More Historic Moments At The Tokyo Olympics

August 6, 2021

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya
FISUTV, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Belarus Athlete Seeks Asylum
What happens when you’re an Olympic athlete and you criticize your coaches publicly? In most cases, there are no repercussions. If you’re Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, you’re removed from the competition and forced by country officials to fly back home and face the consequences of speaking poorly about your country. Realizing what was happening, Tsimanouskaya headed to the Polish Embassy in Tokyo to seek asylum (that’s when a person asks a country to allow him or her to live there because it’s too dangerous to go back to their home country). Tsimanouskaya was granted a visa by the Polish government and according to a tweet sent out by the Polish Embassy, she’s “very much welcome to continue her sporting career on Polish land.”

©Tokyo 2020

Sharing The Gold
One of the values of the Olympics is sportsmanship and that’s exactly what good friends Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar displayed when both made Olympic gold medal high jumps and decided to share the prize. After rounds of attempting to out jump each other, they simply couldn’t jump higher than 2.37 meters—their best jumps. When the official asked if they’d like to duke it out in a jump-off, they asked if they could both receive a gold medal instead. The official agreed and the good friends became an overnight sensation and the epitome of what the Olympic Games is all about.

A 360 Gave Her The Win
It was Charlotte Worthington’s chance to win gold for the United Kingdom at the BMX freestyle event. It was her moment to go big or go home. Well, she definitely decided to go BIG! After completing a 360 backflip (a move that’s only been done by male competitors), she not only locked in her gold medal, but also made history.

Simone Biles By Agência Brasil Fotografias – EUA levam ouro na ginástica artística feminina; Brasil fica em 8º lugar, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50584791

Simone Biles Did It For Herself
After withdrawing from the team, individual all-around, and three other apparatus competitions to take care of her mental health, gymnast Simone Biles made the decision to come back for one final competition at the Olympics. Biles completed her balance beam routine and took home a bronze medal for her performance. When asked why she decided to compete, she said she did it for herself, no one else. Congratulations, Simone—you’re the GOAT for so many more reasons than just your gymnastic abilities.

Four-Time Gold Medal Champion
If you don’t know the name Mijain Lopez Nunez, you will now. Nunez is a Cuban Olympic gold medal Greco-Roman wrestler who won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the event at the Olympics—a feat no other Olympian has accomplished before in the sport.

©Tokyo 2020

Japan Rules Skateboarding
The skateboarding park competition proved to be just as exciting (and cool, might we add!) as the street event. Japan once again proved that the sport of skateboarding belongs to them. With speed, high-flying tricks, and smooth landings (some of the key ingredients for medalling), it was Japan’s women who once again stole the show. Nineteen-year-old Sakura Yosozumi captured the gold and twelve-year-old Kokona Hiraki won the silver medal. One of the fan favorites, Great Britain’s Sky Brown (whose father is English and mother is Japanese), won bronze.