When it was announced that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were indeed going ahead, it was met with lots of criticism. People citing that it wouldn’t be right, especially with current restrictions. But this Olympics proved that you didn’t need stadiums packed with audiences, you didn’t need a ‘normal’ Game. This years Olympics is quite possibly the most successful yet, especially when you take into consideration what the athletes had overcome to get there.
The Art of Good Sportsmanship
A main part of the sport is being a good team player, having good sportsmanship. Many athletes who competed this year are not only rivals but friends too. This was proven countless amounts of time throughout all the different sports. Athletes, competitors, rivals, friends all coming together to celebrate the highs and commiserate on the lows. One significant moment was during the high jump – both Barshim of Qatar and Tamberi of Italy jumped the same height. Instead of a jump-off, they were both made Olympic champions. It can’t get better than that.
The Importance of Mental Health
Often, athletes are put onto pedestals. They’re known as ‘superhumans’. They can do anything, they do things most people can’t even imagine. However, these Olympians are just like the rest of us. The almost toppling pressure so many of these athletes experience must be so difficult. Having to perform under this pressure, knowing one wrong move could change anything is no mean feat. One athlete that was at the centre of this Olympics was Simon Biles, the American gymnast. Known as the most successful gymnast of our time, she was expected to win just as many gold medals as her previous Olympics. However, Biles decided to put herself and her mental health first during this Olympics. This was something to applaud. After releasing a statement, Biles received an outpouring of support from fellow Olympians, athletes, celebrities, and fans showing her that she is more than her performance.
Supporters Back Home
One of the downsides of this Olympics was the missing audience. So many friends and families were unable to be there in Tokyo to support Team GB. However, that didn’t stop some families. One memorable moment of celebration was when Tom Dean won his gold in the 200m freestyle swim. Friends, family, neighbours all joined together to watch the race in the early hours of the morning. Their celebrations were fantastic and showed what it meant not only to his close family but to the community. The sacrifices made by so many parents of athletes were also brought to light – the early mornings, moving away from family for better opportunities, and changing their lifestyles. Those gold medals aren’t just for one person, but for the whole family. Sport really can bring people together and makes it all worth it.
These Olympics introduced so many new sports for viewers to enjoy. Watching skateboarding and rock climbing will be many people’s highlights. But we were also introduced to many mixed events, this was included in the athletics, the triathlon, and the swimming. These events were also quite successful for Team GB, making a final in the mixed relay in athletics, winning gold in both the mixed swimming relay and mixed triathlon. Clearly, the success of these events will inspire more young people to become involved in the sport.
As well as success in new sports, Team GB was also celebrating medals in events never won before. No medals had ever been won in BMX, and then two came at once. Beth Shriever’s gold was especially poignant; she had funded herself and worked extremely hard to get to these Olympics, making her a true role model.
The women’s gymnast team also made history by winning a bronze medal in the all-around event, an event that Team GB hadn’t medalled in over 100 years. And a special mention HAS to go to Sky Brown, GB’s youngest ever athlete in 93 years who won bronze in skateboarding and is truly an inspiration.
A Final Gold
Although there were some disappointing moments for Team GB, there were so many golden moments. An early event in the Games was diving. The nation watched with bated breath to see if Tom Daley could finally do it. His celebrations were joyous, but seeing Daley tear up whilst hearing the national anthem, surely there wasn’t a dry eye in the country. Tom Daley wasn’t the only member of Team GB who finally got their gold. James Guy, emotionally explained how much it meant to receive that gold finally in the freestyle relay, and then went on to win another in the mixed relay. Jonny Brownlee also ‘completed’ the Olympics with his teammates in the mixed triathlon, now the proud owner of a bronze, silver, and gold medal at 3 Olympics.
This year’s Olympics proved how strong Team GB and sport in this country is getting. This was an Olympics that broke records. Some of the best Olympics for certain sports in decades, a great tally of 65 medals but this Olympics also showed that
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