(TOKYO) — A historic 2020 Olympics is coming to a close today, one that saw world records smashed, surprising defeats and teary moments of sportsmanship. Thank you for joining us every day for our daily coverage of the competitions, today will be our concluding roundup of key moments from the past two weeks.
US women’s basketball wins 7th consecutive gold medal
The United States women’s basketball team defeated Japan 95-70 to take home the gold for the seventh consecutive Olympics. This is the fifth Olympic gold medal in basketball for Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, who most likely have played in their final Olympic game.
The effort was led by Brittney Griner who scored 30 points, the most by a U.S. player in a gold medal game.
US women’s volleyball win first-ever gold medal
The U.S. women’s volleyball team has won its first-ever gold medal after defeating Brazil in straight sets, 25-21, 25-20, 25-14. The team has won three silver medals and two bronze since 1984.
US wins most gold medals, most medals overall
The United States has finished the Olympic Games with 39 gold medals, edging out China on the last day of action. Team USA finished with 113 medals overall, leading second-place China by a large margin.
Consistent dread and disruption caused by COVID-19
The reminders of the global pandemic were abundant as the athletes competed in nearly empty stadiums in Tokyo. Athletes were subject to daily tests, medalists had to celebrate with loved ones via screens and everyone present was subject to very strict procedures to remain safe.
Even with the safety protocols in place, 436 people at the Tokyo Olympics tested positive for COVID-19, including many athletes that had to leave competition. The surrounding city of Tokyo consistently reached record numbers of reported cases, reporting 4,066 new cases on the last day of the Olympics.
Looking back on the games: Allyson Felix makes history again and again
Allyson Felix won her 10th and then her 11th medal to first become the most decorated female track athlete in the world and then surpassing Carl Lewis as America’s most decorated track athlete with the latter win. Felix won the bronze in the individual 400m, and the next day won the gold in the women’s 4x400m relay.
The 35-year-old sprinter has most likely finished her Olympic career, competing in five different Olympic Games.
Looking back on the games: Simone Biles overcomes adversity to take home a medal
After Simone Biles withdrew from the overall team competition because of a case of the “twisties” — a vertigo-like affliction that disables gymnasts from knowing where their body is relative to the ground — she received unrivaled amounts of attention, both supportive outpourings and sharp criticisms.
Biles subsequently withdrew from individual events in the vault, uneven bars and floor exercises but returned for her final competition in the balance beam to win the bronze medal.
Looking back on the games: Gold medal shared for the first time in over 100 years
Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim had both cleared 2.37m in the men’s high jump final but each failed in their three events to clear the next height of 2.39m. Instead of going to a jump-off, Tamberi turned to the Olympic officials and asked if they could share the gold medal. The official said yes, and Barshim agreed.
The unbelievable act of sportsmanship between the two friends brought tears to the eyes of spectators as they watched Tamberi jump into Barshim’s arms, the Italian quickly shedding some tears of his own.
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