Queen commends Olympic heroes of Team GB and the Commonwealth

To most athletes, the Olympic gold is priceless, even though the gold-plated silver medal has a bullion value of around $600.

Despite being mid-sized, "non-major markets", the No. 1 and 2 ratings cities both contain large numbers of active, outdoorsy viewers, said Darrin Duber-Smith, marketing professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

The soccer player Neymar led his national team to the first-ever Olympic gold medal.

"In the USA their viewership around the Olympic Trials is 60 million people, and they sell 600,000 tickets, so there's no reason why we shouldn't have one", Sweeney said. Some countries questioned Team GB's rapid improvement in the velodrome.

The USOC didn't respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

But these games faced a still bigger problem: The Olympics do not want to be in a Mentos commercial.

"Television is in a secular decline", Greenfield said, adding that viewers increasingly accustomed to binge-watching online series are likely to grow increasingly dissatisfied with NBC's prime-time model that compels viewers to wait for their favorite sport to be shown.

The US committee pays $25,000 to gold medal winners, so Phelps has scooped around $575,000 plus a little extra for his clutch of silver and bronze gongs. "I'd expect our commercial program in terms of revenue to probably increase by 50 to 60 percent as a result of this performance".

And the margin between first and second in the overall medals race this year tops all others (the boycotted games of 1980 and 1984 excluded) since the Americans won 67 more medals than Italy did at the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

The team's performances drew praise from the Royal Family.

Brazilians have mixed feelings on hosting the Games, according to a poll released on the final day, which found that 62 percent think the $16-billion Olympics brought more harm than good. And American swimming standout Ryan Lochte and three teammates caused outrage when they falsely claimed they had been robbed at gunpoint in Rio by muggers disguised as police. "Nothing too bad happened and I'd say it was better than expected", said Nivea Araujo, a Rio resident attending the closing ceremony. After working for Adidas AG for 10 years, including a spell in the U.S., Sweeney wants to broaden the scale of his organization's merchandise operation and make its products relevant to a range of "patriotic events", including the Queen's birthday. For one thing, Lottery revenues come disproportionately from low-income households, whereas the beneficiaries of Olympic funding are a posh bunch.

Rio de Janeiro returned to the cold reality of Brazil's political crisis and recession Monday after bringing a carnivalesque curtain down on its Olympics festival and passing the torch to Tokyo.

A further challenge to carrying an Olympics in Asia: the 13- to 14-hour time differences between the host cities and NY. That means each medal cost about 5 million pounds.

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