Olympians to Root for: Rio 2016

a post from Esther



Less than 2 months away 'til the games begin in beautiful Rio, the first Olympic Games to be hosted in a South American country!!! I wouldn't call myself a sports fanatic... but boy do I get mad-feisty when Olympic season comes around. These games have always been exciting for me - they come around once every 2 years, I get to cheer on teams in sports that don't otherwise get recognized outside of the Olympics (*ahem!* curling), and it's just crazy fun to follow the stories of people who've worked a lifetime to get to this point in competition. I mean, how many people do you know personally who've made it to the Olympics?

My husband and I have already started having conversations about athletes we're planning to watch. Here are some I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye out for and hope you do too:

Deepa Karmakar (Gymnastics) - She's the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the games. Not only that, but she's landed an almost impossible vault. Refinery 29's article about Deepa has a video of her story that you can watch. She's quite impressive!

Michael Phelps (Swimming) - I know, my eyes are rolling too. Not the champion of the best life choices. But the guy is an incredible athlete, no one else has achieved what he has in his sport; he's won 22 medals and 18 of those are gold medals...what the what?? I'm really curious to see what he can pull at his third Olympic games.

Simone Biles (Gymastics) - The New Yorker just referred to her as the best gymnast in the world. Read her story, it's really fascinating!

Katie Ledecky (Swimming) - She's nineteen-years-old and folks are calling her the next Michael Phelps. She already holds world record titles in multiple races, y'all. I'm excited to see her just keep swimming, swimming...

Melissa Stockwell (Triathlon) - She's an Iraq veteran with some serious girl power to her name. Despite the loss of her left leg, she regularly competes in triathlons. This year will be the first that the paralympic games host a triathlon. Learn more about Melissa's story.

Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes - This is amazing. These incredible human beings who have been through so much and have no nation to call their own will, for the first time in history, be given the opportunity to compete despite having no nationality status. Be inspired and read up on the team!

Have you heard about the mascot for Rio 16? Get to know a little bit more about Vinicius!