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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

Articles tagged: 2020 Summer Olympics

Video: Athing Mu’s family goes nuts watching her win gold medal

Athing Mu

Athing Mu captured gold in the women’s 800m race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, and her family loved it.

COVID-19 has restricted fan attendance at the Summer Olympics this year. So NBC has been compensating by placing cameras at the homes of family and friends of competitors. That’s how we’ve seen some fun video reactions, such as this one.

Here is a look at the reaction from Mu’s family and friends as Mu progressed towards a first-place finish at the Olympic Stadium.

That was fun to watch.

Mu, who is from Trenton, N.J., finished with a time of 1:55.21. The 19-year-old is the first US winner in the women’s 800m since Madeline Manning in 1968.

Noah Lyles creates photo finish after easing up in 200m semifinal

Noah Lyles photo finish

Noah Lyles created some unnecessary drama in his men’s 200m semifinal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.

Lyles was in front during the race but eased up as he approached the finish line. Slowing down gave other sprinters the opportunity to catch him, and they did.

As a result, Lyles ended up with the same time as Canada’s Aaron Brown and Liberia’s Joseph Fahnbulleh at 19.99.

“Just slowed down a little too early. Probably should have ran through the line,” Lyles admitted to NBC after the race.

Lyles was actually given a third-place finish in the semis despite having the same time as the other two competitors. He had to wait and see if the time would be good enough for the finals, and it was. Now, Lyles is saying he will win the gold medal. To do so, he better not slow up in the finals.

Chinese Olympians investigated over Mao pins following gold medals

Tokyo Olympics

The International Olympic Committee is investigating yet another potential violation of the rule against making political statements during competition and medal ceremonies. The latest probe was sparked by Chinese athletes Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi.

After they won the women’s sprint in track cycling on Monday, Shanju and Tianshi wore badges paying tribute to late Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong. The badges may have been a violation of the long-standing Olympic rule that prohibits political, religious and racial demonstrations. That rule was loosened leading up to the Tokyo Olympics to give athletes greater freedom to demonstrate away from the field of play.

The IOC said Tuesday that it is “looking into the matter,” according to The Associated Press. IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said the organization has contacted the Chinese Olympic Committee and asked them for a report about the situation.

Mao, who died in 1976, founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Badges showing his profile were extremely popular during the 1960s among people who wanted to display their loyalty to the Communist Party.

This is at least the second gesture the IOC is investigating to determine if it violated Olympic rules on political displays. U.S. women’s shot-putter Raven Saunders made a symbol with her arms during the photo op at her medal ceremony on Sunday night, though the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has already publicly supported her.

Simone Biles explains why bronze medal meant more than all her golds

Simone Biles

Simone Biles made her highly anticipated return to competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, and she captured yet another piece of hardware. While it was not a gold medal, Biles said it was the most rewarding medal she has ever won.

Biles came in third and won the bronze medal in the individual balance beam final. She scored a 14.00, finishing behind Chinese gymnasts Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing. In an interview with TODAY after the competition, Biles said the bronze medal meant more to her than the four golds she won at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“It means more than all the golds because I’ve pushed through so much the last five years and the last week while I’ve even been here,” Biles said. “It was very emotional, and I’m just proud of myself and just all of these girls, as well.”

Biles added that she was not concerned with winning a medal and was just happy she got to compete one more time in Tokyo. The fact that she performed well enough to win a medal after struggling mentally over the past week made it even more special.

“I don’t get to like embrace it yet, but I’m just proud I could go out there and compete one more time before the Olympics was over,” Biles said.

In doing so, Biles tied an Olympic record. She now has seven Olympic medals (four golds, a silver and two bronzes), which places her even with Shannon Miller for the most Olympic medals ever won by a U.S. gymnast.

Biles withdrew from the team all-around last Tuesday. She later revealed that she was “shaking” and could not focus leading up to the event. She then sat out the individual all-around and withdrew from two more events.

On Friday, Biles opened up about her “petrifying” mental block while answering questions from fans on social media.

Video: Rai Benjamin apologizes to family after winning silver medal

Rai Benjamin

Rai Benjamin took home the silver medal in what many are calling one of the greatest Olympic races of all time on Tuesday, but the American hurdler seemed devastated by the result.

Benjamin finished second in the men’s 400 meter hurdle with a time of 46.17 seconds. That bested the old world record of 46.78 seconds, which was set by Kevin Young at the 1992 Olympics. Unfortunately for Benjamin, Norway’s Karsten Warholm was even faster.

Warholm, who won the gold, shattered the world record with a time of 45.94 seconds. Benjamin looked stunned after the race. He was shown a clip of his family cheering him on in his home state of Georgia. He fought back tears and said, “Love you, Mom. I’m sorry.”

Benjamin was asked after the race what he would have thought if someone told him beforehand that he would run as fast as he did and still not win the gold.

“I would probably beat you up and tell you to get out of my room,” he said, via The Associated Press.

You can understand why Benjamin was so crushed. While he’ll likely be proud of his performance when the disappointment wears off, setting a world record but not winning a gold medal is the definition of bittersweet.

Cuban wrestler Mijain Lopez joins elite company with incredible feat

Mijain Lopez

Cuban wrestler Mijain Lopez joined some incredibly exclusive company with an impressive feat.

Lopez on Monday won the gold medal in the Greco-Roman 130 kg wrestling event at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The 38-year-old Cuban giant defeated Iakobi Kajaia 5-0 in the final of the event to win the gold.

What is remarkable is the gold medal marked the fourth straight Olympics in which Lopez has won the same event.

He also won gold in 2008, 2012 and 2016. The 2008 and 2012 medals were when 125 kg was the highest weight class in Greco-Roman wrestling.

Only four other athletes have ever won four straight gold medals in the same individual event. Those four others are:

– Michael Phelps: 200 m individual medley (2004-2016)
– Carl Lewis: long jump (1984-1996)
– Al Oerter: discus (1956-1968)
– Paul Elvstrom: finn (1948-1960)

That is quite an exclusive list.

Even at 38, Lopez is still going strong and leading his class. He also showed some great sportsmanship after his semifinal win.

Jamaican sprinter Christopher Taylor taken off in wheelchair after race

Christopher Taylor

Jamaican sprinter Christopher Taylor faced a medical situation after qualifying for the finals of the men’s 400 m race at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Taylor finished second in the second semifinal of the 400 m sprint with a time of 44.92. He was one of eight runners to qualify for the final, but he had to be taken away in a wheelchair afterwards.

What was the reason? NBC’s Mike Tirico said that Taylor had an asthma attack after the race.

However, the Jamaica Gleaner’s Andre Lowe says Taylor was taken away as a precaution due to his asthma. He said the sprinter was “fine” after the race.

Taylor said he already felt like a winner just by qualifying for the final.

This is the 21-year-old’s Olympics debut. He said in an Instagram post that he was “doing well” and focusing on the final.

Caeleb Dressel shares what he plans to do after Olympics

Caeleb Dressel

Caeleb Dressel has been one of the stars of the Summer Olympics this year, and it’s hard to imagine him doing anything other than swimming when he leaves Tokyo. Believe it or not, the 24-year-old does plan to take some time off.

In an interview with Mike Tirico of NBC Sports on Sunday, Dressel said he and his wife, Meghan Haila Dressel, are finally planning to go on their honeymoon after the Olympics. The two got married in February, but Dressel has obviously been busy training for the past several months.

“Swimming gets in the way of a lot of things. First priority, maybe I should do that on the plane ride back — start planning [our honeymoon],” Dressel said. “I got three weeks and then I’m going off and starting to do some swimming again. So I’ll get my three weeks to do everything but swim, and then we’ll get back in it.”

It’s no surprise that Dressel only wants to take three weeks off, as he has plenty more gold medals to chase. He’ll be the heavy favorite in several events at the 2024 Olympics after what he has accomplished in Tokyo.

Dressel joined elite company on Sunday when he claimed his third individual gold medal and fifth overall. He is only the fifth Olympian ever to win at least five swimming medals in one Olympics.

Dressel is the world record holder in the 100 m fly and holds an Olympic record in the 50 and 100 m freestyle. He was also part of the US’ world record-setting team in the 4×100 medley. Not only that, but he even went viral for something he did outside the pool in Tokyo. Dressel has certainly earned his three weeks of down time.

Megan Rapinoe says USWNT has not had fun at Tokyo Olympics

Megan Rapinoe

The United States Women’s National Team will not be leaving the Tokyo Olympics with a gold medal, and Megan Rapinoe indicated after Monday’s loss that a lack of enjoyment has been one of the biggest issues for the team.

The U.S. lost 1-0 to Canada on Monday in the women’s soccer semifinal. The loss marked the first time in history that the USWNT has lost two matches in a single Olympics, as they also fell 3-0 to Sweden in the group stage. After the match, Rapinoe called losing to Canada “terrible” and had some interesting remarks about team chemistry.

Rapinoe and her teammates seemed to be enjoying themselves when Rapinoe buried a winning penalty kick against the Netherlands (video here). However, it is clear that something has been missing for a team that went a perfect 7-0 and won the World Cup just two years ago.

The USWNT will now play for a bronze medal, and Rapinoe said winning that would be a “huge thing.” It will not, however, erase the disappointment.

Simone Biles to compete in balance beam final

Simone Biles

Simone Biles has withdrawn from several events over the past week to address some mental struggles she has been having, but she is not done competing at the Tokyo Olympics.

USA Gymnastics has announced that Biles will compete in the balance beam final on Tuesday along with Suni Lee.

Biles withdrew from the team all-around last Tuesday. She later revealed that she was “shaking” and could not focus leading up to the event. She then sat out the individual all-around and withdrew from two more events.

On Friday, Biles opened up about her “petrifying” mental block while answering questions from fans on social media. She said she is suffering from the “twisties,” which sounds a lot like a golfer having the yips.

“It’s honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind & body in sync,” Biles wrote. “Literally can not tell up from down. It’s the craziest feeling ever. Not having an inch of control over your body.”

Biles also hit back at anyone who says she has quit on her team.

“For anyone saying I quit, I didn’t quit,” she wrote. “My mind & body are simply not in sync. … Physical health is mental health.”

Biles, 24, is the most decorated US gymnast by far. Her withdrawal from the individual all-around opened the door for Lee to capture her first Olympic gold medal. The 18-year-old’s father had an emotional message for Biles after the event.

All eyes will be on Biles in the balance beam final.