By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio 2016 Olympics is being considered a big success by organizers, not only for the fact that none of the often catastrophic forecasts came true but because during these more than 19 days of competition 19 world records were broken and 65 Olympic records were surpassed.
“These were and still are iconic Olympic Games in many respects,” IOC President Thomas Bach told reporters. “We have seen iconic athletes across all sports, seen athletes who were icons and even strengthened their positions like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. And others who became icons here,” added Bach.
By far the most records broken, world and Olympic records, were seen in the swimming pool, with swimmers, like U.S.’s Katie Ledecky breaking her own world record for the 400-meter freestyle race with a time of 3:56.46.
Also U.S.’s Michael Phelps losing not only the men’s 100-meter butterfly race to Singapore’s Joseph Schooling, but the Olympic record for that race to the young swimmer, one of his biggest fans. Schooling completed the race in 50.39 seconds.
Phelps, however, along with his colleagues, did brake the 4×100 Medley Relay Olympic record during the Games completing the race in 3:27.95. Another U.S. swimmer to break an Olympic record was gold medal winner, Simone Manuel, the first the first African American woman to win a gold medal for individual swimming, completing the 100-meter freestyle race in 52.70 seconds.
In track and field, spectators were waiting for a record from Jamaica’s Usain Bolt. Instead they saw South Africa’s track and field runner Wayde van Niekerk complete the 400 meter race in 43.03 seconds, beating U.S.’s Michael Johnson 1999 world record by 0.15 seconds.
British track cyclist, Jason Kenny, outdid himself, breaking his own 2012 Olympic record in the men’s sprint. Representing the host country, Brazil’s own Thiago Braz da Silva, received a gold medal in men’s pole vault and set an Olympic record with his jump of 6.03 meters.