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Rio Olympics: Michael Phelps goes out golden


Sun, Aug 14th 2016 02:40 pm
NBC Rio Olympics logo
NBC Rio Olympics logo

"Superman is finally hanging up his cape. What a way to head into the sunset for this man," Rowdy Gaines on Michael Phelps' final race

"It's not the end of a career, it's the beginning of a new journey," Michael Phelps

"I think this is the greatest USA team overall in the modern era," Gaines on the final night of swimming

NBC Olympics' primetime coverage of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, continued Saturday night on the networks of NBCUniversal.

Primetime host Bob Costas opened up Saturday night's coverage on NBC from NBC Olympics' studio located inside the International Broadcast Center in Rio. Primetime coverage on Day 8 of the Rio Games on NBC was highlighted by the final race of Michael Phelps' career, as he collected his 28th career Olympic medal, and 23rd gold, in the 4x100m medley relay with Nathan Adrian,Cody Miller and Ryan Murphy (who set a world record in his leg of the relay). Coverage also featured the U.S. women's 4x100m medley relay team ofDana Vollmer, Lilly King, Simone Manuel and Kathleen Baker winning gold, as well as Connor Jaeger's silver medal win in the men's 1500m swim.

Coverage on NBC began with track and field, highlighted by Elaine Thompson of Jamaica's gold medal win in the women's 100m, while American and first-time Olympian Tori Bowie took silver, and Mo Farah of Great Britain defended his gold medal in the men's 10,000m. Track and field coverage also included Olympic champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica qualifying for the men's 100m final; American Jeff Henderson's gold medal win in long jump; 2008 U.S. Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kirani James of Granada qualifying for the men's 400m final; and the final in the women's heptathlon. Coverage concluded with the medal ceremony for the women's eight in rowing, where the U.S. team won its third consecutive gold medal.

This evening's Olympic action also featured Brazil's win in the quarterfinal round of men's soccer over Colombia on NBCSN, and Monica Puig's gold medal win in women's tennis - the first-ever for Puerto Rico - over Angelique Kerber of Germany on Bravo.

Following are highlights from the evening and primetime coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on the networks of NBCUniversal:


Play-by-play commentator Dan Hicks on Phelps' last race: "Last Olympic final for Phelps - 22 golds, 27 total medals. He has medaled in all but two of his 29 finals to date, and (Nathan) Adrian and company want to make sure it is pure gold for Michael Phelps to end the greatest Olympic career of all time."

Analyst Rowdy Gaines on Phelps' final race: "One last time - as he dives in the water, 50.3 on his split. And here he is - Superman is finally hanging up his cape. What a way to head into the sunset for this man."

Hicks on Phelps' final race: "Five gold and a three-way tie for silver here in Rio to end it the way he wanted to end it. That was the mantra for Phelps in the four years that it's been since London. Do it the right way, train the right way. Michael Phelps has ended his Olympic career in spectacular fashion."

Phelps to Michele Tafoya on the last race of his career: "I think you can tell - I'm just more emotional after the relay this time than I was last time. These are big, important races for us, and as a team we try to come into every single meet and win all three. We were able to do that here. We put together great relays. (Ryan Murphy) starting off with a world record is insane, and it's just been an honor to be a part of these relays. I still remember Aaron Peirsol and I talking about wanting to get on the relays in 2000, and I've had the opportunity to be on some of the greatest relays of all time. It truly is an honor."

Phelps to Tafoya on how he's sure it's his last race: "I'm just ready for something different. My swimming career might be over, but I have a future ahead of me to kind of turn the page and start whatever I want. I was talking to Ray Lewis earlier today - I know he's watching - and we just had a great talk. It's not the end of a career; it's the beginning of a new journey. I'm just looking forward to that."

Gaines on Phelps' career: "I just hope my kids and my grandchildren are watching right now. They're going to be able to say to their kids and their grandchildren that they witnessed the greatest swimmer and perhaps the greatest athlete in history."

Gaines on Ryan Murphy's world record time in the 100m to start off the medley: "Absolute key for the United States - no question about it. When you get that kind of confidence. ... That will get you pumped!"

Gaines on the U.S. women winning gold in the 4x100m medley relay: "Three first-time Olympians for the Unites States - you don't think their future is set? My goodness!"

Gaines on a tight women's 50m freestyle race and Simone Manuel's silver medal win: "Twelve one-hundredths of a second separated (swimmers) one through six! That's how close it was. The way (Simone Manuel) chases them down, it's just unbelievable. She did it in the 100m freestyle - only two one-hundredths of a second away from gold. She almost broke the American record to boot!"

Gaines on 1,5000m gold medalist Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy and silver medalist Conor Jaeger of the U.S.: "These guys are good friends, they've known each other for years. A lot of tough battles between the two of them."

Gaines on the strength of the U.S. swim team: "I think this is the greatest USA team overall in the modern era. Starting in 1984, they were only allowed two swimmers per event, before three - so there are teams that have won more medals in the past, but this team right here did everything you can imagine. They only had one swimmer that did not make it out of the prelims - it's unbelievable, time after time."


Analyst Ato Boldon on the talent in the women's 100m: "It's already a historic final because, if you did not run 10.96, you did not make this final. That's as fast as you have ever had to run to get into a women's 100m Olympic final."

Play-by-play commentator Tom Hammond on the women's 100m: "It was no contest! Elaine Thompson of Jamaica put away the field early and often!"

Boldon on Elaine Thompson winning gold in the women's 100m: "The 100m throne has finally been surrendered, but the new sprint queen hails from the same country: Jamaica! Just 2.8 million people in Jamaica and they have won the last three Olympic 100m runs in a row."

Boldon on American Tori Bowie's silver medal in the women's 100m: "That's a fantastic finish for Tori Bowie. She talked about how she was not going to put the pressure she did on herself last year. She was going to come out here and try to compete calmly. That seems to have worked this year. ... She did well to out-lean the defending champion for the silver."

Analyst Craig Masback on Mo Farah tumbling to the ground during the 10,000m in the first third of the race: "When you're running in those close quarters, any movement at all by the person in front of you can hit your leg as you kick back and send you to the ground. He got right up, it was quite impressive. It does engage the body in such a way that you get a shot of adrenaline - wasteful adrenaline in this case."

Masback on Farah in the final laps of the 10,000m: "Farah is going to run a race like he would at a local high school meet, if you're the local star running against people who can't make it to the state meet. He's going to run just fast enough and dare them to outrun him. Which they, of course, can't do when it comes to his sprint."

Play-by-play commentator Tom Hammond on Farah's 10,000m win:"Amazing, he had a fall and he popped up so quickly. Then, able to withstand all of the pressure, he showed his heart tonight - that's for sure."

Boldon on Bolt, finishing first in his heat in the 100m: "Not a good reaction to the gun, and not very good acceleration either. ... You see his reaction, not completely pleased. ... He looked a little rusty, but he did get the job done."

Boldon on the men's 400m field: "LaShawn Merritt and Kirani James have run 19 races head-to-head and it's James that has the edge 12-to-7."

Analyst Sanya Richards-Ross on Merritt and James: "They're both such different runners. ... Kirani James, he runs steady, almost seems like he's running an even pace 400m, which is very hard to do. LaShawn Merritt is more of a speed quarter-miler. He gets out really fast, relaxes down the back stretch, starts to work his third hundred and keeps it poised and comes home strong."

Analyst Trey Hardee on the jump that ultimately won Jeff Henderson the gold medal: "He had been just a little bit off all night, and that was the only one he needed. He finally lined it up, put his foot down, got great extension off of the board, and covered the most real estate that he had all night."

Hardee on Jerrion Lawson's hand hitting the sand behind him, losing him the gold medal: "You never, ever, train for that, think about that. That has never happened to 99.9 percent of long jumpers and it happened to Jerrion Lawson on his final attempt to try to get a gold medal at the greatest meet in the world."


Play-by-play announcer Leigh Diffey on Team USA in the women's eight, winning its third consecutive gold: "It's about the team, it's about the legacy, and this U.S. women's eight is something sensational. Not just this year, but for the past 10 years. It's a dominant, strong and true performance - three goals in a row for Team USA in the women's eight! The dynasty continues!"


Play-by-Play announcer Mark Followill on the heated match-up between rivals Brazil and Colombia: "You know there's going to be moments like this when there is mass confrontation, tempers flaring, pushing and shoving."

Analyst Stuart Holden on Neymar's early goal in the match: "Well, you just knew it was going to happen. Neymar had 19 shots in the group stage and there's the 20th. It ends up in that lower corner. ... What a time for Neymar to get his first goal in the Olympics! He didn't score in the group stages, was a big part of the four goals they had against Denmark, and he's taken his country on his back here."

Followill as time runs out in the quarterfinal win for Brazil: "It was a shaky start to the Olympics, but Brazil now finds themselves in a semifinals opposite Honduras next Wednesday at the Maracana!"


Analyst Mary Carillo on Monica Puig's gold medal win over Angelique Kerber of Germany: "Puig is in a new league! This has been a remarkable tournament. There have been so many emotional stories. Shocking, with both world No. 1s losing in singles. ... She is the first Puerto Rican woman ever to win a medal, and it's the best color. Monica Puig takes the gold in Rio."

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