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[2016-08-28] Rio Olympics 10 of the biggest political moments at the Rio Olympics 2016

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In Rio 2016, political incidents were reported on multiple fronts. From Australia to China, the United States to Russia, age-old disputes and modern dramas tried to steal the limelight, though there were a few small breakthroughs as well. There are top 10 political moment as following at the Rio Olympics.

1. The two Koreas: First, some good news

The Korean Peninsula may technically still be in a state of war, but two gymnasts made a little peace. North Korea's Hong Un Jong and her South Korean rival, Lee Eun-Ju, posed for selfies together — a rare event that the IOC president called a "great gesture."

2. U.S. politics: A message to Trump

Before Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal wearing a hijab, she had some words for Donald Trump: "I think his words are very dangerous,” the fencer told CNN. “I’m African American. I don’t have another home to go to. My family was born here. I was born here. I’ve grown up in Jersey. All my family’s from Jersey. It’s like, well, where do we go?”

3. Israel and Lebanon: And they're off ...

On opening night: The Israeli team was prevented from boarding a bus filled with Lebanese athletes and heading to the Opening Ceremonies. Israel described it as a hostile act, but Lebanon's chef de mission said it was "only a small problem” that was soon resolved. -- Associated Press

4. U.S. and Russia: The Chilly War

This dispute had some drawing parallels to the Cold War rivalries of the past: First, Lilly King pointed out that Russia's Yulia Efimova had failed two blood tests. Then, King beat her in the 100-meter breaststroke, "a feat she celebrated by slapping the water in Efimova’s lane then adding a bit of finger-wagging." “It’s incredible — winning the gold medal and knowing I did it clean,” King said. "I always thought the Cold War was long in the past. Why start it again, by using sport?" Efimova shot back.

5. Egypt and Israel: Judo gets political

Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby was sent home by the IOC for refusing to shake the hand of an Israeli competitor who beat him. He declined to comment, but Israel’s Or Sasson said: “I knew he would do it, so it wasn’t a surprise for me. But I cannot say anything. This was his decision.” -- Roman Stubbs

6. Australia and China: Pool Wars, Part II: Australian swimmer Mack Horton referred to a Chinese competitor, Sun Yang, as a "drug cheat" before the men's 400-meter freestyle final — he noted that Sun had tested positive for a banned substance in 2014. A Chinese newspaper quickly fired back, saying Australia exists " 'at the fringes of civilization' and even getting in a jab about its infamous past as a British penal colony."

7. Brazil: Not in front of the guests

The Olympic organizers weren't having it: Twice in one day, spectators were forced to leave their seats or were expelled from stadiums for protesting Brazil's unpopular interim president, Michel Temer. "Videos of both incidents circulated on social media and were widely condemned."

8. Refugees: The Champions

For the first time ever, a refugee team competed at an Olympic Games — a recognition of the record 60 million refugees in the world today.
The team included two Syrian swimmers, an Ethiopian marathoner, two Congolese judokas and five South Sudanese middle-distance runners.

9. The 'misunderstanding,' starring supermodel Gisele: the home team

The dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony "struck some viewers as cringe-worthy: the moment when supermodel Gisele Bundchen got seemingly robbed by a black kid from the slums." Critics said the skit had to be dropped.

But the show’s creative director, filmmaker Fernando Meirelles — who has directed films such as "City of God" and "The Constant Gardener" -- described the controversy as a “tremendous misunderstanding." “Imagine us doing a scene like that in the opening,” he wrote in an email to The Washington Post. “I’m not that clueless.” -- Joshua Partlow and Dom Phillips

10. Kuwait: Independent actions

The IOC had banned Kuwait from international competition, so Kuwaiti shooter Fehaid Aldeehani competed, and won a gold medal, as a member of the Independent Olympic Athletes team. Kuwaiti media reported that when asked to carry the Olympic flag during the Opening Ceremonies, he refused: "I am a military man and I will only carry the Kuwait flag.”

The mood on social media has also been divided. Many Twitter users hailed the Olympics for its ability to unite athletes from around the world, despite their political differences.
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