Rio Roundup: kid-friendly updates from the Rio Olympic Games

Rio Roundup: kid-friendly updates from the Rio Olympic Games

Welcome to the Rio Roundup, where every Friday during the Olympics we’ll highlight noteworthy and kid-friendly news and information.

This page will be updated at the end of every week, so bookmark it and remember to check back as we present fun fodder you can discuss with your little super fans. And if you’re not sold on the idea of cheering on Team Canada as a family here are 7 reasons why we think it’s great to watch the Games with your kids.

August 19, 2016

In a record-breaking week in Rio, medals were second to world-class sportsmanship and a fast-moving friendship. Let’s take a look at the past seven days in Brazil…

– Sometimes victories aren’t all about medals. In a collision during the women’s 5,000 metre running event, New Zealand runner, Nikki Hamblin, helped American runner Abbey D’Agostino back to her feet and encouraged her to cross the finish line. Although neither athlete qualified for the finals, Hamblin and D’Agostino were granted positions to race for medals after showing such outstanding sportsmanship.

– British cyclist athletes Laura Trott and Jason Kenny have ten Olympic gold medals between them… and a wedding to plan for. The couple, who plan to wed before the next Olympic games, joked that their future children will also be great cyclists. Regardless of the sport their future kids take up they’re sure to have great role models to look up to.

– This week’s social media story was predictably the men’s 100 metre final, but for reasons you might not expect. Yes, Usain Bolt captured gold, but we all saw that coming. The unexpected story line was the budding friendship between the fastest man on the planet and Canadian sprinter, Andre De Grasse. The sprinters ran alongside each other in the semifinals and finals, creating an ‘older brother-younger brother’ bond that has been fondly dubbed “DeBolt”. Kids who dream of running fast like Usain and Andre can start by learning how to sprint correctly.

– Derek Drouin of Sarnia, Ontario won gold in the men’s high jump competition after clearing a height of 2.38 meters, or 7’8”. To give you a visual, Drouin’s winning jump means that he could leap over twenty-six boxes of Timbits or an adult moose.

– It’s been a grueling week for athletes in the decathlon event, a ten-event super competition that includes pole vault, discus, and hurdles, just to name a few. And while the men competing in this challenge are super athletes, could they also be superheroes? Some thought so when American Olympian, Ashton Eaton, wore a “cooling mask” during the first day of competition.

– Similar to the Bolt – De Grasse brotherhood, but this time brothers by blood, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee from Great Britain won gold and silver, respectively, in the men’s triathlon. The pair were the best and runner-up in the running, biking, and swimming event, which makes for a pretty awesome sibling rivalry.

August 12th, 2016

The opening week in Rio had no shortage of headlines, green water, and memes. Let me catch you up.

– In its Olympic debut, Rugby Sevens quickly became a fan favourite sport and here’s why: the fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping game with shortened halves was over before you blinked. Canada’s women’s team grabbed hold of their opponents and the country with a convincing bronze medal win over Great Britain. Fun fact: Jen Kish, captain of the women’s squad, maintains a quirky superstition by eating mustard before each match.

– Penelope Oleksiak, better known as Penny, won one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals, earning her the record for most medals won by a Canadian in a single Olympic games. Believe it or not, the 16-year-old phenom had trouble making any swim team when she couldn’t complete two laps of the pool at age 9. When she eventually joined a club that valued fun over competition, the 6’2” (and continually growing) teen thrived.

– You might have noticed something odd as you watched the Canadian pair of Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito win bronze in the 10-metre synchro diving competition. It was the pool water, and not the divers, that made a splash in the headlines over the past few days. The water in Rio’s diving pool turned green overnight due to excess algae, but officials maintained that it was safe for athletes to swim in. Some say it looked like green jello, while others called it a swamp. How would you describe the pool colour in Rio?

– American swimmer Michael Phelps made the news a lot in the past week. He may have won his 22nd career gold medal on August 11th, but it was his #PhelpsFace that was getting all the attention. As the camera focused in on Phelps and his competitor before a race, the rest, as they say, is social media history.

– In a historic moment during the opening ceremonies, the Olympics’ first-ever team of refugees marched into Maracana Stadium to a standing ovation from the crowd. These athletes — who have fled from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo — represent the 21 million refugees in the world today. Unlike their fellow Olympic competitors, the Refugee Olympic Team members have no home, no flag, and no national anthem. They are an important reminder of the true spirit of the Games.

– Australian artistic gymnast, Larissa Miller, took a risk and stumbled during her floor routine which cost her an opportunity to win a medal. Her sincere reflection on the Games, though, is medal-worthy in itself.

– The Rio Olympic Golf Course has made a very furry friend. Capybara, the world’s largest rodents, have been roaming the fairways in Brazil, and to some Canadians, this might be a new species to see (unless you were following the great Capybara escape from the High Park Zoo in Toronto earlier this summer). This semi-aquatic beaver lookalike can grow up to four feet long, two feet tall, and is quickly becoming a regular in the golfing competition.

– With so much focus on medals and records, we can sometimes forget what a feat it is to get to the Olympics. Fu Yuanhui has not forgotten for a second. The 20-year-old Chinese swimmer has become known for her fast backstroke and genuine reactions. For fans watching from afar, her happiness radiates through the broadcast and reminds us all of the fun and excitement of the Games.

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