Rio Olympics: Takeaways from closing ceremony and the final day of competition
The medal count, all that happened on Sunday, and a goodbye to Rio, which did a pretty good job as host
The games of the 31st Olympiad have concluded.
You want the medal count, we got your medal count. Team USA nearly doubled the nation in second, Great Britain.
How about this: Although the U.S. was ridiculous in winning 121 medals, it was only the third most ever for a single Olympics for the Red, White and Blue.
Also pretty cool: If you only counted the medal count from USA women athletes, they'd tie for second most at these Games. The state of Maryland alone would've been good for sixth!
Brazil, to its credit, did a great job performing as host. The country earned the most medals it ever has (19) and most golds (7) in a single Olympiad.
Opening Ceremony is to Summer Olympics as Closing Ceremony is to Winter Olympics.
But that's OK.
The Sunday-night send-off was fine enough. The party is always about the Opening Ceremony, though. Hey, at least Japan stepped up, gave us some Mario references, and then even had the Japanese Prime Minister pop up from a warp pipe. VERY COOL.
Elsewhere, it was a party. Brazil went out with a lot of music, a lot of dancing. As it should.
It was a nice -- if rainy -- goodbye from Brazil. But only for these Games. Remember, the Paralympics start on Sept. 7.
Here are the headlines from competition around Rio on the final day.
USA men's basketball wins its third straight gold
And consider how this team -- which was great -- didn't even have the likes of LeBron, Steph, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook or James Harden. A beatdown of Serbia clinched a tremendous tournament. If you're curious on the Coach K era ...
Claressa Shields, a 21-year-old American, on her way to being the best female boxer ever
The event you should have seen, but maybe missed on Sunday afternoon, was Shields easily winning gold and becoming the first American boxer in history to take gold in consecutive Olympics.
A wrestler lost and his coaches angrily stripped
It's true. And the final day of the Rio Games brought on my favorite story and image. Plenty more photos here, and trust me, you want to see them. Don't deny it!
American wrestler Kyle Snyder took gold
Not familiar with Snyder? That's to be expected. He's just a pup. He could be one of the 10 biggest American names (non-basketball, non-gymnast, non-swimming division) heading into Tokyo if he keeps on his path.
Not a gold, but American Galen Rupp winning bronze in the marathon? Wow
Rupp is on his way to being an American legend in running. He basically took up marathon running as a challenge, and in his first Olympics as a long-distance runner, he takes bronze. That's astonishing. The United States on the whole had an amazing Olympics in terms of running races 1,500 meters on longer. Elsewhere with the marathon, the guy who took silver spoke out against the crimes against humans happening in his own country. Talk about brave.
Next up: South Korea
So there you have it. The Rio Games are complete. Pyeongchang, South Korea, is next up with the 2018 Winter Games. Those are less than 80 weeks away. Shaun White will likely be the biggest American name there. Come Tokyo, it will probably be Ledecky and Biles. Phelps, I feel, is 100 percent done. Bolt swears he is, but I'd love for him to come back, even if only to run the 4x100 or take on the 400. But it's unlikely.
My general takeaway on Rio is that, 20 years from now, we could well be saying it was the Olympiad the featured the greatest male (Phelps) and female (Ledecky) swimmers ever, the greatest sprinter (Bolt) ever, the greatest gymnast ever (Biles), the greatest beach volleyball player ever (Kerri Walsh Jennings) and the greatest female boxer (Shields) ever. Maybe some more names, too -- those who will emerge as dominant in Tokyo but established themselves here. Either way, despite all the controversy and negative press in the lead-up to Rio, ultimately, in terms of the competition and athletes, that's pretty good.
Re-live the closing ceremony by looking through our live blog.
If the live blog below is not loading properly for you, please click here to view it.
The bizarre finish took place at a recent Olympic qualifying event
Biles continues to show why she's one of the great gymnasts in the history of the sport
The American gymnast is set to participate in the U.S. Gymnastics Championships this weeke...
The South African runner won't be able to compete in her flagship event
The organizing committee ran a two-year collection campaign for old devices
Italy gets the Winter Olympics for the first time since 2006