Incredible moments that amazed everyone at the Tokyo Olympics - ForumDaily
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Incredible moments that amazed everyone at the Tokyo Olympics

They have been called the "COVID-19 Olympics", "Olympic Pandemic" and "Olympics Wrath." Many Japanese were upset about such a large-scale and risky event in the midst of the pandemic, and many outside observers were surprised that it happened at all. But there were also incredible moments with which we remember them. The publication told about them NPR.

Photo: Shutterstock

At these Games, records were set, history was made, there were touching moments that the whole world watched.

Allison Felix became the most decorated woman and athlete in the United States in the history of athletics

US track star Allison Felix's gold medal in the 4x400m relay was a milestone - making her the most decorated US female athlete in track and field history.

Felix won 10 more Olympic medals and competed in five Olympic Games.

She won the bronze medal in the individual 400 meters, breaking the record for the most Olympic medals among female athletes.

She said that some people doubted whether she would be able to make the team this time, let alone a medal. But on Friday, the 35-year-old athlete showed one of the best results of her career in the individual 400 meters race.

Two high jumpers decide to share gold

It was a moment that melted the hearts of the whole world. The two high jumpers competed for hours, but neither of them beat the other. Instead of a decisive leap from the spot, the Qatar Mutaz Essah Barshim asked: "Can we share the gold?"

When the answer was yes, Italian Gianmarco Tamberi hugged Barshim. Both suffered near retirement injuries and both returned in better shape. Over the years of competition, they have become close friends. On the podium, they joined hands together and lifted them into the air.

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“I know for sure that I deserved this gold for my performance. He did the same thing, so I know he deserved this gold too,” Barshim said. - This goes beyond sports. This is the message we pass on to the younger generation. A message of sportsmanship and love.”

“You can't feel the emotion, know the gold medal dream of someone who sacrificed his whole life for it, and it was just amazing, and sharing with a friend was even better,” Tamberi said.

American shot thrower Raven Saunders violated ban on protests

American shot thrower and silver medalist Raven Saunders was a social media sensation at the Tokyo Games for her "Hulk" look and epic personality. She used her performance to present her multifaceted personality as a black gay woman who became so depressed that she considered committing suicide.

She also became the first Olympic athlete to break Rule 50 at the Tokyo Games. This rule prohibits participants from protesting at a performance. When her medal was around her neck, Saunders briefly crossed her arms above her head in an X shape. She said it was "the crossroads where all oppressed people meet." Thereafter, American fencer Reis Imboden accepted his bronze medal with a small cross on the back of his hand in protest against Rule 50.

The International Olympic Committee is under increasing pressure to change the rules, critics call it a violation of the participants' right to free speech. Olympic organizers first said they were investigating Saunders' act. But the investigation was put on hold when Saunders received the dire news that her mother had died a few days after the awards ceremony.

American wrestler Tamira Mensa-Stoke crying with the USA flag

American wrestler Tamira Mensah-Stock won the women's 68kg freestyle final, becoming the first black woman - and only the second woman - to win gold in Olympic wrestling for the United States.

Mensah-Stok said she hopes her epic win will help inspire the next generation of wrestlers.

“These young women will look and say, ‘I can do this,’” Mensah-Stock said. “I know the future of women’s wrestling is bright and growing.”

After the victory, she made a heart-shaped gesture with her hands and hugged the coaches. She then held a large US flag over her head.

“I feel very happy and I try not to cry, but I can’t help it,” she said. “I just want to cry, but with joy.”

Simone Biles returns triumphantly after leaving

American gymnastics star Simone Biles triumphantly returned to competition on the final day of women's artistic gymnastics, winning the bronze medal.

Earlier at the Games, Biles withdrew from her first jump in the team finals, saying she wasn't sure she could compete and didn't want to risk injury or a medal for the team. She said she was dealing with a terrifying phenomenon known as “meandering,” in which a gymnast feels lost in the air and receives support from her team, other athletes and fans.

Biles also dropped out of the individual all-around final and three of the four individual finals.

“It was not easy to come out of all these competitions. I wasn't in the right place physically or mentally, and I didn't want to put my health or my safety at risk because at the end of the day, it's not worth it,” Biles said.

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When she competed, she was still struggling with problems, but changed her performance so that they didn't affect her as much.

“I didn’t expect to leave with a medal. I was just going to do it for myself,” Biles said after the competition.

US gymnasts unite to win team silver

When Biles made it out of the team finals, her teammates fully supported her decision.

This also became a huge problem for them. In the middle of the competition, three first-time Olympians had to come up with a new plan to go through a complex chain of events while worrying about their teammate and friend.

Jordan Chiles took the place of Biles on the uneven bars, and Sunisa Lee competed in the floor exercise.

At the end of the evening, the gymnasts showed a stellar result, losing only to the group from Russia.

“There were definitely a lot of emotions going through our heads, but I'm really proud that we were able to step up and do what we needed to do,” Lee said. “It’s really hard to lose a teammate, especially at the Olympics, so I’m really proud of all of us.”

Lee also took home a gold medal in the individual all-around final, where Biles was the favorite to win before she dropped out.

Kaleb Dressel takes home five swimming gold medals

24-year-old US star swimmer Kaleb Dressel came to these Olympics with high expectations, but no individual Olympic medals. He received three gold medals in individual events and two gold medals in relay races.

Dressel broke his own world record in the 100m butterfly and was part of the team that set the world record in the 4x100 composite relay.

He set Olympic records in the 100-meter freestyle and the 50-meter freestyle, a crazy sprint that's just one swimming pool length long. And he led the gold medal-winning men's 4x100-meter freestyle relay.

“I think the U.S. has been dominant for so long that putting its stamp on this sport is special,” he said on the final day of Olympic swimming competition.

Katie Ledecky raised doubts at the start of the Olympics, but finished at the top

What Dressel did in Tokyo, Ledecky did at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She had breakthrough games, won four golds - three of them individual - and became unbeatable in the eyes of the world. Of course, no one is really like that; athletes, as we have learned so well at these Games, are people. So, when Ledecky finished second and fifth in her first two tournaments in Tokyo, the question became, “What happened to Katie?”

But in the end she won two gold medals and two silver medals - a great result for any athlete.

“Your every move is watched and judged,” she said. “And as much as we say we try to ignore it, I think some of them are just trying to keep that positive attitude and move forward.”

Runner falls in 1500m race - and still wins

Dutch runner Sifan Hassan reached the final lap of her 1500m race, where she was the favorite. Suddenly, the opponent in front of her fell, knocking her down.

There were 11 runners ahead and a huge gap to make up for. Hassan got up and began to catch up with them. In the final stage, she overtook the five fastest runners in the world to win the race.

“Believe me, it was terrible, but sometimes I think bad things happen. When I fell, I told myself, 'Okay, life doesn't always go the way you want it to,'" she said. “Afterwards, I felt like someone who had drunk 20 cups of coffee—full of energy.”

She won bronze in the final, a medal she would not have had if she had not pulled off the nearly impossible in the qualifying race. She also took gold in the 5000 and 10000 meters.

14-year-old Chinese diver gets two perfect tens

14-year-old Kuan Hongchang competed in her first Olympic Games and has already achieved excellence.

She did it twice, in two jumps with the unanimous highest mark of the panel of judges in competitions from a 10-meter platform.

This was her first international competition. When it became clear that she was a winner, the trainer lifted her into the air, she laughed and smiled.

“I was a little nervous, but not too nervous,” she said and thanked her parents, who were watching the Games at home in China. “I want to thank them for encouraging me, pushing me to take action and telling me to just take it easy because it didn’t matter whether I got a medal or not.”

In the third jump, she earned six tens and one 9,5. Since the two highest and two lowest scores are discarded for calculating the final score, this was also a perfect dive.

Japan Announces Its Olympic Skateboarding Debut

Although Japanese officials frown on the sport and there are signs in Tokyo warning against skateboarding, Japanese teenage athletes have won three gold medals and a silver medal in skateboarding competitions.

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During the first Olympic street skateboarding competition, 22-year-old Yuto Horigome won gold. In the area where he grew up, Horigom skillfully flipped his board in the air, floated up stairs and glided on rails. He performed a difficult Nollie 270 slide, flipping the board over and then sliding it over the railing at the bow.

The next day, 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya became Japan's youngest gold medalist when she won the women's street skateboarding competition.

In a skateboarding competition in the park, 19-year-old Sakura Yosozumi scored slightly more points than her teammate Kokona Hiraki. The 12-year-old sportswoman won a silver medal in a skateboarding competition in the park.

USA women's basketball team wins seventh consecutive gold medal

When it comes to women's basketball at the Olympics, there seem to be two certainties: the US won't lose a single game and win gold. Both of these events were repeated again in Tokyo. The US made it through the tournament, winning all six games played and earning a seventh consecutive gold medal. The United States has already won 55 consecutive Olympics.

The team was led by a powerful group of WNBA stars, including Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird (who won their fifth gold medals - the first women's basketball players to do so), Brittney Griner (who scored a career-high 30 points in the Olympic gold medal game), Brianna Stewart, Aja Wilson, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Don Staley won her first gold medal as a coach and three golds as a player.

While the roster will inevitably change at the 2024 Paris Games, it is highly likely that the US will find a way to win again.

Swimmer from Tunisia shocked the swimming world

The 18-year-old Tunisian managed to unexpectedly win the 400m freestyle, winning the fifth gold medal for his country.

Ahmed Hafnaoui won in an extremely tight race. He looked genuinely shocked by the result: “I just can’t believe it – it’s too unbelievable.”

Hafnaoui entered the race with the slowest qualifying time of the eight swimmers - but he touched the wall first, beating Australian Jack McLaughlin by just 0,16 seconds. Kieran Smith from the USA took bronze, about half a second behind the winner.

Japan won gold in karate

After decades of trying to be included in the Olympic Games, karate made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics. Three-time world champion Ryo Kiyuna awarded his home country a gold medal.

Kiyuna won the men's kata, one of the two martial arts that participated in the Games (the kumite sparring was different). It includes one participant performing stylized and controlled movements and sharp, brutal strikes against an imaginary opponent. Some of the movements are accompanied by violent screams.

Kiyuna's victory is remembered for two reasons: he is a native of Okinawa, where karate originated centuries ago; and on a medal stand, he held in a frame a photograph of his mother, who had died two years earlier.

“I felt like I wanted to tell her my triumph,” he said.

As dramatic as the debut of karate is, it is the only new sport at these Olympics (climbing, surfing, skateboarding and 3v3 basketball) that will not be on the program for the next 2024 Summer Games in Paris. For karate fans, this is a bad decision, especially since martial arts are popular in France and around the world.

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