6 of the Most Iconic Moments From the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (So Far)

From the historic win of a strong woman to a hilarious photobomb that took the Internet by storm.
by Mary Joyce Bernal   |  Aug 6, 2021
Image: (LEFT TO RIGHT) FACEBOOK/DIDALMARGIELYN, INSTAGRAM/HIDILYNDIAZ
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After a postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics ensued on July 23, 2021. The Philippines takes first place among the countries making the most noise regarding the Olympics on social media. How could we not, when we scored our very first Olympic gold medal ever? 

From the historic win of a strong woman to a hilarious photobomb that took the Internet by storm, here are some of our favorite moments from this year’s Olympics.

1. Hidilyn Diaz winning the much-deserved gold

If there is one thing history books will prove for our future generation of young girls, it’s that the phrase "Fight like a girl!" is actually a huge compliment. On the night of July 26, 2021, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz took the gold after successfully lifting a total weight of 224kg in the women’s 55-kilogram category for weightlifting. This win resulted from nearly two years of training and participating in competitionsone of them being the 2018 Asian Games in which she won the gold medal for weightlifting (also a first for the country).

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Another reason to love our Olympic gold medalist? She agrees that trans athletes have the right to participate in sports, too!

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2. Two athletes sharing the top one spot

What do athletes Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy have in common? Two things: friendship and the gold medal for the Olympic high jump. After both ending the high jump with 2.37 meters, they were given the chance to do a jump-off as a tiebreaker.

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Instead of agreeing, Barshim asked if they could each receive a gold medal instead. The coach agreed, and people from across the globe shared in their happiness as the friends jumped into each other’s arms.

3. Nesthy Petecio, our out-and-proud silver medalist 

Aside from Nesthy Petecio’s silver being the country’s first Olympic medal for women’s boxing, what makes the 29-year-old boxer’s winning moment so memorable is how she dedicated her win to the LGBT community. Even if she did not get the gold, she proved to be a powerhouse in the world of women’s boxing and made us immensely proud.

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4. Four Olympic medals for the Philippines

As of August 5, 2021, Filipino pride is stronger than ever as Carlo Paalam, our representative for the men’s flyweight division in boxing, secured a match for the gold medal after defeating Japan’s Tanaka Ryohei.

He joins Hidilyn Diaz (gold medal for weightlifting), Nesthy Petecio (silver medal for women’s boxing - featherweight), and Eumir Marcial (bronze medal for men’s boxing - middleweight) in the roster of Filipino athletes who are bringing home medals for the Philippines. Yet another proud addition to our history books!

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5. Tom Daley and his love for crochet

Ever saw a photo of a male athlete sitting in the stands, watching the game, and knitting? That’s Tom Daley, a diver from Great Britain who won the gold for the men’s synchronized 10-metre platform event for diving. On his knitting Instagram account, he revealed what he was knitting in that iconic moment. It was a dog sweater! How much cuter can this British cutie get?

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6. Margielyn Didal, the Internet’s source of joy

It’s not only the Olympic medalists that are worth celebrating. All of our athletes are. And, based on the memes and reactions circulating across social media, it looks like thousands agree that one particular Filipino athlete is worth celebrating for her bright personality.

After placing seventh in the women’s street skateboarding in the Olympics, Margielyn Didal captured the hearts of people from different parts of the world with her positive disposition and hilarious photobombs. Who could forget her joking caption on a photo with Tony Hawk that Tony Hawk himself had to explain? Truly an icon.

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Mary Joyce Bernal
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