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For Many Athletes, Rio Olympics Was a Time to Shine God's Glory

08-22-2016
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The Rio 2016 Olympics has ended and the Americans are taking home a record-breaking amount of medals.

Team USA is said to have exceeded all expectations, taking home 121 medals overall -- 46 of them gold, 37 silver, and 38 bronze. The U.S. won more medals in 2016 than in any other summer Olympics except for the summer of 1984.

American women won more medals than the men, 61-55, and also won more gold, 27-18. 

The highest amount of medals came from swimming, track and field and gymnastics.

Swimming: 33 medals
16 gold, 8 silver, 9 bronze

Track and field: 32 medals
13 gold, 10 silver, 9 bronze

Gymnastics: 12 medals
4 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze

Trending players include, Madeline DiRado, Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles, Lori Hernandez, Madison Kocian, Michael Phelps, Allyson Felix, English Gardner, and Christian Taylor.

More: Olympic Profiles in Faith

Michael Phelps

Phelps leaves his career with the all-time record for Olympic gold medals (23), as well as the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 28 medals.

He says his life was changed by reading the The Purpose Driven Life, by Pastor Rick Warren. Phelps said the books saved him from committing suicide.

"I thought the world would just be better off without me," Phelps said. "I figured that was the best thing to do — just end my life."

The book raised his spirits so much that he was nicknamed "Preacher Mike" by his fellow patients at the treatment center where he was receiving help.

A now healthy Phelps recently posted a picture of him and his son in the pool with his fiance embracing the start of his retirement.

There's nothing like being back home!! Great way to spend my first day in retirement!! @boomerrphelps @nicole.m.johnson

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Read more about Phelps's testimony here.

Simone Biles

Simone Biles is another Olympian making history being called one of the 'greatest gymnasts ever' by past Olympic great Mary Lou Retton.

 

A photo posted by Simone Biles (@simonebiles) on

Biles leaves Rio with an individual all around gold medal, team all-around medal, vault gold medal, floor gold medal, and a beam bronze medal.

"She's a special athlete, very unique with a God-given talent that you don't teach. Her coach, Aimee, is great in improving upon that, but it's something that she was born with," Retton said. "She's just the best gymnast I've ever seen in my life and I think a lot of us as athletes and even Olympic champions say the same thing."

Biles was selected to carry the American flag during the closing ceremony.

Read about Simone's faith and bio here.

English Gardner

English Gardner, who forgot one of her shoes, helped her team win the women's 4x100m relay. She ended up borrowing a pair of shoes from teammate Allyson Felix.

"I'm normally not a person to forget my shoes. That's kind of like, you know, a soldier showing up to a war without his guns," Gardner said.

"It's amazing," Gardner said winning her first Olympic gold medal. "The feeling is definitely something I wished and dreamed for since I was a little girl. This was a dream since I was 9-years-old."

Watch CBN's interview with Gardner here.

Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix was not only a good teammate on the track, but she also took home two gold medals of her own, securing her spot in Olympic history.

Felix now has six gold medals, bringing her total count to nine medals overall. She has tied for the title of being the most decorated female in track and field with Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey.

"I definitely feel like I've been blessed with this gift, and so that's something that helps me to see the bigger picture. It's so easy to get caught up in winning everything and just the kind of the grind of what professional sports is, but it definitely helps me to kind of pull back and see that there's a greater purpose," Felix said.

Read more on Allyson Felix's faith here.

Christian Taylor

Track athlete Christian Taylor, also gave glory to God after his Olympic win for the second consecutive time.

"My faith keeps me to who I am, because a lot of times there are a lot of distractions, a lot of pressures that come with the lifestyle," Taylor told CNN.

Taylor competed in the triple jump event on Tuesday and won gold, making him the world's first triple jumper in 40 years to repeat his gold-medal wins since 1904.

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