39 Of The Most Epic Photos From The 2016 Rio Olympics

The games of the XXXI Olympiad summed up in 39 amazing photos.

Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

Young performers fly kites in the shape of doves, an Olympic tradition that symbolizes peace, to usher in the 2016 Games.

Fireworks illuminate Maracanã Stadium as participating nations converge at the opening ceremony. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

A view of the sunset over the Beach Volleyball Arena at Copacabana on the first day of the games. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

A spectator stands in the empty Deodoro Stadium prior to a rugby match. David Rogers / Getty Images

Kosuke Hagino of Japan takes the gold in the men’s 400-meter individual medley final. Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Alexander Massialas of the United States (right) defeats Artur Akhmatkhuzin of Russia during a men’s individual foil event. Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Mathlynn Sasser of the Marshall Islands in jubilation during the women’s 58-kilogram weightlifting contest. Lars Baron / Getty Images

Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo kisses her girlfriend, Marjorie, a volunteer, after accepting her marriage proposal on the sideline of the women’s rugby medal ceremony. Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters

Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Michael Phelps of the United States competes in the men’s 200-meter butterfly heat. Phelps went on to win gold for the event, finishing with six medals from Rio — and a total of 28 medals during his Olympic career. 

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt well ahead of his competition during the men’s 100-meter sprint semifinal. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

Egypt’s Doaa Elghobashy and Germany’s Kira Walkenhorst approach the net at a beach volleyball event. Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Brazilian water polo players yell to their teammates during a match against Russia. Sergei Grits / AP

Antonio Bronic / Reuters

A view of the Olympic diving pool (left) after the wrong chemicals were dumped in the water, turning it green.

Spain’s Andres Eduardo Mata Perez lifts during the men’s 77kg weightlifting contest. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Samir Ait Said of France in excruciating pain after breaking his leg while competing on the vault during the artistic gymnastics men’s team qualification. Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Chad le Clos of South Africa looks over to his archrival, USA’s Michael Phelps, during the men’s 200m butterfly final. David Ramos / Getty Images

Pool / Getty Images

Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera of Colombia removes his shoes to symbolise his retirement, as he celebrates his final win at the men’s 62-kilogram weightlifting contest.

Fu Yuanhui of China (left) makes a funny face during the medal ceremony for the women’s 100-meter backstroke event. Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

US gymnast Simone Biles gets in the zone as she competes in the women’s balance beam event final. Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP / Getty Images

Dylan Martinez / Reuters

In a true act of diplomacy, South Korea’s Lee Eun-ju (right) takes a selfie with North Korea’s Hong Un Jong during a gymnastics practice.

Katie Ledecky of the United States (center) totally wiping out her competition during the women’s 800-meter freestyle final. Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images

China’s Yang Bin (red) in combat with Morocco’s Zied Ait Ouagram during the men’s Greco-Roman competition. Markus Schreiber / AP

Cyclists ride past an eco barrier along a polluted canal in the Leblon neighborhood during the women’s road race. Mario Tama / Getty Images

South Africa’s Caster Semenya ecstatic over her women’s 800-meter final win during the athletics event. Adrian Dennis / AFP / Getty Images

Lucas William Savola gets a feel of the gold medal won by his mother, USA’s Kristin Armstrong, in the cycling road women’s individual time trial. Bryn Lennon / Getty Images

Spectators sit in the shade during the equestrian dressage grand prix freestyle event. John Macdougall / AFP / Getty Images

Zhong Tianshi of China waits to compete in the women’s keirin second-round cycling event. Patrick Semansky / AP

Ian Walton / Getty Images

Suffering from an injury following a mid-race collision, USA’s Abbey D’Agostino (right) is assisted by her competitor, New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, during the women’s 5,000-meter heat.

Michael John Conlan of Ireland gives the finger to the judges after his defeat to Vladimir Nikitin of Russia in the boxing men’s bantam (56 kilogram) quarterfinal. Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Dutch players wait for the start of their women’s quarterfinal volleyball match against South Korea. Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images

An underwater view of Britain’s Thomas Daley competing in the men’s 10-meter platform semifinal. Francois-xavier Marit / AFP / Getty Images

The Brazilian football crowd cheering on their national team before they beat Germany in the men’s final. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Japan’s Saori Yoshida (left) in tears as Helen Maroulis of the USA celebrates her win in the women’s freestyle 53-kilogram wrestling event. Mariana Bazo / Reuters

China’s synchronized swimming team practices at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center. Wong Maye-e / AP

Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Mongolia’s wrestling coaches protest the judges’ decision after Mandakhnaran Ganzorig (red) was defeated by Ikhtiyor Navruzov of Uzbekistan in the men’s freestyle 65-kilogram match for the bronze medal.

Athletes rest after finishing the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase final. Matt Dunham / AP

Athletes participate during the parade at the closing ceremony. Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

Brazilian singer Roberta Sa performs during the closing ceremony. John Macdougall / AFP / Getty Images

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe holds up a red glowing ball as Rio de Janeiro hands over the Olympic Games to Tokyo. Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images

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Matt Tucker is the UK picture editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
Contact Matthew Tucker at matthew.tucker@buzzfeed.com.
Anna Mendoza is a photo editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Anna Mendoza at Anna.Mendoza@buzzfeed.com.
BuzzFeed's resident photo geek.
Contact Gabriel H. Sanchez at gabriel.sanchez@buzzfeed.com.
Kate Bubacz is a Senior Photo Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Kate Bubacz at kate.bubacz@buzzfeed.com.
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