The US won 46 gold medals, 37 silver medals, and 38 bronze medals for a total count of 121 medals. Of those medals, swimmer Michael Phelps came home with 5 gold and 1 silver. He was given the honor of carrying the Olympic torch in the opening ceremony, the first opening ceremony he has attended since at the last four Olympics he was competing the next day. Overall he's won more medals than anyone else who has competed in the Olympics. He will have to pay a $55,000 victory tax on those medals! U.S. Olympic Committee awards athletes with prize money if they win a medal: $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. But that money is taxable even though you are winning a medal for your own country. What do you think, should athletes have to pay taxes on their medals? Athletes spend a lot of money on their year-round training and travel, I think it's unfair to be taxed on winning a medal for their country. Also, did you know that the actual gold medal value in gold is $501?
Did you notice there were no flowers at the Olympics? In previous years the winners would get their medal and flowers, this year they get a paperweight instead for sustainability reasons. When the men's basketball team was awarded their gold medals, one paperweight was dropped and broken by the man issuing them so Carmelo Anthony didn't get one, but he was a good sport about it.
A straight married reporter from the Daily Beast joined a gay dating app to find gay athletes in Rio. Then published an article outing the athletes, some who were from countries that don't support gay people. There was also some controversy over two athletes who were competing as a woman, but may be genetically ambiguous because of high levels of testosterone. The two on the right are Margaret Wambui and Caster Semenya who won medals in the women 800m. Gender testing is not new to the Olympics, it has been around since the 1940s.
Kerri Walsh Jennings of beach volleyball competed in her 4th Olympic games this summer. It was hard to watch this sport as her games were always on at 11pm, which is midnight in Brazil! The idea was for it to air live on primetime in California. They made it a party atmosphere with strobe lights and music blasting. The timing affected attendance as I could see half the seats were empty. Kerri won gold at the previous three Olympics but got a bronze this year. She said when she lost the second to the last game in the tournament she didn't sleep the entire night because she was devastated. Then she said there is "no shame" in a bronze medal because it brought her so much joy because she won this and didn't lose. She's ashamed to admit that she felt differently about bronze before.
By now I think everyone has followed Lochtegate which overshadowed the last week of the Olympic games. What was small stuff over a bathroom, turned into an international incident over Brazilian pride. Keir Simmons took a film crew to the bathroom and couldn't find any vandalism. TMZ only found a broken poster. Ryan still won't admit he lied with his colorful tale to match his colorful hair, so I wonder if it is about protecting the millions of dollars of endorsements at stake or was he too drunk to remember accurately? lol And to think this story only got out because he lied to his mother who happened to mention it to a member of the press from Australia she was sitting next to on a shuttle bus.
It's the highest profile story that's come out of Brazil over a drunken wild night. His actions caused his teammates (who didn't damage anything) to be pulled off a plane, passports taken and detained in Rio, while Ryan was already home. His teammates were not allowed to leave until they paid $11,000 to Brazil. He probably can't believe his bad luck that not only did Brazil find where this happened they also have a clear color surveillance video to show what happened. Although TMZ says that 3 minutes of the video is missing and Ryan says those are critical minutes. I think if we can forgive Michael Phelps for his drug use and DUI two years ago, we can forgive Ryan as well.
I watched the interview he did with Matt Lauer and noticed Ryan dyed his hair back to brown to look serious. His house is under police surveillance for protection. If there's some humor that came out of this embarrassing situation is watching Al Roker and Nathalie argue on air over it, never seen them get heated over anything before. What an embarrassing episode for Ryan, who is pictured below with his stars and stripes grill from the 2012 Olympics.
Talk show host Ellen is known for her funny antics but I think we also know she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. Jamaican runner, Usain Bolt, who has been the fastest man in the world for decade, was on her show last year and they are friends so she posted this picture on twitter with the caption "This is how I'm running errands from now on." Bolt found it funny and retweeted it. Bolt is a character himself always doing silly things for the camera, he's full of charisma as seen in this real smile caught in this photo as he ran during a race during the Olympics. Well, the picture went viral with people calling it racist. I admit the picture is questionable considering the historical context of this country, but I didn't bat an eye at it since I know Ellen isn't racist.
The closing ceremony was fun to watch last night, too bad it was raining in Rio for the first half. For the second part of the show they made in a true Brazilian carnival. The costumes were absolutely fantastic! The next summer Olympics will take place in Tokyo where surfing and skateboarding will be new sports.