Bermuda Celebrates Flora Duffy’s Historic Gold Medal

For Bermuda, Flora Duffy isn’t just a gold medalist - she’s a hometown hero.

Photo: Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

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Flora Duffy has dreamed of Olympic gold since she was a kid doing triathlon with her local club team on the tiny island of Bermuda. But the odds of it remaining just that—a dream—were stacked against her. After all, Bermuda had never won a gold medal in any sport in the Olympics. Before the Tokyo Games, the island nation (population: 62,000) had only one medal to its count, a bronze earned by boxer Clarence Hill in 1976. 

Needless to say, Flora Duffy’s historic win in Tokyo earlier this week was a big deal. They’re also now the smallest nation, by population, to ever win a Summer Games gold medal. As she said in interviews throughout this week, the win meant so much more than just her dream, it also showed those back at home that even if you’re from a small island you can dream big.

The country might be small—shorter from end to end, in fact, that the entire distance covered in the Olympic triathlon race—but the response to Duffy’s win has been big. The nation rallied around their golden girl on social and in person. Here were some of our favorite #Bermuda reactions to the new pseudo-national holiday.

Of course, there were some memes (@BERMEMES) that probably only made sense to Bermudians.

Bermudian artist Liz Andrade Arnold also commemorated Duffy’s win with a tribute to “Bermuda’s Golden Girl.”

Official reaction

Government officials in Bermuda were quick to celebrate their speedy constituent as well, leading many to believe “Flora Duffy Day” will soon be an official holiday in Bermuda—but so far the government has said they’re checking first with her family to find out when she’ll be landing back on the island, which may not be until she comes there to compete in the world mixed relay championships in Bermuda in October. (An event bound now to have the entire island turn out.)

The newspaper also released a 16-page special edition celebrating Duffy, looking back on her childhood tri prowess and answering questions like, “Did she celebrate with champagne?


The rest of the world

The world has joined in on Duffymania as well, with public figures, celebrities, and athletes taking to social media to celebrate the newly-minted Gold medalist.

What does Duffy have to say

As for Duffy herself? Well, she’s a bit tired. She took to Twitter with a brief, yet poignant celebration—and then noted it’s been non-stop since Tuesday’s win. Once she gets some rest, we expect she’ll have much more to say.


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