The Olympic Games in Rio has been perhaps the most controversial games yet. From Zika to water quality, some athletes have made the difficult decision to stay home, despite their vigorous training. Even with Rio declaring public calamity over finances, the games, as they say, must go on.
Every Olympic athlete is a testament to determination and to sacrifice. To watch one of these five women is to watch focus and discipline in action. It can inspire any of us to do our best.
Simone Biles, gymnastics
This team USA gymnast is only 4 foot 9, but she has been dominating the media. Already she has secured herself two gold medals - one in the women's team all-around and one in the women's individual all-around. Biles has won 14 total world championship medals, which happens to be the most ever for an American woman. She has a signature flip that has been nicknamed “The Biles” which is a double flip with half of a twist.
Oksana Chusovitina, gymnastics
How many 41-year-old Olympic athletes do you know? Oksana Chusovitina is competing in her seventh summer games, representing Uzbekistan this year. “It's a pity there are no points for age,” Chusovitina joked in an interview with The Associated Press. Competing against women that are the same age as her son, she declares that she still has no pain and no problems in training.
Amy Cragg, marathon
This American track and field star is set to run on Sunday, August 14. Rio’s temperatures should be a piece of cake for Cragg, who won the Olympic trials in brutal Los Angeles heat (the hottest Olympic trials on record). Her time was 2:28:20 in the worst of conditions, making her one to watch this weekend.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 100 meters
With over a decade of elite running, Fraser-Pryce barely has incurred any injuries and has matched Usain Bolt metal for metal at the Olympics and world championships, despite being a full foot shorter than him. She was Jamaica’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremonies and will be competing in the women's 100m and 4x100m relay.
Katie Ledecky, swimming
As the second swimmer to compete in the 200 meter, 400 meter and 800 meters in the same games, American swimmer Ledecky has broken 12 world records. She draws huge crowds, likely as much for her unbridled joy as her star power. She has already won three gold medals and one silver medal in this summer's games.
We’ll be watching.