Surfer jumps in to translate for his rival, who had just defeated him. Friends who have been long-jumping partners agree to share a medal instead of moving to a tiebreaker. Two runners collide in a tangle, and then help each other to the finish.
Acts of kindness are commonplace in an Olympic Games that has placed mental health front and center. These are the most successful athletes in the world, who have shown kindness and gentleness to one another, sharing their joy, encouraging one another, and wiping away each other’s disappointments.
Kanoa Italo Ferreira, Brazil’s Olympic debutant in the same sport, disappointed Kanoa Igarashi from Japan.
He not only lost his chance at gold on the surf beach where he grew-up surfing, but he was also taunted online and verbally abused by racist Brazilian trolls.
Although the Japanese-American surfer could have sat silently, he used his Portuguese knowledge to help Ferreira translate a press conference question.
The crowd laughed when they heard the cross-rival translation. An official thanked the silver medalist who assisted them.
Ferreira beamingly said, “Yes, thank-you, Kanoa.” He is currently learning English.
A few days later, Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy and Mutaz Barrshim of Qatar were at the Olympic Stadium. They found themselves in a situation that they had talked about, but never experienced: they were tied.
Both high jumpers performed flawlessly until they were able to reach the Olympic-record height at 2.39m (7ft 10in) Each fell three times.
They could have taken a jump-off but decided to share the gold.
“I know that I have earned that gold for the performance that I gave,” Barshim said. Barshim stated that he did the same thing so I know he deserves that gold. This is more than sport. This is the message that we send to the young generation.
After the decision was made, Tamberi grabbed Barshim’s arm and jumped into his arms.
Tamberi stated, “Share with a friend it’s even more beautiful.” It was magical.
Earlier, runners Isaiah Jewett from the U.S. got tangled with Nijel Amos (Botswana) and fell during the semifinals of the 800-meter race. They didn’t get mad, but they were able to help each other up, wrap their arms around one another and finish together.
Many of the world’s top athletes have developed friendships through their time on the road. It can be long, intense, and concentrated.
These feelings are often amplified at the post-pandemic Tokyo Games, which sees an unmistakable yearning to return to normalcy and perhaps a renewed appreciation for familiar faces.
Olympic athletes can’t mix as they used to because of COVID-19 restrictions.
As she gave post-game interviews, Brazilian Rebecca Cavalcanti poured water on Kelly Claes’ back after a three-set win in the beach volleyball round-robin semifinal at Shiokaze Park.
The U.S. had just defeated Brazil, but the winners laughed it off and explained that they were friends.
“I’m excited that quarantine is over so we can all sit at the same table, and have dinner together. It’s hard to live in a bubble, because we must be away,” Sarah Sponcil said, Claes’ colleague.
Carissa Moore, a fellow American surfer, was brought closer to the surfers by the pandemic that came with it.
According to the reigning world champion, she usually travels to surfing competitions together with her husband and dad. Moore said she was unable to travel without her father and husband, as all of their fans were banned for this year.
Moore had traveled to Japan 10 days prior to the first heat. He soon settled in to living with other surfers including Caroline Marks who Moore considered the best woman surfer.
Moore claimed she didn’t know Marks before the Tokyo Games, but Marks was fourth and she was crowned the winner. Moore was first to greet Marks.
Moore stated, “Having the USA Surf Team with me, it was such a beautiful experience for me to bond with them.” After the past two weeks, I feel like I have another family.
Norwegian Lotte Miller placed 24th in the women’s triathlon in Tokyo last week. She took a moment and gave a speech to Claire Michel in Belgium. Claire was distraught and slumped to the ground sobbing.
Michel was 15 minutes behind Flora Duffy, winner of Bermuda. But she did finish. The race started with fifty-four competitors, but 20 of them were either dropped or lapped.
Miller said to Michel, “You’re an (expletive] fighter.” This is Olympic spirit and you have it 100%.