Best moments from the Tokyo Olympics

August 09, 2021 03:01 pm | Updated 03:11 pm IST

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics saw many firsts and several definition defying feats by athletes of the world. Some chose to be vocal about humanitarian issues, while some athletes through their veiled yet radical acts set a tremendous example on the global stage.

Here is a formulation of some of the most sublime moments from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:

With seven medals, including a goldd, this was India’s best-ever tally at Olympics. After a 100-year drought, Neeraj Chopra clinched gold in an athletics event, and became the second individual to win a gold for the country. Further, after 41 years, the men’s hockey team clinched a medal at the Olympic Games. Sindhu became the only Indian player to win a medal in two consecutive Olympics. (Anticlockwise from top) javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra (gold), wrestlers Ravi Dahiya (silver) and Bajrang Punia (bronze), boxer Lovlina Borgohain (bronze), badminton player PV Sindhu (bronze), weightlifter Mirabai Chanu (silver) and the Indian men's hockey team (bronze).

After being vocal about her mental health issues, Simone Biles decided to pull out of the individual-all round, vaul, bars and floor finals. The athlete brought to global attention- the importance of mental health. However, the athlete decided to return for the women’s balance beam event and emerged victorious with a commendable bronze.

In a first, British diver Tom Daley spoke about LGBTQ acceptance at the Tokyo Olympics. In light of his olympic glory the athlete openly proclaimed that “ I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion”. Very often the diver was found knitting in the stands. Here he is seen knitting an Olympic-themed cardigan. This act of knitting takes a sharp jab at conventionalised gender roles and strereotyping.

Swimming enabled the young Yusra Mardini to navigate a sinking refugee boat in the icy waters of the Aegean Sea. From Syria, the swimmer belongs to the Refugee Olympic Team. Remarkably, the athlete has competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In April 2017, Mardini was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.

This collage portrays the many firsts by Indian athletes at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Clockwise from left: In a nail bighting semi final match with Great Britain, the Indian Women’s team emerged as narrowly missed the bronze medal. This is the first women’s team to qulify for the Olympics- an incredible feat. Next, Kamalpreet Kaur became the first Indian to cross the 65 metre barrier in discus. Commendably, Kamalpreet finished 6th. Promising 19-year-old Sonam Malik lost in the 62kg women’s freestyle final and missed the bronze medal by a whisker. Aditi Ashok became the first Indian golfer to qualify and finish fourth- narrowly missing the 3rd place.

A moment of pure grit: Great Britain’s Madeleine Hinch consoles India’s Neha Goyal after India lost the bronze medal match. As the Indian team took on Great Britain each quater proved to be edge-of-the-seat thrilling. The score was a nail biting 4-3. Even as the Indian eves lost the match, they won the hearts. The official Twitter page of Britain’s hockey team congratulated the Indians for the wonderful match.

A rarity, gold medalists and fast friends Mutaz Barshim, left, of Qatar, and Gianmarco Tamberi, of Italy, tied for gold in the men’s high jump event. The Italian high jumper flew into Barshim’s arms after they agreed upon sharing the gold. Both celebrate on the track after the final.

A sublime moment: After Japan’s 15-year-old skateboarder Misugu Okamoto fell on her final run, her fellow competitors lent their shoulders to lift her up. Misugu Okamoto had stormed into the finals only to miss an important part of her landing. It was notable to witness an unexpected display of sportsman spirit, or shall we says sportswomen spirit, when her competitiors lifted Misugo and her spirits.

Japan’s Momiji Nishiya who is only 13-years-old, made history when she won gold in women’s street skateboarding event. The women’s street skateboarding event also debuted for the first time on the Olympic stage. Momiji’s crowning glory makes her country, Japan, the foremost name in street skateboarding.

After suffering a fall in the 1500m heat, refugee Sifan Hassan on Netherlands got up on her feet to win the event. In the finals the athlete sprinted her way to win gold in the women's 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000-meters event- which make her the first athlete to win in both middle and long distant events. The Ethiopian descent athlete is only the second woman to win medals in three track events in one Olympic meet.

Gold medalist Quinn of Team Canada is the first openly transgender athlete to win Olympic gold in Women’s Football. The Canadian midfielder did not come out as trans and nonbinary in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Rebecca Quinn who is bilogically female, identifies herself as male. In terms of LGBTQ representation, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has ventured into uncharted warters.

After refusing to fly back to Belarus, Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya received a humanitarian visa by Poland. The sprinter refused to fly back to her country as she feared that she would be arrested. She has been critical of the sporting authorities in Belarus and has maintained a strong voice on social media. In this image the athlete is seen in a blue sweater as she arrives at the tarmac to board a Polish airline.

With seven medals, including a goldd, this was India’s best-ever tally at Olympics. After a 100-year drought, Neeraj Chopra clinched gold in an athletics event, and became the second individual to win a gold for the country. Further, after 41 years, the men’s hockey team clinched a medal at the Olympic Games. Sindhu became the only Indian player to win a medal in two consecutive Olympics. (Anticlockwise from top) javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra (gold), wrestlers Ravi Dahiya (silver) and Bajrang Punia (bronze), boxer Lovlina Borgohain (bronze), badminton player PV Sindhu (bronze), weightlifter Mirabai Chanu (silver) and the Indian men's hockey team (bronze).
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