First off, Caeleb Dressel won big this weekend with a new world record in the 100m Fly. He finished with a time of 49.45 ahead of Kristóf Milák from Hungary and Noè Ponti from Switzerland. In an interview, Dressel said:
“It's a really tough year. It's really hard. So to have the results show up, it really came together."
It has been a tough year for everyone but it's hard to imagine what toll it has taken on Olympic athletes. Dressel isn't the only athlete to have been outspoken about meow tough this year has been. Namely, Simone Biles' choice to step down from the competition started a conversation about mental health. This weekend, gold medalist Michael Phelps weighed in on Biles' decision.
Phelps has always been outspoken about the importance of mental health. Lately, he feels like the conversation is even bigger than he could’ve imagined. The Michael Phelps Foundation is just one endeavor in which Phelps promotes mental health. The Olympian said:
“With the foundation it’s so important, especially to teach kids at a young age to take control of their physical and mental health. You guys hear me talk about that so much. If we’re not taking care of both, how are we ever expecting to be 100 percent?”
That being said, even in Simone Biles’ absence, the USA women’s gymnastics team didn’t miss a beat.
Suni Lee struck gold on Friday in her all-around performance and obviously she picked up a silver medal with her team earlier on in the games. But this weekend, Lee went on to complete her set of medals with a bronze in the uneven bars, her specialty. Team USA was counting on Lee to medal and she did not disappoint. Not only did Lee win big for Team USA, but she was also representing America's Hmong community. When asked what it meant to have the support of the Hmong community, Lee said:
"They helped me a lot. They sacrificed a lot for me. They support me so much. We also have fundraisers and they're willing to give anything if we ever need anything. They're so supportive of my whole family."
Suni Lee is the first Hmong American Olympian and she delivered a stellar performance.
MyKayla Skinner accomplished the impossible this weekend. Skinner served as Simone Biles' replacement and went on to defy the odds. In the vault competition, Skinner scored big; with a two-and-a-half twist off the table, Skinner wow'ed the judges and came out with a silver medal. In an interview, Skinner said:
"This was seriously so unexpected. I was actually going to take a flight home after team finals. So for me to be able to turn myself around and to be able to come out and finally compete one last time was seriously so unreal. It was so exciting to be out there and just having this opportunity to win silver it's seriously just a dream come true. I just feel so honored and blessed to be a part of Team USA and medal tonight."
It's safe to say that dreams became a reality this weekend for MyKayla Skinner and Team USA.
A fan favorite moment that will live on in Olympic history occurred this weekend when Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi got to share the gold. The two tied in the men's high jump, both reaching 2.37 meters. They then attempted a tie breaker of 2.39 meters but neither athlete could accomplish the feat. As a result, they were told that they could attempt the tie breaker for a fourth time, but instead of fighting for first place, they asked if they could split the gold. When they were told sharing the gold was a possibility, they lost it. Their reactions are priceless, especially Tamberi's.
Catch the rest of Tokyo 2020 on NBC and Peacock.
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