Who won the Olympics?
During the Tokyo Summer Olympics, 339 medals were handed out across 33 sports.
But my question is not about the medalists.
With the Olympics coming to a close earlier this week, I decided to take a look at a handful of the sports, athletes and miscellaneous others who scored massive public relations wins during the Summer Games:
Skateboarding finally became an Olympic sport. Rather than sticking its nose up at convention and the event that for so long did not consider it worthy, skateboarding, often dismissed as too alternative or counter-culture, embraced its moment at every turn, starting by inviting Tony Hawk to commemorate its inclusion. Such a perfect start. Then, sport officials followed it up by providing ice packs and sunblock to spectators – not to mention ice cream to journalists – during its hotter days of competition. Classy. And finally, to have two 13-year-olds medal, thereby setting the stage for their next Olympic foray? Wow. Just wow.
While the former Saturday Night Live comedian was not competing, she was commenting on nearly every sport from her home and broadcasting it from her social media channels. Her jubilance, combined with some well-timed jokes, made her Instagram feed “must-see TV” the past several weeks, with every major media outlet in the nation, from Huffington Post and Good Morning America to People Magazine and the New York Times hanging on her every word.
After becoming the first Black woman to ever win a wrestling gold medal for the United States – a feat of its own, she announced she was using her prize money to buy her mom a food truck. Sign me up for whatever The Lady Bug is cooking!!!
When Alaskan Lydia Jacoby won a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke, her home state went wild. Video that captured her Seward High School losing its collective minds over her win went viral. Alaska may be the 49th state in the Union, but that moment made them No. 1 in our hearts.
Devin Booker (prefacing this with a note that I am a Phoenix Suns fan)
After losing the NBA Finals in heartbreaking fashion just a month ago, 24-year-old Devin Booker picked himself up, committed to play for Team USA in the Olympics, and started for the team in all but one game, helping lift the team to a gold medal.
Allyson Felix (prefacing this with a note that I am a fan of anyone with any variation of the name Alison)
Not only did Allyson Felix become the most decorated track and field Olympian in U.S. history by winning her 11th career medal during the Tokyo Olympics, she did this.