It was a rainy celebration that contrasted to the weather in Rio, but it didn’t stop Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes celebrating in style. More than 150,000 well-wishers gathered in Manchester for a welcome home parade for the most successful British Olympic team in sporting history. Matt Whitlock, Jessica Ennis-Hill, who recently announced her retirement, and Ellie Simmonds were just some of the sports men and women in attendance, showing off their medals to the delighted, waiting crowds.
Team GB’s Olympic heroes secured a record breaking medal haul at Rio2016, putting them second place in the medal table and above countries such as China and Russia.
The athletes flew back from the main event in style with a gold nosed British Airways plane laid on for them. They were in high spirits following their success as they drank champagne and showed off their medals in a photo released by BA. The cabin crew later revealed that Team GB stood for a rendition of God Save Our Queen before take off.
It is expected that The Queen will recognise TeamGB’s highest achievers in the new year’s honours list with those expected to be honoured including Mo Farah, Laura Trott, Jason Kenny and Max Whitlock who all took home multiple medals in the tournament.
She released this message ‘I offer my warmest congratulations to the athletes of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Commonwealth, for their success at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.’
Plenty of moments caught the world’s attention over the last few weeks whether for the impressive competitors breaking records and showing off their skill, the heart warming scenes that captured our imagination or something more bizarre (Green diving pool anyone?). Here are 19 of the most notable moments from this year’s games.
1. The Brownlee Brothers Win Gold And Silver In The Triathlon Once Again
Alistair Brownlee and brother Jonny once again proved to be the world’s most successful siblings with Alistair scooping the gold once again and Jonny coming in a close second, scooping the silver medal just 6 seconds behind, an increase on his previous bronze medal from 2012. Alistair has now become the only athlete to win two triathlons in a row.
2. A Female Runner Came To The Aid Of A Rival Runner Who Fell And Twisted Her Ankle Sacrificing Her Own Position In The Race
Two female runners made headlines in what is undoubtedly the most heartwarming moment of the games so far. Team USA’s Abbey D’Agnostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin were over halfway through the women’s 5,000m race when D’Agnostino clipped Hamblin’s heel and both fell over. Rather than continue to run, Hamblin helped D’Agnostino, who had twisted her ankle, up and the pair managed to finish the race together. Hamblin said: “I mean, that girl is the Olympic spirit right there.”
3. Jessica Ennis Announced Her Retirement In A Moving Speech Following Her Silver Medal Win
Jessica Ennis triumphed once again winning a silver medal in the women’s heptathalon. Following her win she was reduced to tears as she announced it would be her last Olympic games. She said ‘It’s been incredibly hard, I hate being away from my son and I hate leaving him. I’ve had some absolutely amazing years in sport and in athletics and two medals from two Olympics is incredible’
4. Mo Farah Won Gold In The 10,000 Metres Despite Falling Over Mid Race
The ‘Mobot’ celebration made a triumphant return after yet another victory for Mo Farah in a dramatic race which saw the Olympic champion fall over mid-way through. Mo held back at the beginning of the race in order for gaps to form for him to over take, which seemed to be a great tactic until disaster struck and he was involved in a fall. For many this would mean it was all over but Mo quickly picked himself up in an epic comeback which saw him win the race. He said “I’m a guy who wins medals rather than runs fast times so for me, what keeps me going is winning medals for my country and making my nation proud.” Mo later went on to win gold in the 5,000 metres race making it the second time he has won both gold medals.
5. Mark Cavendish Was Involved In A Nasty Bike Crash That Saw A Fellow Competitor Stretchered Off
British cyclist Mark Cavendish was involved in an eventful Omnium competition, which saw him finish in second position following a nasty crash which took out three riders. After the race Mark apologised to the other competitors admitting that it was his fault the crash happened, but thankfully he wasn’t penalised for the decision and was able to walk away with a silver medal.
6. Andy Murray Won His Second Olympic Gold And Made Headlines For Calling John Inverdale Out For His Sexist Comment
Andy Murray won his second Olympic gold medal in the tennis topping off an eventful year, which has seen him have a baby, win Wimbledon and become the offical Olympic flagbearer, but he also made headlines for something else. Andy was praised for standing up for female athletes after calling out John Inverdale on an incorrect statement after his gold medal win. John asked Andy how it felt to be the only tennis player to win 2 gold medals in the Olympics to which he pointed out that Venus and Serena Williams have 4 gold medals.
7. Team GB Picked Up Their First Ever Gymnastic Gold But Tension With Teammates Surfaced
For the first time ever the gymnastics was dominated by TeamGB gymnast Max Whitlock, who became Britain’s first ever Olympic gold medalist – twice in one day! He dominated in the floor exercise, before coming ahead of teammate Louis Smith in the pommel horse who secured silver. There was some controversy surrounding Louis’ reaction to the win, with some suggesting that he was a sore loser, but the silver medallist has since tweeted his side of the story.
8. Usain Bolt Won Both The 100m And 200m Races For The Third Time In a Row
Usain Bolt made headlines thanks to another two effortless wins. He has now become the first athlete to win three consecutive Olympic 100m and 200m titles. He said of the 100m win: “It wasn’t perfect today, but I got it done and I’m pretty proud of what I’ve achieved.” A photo soon after the race went viral as he appeared to smile for photographers mid race. Now that is multi-tasking.
9. Team GB Dominated In The Velodrome Once Again
Great Britain have dominated the cycling for the past couple of tournaments and from day one in the velodrome it was clear that it was about to happen again. Gold was won on the first day of events in the velodrome with 2012 olympic hero Jason Kenny leading his team to victory as part of the team sprint race and Laura Trott securing a new world record. Jason and Laura went on to become the ultimate power couple with an incredible 10 gold medals between them. With Laura winning two golds to Jason’s three she went on to joke about the impressive genes they were going to give their future children.
10. The Fijian Rugby Team Gave A Touching Greeting To Princess Anne And Melted Hearts
Fiji beat Britain in the Rugby but it wasn’t the defeat that made the headlines. The Fijian team were presented with their medals by Princess Anne and as is traditional in their country each athlete bowed, knelt and clapped 3 times to show their respect.
11. Simone Biles Became The Most Succesful Gymnast Of all Time
All eyes have been on Simone Biles where she has been triumphing in the gymnastics for Team USA, winning three golds in the individual competitions and an additional one in the team effort. The impressive olympian who at just 19 and 5ft 8 has her own move named after her, which is a double flip with a half twist which she lands blind. To get a skill named after you, a gymnast must perform the move at a World Championship or Olympics.
12. TeamGB Won A Bronze In Diving For The First Time EVER
TeamGB has triumphed for the first time in several sports this year but a notable win was in the synchronised diving where Jack Laugher and Chris
Mears won Britain’s first ever gold medal for diving with an
incredible score of 454.32. Speaking afterwards, Mears, who had to have
life-saving surgery in 2009, said: “I still can’t believe that it’s
actually happened. I’ve come from death’s door to here. I’m pretty
13. Everyone Was Left Confused When The Olympic Diving Pool Turned Green
Viewers and contestants were left baffled after the Olympic diving pool turned green before everyone’s eyes. Olympic chiefs embarrasingly had to admit that they had no idea what had caused it. British diver Tom Daley himself tweeted “Erm…what happened” in reference to the pool and Britain’s Tonia Couch who competed during the drama said, “I’ve never dived in anything like it.” Rio officials eventually cleared up the confusion when they admitted it was due to a contractor dumping hydrogen peroxide into the pool. After draining the water and refilling it was blue once more. Phew.
14. Michael Phelps Continued To Win A LOT Of Golds And Increase His Lead As The Most Decorated Olympian Of All Time
Micheal Phelps, who since 2012 has been the most decorated Olympian of all time further extended his record by winning a massive 5 gold medals during the games. He now holds 23 gold medals, which is more than double the golds as the next closest athlete who holds 9. Michael came out of retirement in 2014 after announcing his decision to hang up his trunks after London 2012 but is rumoured to return to retirement after these games.
15. Two Gymnasts Were Praised For Posing For A Photo That Encompassed The Games Spirit
Two gymnasts posed for a picture that is one of the defining images of this year’s games. A competitor from South Korea posed for a selfie with a competitor from North Korea in a brief moment of unity for the two countries. Lee Eun-ju of South Korea and Hong Un-jong of the North captured the spirit of the games in a break from their warm up before they competed against each other in the competition.
16. Adam Peaty’s Swimming Achievement And Grandma.
Adam Peaty won Great Britain’s first gold medal of Rio 2016 with his record-breaking 100m breaststroke win. The 21 year-old broke his own record set in the qualifying rounds with a time of 57.13 seconds. Adam is the first British man to win an Olympic swimming gold medal since Adrain Moorhouse in Seoul in 1988. He said: “It’s so surreal to get Team
GB’s first gold.”
Peaty’s nan also made headlines after she took to Twitter to congratulate her grandson. She was clearly bursting with pride as she wrote: “My grandson has done it!
@adam_peaty @BritishSwimming @adam_peaty”
17. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen Took To The Catwalk For The Last Time
Gisele Bundchen, arguably one of Brazil’s most famous personalities got the best entrance of the night as she strutted along the arena, which became the world’s longest catwalk at 128 metres long. The Rio opening ceremony was to become her last EVER catwalk as she has announced her retirement after the show. Going out at the top after an illustrious fashion career.
18. The Rio 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony
Considering Brazil has just a 10th of the buget the UK had for their opening ceremony Rio were able to put on quite the show. The Rio 2016 Olympics went off with a bang with a stunning opening display that featured an impressive fireworks and lights
display, a performance showcasing the history of Brazil,
which celebrated their culture, with actors, dancers and an array of
projections on the floor of the arena. There with two clear themes of the night. The first ‘Carnival’ with lots of colour music and light and the second the environment with a section on global warming and it’s effect on the earth and a eco friendly cauldron.
19. Andy Murray’s Flag Bearing Fail
Andy Murray was given the patriotic job of being the official flag bearer of this year’s games but got off to a shakey start at the official photocall. Andy was mocked by his TeamGB team-mates and even prompted light-hearted social media messages from the offical Royal Family accounts after he repeatedly blocked Princess Anne with the flag. The hilarious video below shows the moment he struggled with his flag duties.
It has been four years since we held the Olympic games ourselves for London2012 and we couldn’t finish off the best moments of 2016 without referencing one of our favourite moments from 2012. This spoof video from the opening ceremony, which involved James Bond, played by Daniel Craig visiting The Queen for a secret mission goes down in history as one of our favourite videos of all time. “Good evening Mr Bond”