GOLDEN MOMENTS from the 2016 olympics

USA shines in gymnastics; big win for swimmers

BY FLORIDA COURIER STAFF

Team USA got off to strong start at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Here are some of the golden moments of the week, prior to the Florida Courier’s Wednesday presstime.

Simone Biles competes on the beam during qualification at the Rio 2016 Olympics on Aug. 7. (WALLY SKALIJ/ LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS)
Simone Biles competes on the beam during qualification at the Rio 2016 Olympics on Aug. 7.
(WALLY SKALIJ/LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS)

The “Final Five’’ gymnastics team dominated the competition and won gold. The team is made up of Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian. Their 8.209 point victory over their closest competitor – Russia – was the largest at a major gymnastics meet.

“Laurie started out amazing and Aly went out there. I was just so excited, ‘OK, it’s fine. We got this.’

Fans cheer during the U.S. women’s rugby sevens match against Australia on Aug. 7 in pool play at the 2016 Rio Games. This is the first time rugby has been an Olympic sport since 1924.(MARK REIS/COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE/TNS)
Fans cheer during the U.S. women’s rugby sevens match against Australia on Aug. 7 in pool play at the 2016 Rio Games. This is the first time rugby has been an Olympic sport since 1924.
(MARK REIS/COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE/TNS)

They motivated me to do my best because I saw their routines,” Biles said Tuesday.

Early in the week, Michael Phelps had racked up his 21st gold medal, which included ones in the 200-meter butterfly, 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x200m freestyle relay.

Katie Ledecky won gold in the individual 400-meter freestyle and set a new world record of 3:56:46. She also won in the 200-meter freestyle.

LIlly King, who called out a Russian rival for her two failed drug tests, won gold and backed up her talk of keeping the Olympics clean.

Ryan Murphy took home gold as well, setting an Olympic record in the men’s 100 backstroke.

The USA men’s basketball team trampled Venezuela 113-69 Monday night.

Valiant efforts
There won’t be any Olympic medals for the Williams sisters in Rio.

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Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams lost their doubles matches on Sunday, having won three previous gold medals.

Serena won on Sunday but fell to Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3 in the third round of the women’s singles competition at the 2016 Rio Olympics on Tuesday night.

On Monday, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who became the first American to compete in the Olympic Games while wearing a hijab, advanced after beating a Ukraine fencer in the individual sabre event.

However, Muhammad later lost to Cecilia Berder of France. The American will have another shot at the gold during team competition.

“I realize this moment is bigger than me,” Muhammad said.

Her comments about tolerance have resonated with people globally.

“A lot of people don’t believe that Muslim women have voices, or that we participate in sports,” she said. “I want to challenge the misconceptions not only outside the Muslim community, but also within the Muslim community. … I want to show girls it is important to be involved in sports and to lead an active lifestyle.”

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