Olympic Games 2016: Winners and Losers

The Olympics are over for another four years and they’ve provided us with some memorable moments, both good and bad. Let’s have a look at some of what’s happened over the last 16 days.


Usain Bolt

The Jamaican sprinter was on course for an unprecedented treble-treble heading into these Games and he duly delivered. He was the fan’s favourite in the 100m final, racing against nemesis Justin Gatlin and he won. He was bitterly disappointed that he didn’t break his own world record in the 200m, but still left with a gold medal. Finally he was a member of the team who won the 4x100m relay, cementing his Olympic legacy. His record is unlikely to be beaten anytime soon.

A photo posted by Usain St.Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) on

Mo Farah

Farah was the only member of 2012’s “Super Saturday” participants to retain his gold. In fact, he retained both of his golds, winning both the 5,000m and 10,000m, falling over in the latter event before rallying to win. Farah’s now won 4 gold medals and can argue that he is now Great Britain’s greatest Olympic track star.

A photo posted by Mo Farah🇬🇧 (@gomofarah) on

Jason Kenny and Laura Trott

Cycling’s golden couple won a total of 5 gold medals in these games. To put this achievement in perspective, Africa as a continent won 9 in total. Trott’s Olympic record now stands at four events participated in, four golds won, and she can now claim the title of Britain’s greatest female Olympian. Whilst Kenny won an impressive three medals in Rio 2016, adding to the two that he won in 2012. Both of them are young enough to compete in Tokyo in four years’ time, meaning that by the time that they retire, they could be head and shoulders above some of Britain’s other great Olympians.

A photo posted by Laura Trott (@laura_trott31) on

Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin

You’d be forgiven for not recognising the names of these two ladies, but they provided one of the moments of the Olympics. After colliding in their 5000m heat, D’Agostino tore her cruciate ligaments, but both runners insisted on finishing the race. Hamblin helped her to her feet in a moment of true sportsmanship and Olympic spirit.

Simone Biles

The 19-year old American gymnast became one of the stars of the Games, producing a number of outstanding performances, which culminated in her winning 5 medals, 4 gold and a bronze. She’s already won over 30 major medals in gymnastics and is already tipped to be one of the greatest of all time.

A photo posted by Simone Biles (@simonebiles) on


Rugby Sevens was new to the Olympics, but the Fijians have a rich heritage in the sport. The Pacific Islanders had never won a medal prior to these Games, but they arrived in Rio as the favourites to win gold. They duly delivered and sparked mass jubilation in their home country.

Max Whitlock

Great Britain had never won a gold medal in Gymnastics at the Olympics. Step forward Max Whitlock who won two in the space of an hour. Prior to these Games, it was almost unthinkable that Team GB would win anything in Gymnastics, but Whitlock proved everyone wrong and was the star of a day which saw Great Britain win 5 gold medals in 6 hours.

A photo posted by Max whitlock (@maxwhitlock) on

Nick Skelton

The 58-year old showjumper defied his age and collected a gold medal, becoming the oldest winner at the 2016 Games. Many would think that after breaking his neck and having a hip replacement that his career would be over, but the hard work that he put in was rewarded on the podium. He’s already announced that he won’t be at Tokyo in four years’ time, due to the age of the horse, but this was the crowning accomplishment of his career.

A photo posted by GCT (@globalchampionstour) on

Team GB Women’s Hockey

Great Britain reached their first ever hockey final at the Olympics, playing against a Holland side who were the current world champions. The game finished 3-3 and went to penalties. Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch was the star of the show, saving two penalties before Helen Richardson-Walsh and Hollie Webb converted for Team GB, winning a first Olympic gold medal.

Michael Phelps

The American swimmer won his 22nd gold medal in Rio 2016, further establishing himself as the most decorated Olympian of all time. His win in the 200m butterfly saw him become the first person to win individual swimming gold in Olympic Games 12 years apart, and also saw him break a 96 year record and become the oldest man to win an individual swimming gold. As if he hasn’t broken enough records, his 13th individual gold broke a record that has stood since 152 BC, where Leonidas of Rhodes won 12 events in the ancient Olympics.

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Team GB

Team GB won an incredible 67 medals in these Games, the most they’ve won in any “away Olympic Games”. They became the first nation to increase their medal haul following their own hosting of the Games.

A photo posted by Team GB (@teamgb) on

Lee Eun-Ju and Hong Un-Jong

Two gymnasts, South Korea’s Lee Eun-Ju and North Korea’s Hong Un-Jong put aside their nation’s political differences and posed for a smiling selfie together.


John Inverdale

It was not a memorable Olympics for BBC presenter John Inverdale. He fell out with Sir Steve Redgrave at the rowing, when he called the five-time gold medallist “Oddjob”, whilst poor research left him red-faced when interviewing Andy Murray. His final moment came when he passed over World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua’s answer to his question to focus in on other events.

A photo posted by Miha_mimi (@mish_miha) on

Louis Smith

Teammate Max Whitlock claimed gold in the men’s pommel horse, while Smith left with a bronze. The pommel horse was Smith’s favourite event, meaning that it was understandable to see him in such dismay whilst on the podium.

Boxing Officials and the AIBA

There was much criticism laid at the hands of the boxing judges in Rio 2016. Irish bantamweight Michael Conlan was completely dominant in his bout against Vladimir Nikitin, drawing blood from the Russian, but lost on points. The crowd booed at the decision, whilst Conlan vented his frustration at the judges after. Many of the officials were dropped by the AIBA after some controversial decisions.

Ryan Lochte

In one of the more bizarre stories of the Games, Ryan Lochte, along with some teammates fabricated a story where they were robbed at gunpoint outside a petrol station. In reality, the American swimmers had vandalised the petrol station after partying. The story overshadowed the Games, whilst further disciplinary action awaits Lochte.

Islam El Shehaby

Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby was sent home from Rio, after refusing to shake the hand of an Israeli opponent following their encounter in the Games. He was booed by the crowd for his unsportsmanlike conduct and was heavily reprimanded by the IOC.

The Water

The diving pool caused lots of controversy at the Olympics when it changed colour from blue to green. This was because algae had managed to get into the water supply, but it caused the diving competition to be suspended.

Hope Solo

It was 16 years since the US Women’s Football team had lost at the Olympics, meaning that it was always going to be tough when they did lose. Enter USA goalkeeper and member of the Rebel Alliance Hope Solo, who described the Swedes as “a bunch of cowards” after the match. Someone’s been watching Cristiano Ronaldo too much!

Mongolia’s Wrestling Coaches

As far as sore losers go, this is high up on the list. Mongolian wrestler Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran was leading in the bronze-medal match and started to celebrate with 18 seconds of the bout to go. The judges penalised him for not engaging in the fight, which left the coaches to strip off in protest.

Words by @DominicTrant