Athletes We Loved For This Olympics

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Athletes We Loved For This Olympics
Athletes We Loved For This Olympics

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Alexandra Savina

There is nothing left until the end of the Olympic Games in Rio: a few more sets of awards will be raffled off at the weekend, but the closing ceremony will take place on Sunday. All these days, the Olympics remained one of the main topics for discussion, but some events and heroes remained in our memory more than others. We are talking about the athletes whom we managed to fall in love with after the Olympic Games in Rio.

Yana Yegoryan

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At the Olympics in Rio, Russian athletes achieved great success: remember at least the gold of Aliya Mustafina, Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina, Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova. But a real discovery for the general public was the performance of Russian fencers: the final of the saber fencers was Russian, then they took gold medals in team competitions, and in total the Russian fencing team received seven awards (four of them were gold).

The final of the saber fencers turned out to be dramatic: the seven-time world champion Sofia Velikaya was considered the main contender for the gold medal, but Yana Yegoryan, for whom the Olympics in Rio became the first, unexpectedly for everyone was able to beat her. The photographs and videos of the finale show how Yegoryan, crying with happiness, hugs the Great and, it seems, asks for forgiveness for his victory. Sophia accepted defeat with dignity and was glad for her teammate.

Simone Biles

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Despite the success of Russian Aliya Mustafina, American Simona Biles became the objective leader in artistic gymnastics competitions, who won four gold and one bronze medals in Rio. Biles is known for the complexity of the program and for the almost flawless execution of all its elements. In addition to her achievements, Simone Biles also stands out for her unusual attitude to what is happening in artistic gymnastics: during the exercises she is extremely concentrated, but during breaks she often laughs with other team members and waves to the audience as if nothing special is happening.

The 19-year-old athlete has a difficult family history: when the girl was three years old, she and her younger sister Adria were adopted by her grandparents Ron and Nelly Biles, since their biological mother, Shannon Biles, suffered from drug addiction and could not bring them up properly. At the same time, Simone herself says that she never felt special because she was adopted. “When I was younger, I thought all children were adopted,” she says. - I did not understand why people attach such importance to this. It was absolutely normal for me."

Yusra Mardini

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Swimmer Yusra Mardini was unable to achieve serious results at the Olympic Games, but her story is not remarkable for that. Mardini is a member of the refugee team, which is participating in the Olympics for the first time this year. Last summer, Yusra, along with her sister Sarah, went from their native Damascus to Beirut, then to Istanbul and to Izmir: from there, they, along with other refugees, were going to travel by boat across the Mediterranean to Greece. Half an hour later, the motor of the boat, in which there were twenty people instead of six, stopped, and it practically turned over. Yusra, Sarah and another woman - the only passengers of the boat who knew how to swim - had to swim to pull and push the boat to the shore.

Now the athlete lives in Germany and says that she understands that she represents not only her national team, but all the refugees of the world at the competitions: “We are great friends in the team - we speak different languages, we are from different countries, but we were all united by the Olympic flag and we represent 60 million [refugees] from all over the world."

Nikki Hamblin and Abby D'Agostino

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One of the most touching and humane stories of this Olympics happened with New Zealander Nikki Hamblin and American Abby D'Agostino.Athletes took part in the 5,000-meter race, but four laps before the finish, Hamblin stumbled and fell, which is why D'Agostino fell after her. Getting up, D'Agostino helped Hamblin to get up, and both continued to run, although the American limped and it was difficult for her to run. Athletes finished last, and after the finish they hugged touchingly. And although both athletes did not qualify for the finals, they were allowed to take part in it after protests from their teams. The final of the race is to take place today.

"When I remember Rio, I will not think about how I finished, I will not remember my time … But I will always remember this moment," Nikki Hamblin said later in an interview. - I think we need to remember that sometimes being a good person is more important. If I hadn't waited for her or tried to help her, I would have come running ten to fifteen seconds faster - and what does it matter?"

Teresa Almeida

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Teresa Almeida, nicknamed Ba, is the goalkeeper of the Angola national handball team and the most famous member of the Angolan team. Because of her excellent game, Brazilian spectators especially fell in love with Almeida: every time she managed to save the gate, the stands greeted her with a storm of applause, and then chanted that she was "better than Neymar." And although the Angola national team dropped out of the competition on August 16, after the match with Russia, everyone remembered her performance.

Almeida also believes that you should not be guided by the standards of beauty accepted in society. “I'm happy with my weight and people like me should be proud of themselves as well,” Teresa says. “Yes, it’s probably harder for me to run the 100m, but there are many other things that I can do at a high level, including in sports.”

Fu Yuanhui

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The swimmer from China Fu Yuanhui became famous after a video circulated on the Internet where she rejoices that in the semifinals she swam one hundred meters not in 59 seconds, as she thought, but in 58.95. The athlete managed to win a bronze medal, but she won the audience not only because of this: Fu Yuanhui openly spoke about the topic of menstruation, which is still taboo in the sports and near-sports environment. After the relay 4 × 100 meters, in which her team finished fourth, the swimmer looked like she was in great pain, and in an interview she said that she did not perform very well and let the team down. When asked if she had a stomach ache, the athlete said that the day before she started her period: “Yesterday I started menstruating, so I feel especially tired - but this is not an excuse, I did not swim well enough anyway.”

On social media, Chinese fans praised Fu Yuanhui for speaking on a topic that is still not openly discussed: many residents of the country do not even know that athletes can perform during their menstruation and that a menstruating woman who swims in a pool. does not pose any threat to others. In addition, the use of tampons is practically unacceptable in the country, and the first Chinese brand of tampons should go on sale only this month.

Michelle Carter

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Athlete Michelle Carter won the gold medal in shot put - American women have not received Olympic awards in this sport since 1960. Michelle is the daughter of Michael Carter, a retired track and field athlete (earned Olympic silver in shot put in 1984) and professional football player. When Michelle decided to take up the shot put, she was unaware of her father's successes. “When I was growing up, he was already playing football, and I only knew about that,” she says. “So he asked me a few questions and said, 'Okay, since this is what you want to do, I'll teach you, and I'll make sure you're doing it right.' You know the rest. " Michael continues to train his daughter now.

Michelle wants more girls and women to practice shot put, which is considered a “non-feminine” sport, and believes her successes are helping to popularize it. She also stands for diversity of beauty: “I keep saying that if I had the same figure as Gabby Douglas, I would not be able to push the core the way I push it. And if Gabby Douglas had my figure, she would not be able to spin like that in the air. So you have to understand that different bodies are meant for different things."

Photos: Getty Images (3), Wikimedia Commons (1, 2, 3), Yusra Mardini / Facebook

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