These Athletes Made History at the Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics, delayed for a year by the coronavirus pandemic were unique.It was the first modern Olympic Games without spectators, thanks to its strict protocols. These Games will also be remembered for other firsts. The Tokyo Games featured many firsts, including the breaking of numerous world records. They also had a lot to do with historic representation in competition as well as inspirational wins by athletes who broke barriers.These are just a few of the entries that will be added to the Olympic record book after the unique Olympics.Sunisa Lee made historySunisa Lee, USA, poses during the awards ceremony following the artistic gymnastics women’s all-around final in Tokyo (Japan), July 29, 2021. XinhuaSipa USASunisa Lee, a Hmong American Olympic gold medalist, defeated the competition in the individual all round competition to become the first Hmong American Olympic silver medalist. The 18-year-old also won bronze in the uneven bars final, and helped Team USA to silver in the team all around final.Bermuda's first ever gold medalFlora Duffy, a tiny Bermuda island, became the first Olympic champion when she won the first ever gold medal for the country in the women's triathlon. She swam and biked her way to victory.First Openly Non-binary American Athlete CompetedAmerican skateboarder Alana Smith was the first openly transgender athlete from Team USA to participate in the Games. In an Instagram post, they stated that their goal was to be happy and provide visual representations for people like me.Team USA's Alana Smith reacts to the Women’s Street Prelims Heat 3 at Ariake Urban Sports Park, Tokyo, Japan on July 26, 2021. Patrick SmithGetty ImagesFirst ever medal for TurkmenistanPolina Guryeva, a weightlifter, lifted 217 kg (478 lbs) and won the silver medal. This was her first medal since the country declared its independence from the Soviet Union. According to the Associated Press, no sport in Turkmenistan had ever won a medal or a medal. Im so in shock.First sibling to win gold in the same dayJapan's Hifumi (gold medallist in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games judo men's-66kg competition) and his sister Uta (gold medallist in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games judo women’s-52kg contest) pose with their medals prior to the last block of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games judo competition at the Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, on July 26, 2021. Franck FifeAFP via Getty ImagesHifumi Abe, a brother and sister from Team Japan, won gold in the respective judo divisions. The IOC reported that their wins made them the first siblings ever to win individual gold events on the same day.The smallest country to win a medalAlessandra Perilli won a bronze medal in women's trap shooting. It was the first medal ever for San Marino, a tiny country in Southern Europe. Perillis' feat made San Marino, a country of just 34,000 people, the smallest country ever to win a medal at the Games. Perilli won another medal in mixed team trap with Gian Marco Berti. Myles Amine was awarded a bronze medal in wrestling.First medals for sport climbing, skateboarding, karate, and surfing awardedMomiji Nishiya, a thirteen-year-old girl from Team Japan, won the first ever gold medal in women's street skating. Japan won three of the four skateboarding gold medals at the inaugural Olympics. Carissa Moore, USA's first ever women's surfing contestant, won gold while talo Ferreira took the top spot in the mens competition. One notable gold in karate went to Japan's Ryo Kiyuna. He hails from Okinawa, a home for martial arts. The first golds in sport climbing were won by Janja Garnbret from Slovenia and Alberto Gins Lpez of Spain.The first American Black woman to win wrestling goldTamyra Mariama Mensah Stock of Team USA celebrates her victory over Blessing Oborududu from Team Nigeria in the Women's Freestyle Gold Medal Match at Makuhari Messe Hall, Aug. 3, 2021, Chiba, Japan. Tom PenningtonGetty PhotosAfter winning the 68kg freestyle final, Tamyra Mensah–Stock became America's first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold. According to The Associated Press, I was like, Oh my god, look at us representing. It's amazing. You're making history, I'm making history. We were making history. It meant a lot.Swimming into historyKatie Ledecky made swimming history when she increased her Olympic individual gold medal count by six. This is more than any swimmer, except Michael Phelps. The first ever women's 1,500m freestyle gold was also won by Ledecky (men have been competing in the race since ).Emma McKeown, Australia's pool swimmer, won seven medals at Tokyo. This tied the record for most medals a female Olympian has won in one Games. The record was set in 1952 by Maria Gorokhovskaya, a Soviet Union gymnast.First gender-balanced OlympicsAccording to the IOC, the Tokyo Games are the first ever gender-balanced Games. Nearly 49% of all the athletes participating are women. According to the committee, the Paralympics have a record number female competitors.The Philippines won their first goldHidilyn Diaz, a Filipina weightlifter, won her first ever gold medal. She seemed to be able to lift an impressive 127kg (279 lbs). .Hidilyn Diaz from Team Philippines competes in the 55kg women's weightlifting competition. This was Day 3 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. It took place on July 26, 2021 at Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan. Chris GraythenGetty PhotosTheir countries were represented by the first openly trans athletesTransgender athletes are allowed to participate in the Olympics from 2004. However, no one has ever done this openly. Quinn, a Canadian soccer player, became the first transgender athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. Canada's women's soccer team won the gold. New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics. Chelsea Wolfe, a BMX-freestyle alternate, was the first transgender athlete to compete on Team USA.Felixs record medal haulAllyson Felix, from Team USA, reacts to winning bronze in the Women's 400m final at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Aug. 6, 2021. Matthias HangstGetty PhotosAllyson Felix won her 10th Olympic gold in the women's 400 m. This made her the most decorated Olympic female track and field athlete. She also tied Carl Lewis for the most Olympic golds won by a U.S.-based track athlete.Some of the most talented young athletes have ever competed and won medalsHend Zaza, a Syrian table tennis star aged 12, was the youngest ever competitor in her sport at the Olympics. Sky Brown, a Team Great Britain skateboarder, was 13 years old and the youngest ever to compete at the Summer Games. Kokona Hiraki (12 years old) was the youngest Summer Olympian from Team Japan.Learn more about the Tokyo OlympicsGet the Brief. Register to get the best stories right now. Enter valid email address. * Your request was unsuccessful and timed out. Please sign up again. Sign up now! An error occurred during your registration. Please try again later. If you don't wish to receive promotional emails from TIME, please check the box. You may unsubscribe at anytime. Signing up means you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policies. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. 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