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'Just Magical': Two Friends Share Gold, Swimmer Drops F-Bomb, and Other Viral Moments of Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Athletics - Men's High Jump - Medal Ceremony - Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 2, 2021. Gold medallists, Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar pose on the podium
© REUTERS / DYLAN MARTINEZ

Winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games is a lifelong dream for most athletes. Sometimes, though, Olympians get carried away after their win, letting their emotions do all the talking. Tokyo 2020 has been witness to several such moments that have gone viral on social media.

An extraordinary emotional moment was witnessed at the Olympic Stadium in Japan's capital city over the weekend just as Italian Gianmarco Tamberi was declared the joint gold medal winner in the men's high jump, in what was a highly dramatic finish to the event.

Both Tamberi and his friend and overwhelming favourite Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar recorded a jump of 2.37 metres to share the gold. But it was their celebration which caught wide attention after their heroics on the field.

Belarus' Maksim Nedasekau also recorded a best clearance of 2.37 metres, but missed out on the top prize because of a failed attempt earlier.

On the other hand, Barshim and the Italian didn't register a failed attempt until that stage.

However, when Tamberi and the Qatari tried to clear the 2.39-metre mark, they failed, not just once, but three times.

After three successive failed attempts at 2.39, Tamberi and Barshim couldn't break the deadlock. The contest remained on an even keel with the scores tied at 2.37 metres. At this juncture, both friends started a conversation with a Tokyo Games official, who suggested that the matter could be decided by a "jump-off".

A "jump-off" is like a penalty shoot-out in football, as both the jumpers are given one jump each and whosoever registers the best jump is declared the winner.

However, Barshim's subsequent words not only left the Olympic official speechless but stunned Tamberi as well.

"Can we have two golds?" Barshim asked the official.

Once he nodded in approval, the two athletes hugged each other as they celebrated their historic triumph.

Their unique display of sportsmanship wowed fans from around the globe, with some social media users declaring it their "favourite Olympic moment".

For Tamberi, life came full circle as he had broken his leg in Rio and there were doubts as to whether he could compete again. But he managed to overcome adversity to clinch the gold in a remarkable sequence of events at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

"I still can't believe it happened," he said. "Sharing with a friend is even more beautiful ... It was just magical."

Barshim described it as a dream which had finally come true.

"This is a dream I don't want to wake up from," he said after his gold medal winning feat. "I have been through a lot. It's been five years that I have been waiting, with injuries and a lot of setbacks."

Barshim also spoke about why he chose to share the biggest prize in the Olympics.

"He's one of my best friends. Not only on the track, but outside of the track," Barshim said. "We're always together almost. True spirit, sportsman spirit, coming here and delivering this message. Appreciate what he's done, he appreciates what I've done. This is amazing."

From Tambery and Barshim's extraordinary moment of friendship to Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown dropping a F-bomb in excitement, to Ariarne Titmus' coach's wild celebrations to Costa Rican gymnast Luciana Alvarado paying tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement, here are the most viral moments of the Tokyo Games so far.

Australian Swimmer Kaylee McKeown Drops F-Bomb

Australia's Kaylee McKeown couldn't contain her emotions after she set a new Olympic record to claim the 100m backstroke gold medal in Tokyo on 27 July.

Immediately after her victory at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, the Aussie sensation was seen using the f-word on live TV during an interview with the country's Olympic broadcaster Channel 7 about her heroics in the pool.

Nathan Templeton, the interviewer, spoke to McKeown before asking if she wanted to send a message back home to her sister and mother.

"What did you like to say to your mum and your sister for now?" Templeton asked.

Forgetting that she was at the Olympics, where millions were watching her, McKeown replied "F**k yeah". But she immediately covered her face with her hands after realising that she had uttered an expletive on camera.

Group of Israeli Athletes Ruin an 'Anti-Sex' Bed in Tokyo's Olympic Village

Israeli athlete Ben Wanger became a major figure in the 'bed wars' in Tokyo after he posted a controversial video on TikTok. In the video, Wanger can be seen breaking the so-called anti-sex bed in the Games Village on 27 July.

The baseball player said that his team received many eager inquiries from their supporters regarding their beds in the Olympic Village. "So today we're gonna check and see how many Israelis it takes to break one of these cardboard beds," the athlete remarked.

In the video, he jumped up and down on the cardboard sleeping platform and then other athletes from the Israeli national team joined him on the bed. The frame finally collapsed under the weight of the nine Olympian bed researchers.

According to Forbes, it had been falsely rumoured on social media that the cardboard beds were designed to only be able to bear the weight of one person in order to prevent casual sex. As Forbes explains, the beds were in fact part of a recycling initiative, and had nothing to do with attempts to thwart coronavirus through the prevention of intimacy among athletes.

Costa Rican Gymnast Luciana Alvarado Pays Tribute to Black Lives Matter Movement

18-year-old Luciana Alvarado wrapped up her floor routine during the qualifying event in Tokyo on one knee, while holding her head back before raising her right fist in the air in a tribute to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

Her floor routine was beautifully choreographed on what was a homage to the BLM movement.

The Black Lives Matter movement was rekindled in May 2020 after a black American former convict named George Floyd died under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer.

Alvarado's tribute instantly went viral on social media because she risked her career while performing the act.

The International Olympic Council (IOC) rules prohibit participating athletes from making any kind of political statements or protests at Olympic venues.

Any athlete indulging in such acts is penalised heavily, including monetary fines, medals stripped and a ban from participation in future events.

Ariarne Titmus Wild Celebrations After Australian Claims Gold in Women's 400m Freestyle

There are celebrations, then there are wild celebrations and then there is Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus' coach's Dean Boxall's way to celebrate.

After Titmus outclassed American legend and reigning champion Katie Ledecky in the women's 400m freestyle at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, in what was billed as one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport at the Olympics, Boxall's celebrations broke the internet within hours.

Boxall not only pumped his fist in the sky, but tore his mask off and hip-thrusted a railing in the stands, becoming an instant darling of meme makers in Tokyo.

British Diver Tom Daley Seen Knitting in the Stands

Two-time world champion, British diver Tom Daley, who won a first gold medal at the Olympics in the synchronised 10m platform event in Tokyo last week, was seen knitting in the stands as he watched the women's diving final on 1 August.

Daley has claimed that knitting is not just his hobby, but his 'secret weapon.'

The 27-year-old diver's act was caught on camera after he was seen concentrating on knitting needles, despite his countrywomen participating in the women's final.

His pictures created a furore on the internet with many hailing him for his progressive thoughts.

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