Australia

The Tokyo Olympics draws to a close as we relive our favourite moments

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My top five

Hey all, I’m just settling in to bring you the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony live — but I’ve just been invited to throw my top five moments into our very last Olympics blog, so here they are. I know I’m coming late to the party and most of these have already been said but: 

5. Tom Daley knitting. Was it a moment of sporting glory? No. Was it an absolute sporting legend being totally unapologetic about how he best prepares to give his best in competition and saying a big F off to old-school male athlete stereotypes? Heck yea. This is another one where I’m sure people have written about this far more eloquently than me but it’s so good to see something other than the macho sportsperson attitude we see a lot of here in Australia (cough football cough) and seeing his little medal cosy and the iconic Olympics jumper could warm even the coldest of hearts. Speaking of warming hearts, look at this snippet of Tom and his husband Dustin’s son cheering papa on from home: 

4. The men’s high jump medal-share. Athletes are competitive by nature. We know that. Most of their life is dedicated to being the best and that’s great. But to see the sheer happiness in Italian Gianmarco Tameri’s face when he realised he’d be sharing gold medal glory with his competitor (and mate) Mutaz Essa Barshim was just so precious. Sport is supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to bring people together, it’s supposed to make people happy — and this moment was a perfect three from three. 

(Li Yibo via Getty Images)

3. Poppy Olsen leading the love charge. Plenty has been said about the incredible sportsmanship and support we saw from the skateboarding girls, and maybe I’m biased, but I truly think our Aussie led the charge in showing what being a good competitor is. When she and the USA’s Bryce Wettstein hoisted Japan’s Misugu Okamoto onto their shoulders and captain’s-carried her back to her coaches after she took a nasty fall in the final, it was another perfect reminder of how sport brings people together.

(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

2. Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar’s wins that put them into the gold medal match. Don’t get me wrong, the gold medal match was awesome and a silver medal is a bloody fantastic result. But seeing them dig so deep in those quarter and semi-finals, particularly the quarter-final against Canada that went to three sets, their Aussie never-say-die attitude just shined through. Bonus points for Taliqua’s Aboriginal flag nail art, absolutely love to see it. 

(Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

1. Simone Biles’ return. I don’t think I’ve made it a secret that I’m a massive Simone fan, and while she’s not an Australian, she is a strong woman and an awesome role model which I think is important for girls in Australia to see. My heart broke for her when she pulled out after prelims, and as soon as she withdrew from that first apparatus final, I thought she was done completely. But to see her come back so composed and win bronze on beam, knowing full well that the entire world was watching (and as angry as it made me, I knew there were people waiting for her to make a mistake) just made me so proud of her and of everyone who battles through their own mental health struggles every day but keeps on keeping on. Also, her reaction to Sunisa Lee winning gold in the all-arounds (a gold that, let’s be honest, was fully expected to be Simone’s from the start) made me tear up a bit.

(Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

HONOURABLE MENTION: Rohan Browning’s flowing, majestic mullet pulling ahead of Yohan Blake (and everyone else in that heat). Lockdown lifted about an hour and a half ago here in Brisbane, and as we speak, my boyfriend and best friend are shaving each other’s heads to create mullets, Browning-style. Sigh.

(Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

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