Rio Olympics: what to watch during the final weekend in Rio
The coming weekend marks the end to the 2016 Rio Olympics, which seemed to run by us in a flash — well, not Usain Bolt fast, but quickly nonetheless. It's been a strange competition, too, just look at what happened to the U.S. men's swimming team: an Olympic-record breaking performance from Michael Phelps, and a perplexing incident at a gas station that led to Ryan Lochte lying to his mom.
Now that we're approaching the ritualistic closing ceremony on Sunday, here are the biggest Olympic events happening this weekend that sports fans won't want to miss.
Usain Bolt's final race: The fastest man alive has one final race before he reportedly calls it a career at the Olympics, where he'll be competing in the men's 4x100m relay for Jamaica. But it's not just Bolt's final bout: the sprinter will be aiming for a coveted "triple triple" at this year's Olympics — a gold in the 100-meter, 200-meter and the 4x100-meter relay.
The women's 4x100-meter relay: It was almost another heartbreak for the U.S. women's 4x100-meter relay team, as a botched passing of the baton seemingly cost them a place in the final round. However, the toss was inadvertently obstructed by a Brazilian runner — and a re-run of the semifinal landed them in the final race.
Now the U.S. team will have a chance to claim the gold — though they'll face stiff competition against a tough Jamaican squad, who won a relay against the Americans in 2015. The race will take place Friday at 7:10 p.m. Eastern.
The men's soccer finals: Remember when host country Brazil got absolutely decimated at the 2014 World Cup semifinals against Germany? Brazilian fans certainly don't want to revisit the 7-1 blowout at the hands of the Germans, who eventually won the tournament.
But now, there's a rematch at hand in the Rio Olympics' final. Granted, it's on a much smaller scale than the World Cup (fewer big-name players show up, in part due to the rule that only three players above 23 can be on the roster), but it's all about redemption and national pride for Brazil.
Even if we don't see a 7-1 scoreline — which, heaven forbid, would happen to Brazil again — be sure to check out the men's final on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
The basketball finals: While it seems a foregone conclusion that the U.S. men's and women's basketball teams will win gold, it's still an entertaining opportunity to watch some of the game's best players compete on a national team together, rather as rivals. Similarly, players on the same professional teams can compete against teammates from other countries.
Case in point: the men's teams likely finalist, Australia, which features NBA players like Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors and Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs.
The closing ceremony: The literal passing of the torch to 2020 hosts Tokyo is a fun Olympics tradition, and like the opening ceremony, the closing should be rife with celebrations and performances to close out the tournament.
Most notably, it's also the first opportunity to see what Tokyo has planned for the next Summer Olympics, in the form of a brief performance of their own. (For context, here's Brazil from the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony.)
For the last looks at the Rio Olympics, tune into NBC on Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern for the closing ceremony.