Well, that was worth the wait. After 12 months of extra training, anticipation and precautions, Tokyo 2020 was here.
And as most of the country was in lockdown for the duration of this exciting time, it gave us all the perfect opportunity to have the tele on in the background and take our lunch breaks whilst watching our Aussie athletes perform on the biggest stage.
With the team built of more women than men (53.7% – a record), the Australian women won the majority of medals on the board for the country.
We asked our board members what their highlight of the Games was…
Cherie Nicoll: I don’t think I’ve enjoyed an Olympic Games like I did Tokyo, since Sydney in 2000. So many highlights it’s almost impossible to pick just one. But when I cast my mind back the lingering image is of Nicola McDermott. Her pre and post leap rituals were fascinating and endearing to watch. But the joy on her face when she cleared the bar on her PB and silver winning high jump is the image I am left with. Also, special mention for Melissa Wu. From her first appearance at 13 winning Silver at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in 2006, it was fantastic to see her diving from the 10m platform to win her first Olympic medal. Bring on Paris!
Hanna Heptinstall: I have a newfound respect for water polo players! The mental and physical strength they need to have to participate in the sport is incredible particularly when there is often more going on underneath the surface than above it.
- Jess Fox – I have never been so invested in a sport I know nothing about and an athlete and family I’ve never met! I rode every gate and wave with her, and was beyond excited when she finally got that gold.
- Brooke Stratton – when she nailed her third jump to record 6.83m, finishing in 7th place in her second Olympic long jump final I was pumped. She had overcome a lot just to get to the start line, so it was terrific to see her perform close to her best when it counted. And we do like a good long jump competition in our house!
- Aussie track and field athletes in the spotlight – Rohan Browning, Riley Day, Peter Bol, Ash Moloney (& Cedric Dubler), our high jumpers, javelin throwers, 1500m runners, marathoners… it was great to see the Australian track and field team delivering Australian records and personal bests, progressing through the rounds and mixing it with the best athletes in the world in a truly global sport. Many of them becoming household names in the process.
Gen Simmons: My moment is seeing Jess Fox finally win that elusive Olympic gold medal that had escaped her in previous competitions. She’s such a wonderful role model and I love the positive voice that she brings to canoe-slaylom, a sport many people know little about!
Jess Ivers: I loved seeing the end of the Women’s 100m Freestyle when Emma McKeon won Gold and Cate Campbell won Bronze. Immediately, Cate’s reaction was to embrace and congratulate Emma first. It was such a brilliant display of team support and sisterhood and it was one of the moments that brought happy tears to my eyes. And of course, Emma McKeon sweeping the field with 7 individual medals.
I also got really into the Javelin final where Kelsey-Lee Barber won Bronze. After learning about how she had “the yips” (something I definitely had to Google!) and had to really fight her way back into her skills and then to finish with a medal was such an awesome story.