The 2016Rio Olympics kicked off on Friday, August 5th in Brazil. Most of the athletes marched into the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, crowning a powerful and captivating opening ceremony. These athletes will be competing for a total of 301 gold medals. As usual, there will be cheers and jeers, joy and sadness, but most important, a celebration of humanity and the coming together of nations.
The very first Rio Olympic gold medal was worn by the American teenager, Ginny Thrasher. 19 year old Ginny thrashed the reigning champion in the air rifle competition, winning gold and setting an Olympic record. She won even without being a favorite in that particular discipline.
Micheal Phelps, the all-time Olympian, led the US into Maracana Stadium during the athletes march, leading a contingent of officials and athletes at the opening ceremony. Phelps has already won his first gold medal in Rio, bringing his total tally of Olympic gold medals to 19. He was part of the team that won the 4 X 100 meter freestyle relay. He is expected to participate in a couple more events and add to his tally.
It is also at these games in Rio, Brazil that the US hopes to win its 1,000th Olympic gold medal. The total tally currently stands at 976 without counting those won in Rio. The 1,000th Olympic gold could come early in the second week of competition during the athletic events. Even with its current medal tally, the US has more gold medals than the next top 3 countries which as Soviet Union, Great Britain and France.
The Rio Olympics have had their share of controversy. The venues were not ready in good time at the Olympic village and officials had to address this very fast. Doping scandals, especially those touching on Russian athletes threatened the Olympics while security is also a major concern. The curtain will come down on the Rio Olympics on Sunday August 21st 2016 when the closing ceremony is held.