The Olympics produces moments. Some are memorable and have lasting cultural resonance. Many feel significant at the time, but have the ultimate staying power of Falcon Heene. Here are our 10 favorite moments no one will be talking about in the coming weeks, months, and years.
Ryan Lochte’s Excellent Adventure: Ryan Lochte went out partying. He stopped on the way back to go to the bathroom and, it appears, cracked a sandwich sign. Gas station rent-a-cops pulled a gun on him and his friends. He embellished the story afterward. The Sports Column Industrial complex marauded out ahead of the reporting. It dominated the news cycle for a week. He lost some endorsements. But, the staying power will be minimal. America’s international reputation will recover. Lochte will be back to being “12-time Olympic medalist” by 2016.
Phelps Face: Michael Phelps and Chad Le Clos raced. Per NBC, Le Clos tried to rattle Phelps in the warmup area. Phelps, likely caught up in his own thoughts, looked homicidal for a moment there. It’s early. But, I suspect Phelps will be remembered for his 23 gold medals. This moment will be forgotten by all, except for this guy inspired to get a tattoo.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Look Alike: U.S. archer Brady Ellison won a pair of Olympic medals. The Internet became obsessed with him looking exactly like Leonardo DiCaprio. He looks almost nothing like Leonardo DiCaprio from most angles. He bears a stronger resemblance to Stephen Douglas. The games are barely over and we’re amazed we remembered this.
Lilly King’s Finger Wag: American swimmer Lilly King finger wagged formerly doping Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, then backed it up with a gold medal in the 100m backstroke. Efimova came back with a retort that missed the point entirely. This won’t be relived until an NBC “make lives spent monotonously training in a pool” segment in 2020.
Hope Solo Mouthing Off: USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo was not a fan of Sweden’s defensive tactics, as the favorite Americans were dumped out before the medal rounds. Julie Foudy and others ripped her. Solo is 35. She may not be playing by the 2019 World Cup, in which case this story is a non-entity. Even if she does play, there are so many Hope Solo stories and controversies they blend together. These post match comments will not live on in infamy.
Usain Bolt Met a Girl: Usain Bolt was photographed shirtless on Whats App, with a 20-year-old student who was not his girlfriend. If this was Ryan Lochte or another American athlete, the handwringing would have been outrageous. We’re guessing this behavior won’t have a lasting impact on Bolt’s “legacy” or cause a national crisis in Jamaica.
The Dancing Weightlifter: Weight lifter David Katoatau from Kiribati delighted the crowd with his dance moves. Sadly, this story has a lot working against it. Weightlifting is an off the radar sport. Kiribati is a tiny country. It would require Americans to remember a polysyllabic name with multiple vowel combinations.
PART TWO: The hen party start chanting “BBC BBC BBC BBC” pic.twitter.com/22Xv6za7jv
— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) August 14, 2016
The BBC Bachelorette Party: BBC Four was broadcasting late night from Copacabana Beach. A bachelorette party crashed the set. It was more interesting than what they were supposed to be talking about. The host wisely embraced the moment.
The Smooth Dressage Horse: The women in my life have contractually obligated me to point out dressage is a sport with a tremendous degree of difficulty. Here are Spain’s Severo Jesus Juardo Lopez and his horse Lorenzo dancing to 90’s classic “Smooth” by Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana. The Internet found it to be a hoot.
USA Men’s Basketball Gold: The NBA-fueled United States blew out Serbia 96-66 to win the gold medal in men’s basketball. They won, as expected. You’ll remember that. But, the details will be vague. Who played on this team? Who were the starters? Who were the vital role players and the glue guys? How did this team compare to 2008 or 2012? That will be lost. How career defining is an Olympic gold medal in basketball for an American NBA player? Ask inveterate winner Carmelo Anthony, who has three of them.