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Top 10 Most Memorable Olympic Moments

Top 10 Most Memorable Olympic Moments
Photo: Tony Rotundo
This year's Olympic wrestling tournament had everything--it was a thrilling drama that kept us glued to every single mat for eight straight days. 

As each competitor took the mat in the hunt for history, we watched intently. At the end of each day, we had new champions, and an entirely new part of our story to reflect on. 

Let's take a look at our top moments from this year's Olympic wrestling tournament.


Vlasov's Wild Ride to the Top
The very first day of wrestling kicked off the craziness as returning champion Roman Vlasov narrowly escaped being defeated by fellow returning champ Hyeonwoo Kim. Kim lifted Vlasov and picked up a two-point throw. But Kim, and plenty of spectators, thought it should have been four points instead. It resulted in just two, and Vlasov got the 7-6.

But the Vlasov story doesn't end there. In the semifinals, Vlasov was choked out and thrown to his back by Bozo Starcevic. The referee stopped the match, and Vlasov went on to get the win and eventually win the title.

(Click the link to watch on YouTube)


So You Think You Can Dance, Mijain?! 
Mijain Lopez got his revenge over Riza Kayaalp… twice. Lopez thought he won the match when the referee gave Kayaalp a caution and two for hitting Lopez in the face, which would have made it an 8-0 tech fall. With the call, Lopez began to prematurely celebrate by pounding his chest, gyrating and thrusting his hips with the old-school WWF D Generation X "suck it" gesture. But the call was overturned, and the two resumed wrestling until Lopez was finally declared the winner. 

Check out his moves here: (Click the link to watch on YouTube)


Arutyunyan Gets Robbed
With short time left, the match was totally stolen from Arutyunyan. It was apparent to everyone that he was the aggressor the entire match, but the referee didn't share that perspective. He gave him a caution, which tied the match, and gave Davor Stefanek the lead and eventual win on criteria. 



Helen Maroulis Becomes First Female Champion For the U.S. 
In the 53kg final, Helen Maroulis took out reigning world and Olympic champion Saori Yoshida of Japan. Yoshida was in the hunt to become a four-time Olympic champion, but Maroulis put a stop to that by wrestling a near-perfect match to get the 4-1 win and the gold. Watch as the FloWrestling team celebrates Helen's victory.

We break down her win here:


Kaori Icho Becomes First Four-Time Olympic Champion
It was an incredibly clutch performance for Icho, who trailed Valeria Koblova late in the match until she came through with the match-winning takedown.


Corruption?!
The final day of competition brought the most controversy as three referees were removed and suspended for "suspicious officiating." Willie and CP broke down the situation and UWW released a statement about the matter as well. But the fact that these wrestlers were completely robbed on such a grand stage in front of millions of people watching is the most egregious act of all.

Listen to Willie and CP break down the entire situation here:


Kyle Snyder Caps A Remarkable Year With Olympic Gold
The torch has been passed. It's been a year of firsts for Kyle Snyder. First, he won his first world championship (and became the youngest in U.S. history to do so), then he won an NCAA title, and now he is the youngest Olympic champion in U.S. wrestling history after getting a 2-1 win over Gazyumov in the 97kg final.

(Click the link to watch on YouTube)


Take A Bite Outta Molinaro
During his repechage match, Frank Molinaro gained a takedown and was working on top when his opponent decided it would be a good time to turn and bite him. Molinaro told the referee immediately, but the match was able to continue without consequence. Get the full scope here and watch it go down below.

(Click the link to watch on YouTube)


Mongolia's 'Magic Mike' Protest
The waning seconds of the 65kg bronze medal match had enough action to carry us through the week. But it was more about what the Mongolian coaches did and less about what happen during the match. The "naked protest," as it's been dubbed, has gone completely viral with a number of different media outlets picking up the coach's crazy antics to protest a "fleeing the hold" call. It was by far one of the most memorable moments of the week.

You can also get the story here from Bader and CP.


'​J'Den Doesn't Know'
Watching J'Den Cox in the final minutes of his Olympic semifinal as everyone realized he was unaware that he was losing the match on criteria was a truly heart-wrenching moment. It was absolutely devastating to watch it all unfold.

Get the scoop here:


But J'Den came back to win the bronze in a wild match-ending scramble that went to the challenge that gave Cox the match-winning takedown. It also upset his opponent, Salas Perez, who refused to finish the final seconds of the match. 

Click the link below to watch the final seconds on YouTube.

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