8 off-the-field highs and lows worth remembering from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
From American swimmer Ryan Lochte’s post-Games antics, to the pool turning green and Michael Conlan’s controversial defeat, the Rio Games has been full of unexpected drama.
Here are 10 off-the-field highs and lows worth remembering from the 2016 Olympic Games:
1. Ryan Lochte’s antics
The US swimmer and three of his team-mates, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen, found themselves in hot water after the gold medal winner claimed they had been robbed at gunpoint during a night out in the Brazilian capital.
Lochte claimed in a television interview that the robbers posing as police pulled the quartet’s taxi over and demanded they get on the ground. He added that when he refused, a man pointed a gun at his head before taking his wallet.
But Brazilian police rejected his account of events, releasing CCTV and saying the men were intoxicated and vandalised a petrol station toilet before being questioned by armed guards. The group paid for the damage and left.
Team USA and Lochte later apologised amid a media storm.
2. Green pool mystery
Divers would have been forgiven for looking a little green around the gills as they stood at the top of the 10 metre platform – not as a result of vertigo but because the pool had turned a murky shade of emerald during the competition.
Baffled officials struggled to explain the cause at first, initially blaming it on sunlight, a lack of wind in the open-air aquatic centre and a “proliferation of algae”.
But they eventually revealed that a contractor had filled the pool with hydrogen peroxide, allowing algae to form, and decided to drain the pool and pump one million gallons of clean water in time for the synchronised swimming event.
3. Ticketing investigation
The head of the the Olympic Committee of Ireland (OCI) stepped aside from his role after being arrested as part of an investigation into the alleged illegal sale of tickets for the Rio games.
Patrick Hickey, 71, who has denied wrongdoing, was detained at a hotel in the Barra da Tijuca area of the city before being formally accused under Brazilian law of ticket touting, running a cartel and illicit marketing – a preliminary step which is not equivalent to being charged in British or Irish law.
The OCI and two ticket agencies at the centre of the controversy pledged their co-operation and urged an anticipated independent inquiry in Dublin to make its findings as quickly as possible.
4. Empty seats
Pre-Games suggestions that many Brazilians were lukewarm, if not hostile, to the Olympics appeared to be proved correct when many of the early events took place in front of less-than-packed venues.
Canoeing, equestrian, water polo, rugby sevens and even beach volleyball – a sport in which Brazil excel – were among the early events that had lacklustre turnouts.
Organisers said long queues at airport-style security gates had prevented many spectators getting into the venues but these had eased as the Games went on.
5. Olympic nan
Swimmer Adam Peaty may have grabbed the first British swimming gold for decades but he had to share the spotlight with his grandmother, who was watching 6,000 miles away.
Mavis Williams had several television cameras trained on her at her home in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, as she watched her grandson win the 100m breaststroke and Great Britain's first medal of the 2016 Olympic Games.
Aged 74, Williams joined Twitter ahead of the Games, labelling herself the #OlympicNan and tweeting her congratulations to the 21-year-old swimming sensation, who also won a silver in the men’s 4×100 metre medley relay.
6. Marriage proposals
Love was clearly in the air as the Rio Olympics saw several public marriage proposals.
Britain’s dressage star Charlotte Dujardin’s fiance Dean Golding wore a sign on his t-shirt which read “Can we get married now?” as she won gold in the individual event, and British race walker Tom Bosworth proposed to boyfriend Harry Dineley on Copacabana beach.
And China’s He Zi accepted a marriage proposal from her boyfriend and fellow diver Qin Kai as she stepped off the medal podium after winning silver in the women’s 3m springboard.
7. Boxing controversy
Olympic boxing’s governing body AIBA expelled a “handful” of referees and judges involved in controversial decisions during the Rio Games.
Among them was Ireland’s Michael Conlan, who could not hide his fury when the three judges awarded Russian Vladimir Nikitin a unanimous points decision in their bantamweight quarter-final.
The reigning world champion went on an expletive-laden rant, even hitting out at Russian president Vladimir Putin, but was consoled when five-year-old Finn McManus offered him his school medal.
8. Dan Walker’s awkward presenting moment
The BBC Breakfast presenter had an eventful time in the late-night slot of the BBC’s Olympics coverage.
At one point he was joined live on air by bride-to-be Maria de Cezar on her hen do after their excited chanting interrupted his BBC Four broadcast. she later invited him to the wedding on Twitter.
And the 39-year-old was left red-faced as a couple canoodled on Copacabana beach in the background while he was presenting. He attempted to reassure viewers the couple in question were “just reading a book”.