There’s always a reason to celebrate women, but women at the Olympics are another level onto themselves. Here are the female athletes that made history at Tokyo 2020.
It is an achievement within itself to be able to represent your country at the Olympics. This year’s Tokyo 2020 is the most equal and well-represented game ever. According to the International Olympic Committee, almost 49 per cent of all athletes who are competing are women.
On the big stage that is the Olympics, we are continuously wowed by their talents. Here are some history-making events that occurred this Tokyo 2020.
This Dutch runner turned heads earlier this month in her 1,500m race. Sifan Hassan took a nasty fall, but she did not let that stop her. Instead, she bounced back up and went on to take the gold in the 1,500m semi-finals. If you think she stopped there, then you’ll be even more amazed. On that same day, Hassan also took part in the 5,000m finals and won another gold.
Cocona (Kokona) Hiraki
There are no age limits to dreams. Aged 12, this Japanese Olympian is the youngest medalist in the country. Skateboarding is a sport that was just added to the Olympics this year, and also happens to have the youngest participants. She competed alongside Sky Brown, the youngest medalist for Great Britain, and Sakura Yosozumi, also an Olympic gold medalist. These Olympians are inspirations to people everywhere. We can’t wait to see what she has in store.
Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu
Being the first in your country to win a medal at the Olympics is a special type of feeling. Badminton duo Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu are Olympians who will be remembered throughout history. They are the first to bring back an Olympic gold medal to their country of Indonesia.
Katie Ledecky is not a name we are unfamiliar with. Representing the USA, Ledecky became the first female to win a 1,500m freestyle swim race. Ledecky is decorated with ten medals, ‘only’ three of which are silver. She currently holds the record for the women’s 400m, 800m, and now the 1,500m. After Tokyo 2020, Ledecky will remain the most decorated female swimmer of all time.
Another first happened on the tracks of the triathlon when Flora Duffy didn’t only just put her name but her country on the map. In the women’s triathlon finals, Duffy won gold winning the first Olympic gold medal for her country of Bermuda. Not only did she win for herself, but Bermuda has also become the smallest country to win an Olympic gold medal because of her achievements.
Inclusivity in sports is something that we all need. The moment this athlete stepped up for her event in the women’s +87kg weightlifting competition, she made history. Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics. She, alongside many other athletes, are the faces of change that we have been waiting for.
After 33 years, Elaine Thompson-Herah has broken the world record set by Florence Griffith Joyner in the 100m sprint. The runner landed herself at the top of the podium by setting a record of 10.61 seconds; a place no woman has been before.
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok