My, how time flies. The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics are over, and what a remarkable job our hardworking, dedicated athletes did. I feel as if I allowed the threatening hype and the enormous fear of the mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus to cloud my view on these games.
In a career that has spanned nearly four decades, I had the opportunity to work these Olympic games. But I really never even considered going to Rio because I just was not willing to take that chance. In watching the games and events played outside, I never heard anyone even mention a mosquito.
Our society has really burdened many of us with fear locally, nationally and internationally with the many shootings, and ISIS terrorist attacks and threats. Instead of being open-minded and exploring and doing things, I admit I’m sometimes trapped in fear of the unknown. Somebody said it years ago: We’ve been had, we’ve been hoodwinked, we’ve been bamboozled.
Congratulations to our dedicated, hardworking athletes — they were sensational, winning 121 total medals, the most all-time, by a wide margin. To capture 46 golds, 37 silver and 38 bronze, the United States dominated.
Locally, five of our NBA and WNBA players won medals. Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles all captured gold medals as well as Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve. Timberwolves President-Head Coach Tom Thibodeau assisted Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski in winning gold. Ricky Rubio won a bronze medal playing with Spain.
But what will you remember most about the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics? There were many standout accomplishments: Michael Phelps now with 28 total medals and 23 gold, the best ever.
Usain Bolt taking nine gold medals in nine events: 100 meter, 200 meter and 4×100 relay in 2008, 2012 and 2016. The three-peat.
Simone Biles wins four golds and a bronze and captures our hearts in what may be the greatest gymnastics performance ever. Allyson Felix took seven medals in track and field, six of them gold. Ashton Eaton wins the Decathlon gold again. Claressa Shields is the first boxer to win two gold medals. There were so many other incredible wins and performances by many others that were equally great.
Golf returned after 100 years to the Olympics and with no Tiger Woods, there was no gold for the United States.
Rio did a remarkable job with these games — the culture and beauty and pageantry. But so many stayed away because of concerns, and that is a shame.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.