The 8 Unforgettable Moments of the Olympics and Paralympics
It was a summer full of exciting races in Tokyo. Here are some of our favorite triathlon moments from the Games.
#1: The boat
When the gun went off to start the Olympic men’s race, there was just one problem: There was a boat in the way. Half the field jumped in, half stayed on the dock. After officials tracked down all the athletes and made them come back, the race was restarted.
#2: Blummenfelt wins, vomits everywhere
The hot, hard, humid day left the men’s field decimated after the finish line. Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt won out over Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde, and then had to be helped to the medical tent. But he wasn’t the only one who threw up after finishing; Rio silver medalist Jonny Brownlee took an all-out effort to lockdown 5th, and then fell to his hands and knees.
RELATED: An Expert Look Inside Blummenfelt’s Gold-Medal Winning Bike File
#3: A tropical storm
The next morning, after a 15-minute weather delay, the women went off in a typhoon that had been downgraded to a tropical storm. With crashes and tough conditions for the chase groups on the bike, nearly 20 women DNF’d.
#4: Flora Duffy wins Bermuda’s first-ever gold medal
And became an international celebrity for winning the first gold medal for the tiny island. Georgia Taylor-Brown held onto second despite a flat, and Katie Zaferes came in for third.
RELATED: Expert Analysis of Flora Duffy’s Olympic Winning Bike File
#5: Mixed relay made its debut
In its first appearance at the Olympics, mixed relay captured people’s attention and imagination. Great Britain held off a closing American team for the inaugural gold medal—but it was France’s Vincent Luis’ attack on the final leg to close the gap and compete for the win that was the ‘yell at your TV’ moment of the Games. France, ultimately, took the bronze.
#6: 1-2 for the American women
In the opening triathlon races of the Paralympics, Allysa Seely and Hailey Danz repeated their 1-2 finish from the 2016 Games—while teammate Melissa Stockwell came home in 5th.
Melissa Stockwell is simply enjoying the moment ❤️
Just weeks before the #TokyoParalympics, @TeamUSA's @MStockwell01 suffered a back injury in a training accident and today, she celebrates her fifth place finish in the women's triathlon PTS2. @usatriathlon pic.twitter.com/sX8KqpHHsk
— #TokyoParalympics (@NBCOlympics) August 27, 2021
#7: Brad Snyder wins 6th Paralympic gold, first in tri
The Paralympic 100m swim record-holder moved to triathlon two years ago—and made huge improvements with guide, 2016 Olympian Greg Billington, in the last few months.
He led from start to finish to win the first triathlon gold for an American man in the Olympics or Paralympics.
#8: A wheelchair sprint finish
It was the most exciting finish of all the Tokyo races: an all-out sprint on the blue carpet as American Kendall Gretsch came from behind to win the wheelchair paratri race and add another gold to the U.S. tally.