Michael Phelps Carries the Flag for Team USA

After 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall in his storied Olympic career, Michael Phelps has finally entered an opening ceremony.

The flagbearer for the U.S. has led the contingent of red, white and blue-clad American athletes into Maracana Stadium, after being picked for that distinction earlier this week.

More than 500 Americans are on the Olympic team, though as was the case with Phelps in past years, not all of them marched in the opening. Phelps' competition schedule kept him from attending the first four openings of his Olympic career, and many athletes from around the world — if they're competing on Saturday — tend to pass on the ceremony.

The U.S. women's soccer team wasn't at the stadium because of their schedule and how far they are from the opening, but planned on having their own private ceremony of sorts. Players were set to wear their ceremony uniforms and essentially pretend marching, as if they were in Rio.

Athletes spend hours on their feet at the opening and often get to their beds well past midnight, not exactly the best situation for athletes looking to perform their best a day later.

Phelps said in the days leading up to the opening that he wants to "take it all in, represent America in the best possible way and make my family proud. This time around, it's about so much more than medals."

2016 Rio Olympics: Top 16 Record-Breaking, Memory-Making Moments

Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Simone Biles headline our look back at the record-breaking, history-making 2016 Rio Olympics.

Games of the XXXI Olympiad Are Officially Closed

With the extinguishing of the Olympic flame, the 2016 Rio Olympics are officially closed.

The world will reconvene in Pyeongchang for the 2018 Winter Olympics and in Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Games.

Simone Biles Carries USA Flag During Closing Ceremony

After collecting five medals at the Summer Games(four gold, one bronze) Simone Biles had the opportunity of a lifetime to bear the flag of the United States during the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

WATCH LIVE: 2016 Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony

Watch NBC's coverage of the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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Carmelo Anthony on Gold Medal Win: 'I Know This is the End, This is it for me'

Carmelo Anthony won his third gold medal of his career on Sunday, and said afterward that this one is special to him because it's his final Olympics.

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WATCH: The 10 Very Best Handball Moments From Rio

The 2016 Olympic Games provided some of the most dramatic and thrilling moments in handball competition. Take a look back at 10 of the best moments from the competition. 

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Team USA Secures Third Consecutive Gold After Crushing Serbia in Men's Basketball Final

The United States clobbered Serbia 96-66 to win its third straight gold medal.

Team USA’s best player stepped up when they needed him most as Kevin Durant scored a game-high 30 points to go along with four assists, three rebounds three steals and a block.

With the win, Carmelo Anthony won his third Olympic title, setting the record for most Olympic gold medals won by a single player. Anthony tallied seven points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal in the game.

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Brazil has its Most Successful Olympic Medal Showing in Rio

As the saying goes, "Nothing beats home cooking!"

Olympic host nation Brazil finishes with 19 total medals (seven gold, six silver and six bronze), the most in its history. The seven gold medals also mark Brazil’s most gold medals in Olympic history, surpassing five in Athens 2004.

WATCH LIVE: U.S. Men's Basketball Team Aims For Third Consecutive Gold in Final vs. Serbia

Serbia is all that stands between the U.S. and a third consecutive gold medal in the men's basketball final. Can the Americans pull it off?

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Brazil Wins Gold Medal in Men's Volleyball Final Against Italy

The Brazilian men's volleyball team can be the new poster team for the old adage "It's not how you start, it's how you finish."

The Brazilians were on the verge of elimination, needing a win over France on the final match of the preliminary round to squeak into the quarterfinals with the last spot from Pool A.

But from there, Brazil rolled, finishing the journey Sunday afternoon with a gold medal after sweeping Italy (25-22, 28-26, 26-24) in front of a packed Maracanãzinho arena.

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Claressa Shields Wins Second Straight Women's Boxing Gold

In an unprecedented and unsurprising battle for Olympic gold, Claressa Shields retained her Olympic championship in women's middleweight boxing and became a two time boxing gold medalist.

Shields showed her trademark strength in the ring, never letting her opponent Nouchka Fontijn (NED) get ahead of her in the scoreboard. 

Shields, a 21-year old from Flint, Michigan, becomes the first U.S. boxer to successfully defend an Olympic title. She adds gold in Rio to her gold from London.