Solidarity, friendship and self-care in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020

Written by Pili Cortés & Irene Serra

Credits: Pili Cortés

Tokyo 2020 as an innovative year for the Games

2020 has not been an average year, so neither are the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 held a year later. These Games have been in the people’s sights for different reasons; some do not like that the Olympic Games are stored in the middle of a global pandemic. But, on the other hand, some people pay special attention because Japan hosts athletes, and there were many expectations.

The inovation in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 is seen in the incorporation of new sports such as climbing, surfing, skateboarding, karate and 3×3 basketball.

We also have new traditions this year. Officials are presenting athletes with their medals on a tray, from which they can then theoretically put them on themselves. But with the flowers and the masks, it can be a lot to juggle. That is the reason why some athletes are giving each other a hand in what might be the purest example of teamwork at this year’s Games.

Women in the Olympic Games

This is the first year the Games have nearly reached gender parity. According to the IOC (International Olympic Committee), of the almost 11,000 athletes in this Games, practically 49% are women, marking the first “gender-balanced” games in history.

Taking a little tour in the history of the Olympic Games, in Athens 1896, the IOC barred women from competing. Nonetheless, in Paris 1890, 22 female athletes were finally invited to ladies sports, while nearly 1,000 men competed in the rest of the events.

Everyone feels a lot of admiration for all the athletes who are participating in these 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. So many participants are an example to follow for society because they teach empathy, equality and solidarity. That is why we wanted to highlight five moments that will go down in history.

Every athlete competing at the 2020 Tokyo Games has a chance to make an impact.

SIMONE BILES

One of the most heard names during the Olympics Games in Tokyo 2020 has been Simone Biles (United States), since she decided to withdraw from the team competition to focus on her mental health. It is a decision that shows courage and a strong personality, because she has prioritized her well-being over the competition.

The news has been covered by the importance of taking care of mental health for elite athletes and the day-to-day life of any citizen since this disease has been increasing nowadays.

Days after, a statement was published in which she announced that she was going to compete in the individual balance beam final. But, for the spectators, it was a luxury to see her shining and being crowned with the third bronze medal. It was an act of overcoming and admiration since she was not trying to win but to enjoy the competition she trained in.

Simone Biles has become an example to follow. At the young age of 24, she has taught us to find a middle point between what people want from us and what we are willing to offer.

MUTAZ ESSA BARSHIM AND GIANMARCO TAMBERI

“Can we have two golds?”

Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi executed the first six jumps up to 2.37 meters; both of them cleared the highest bar, but when deciding a winner, both Olympic high jumpers looked at each other and chose not to fight for the individual win. Instead, they asked to share the gold medal.

Barshim (Qatar) and Tamberi (Italy) have been friends since the injury that Tamberi suffered  years ago. Barshim was the only one who convinced him that although it is not easy to return from an injury like the one he suffered, he could do it with some time. That is why when they were given two options: tiebreaker or share the gold, they did not hesitate.

Barshim said: “It is amazing, man. To share it with Marco is an amazing feeling. It is a great feeling. I’m really happy.”

NIJEL AMOS AND ISAIAH JEWETT

Isaiah Jewett (United States) and Nijel Amos (Botswana) had an incident that left the two lying on the track next to each other, out of competition in the 800 meters. The reaction of both athletes has marked many people. Jewett and Amos were good sportsmen. They helped each other to their feet, put their arms around each other and finished together Sunday in a semifinal heat at the Tokyo Olympics.

Jewett was in front of Amos and just about to go into his kick, arriving on the final turn when the back of his heel hit Amos. He fell, but so did Amos.

Jewett has a straightforward rule when he’s racing: he has to finish. And he made sure that Amos did, too. The friendly gesture was certainly appreciated by Amos, who was able to have a second chance!

ANA PELETEIRO AND YULIMAR ROJAS

Another highlight was the camaraderie between the two triple jump athletes Ana Peleteiro (Spain) and Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela). Both women starred in a very emotional hug when the Venezuelan Yulimar managed to break the Olympic and world record, winning the gold medal.

This act between the athletes is outstanding because of the admiration, passion and friendship that it shows. At the same time, it provides a charming message to society and future athletes in this world since it puts rivalry aside.

TOM DALEY

The media has captured a particular moment of the springboard jumper Tom Daley (United Kingdom) while sitting in the stadium’s stands. To deal with the pressure and have a break, Daley decided to spend his time knitting. The same athlete has shared several images of his designs made for his family, dog, or keeping his gold medal safe. This act has become so viral that many social networks have supported this hobby as a self-help method.

In our opinion, we believe that it is hopeful to see that competitiveness can be healthy in the new generations, that in such important and tense moments, sometimes what is seen is the camaraderie and not rivalry. For example, even though the audience sometimes prefers the show and the drama, the audience applauded self-care and health at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Post Author: Irene Serra

Hi! I'm Irene, a Catalan girl living her first volunteering experience in the city of Thessaloniki. I graduated in advertising, marketing and public relations, and I am interested in contributing with my knowledge in communication. I'm passionate about alternative love movies, pop/rock music, and I try my best to improve the environment and the world that surrounds me.

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