Only 1 out of 660 000 qualifies for the Rio Olympics and these athletes are simply the best in the world. You have to be pretty badass to reach this pinnacle of sports achievement. Here are the 5 women we love from the Rio Olympics and whose badassery is off the charts.
1. GYMNAST SIMONE BILES
Simone Biles tumbles, flips and leaps to Rio Olympics Glory as the rest of us mere mortals could only watch in awe. Her signature floor routine was the stuff legends were made of, where people will sing songs about her legendary feats long after the event is done and dusted. Just last Thursday, Biles and the USA women’s gymnastics team slayed the 2016 Olympic team event and crushed the rest of the field under their mighty feet. The once in a generation (or two) athlete followed up with a gold at the Individual All-Round Competition and joins the pantheon to become the new Goddess of Gymnastic for us to worship hereafter.
In an interview following her remarkable all-around performance, she said “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles.” And that’s how you take control of your own narrative, like a boss.
2. SWIMMER KATIE LEDECKY
If Poseidon swims freestyle, he will be Katie Ledecky, who is celebrating her new world record 11 seconds before anyone else has finished the 800 freestyle race. Only a couple laps into the race, Ledecky was already distancing herself from the field and she is not even trying very hard.
Look at how Ledecky raced to the finish. There was NOBODY else in sight.
Such was her lead that she had time to touch the wall, take off the goggles, do a victory dance and save the world from mass destruction before her competitors huffed and puffed their way to the finishing line.
With that, she became the second woman in history to win the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle at the same Olympics and undoubtedly, the first Katie Ledecky.
3. JUDO RAFAELA SILVA
Think you know tough? You’ve got nothing on Rafaela Silva who grew up in Rio’s notorious Cidade de Deus favela, made famous by that City of God movie. This amazing woman literally crawled her way out of her London Games disaster like how Dark Knight escaped from Bane’s prison pit, even with an online racist mob baying for her blood . This year she resurrected herself as a national hero for winning her country’s first gold medal in the Rio Olympics and bringing hope to a lost generation .
“This medal is (a response) for all those who said I should be in a cage,” said a tearful Silva. Who’s throwing the punches now?
4. DIVER CHEN ROULIN
When Chen Roulin leaped off the 10m platform and dived into the pool, you don’t see her anymore because Chen is literally at one with herself, her dive partner Liu Huixia, the Rio Olympics and the entire universe. So in sync she is with Chen, we heard that Chen has possibly reached nirvana during the women’s 10m synchronized Olympic diving tournament.
To nail the perfect dive, the devoted diver would eat only one meal a day to control her weight. So unwavering are her iron-clad discipline and determination that she would take photos of her friends eating her own birthday cake. As Marie-Antoinette would say, let them have all the cake they want while you go on to win your 5th gold model and break your compatriot’s Olympics record.
5. SWIMMER YOURSA MARDINI
The face of the Refugee Olympics Teams deserves a gold medal for simply existing. Yoursa Mardini may not have made it the semifinals but she doesn’t need to win anything to prove that she is a champion. When you have saved 20 lives by pushing a stalled boat across the Mediterranean sea en route to Greece, you can rewrite your own Nothing is Impossible slogan. We predict a best Oscar movie nomination for her biopic in the works, with a heartwarming rags-to-riches story matched by an equally heartstrings stirring score and hopefully a racially appropriate actor who is not Leonardo Dicaprio.