the case for previous Olympics, it generally all works out well in the end, with some great sporting memories created.
A poll on Topend Sports found your favourite sports to watch were football (soccer) and cricket, but when it comes to the Olympics there is a different array of sports to choose from. The poll of your favourite Olympic sports was overwhelmed with equestrian support. No doubt many people enjoy this sport, but it is hard to believe that it would be the most popular. Other data suggests that the most popular sports are football, athletics, swimming, gymnastics and volleyball. I enjoy watching all the sports (when the TV channels show them!), though for me the highlights are the stories behind the performances. The drama of Mo Farrah falling in the 10km then getting up to win. In the women's 5km, New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin going back to help up USA's Abbey D'Agostino. And after the Games the Olympic spirit continues. Polish discus thrower Piotr Malachowski sold his silver medal to help a boy with cancer.
The Greatest Ever?
Did it live up to your expectations? Some athletes succeeded as expected, such as Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, while others failed to deliver. Phelps has now cemented himself as the greatest ever medal winner
, with a record medal haul that looks hard to beat. With Bolt repeating the triple again, he has stepped up as a contender to the title of the greatest Olympian ever
, but the majority still think that Phelps is better
Who Won The Most Medals?
When it comes to medals, we all expected the USA to top the medal table, which they did
by a big margin (thanks again to Phelps who won more than most countries). Prior to the games I collated predictions from heaps of sources
, most of these predicting China to be second in the medal table. The banning of many Russian athletes obviously created uncertainty in the results. A surprise was the success of Great Britain, edging ahead of China in the quest for gold medals. The best prediction
was one that did not even look at recent sports results, but based it solely on economic factors. A country's size and economy does play a role in developing and producing elite athletes, as shown by the success of the US and China. When the medal tally is adjusted for population
, smaller countries like the Bahamas, Granada and Jamaica have done quite well.
Now the four year wait is on for Tokyo in 2020, with plenty of interest in the added new sports
of skateboarding, surfing, karate and climbing. It keeps getting more fascinating.