Magic medal moments at Rio 2016

Published 18 August 2016 (AEDT)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11: Fiji players and staff huddle as they win gold after the Men's Rugby Sevens Gold medal final match between Fiji and Great Britain on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympics at Deodoro Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. © 2016 Getty Images

RIO 2016: Olympic Games are made up of magic moments.

Be it outstanding displays of athleticism, a story of overcoming adversity or a celebration of the Greatest Of All Time.

No matter where you are from, these achievements transcend all allegiances and exemplify what the Olympics are all about.

Here is a collection of some of the magic medal moments to come out of Rio 2016:

JOSEPH SCHOOLING: When Schooling lined up for the 100m butterfly, little did he know he would not only become Singapore’s inaugural gold medallist, but also a giant killer. Schooling, a long-time admirer of US superswimmer Michael Phelps, beat his idol and smashed the Olympic Record previously held by Phelps. It was also a significant race as Phelps finished in second place in a three-way-tie with South Africa’s Chad le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh.

MICHAEL PHELPS: Phelps may have finished second in the 100m butterfly, but he did not close his final Olympics campaign without much fanfare. Phelps, recognised as the 'Greatest Of All Time' in the pool, claimed six gold medals and one silver during his Rio campaign, bringing his Olympic career total to 23 gold, three silver and two bronze. He is easily the most decorated Olympian of all time.

SIMONE BILES: Fellow American athlete Simone Biles is well on her way to set records in the sport of artistic gymnastics. In her debut Games, Biles, 19, has dominated the gymnastics stadium with her precision and finesse on the various apparatus. Biles claimed gold in the team, individual all-round, vault and floor exercise and bronze in the balance beam. She is a three-time all-round and floor exercise World Champion, so Olympic glory has always been on the cards.

ANNA MEARES: Australia’s beloved team captain and flag bearer for Rio Olympics has earned her place in history for many reasons. When she won bronze in the women’s keirin she became the only female cyclist to win an Olympic medal in all four sprint events: keirin, sprint, team sprint and 500m time trial (discontinued). That win also put her in a new echelon for Australian Olympians; the first to claim four individual medals at four Olympic Games. She is Australia’s most decorated cyclist with a total of six medals, and a true champion of the sport.

FIJI: When Fiji won its first ever medal it came in the form of gold, and for a sport so loved and respected by its 900,000-odd countrymen. In the men’s rugby sevens, Fiji entered the tournament as favourites. Their strength and determination demonstrated throughout the Olympic campaign showed that they were not only expected to medal, but that they demanded gold. Fiji steamrolled Great Britain in the gold medal match 43-7.

LAURA TROTT/JASON KENNY: If ever there were a powerhouse couple in elite sport, cyclists Laura Trott and Jason Kenny of Great Britain certainly fit the bill. Trott, 24, is Great Britain’s most successful female Olympic competitor having won gold in the omnium and team pursuit at both London 2012 and Rio 2016. Her fiancé Jason Kenny, has six Olympic gold medals to his name – three of which he claimed in the team sprint, individual sprint and keirin in Rio – plus a silver from Beijing 2008. Kenny joins fellow track cyclist, Sir Christopher Hoy as the only GB athlete to hold six gold medals.

USAIN BOLT: A man who needs no introduction. Bolt, like Phelps, fits in to that category of 'Greatest Of All Time' – and he is showing no signs of disappointing. In the 100m final, the Jamaican sprinter – known as the fastest person ever timed – won his seventh gold medal, and there are likely more to come. The medal marked the first time an athlete has won the 100m sprint at three consecutive Olympic Games.

SIMONE MANUEL: Freestyle sprinter Simone Manuel has written her name into the history books by becoming the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in swimming. Manuel, 21, claimed two gold and two silver medals at Rio: gold in the 100m freestyle and 4x100m medley, and silver in the 50m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle relay. She also set an Olympic record of 52.70 seconds in the 100m freestyle final.

SHAUNAE MILLER: Sometimes, to win a medal all you need to do is commit. That’s exactly what Shaunae Miller must have thought as she dove for the finish line of the women’s 400m sprint. The Bahamas athlete fell across the finish line to beat American Allyson Felix by 0.07 seconds in a personal best time.

Candice Keller
olympics.com.au

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