The 2016 Summer Olympics have featured incredible athletic achievements, but amid the major headlines were stories of sportsmanship, triumph and even a few marriage proposals.
Here are a few you may have missed:
Helping a competitor after a fall in the 10K
Colliding with American runner Galen Rupp could have doomed Mo Farah, Great Britain’s reigning gold medalist in the 10,000-meter event on August 13. But after checking to make sure Farah was OK, Rupp encouraged his friend and training partner to get back in the race. Farah went on to win gold; Rupp finished fifth. “[Rupp] is a great sportsman,” Farah said in a post-race interview.
A win for a Syrian refugee swimmer
Swimming for the first Refugee Olympic Team, Yusra Mardini won a preliminary heat in the 100-meter butterfly on August 6. “I hope for more in Tokyo,” at the next Olympic Games, the 18-year-old told the Associated Press. She was a hero even before arriving in Rio. While fleeing the Syrian civil war last August, she jumped into the Mediterranean Sea with her sister to save her sinking boat, pushing the craft to shore to save almost 20 people.
She said yes!
Two Chinese divers won more than just medals at Rio. No sooner had He Zi stepped off the podium after winning silver in the 3-meter springboard diving competition on August 14 than she received a surprise proposal from her boyfriend of six years, Qin Kai, a fellow Chinese diver. He won bronze in the synchronized 3-meter springboard competition.
And so did she
— CNN International (@cnni) August 9, 2016
Brazil’s rugby player Isadora Cerullo got a surprise August 8 at the end of the first rugby sevens tournament in Olympic history, when girlfriend Marjorie Enya, a manager at the rugby venue, popped the question. “I wanted to show people that love wins,” Enya said in an interview with the BBC.
— TIME (@TIME) August 9, 2016
When first-time Olympian Lee Eun-ju met fellow gymnast Hong Un-jong during warmups on August 7, she did what most 17-year-olds would do — chatted and snapped a selfie. But because Lee competes for South Korea and Hong for North Korea, it became something more: a gesture of friendship from athletes whose countries are still technically at war.
From Rio slum to the top of the podium
Winning Brazil’s first medal of the Olympic Games in the 57-kilogram judo competition, Rafaela Silva had to overcome more than the Number 1–ranked fighter in her weight class on August 8. The 24-year-old grew up poor in a crime-ridden favela, or shantytown, outside of Rio de Janeiro, called Cidade de Deus (City of God). She won gold.
Olympians come in all sizes
Simone Biles, the shortest member of Team USA at 4-foot-8, stands next to volleyball player David Lee (6-foot-8) pic.twitter.com/DWd5NS6pqG
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 10, 2016
At 1.42 meters, gymnast Simone Biles is the shortest person on the U.S. Olympic team. Standing next to men’s volleyball player David Lee, who stands at 2.03 meters, Biles proves you don’t have to be tall to win gold.
Michael Phelps breaks 2,000-year-old record
— U.S. Embassy Athens (@USEmbassyAthens) August 12, 2016
Take that, ancient Olympians! When U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps won gold in the 200-meter individual medley, his 13 individual gold medals topped a record held by Leonidas of Rhodes: 12 individual medals over four (ancient) Olympics, set in 152 B.C.E.
The 2016 Games go on until August 21 — find more Olympic moments on ShareAmerica.