Women dominated this year in Rio, despite Ryan Lochte’s determined attempts to distract everyone from actual sports. Records were broken, history was made, and woman athletes went home with the gold. Here are just a few of the most notable; as these things go, they’re a bit U.S. centric, but we’re sure there’s plenty more for you to add in the comments.
Coburn took the bronze, becoming the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic steeplechase medal.
Carter is the first U.S. competitor to win gold in women’s shot put—and only the second to win a medal for Team USA in shot put ever.
The U.S. Women’s Eight
The U.S. women’s rowing team won their third consecutive gold medal in the Olympics, breaking the previous record held by Romania from 1996-2004.
Malik became the first woman in India’s history to win an Olympic medal in wrestling when she claimed bronze in the women’s freestyle 58-kilogram competition. Indian women made a huge showing in general at the Games this year. Lalita Babar became the first Indian woman to qualify for an individual Olympic track event final since 1984, Aditi Ashok, at 18 years old, was the youngest contender in women’s golf, and Dipa Karmakar unexpectedly came in fourth for vault, though she was initially denied the support of her longtime physiotherapist when traveling to Rio. And then there’s—
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu placed second in badminton, becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal.
Puig won a medal in women’s singles tennis for Puerto Rico, their first Olympic gold.
Felix has been a record breaker, and this year she became the only woman track and field athlete to win six Olympic gold medals. She is tied with Marlene Ottey as the most decorated woman Olympian in track and field history, with a total of nine medals.
After leading the German dressage team to gold in the Grand Prix Special, Werth won the silver medal in the Grand Prix Individual Freestyle, becoming the most decorated equestrian in Olympic history.
Shields won the gold medal for boxing in 2012, the first year women’s boxing was an official Olympic sport. She took the gold again in 2016, making her the first American boxer, man or woman, to win an Olympic medal in their event twice in a row.
Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh
Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh became the first openly gay and married couple to compete in the Olympics and to win a medal for their country when their team took the gold in field hockey.
Maroulis is the first American winner of a gold medal in Olympic women’s wrestling.
Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin
Winner of the bronze medal in Taekwondo, and the first Iranian woman to win a medal at the Olympic Games.
Hosszu broke the record for the 400-meter individual medley, winning gold for Hungary and becoming the first swimmer to hold world records in all five individual medley events at the same time.
Manuel won gold in the 100-meter freestyle, becoming the first black American woman to win an individual Olympic gold in swimming, setting both an Olympic record and an American record with a time of 52:70.
Robles took the bronze medal in the women’s over-75 kg. category, becoming the first U.S. lifter to win an Olympic medal in 16 years.
Ledecky broke the Olympic record for the 400-meter freestyle in the heats with a time of 3:58.71, then topped it in the final with 3:56:46, breaking the world record. She won four gold medals, the fourth of which was in the 800-meter freestyle, where she again set a world record. Ledecky is the first swimmer to win the 200, 400 and 800-meter freestyle at the same Olympics since 1968. She is the most decorated woman athlete in single-Olympics performance, in terms of gold medals.
Biles won four gold medals in the individual all-around, vault and floor, and was also part of the winning U.S. team in the all-around. She additionally took the bronze medal in balance beam, which in combination with past wins, makes her the most decorated American gymnast in history. In Rio she set a record for the most gold medals won in women’s gymnastics at a single Games. She broke gymnastics.