Who might win gold in Olympics 2016 in Rio? Who are the best athletes of this year? Find out in this article!
Shattered world records and Phelps-like individual dominance, as well as shocking upsets and heartwarming tales of athletes whose mere participation is a victory –this all what we can expect from Olympics 2016 in Rio! Here are 15 underdog stories to watch, from those who might win gold to some runner-ups you'll root for anyway.
1. Oksana Chusovitina
Oksana is 41 years old now. She is the oldest gymnast who competes in the Olympics. This is her seventh trip to the Games. She won a team gold with the Unified team in 1992 and silver when she represented Germany in 2008. However, this year she is going to represent her native Uzbekistan.
Chusovitina’s contemporaries admire her because they can’t understand how she can remain in such a good shape in her age and after the child birth.
2. The refugee Olympic athletes team
The International Olympic Committee created an athlete team which consists of ten refugees. Six of them came from Sudan, two from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, and Ethiopia. The team was formed because of the conflicts across the Syria and African continent.
Evert team member has horrible experience of being orphaned and staying in the camp. However, they all survived and now competing at the highest levels of judo, track, and swimming.
The refugee Olympic athletes team will march in the opening ceremony just before Brazil. The interesting fact about the team is that it has no flag, no anthem, and no home.
READ ALSO: Olympic refugee team: Who are they?
3. Guarika Singh
Guarika is 13 years old, and she is the youngest athlete competing in Rio. She will swim the 100-meter backstroke. The girl came from Nepal. Interesting to know that Singh survived the tragedy in Kathmandu in 2015 and donated her winnings from the championship victory to the support victims.
4. Yohan Blake
Yohan is 26 years old, and he is from Jamaica. However, it is thought that sprinter has the great disadvantage of competing against his friend and training partner Usain Bolt. But just imagine, how amazing it would be to see Blake, who is two-time silver medalist, come out on top in the 100 or 200?
5. Rafaela Silva
Rafaela is 24 years old, and she is native of one of the poorest favelas in Rio. Silva will compete in Judo. She was disqualified from the Games in 2012 because she used an illegal move, subjecting her to racial taunts from her countrymen. Let’s see what will happen this year.
6. Etimoni Timuani
Talking about the 2015 World Championships, Etmoni run the 100 at the pace of 11, 72. He is 24 years old and what is really fun about him, is that he is the only athlete in Rio who will represent Tuvalu – the small island nation, the approximate population of which is 10 000 residents. It's the only one-athlete country to compete in the Games this year.
7. Lazlo Cseh
Lazlo is Hungarian swimmer who is 30 years old. He already has five medals, but no gold. His main competitors were Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. For example, he got three silver medals in 2008 because he was just behind Phelps.
8. Liina, Leila and Lily Luik
These girls are triplets, and they are 30 years old. Liina, Leila, and Lily came from Estonia, and they are going to compete in the women’s marathon. They are the first triplets to compete in Rio. In spite of the fact, that they are not likely to win, it will be fun to observe them.
9. Kristy Coventry
This is the last chance for Kristy to be the first woman swimmer. She is 32 years old now, and she is from Zimbabwe. This will be the fifth and the last Olympics for her. She will compete in the 200-meter backstroke. Previously she won gold in 2004 and 2008 in this kind of competition. Her medals make up seven of Zimbabwe's eight total.
10. Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber is the German tennis start. Probably, she might have the best shot to stop Serene Williams from winning her fifth gold medal. Kerber lost to Serena on Wimbledon's grass, but beat her earlier this year on the Australian Open's hard court, so we'll give her the slight edge over Muguruza here.
11. Spain men basketball
Even without LeBron James and Steph Curry, the U.S. men's team is stacked with stars, led by Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. The number 2 ranked Spanish team is coming off two silver-medal finishes by the Americans, losing by 11 points and 7 points in the last two Olympic finals.
12. Agatha and Barbara
It will be very nice if this Brazilian duo comes out on top and bring the Olympic title home for the first time in 20 years. They'll face top seed Brazilian duo Larissa and Talita, the number one internationally ranked Germans, Kira Walkenhorst and Laura Ludwig, and the always-dangerous Americans, Kerri Walsh Jennings, and April Ross. It will be very hard to compete. However, it is possible that these Brazilians win in their first-ever Olympics.