Celebrity The Athletes Behind the Historic 'Firsts' of the Rio Olympics The 2016 Olympic Games were historic for many reasons By Maria Yagoda Published on August 19, 2016 04:00 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 10 KIMIA ALIZADEH ZENOORIN KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty She claimed bronze in the 57-kg. class of taekwondo, making her the first Iranian woman to win a medal in any Olympic event. 02 of 10 HELEN MAROULIS Helen Maroulis. Mark Reis/Getty Maroulis bested three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida to win the U.S.'s first-ever gold medal in women's wrestling. 03 of 10 BRIANNA ROLLINS, NIA ALI & KRISTI CASTLIN FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty In the women's 100-meter hurdles, the three American competitors placed first, second and third, with Rollins grabbing the gold in 12.48 seconds. According to Olympic historian Bill Mallon, this marks the first 1-2-3 medal sweep for American track and field women. 04 of 10 KERRON CLEMENT Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Clement nabbed America's first gold on the track at Rio in the 400-meter hurdle. 05 of 10 IBTIHAJ MUHAMMAD Tom Pennington/Getty The Olympic fencer made history as the first U.S. woman to compete (and later, medal) at the Olympics wearing a hijab. "For me, this is just who I am," Muhammad told PEOPLE. "Growing up a Muslim and a girl, I always had to change my uniform [for athletics] … My parents were in search of a sport for me where the athletes wore long pants and long jackets – that's how we stumbled upon fencing." She added, "I want people to see Muslims in a positive light." 06 of 10 SIMONE BILES Gary Hershorn/StarTraks After winning gold in the event finals for vault, Biles became the most-decorated American gymnast ever, male or female, with 17 medals in Olympic and world championship competitions. At Rio, she won gold in the team all-around competition and gold in the individual all-around, vault and floor routine, and took bronze in the beam. 07 of 10 KATIE LEDECKY Michael Sohn/AP The American swimmer finished Rio on a high note, breaking her world record in the 800-meter freestyle – she now holds the 13 fastest times ever in that event. Another milestone? She's the first woman to win the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyle races since Debbie Meyer at the 1968 Mexico City games. Ledecky won a total of five medals at the Rio Olympics – gold medals for the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyles and the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, and silver for the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. 08 of 10 MICHAEL PHELPS Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Phelps is the first Olympic swimmer to win an event at four consecutive Olympics – at Rio, he won his fourth consecutive 200-meter individual medley Olympic gold. This gold also marked the first time a swimmer has won more than three gold medals in four different Olympic games. 09 of 10 USAIN BOLT Cameron Spencer/Getty Bolt won his third straight gold medal in the 200-meter sprint – the first ever runner to do that. Yet he still wasn't satisfied with his performance: "I'm always happy for the win, but I wanted a faster time," Bolt told NBC. "I felt good, but when I came into the straight, my body wouldn't respond to me. So I guess it's just age and all-around just taking a toll." (He's 29, for the record.) 10 of 10 P.V. SINDHU Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times/Getty The 21-year-old player ensured that she'll be getting at least a silver medal when she won the semifinals of the women's singles, which means she's made history – no Indian female player before her has won better than a bronze medal at the Olympics.