Rio Olympics: Winners and losers

Mari A. Schaefer

Updated: Monday, August 22, 2016, 4:24 PM

Gymnast Simone Biles carried the U.S. flag in the closing ceremony; Bayaraa Byambarinchin, the coach for Mongolian wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig, is asked to leave the mat after he stripped down to his underwear in protest of his wrestler's loss in the bronze medal wrestling match.

For 16 days we have watched as athletes from across the globe competed for gold in Brazil.

Here is a look at the winners and losers of the Rio Olympics.


1. The athletes, of course: U.S. gymnast Simone Biles; swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky; track and field's Matthew Centrowitz and Allyson Felix of the United States and Mo Farrah of Great Britain; Fiji’s rugby team; the U.S. women’s basketball team; Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt; and the Refugee teaam. All accomplished great feats in Rio.

2. In the super sportsmanship category: New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino, who helped each other after the two fell in the 5K race; Dutch dressage rider Adelinde Cornelissen, who pulled out over her concern's about her horse, Parzival; and gymnasts Lee Eun-ju of South Korea and Hong Un-jong of North Korea for their selfie.

3. Brazil: For keeping the train on the tracks in spite of poor economics, Zika, foul water, etc.

4. Boomer Phelps, the shirtless Tonga flagbearer, and the capybaras on the golf course: All for just being cute.

Let's Be Honest. Boomer Phelps Is Stealing His Dad's Thunder via @buzzfeeders

5. The dancing David Katoatau: The Kiribati weightlifter used his moment to spread the message on how climate change is impacting the tiny island nation in the central Pacific.


1. U.S. swimmers Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger: Enough said.

2. In the unsportmanship category: Egyptian Islam El Shehaby, who refused to shake the hand of Israeli opponent Os Sasson after he lost in men's judo; U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo for her comments after the team's loss to Sweden; and the Mongolian wrestling coaches for their temper tantrum after their athlete lost.

3. International Olympic Committee: IOC member Pat Hickey of Ireland has been accused of ticket-scalping. The IOC didn't settle the Russia doping scandal until the 12th hour (and the Russian Olympic Committee ignored the problem in the first place).

4. The pool guy: For the green water.

Rio official had a mind-boggling explanation for why the green diving pool hasn't been fixed

5. In the media coverage category: NBC for not showing opening ceremonies live; the Chicago Tribune for the “Corey Cogdell, wife of Bears lineman Mitch Unrein wins bronze in Rio” headline; the announcer who called the women’s judo match a “catfight;” Al Trautwig for his “They may be mom and Dad but they are not her parents” comment about Simone Biles; the San Jose Mercury News for the headline “Michael Phelps shares night with African American” after Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win gold in the pool; the headline writer in Bryan-College Station, Texas, for the “Phelps ties for silver in 100 fly” with the subhead “Ledecky sets world record in women’s 800 freestyle;” and the BBC guy who mistakenly announced Lochte the winner over Phelps in the 200 IM.

Mari A. Schaefer

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