That's a wrap! News 3 Team Rio reflects on their journey to the 2016 Olympics

News 3's Team Rio came together with one common goal, have a great time at the 2016 Olympics. They saw the sights, experienced the sports, and drank in the culture of Brazil. 8/23/16 (Breanna Emigh | KSNV)

Flights boarded, bags packed, memories made. News 3's Team Rio is coming home and leaving Rio de Janeiro behind them, but what they won't leave behind are all of the amazing experiences they collected along the way. Here's a quick look back at the Olympic Games and the team that brought it to life.


Before Larry left for the 2016 Rio Olympics, he was a man on a mission. Rio marked 11 Olympic Games for him, a chance to add to his amazing Olympic knowledge and a chance to share it with his son Michael.

Larry made sure he attended all of his favorite events after planning his trip for nearly two years. He says he's already thinking about South Korea in 2018. Some of his favorite moments include his interactions with fellow pin traders. Here are just a few he added to his stunning collection.

"I got pins from about 40 countries and a half dozen of the USA team pins. A few are shown (starting at the top left and going left to right down the rows) are the USA boxing team pin, Virgin Islands Rio team pin, Paris bid pin for 2024, pin given to Rio Volunteers as part of their uniform, Columbia National Olympic Committee pin, P&G Olympic sponsor pin, a "bridge" pin between London and Rio with the London mascot on the left and the Rio mascot on the right, Mexico Rio team pin, and a German pin for their volunteers at the Rio Olympics. The last pin was a type of pin I had not seen before. Several nations made pins for their citizens who were participating in the Rio volunteer corps," said Brickner.

While the growing the collection is always top of mind for Larry, he said his hobby is also about connecting with people.

"I met some very nice people pin trading. Trading pins enables you to meet athletes, coaches, and other interesting folks. This year I met Dick Pound, a senior IOC official while trading pins with his volunteer guide. I also met the mayor of Paris, France," said Larry.


For News 3 Team Rio member Mike Fields, the 2016 Rio Olympics will be burned into his memory forever.

His son Connor Fields made Las Vegas proud with his gold medal win in BMX.

"Connor overcame wrist surgery just a few months ago, earned the gold in a runaway victory and while USA’s image took a hit from some athletes, Connor showed the absolute best of sportsmanship, gratitude and respect for the host nation winning the first gold medal in BMX, a sport we Americans invented," said Mike.

Tuesday morning, Connor arrived at McCarran Airport to a crowd of family, friends, and perfect strangers.

"Emotionally spent. Happy beyond description. Awed by my son's grace," said Mike.


For Sharon and David, traveling to and around Rio was the ultimate adventure.

The couple spent years planning the adventure, spending time in Peru ahead of the games to see Machu Picchu. Sharon and David then spent a week in Rio de Janeiro, watching whatever sporting event they could get into and trading tickets with others to see some things they may have otherwise missed. Following their Olympic visit, they traveled to Argentina to see some of the beautiful sights before heading home Las Vegas.

Just halfway through their experience in Rio, Sharon said they started planning the next journey.

"We're already talking about Tokyo 2020. In just 4 days, we've seen so many historical sporting moments. We've quickly realized that this trip for us will definitely be one of the most memorable ones of our lives," she said. "To be in the middle of all the action, to feel the energy pulsating through each and every sporting venue - there was nothing like it."

Sharon said that the experience was one they can now cross off of their bucket list.

"The new friends we've made from all over the world, and the experience of being there is something that can't be replicated," said Sharon. "We had the time of our lives, and the memories we bring back home with us will hold a special place in our hearts."


For Bob, the trip to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was just one stop on a much larger tour of Brazil.

Bob and his wife Lina traveled to Brazil to visit with family and friends, stopping in Florianopolis, Buzios, Rio das Ostras, Campos, and Aracaju as well as Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics.

"Lina is Brazilian. It was on one of my trips to Brazil that I met Lina and it was love at first site. She's a retired psychology professor, mother of six, grandmother of eleven and the love of my life. As you can see, we have lots of family spread throughout Brazil and we'll be spending a lot of time visiting as many relatives as possible," said Fox.

Bob's trip across the Brazilian countryside gave News 3 viewers an unprecedented view of the cities many Olympians wouldn't have time to visit.


Breanna's trip to Rio is something News 3 followed from the very beginning. A volunteer for the games, Breanna gave viewers a peek behind-the-scenes and she took News 3 along for the ride during every adventure.

One of the most memorable moments for Breanna came hundreds of feet above the ground during a hang gliding adventure over the city of Rio de Janerio.

"There was infinite space to occupy in the sky. I was free to go anywhere, no one and nothing in my way," she said.

While Olympic duties did keep Breanna busy, she continued to find time to experience the country, the people, the food, and the games.

She tackled what she was told was the hardest hike in all of Rio, climbing the trail to Pedra da Gavea. What she learned is that it was more of a climb. By the time her group got to the top, the view was covered by a thick layer of fog.

She said her time spent as a volunteer was made even more interesting because she was assigned to the golf venue.

Golf was just reintroduced to the Olympic Games following a 112-year hiatus. Two gold medals were awarded, one for men's and one for women's.

Breanna worked closely with the athletes, helping them with their equipment, lockers, and helping them get a lay of the land when they arrived in Rio.

"My feet are blistered, my skin is freckled, and my hair is definitely messy. And I think that means I did all right," she said of the experience.


For Matt, the 2016 Rio Olympics was about one thing, supporting his Olympian fiancé.

He traveled to Brazil to watch his other half, Kasia Wilk, chase her Olympic dreams in the pool as she swam for her native country, Poland.

Matt told News 3 that the experience was inspiring.

"Living around an Olympian is an honor. Seeing the amount of work Kasia has done to get to the Olympics has been incredible, and that's why I had to make the trip to support her. She wakes up at 5am every day to swim, then does her classes at USC where she graduated from this year, and then hits the weight room and/or pool again in the afternoon," he said.

Matt sat in some of the best seats, watching as Kasia swam in heat after heat. While she didn't walk away with a medal, Kasia and Matt walked away with an unforgettable experience.

Matt was particularly taken with how many of the Olympic swimming greats he got to see perform and compete. Among them, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.

"There are certainly a lot of things that I saw which made me appreciate living in America, but also a lot of very kind and helpful people from Brazil who made our visit all the more special," said Wasick.


David got to the Olympics just in time to see his favorite events, track and field.

From the moment he landed, David had one thing in mind, and that was finding his favorite athletes.

He spotted Allyson Felix toward the end of his trip but managed to get selfies with many of the American athletes as they completed their qualifying races.

He caught up with U.S. track legend, Bernard Lagat. Lagat didn't walk away with a medal during the 2016 Olympic Games, but he's been a solid part of Team USA for some time.

Lagat is a two-time medalist who once ran for Kenya , where he was born. Lagat became a naturalized citizen of the USA in 2004 and represented the country in each of the past three Summer Games.

He was also in the stands as the women walked away with the gold.

All in all, David said Rio was a wonderful experience. He hopes to visit Brazil again outside of the pomp and circumstance of the Olympic Games.

In addition to the coverage Reed Cowan and Chloe Beardsley provided to Las Vegas and beyond, the Olympic experience wouldn't have been the same without the help of our News 3 viewers who attended the games.

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