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The good, the bad and the ugly of the Rio Games

Tim Reynolds,AP

RIO DE JANEIRO – Michael Phelps won more medals than anyone else, again. And then he said farewell, also again.

Usain Bolt kissed the finish line goodbye after enhancing his Olympic legacy. Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky delivered under the burden of enormous expectations. Two strangers went from rivals to forever-linked by a display of kindness, an entire island seemed to celebrate a tennis match, and a gold medalist scampered home to avoid legal issues after a robbery story unraveled.

And then the home team won soccer gold.

The Rio de Janeiro Olympics were not perfect.

But there were moments – some great, some dreadful and some downright ugly – that will not, and should not, be forgotten.

Here’s a look:

Medal leaders

The U.S. dominated the medal count, a rare romp in a non-boycotted games. There’s still more medals to win Sunday, but the margin of overall victory could be the most in a fully attended games in 68 years. Phelps won six medals, five of them gold, to increase his career haul to 23 Olympic titles and 28 medals overall. Ledecky and Biles each won five medals; Biles will carry the U.S. flag into the closing ceremony. And U.S. shooter Kim Rhode has now won a medal in six consecutive Olympics – and she might not be done.

Best finish

Bolt kissing the finish line after his ninth and final Olympic gold – in nine final races – was a perfect ending. He ran the anchor leg of the 4x100-meter relay for Jamaica, won emphatically to become the third athlete ever with nine golds in track and field, and insists that this will be the end of his Olympic career.

“Nothing left to prove,” Bolt said.

Best act of sportsmanship

In the women’s 5,000-meter heat, Abbey D’Agostino of the U.S. and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin – strangers before that day – were involved in a tumble. D’Agostino helped Hamblin up, encouraging her to finish the race. D’Agostino tore a knee ligament in the fall and obviously couldn’t finish. Hamblin wound up finishing last of 17 in the 5,000 final, so neither left with a medal.

Instead, they got so much more.

“That girl is the Olympic spirit right there,” Hamblin said of D’Agostino. “I’ve never met her before. … And isn’t that just so amazing?”

Biggest embarassment

Another easy pick, even in a games where an Egyptian was sent home after failing to shake an Israeli judo opponent’s hand.

Ryan Lochte is a 12-time Olympic medalist, and the odds that he’ll have a chance to ever swim for a 13th are as murky as some of the pools were in these Rio Games. Lochte’s story that a robber put a gun to his head quickly unraveled, his three teammates who were companions that night all were left to answer legal questions after he scurried home, and more repercussions from the U.S. Olympic Committee are likely coming.

Breakout star

Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig, whose tennis gold was Puerto Rico’s first Olympic title in any sports, is the breakout star of these games, according to AP Twitter followers who were asked to vote.

Reduced to tears many times after draping the Puerto Rican flag across her body after the gold-medal match, Puig beat two of the world’s best five players to win the title.

“To do this … is everything,” Puig said.

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