2020 Olympics: Memorable Moments


Photo by Alex Smith

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics featured many memorable moments.

The Olympic Games is one of the biggest sports events that happens every four years. The games originated in Ancient Greece and ended in 393 AD. The games resumed in 1896 in Athens and developed into the Olympics we know today. This year, it was held in Tokyo, Japan. The Olympics were originally supposed to be held in 2020, however, due to the pandemic, it was held this year. The event lasted from July 23 to Aug. 8 and was held behind closed doors due to the pandemic. 

The Olympics kicked off with the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium Tokyo with many notable people attending such as First Lady Jill Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Emperor Naruhito, and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, to name a few. The opening ceremony contained a firework show, the Parade of Nations, and the torch relay, where at the end, the Olympic Cauldron was lit by Japanese tennis player, Naomi Osaka. 

Some 206 nations and more than 11,000 athletes competed at the games, according to the Washington Post. The nation with the most medals was the United States (113), in second was China (88), and in third was Japan (58). Three countries — Turkmenistan, San Marino, and Burkina Faso — won their first Olympic medals at this Olympics. The Olympics included 33 sports, with new sports such as surfing, karate, baseball, and skateboarding being added.

This Olympics gave us a lot of unforgettable moments. One unforgettable moment was when U.S. gymnast Simone Biles sat out of several competitions due to mental health and later on went to win bronze in another competition.  This decision resulted in a mix of both support and criticism. Another unforgettable moment was when Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim shared gold in the high jump event. It was Qatar’s first gold medal and the act warmed the hearts of many. 

The Olympics was not short of controversies as well. Before the games even began, Tokyo saw a surge in coronavirus cases, and the commencement of the Olympics was being threatened. Many Japanese citizens were unsupportive of the games and called for the Olympics to be canceled. And before and during the games, many athletes were infected with Covid-19. Russia was also banned from the Tokyo Olympics due to doping. Russian athletes had to represent the Russian Olympic Confederation and not the country. The Russian flag and anthem were also banned.

The Olympics concluded on Aug. 8 with a closing ceremony.