Cultural Notes

August 27, 2016


By Arturo P. Garcia

Like all nations that hosted the 31st Summer Olympic, Rio De Jainero basked in its glory. For the time, a South American nation hosted an Olympics, a feat unparralled through the years.

As usual, The United States gained the upper hand with the most gold medals among the five-nation power group, namely, China, Russia, Great Britain and Japan.

The great difference is, for the first time, the Americans ruled track and field events, which they got 33 gold medals and gymnastics and swimming which they got a rich harvest of 32 gold medals.

The 31-year old Swimmer Michael Phelps got his 23rd gold medals making his medal harvest to 28 for all the Olympics he participated. Unsurpassed in Olympic history. On the other hand, Simome Manuel, the first African American swimmer also got her three medals in the events she participated.

In gymnastics, another African-American, the 19- year old  Simone Biles, the “four feet and eight inches giant” dominated the floor with five medals; four gold medals and one bronze medal. She and the other four American gymnast, dominated the gymnastic events in the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Despite the dominance of the fastest man on earth, Jamaica’ s top sprinter Usain Bolt who made a “triple-triple” in 100m, 200m and 4X100 events it was dimmed by their lost to Japan in the 4X100 team’s relay who won the gold medal in that event. . Thus Jamaica only dominated the 5 of the 6 track events in the Rio Olympics instead of sweeping it.

Another first is the win of the American long distance runner Matt Centcowitz at the 1,500 M race. It was American’s second gold medal since the American Mel Shepard won this event in the 1908 London Olympics. A rare span of 108 years.

Different countries have their first gold medals like the small Pacific nation of Fiji that won their first gold medal in the game of Rugby.  Other  have their first medal, may it be a silver or a bronze medal like the Philippines.

Others have their great heart-break like the African country of  Kenya which used to dominated the long distance run like the marathon but was eliminated in all the heats trials for long distance races.

The US women’s beach volleyball team also lost their game to Brazil. While Brazil finally won its first gold medal in their national sports game- the football beating the World Champion that beat them in Brazil- European champion Germany, 6-5 to the delight of the hometown crowd.

The United States “dream team” brought home the bacon in basketball. They beat the shit out of Serbia by 30 points. Serbia  won their country’s first silver medal as a country in the Olympics.

Serbia used to compete as Yugoslavia  since the cold war until the 2016 Rio Olympics.  Like Brazil, ( the Americans) can  lose out in all games except basketball!

And so despite the political crisis in Brazil, the controversial destruction of  the favelas, the pollution in the bay, The Zika Virus,  the Russian  doping scandal, the ticket scalping scandal, the other scandasl and everything,– the Rio 2016 Olympics was a success.

As US President John F. Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs Fiasco  or the failed CIA invasion of Cuba:

“Victory has many fathers, but failure is a lonely orphan.”








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