For myself, as well as millions of people around the world, the last 5 days have been spent up late watching the live coverage of our country competing in the XXXI Olympiad. Thus far it has been a rather exciting Olympic games for all involved and so Riner Rentals presents it's Top 5 Moments of the Rio 2016 Olympics up to this point:
1. Aly Raisman and the US Women's Gymnastics Team
These women are unreal. They have been killing it and have been so calm and collected for young women ranging from age 16 to 22 years of age. Last night they won back to back gold in the team competition (they are the first team to ever win back to back gold for their country) by more than 8 points over the next closest competitor, the largest margin in history!! I believe a large part of this is due to Aly Raisman's leadership. She has been a rock, consistent in her routines and always encouraging to her younger teammates. She is the first to meet them when they come off the floor, the first to give credit to her fellow teammates and competitors and she's got a good sense of humor too. Overall this team has represented the US in historic and mind blowing ways and it has been incredibly entertaining to watch.
2. Kerri Walsh-Jennings and April Ross of US Women's Beach Volleyball
This team has incredible talent but several factors leading into the games made people wonder if they could carry on Kerri Walsh-Jennings unstoppable Olympic record. Walsh-Jennings has had some serious shoulder problems since the last Olympic games, have surgery 5 times due to dislocations, the most recent surgery in the last year. You can see which shoulder is affected because she still wears the kinetic tape to lend support to the joint. Another large factor, maybe even larger than injury, is a new partner. Misty May-Treanor, Walsh-Jennings long time partner and best friend, has competed together through the last three Olympic games, having lost no sets throughout their Olympic career and taking home three consecutive gold medals. If you thought April Ross has some big shoes to fill then you would be right...and she has done beautifully. Thus far Walsh-Jennings and Ross have been so in sync. They have kept the Walsh-Jennings record of no sets lost in Olympic play alive up to this point and have their last match of preliminary play tonight.
3. Michael Phelps...the most decorated Olympian of all time
Michael Phelps...the most decorated Olympian of all time. He won his 20th and 21st Olympic gold medal last night in the 200m Butterfly and the Men's 4x 200m Freestyle relay, respectively. I mean need I say more? That is a record that could potentially never be broken. And to have a swimmer from the United States hold that record is pretty cool and definitely inspires perseverance in me and I'm sure others. Michael Phelps is showing people that the word impossible is becoming obsolete with each passing day.
4. Katie Ledecky of the US Women's Swimming Team
Another swimmer makes the list as Katie Ledecky crushes her own world record by almost 2 seconds in the 400m Freestyle. To give you some perspective she beat the silver medalist by 5 seconds. In a sport where they use electronic touch pads to record times because the differences are often a few tenths of a second or less, this kind of a blow out is exhilarating to say the least. It will be exciting to continue to watch Ledecky in Rio but hopefully for many years and Olympics to come.
5. The International Competition
Honestly one of the best parts about the Olympics is just seeing how crazy athletic the whole world is! I mean we have some freakishly athletic people in this world and there is just something so raw and exciting about watching people compete at such extreme levels. I get a rush from just sitting on my couch and taking it in. It only happens every four years on a rotating (rotating every two between Winter and Summer Games). But the bottom line is you just don't see anything like the Olympics in this world anymore. It is the cleanest form of entertainment that we still possess and it's pure joy to watch it unfold with all the surprises and celebrations of watching people's dreams come true in all these different parts of the world!
So that's it for the Riner Rentals Olympics update! Even now as I write this my NBC Sports App notified me of an "Upset Alert" for the gold medal favorite in the Men's gymnastics all around competition. What better note to end! Happy watching everyone!