Just like that: this year’s Olympics have wrapped. The Tokyo Olympics held its Closing Ceremony on Sunday, August 8, following the last gold medal event.
This year’s Olympic events have proved to be full of both shock and awe while supplying some headline-making moments. Some of the biggest headlines and history markers came from several Latin American athletes — more notably, Latin American women. From Ecuador’s first gold medal win by a woman to historic nods for Cuba, there were many significant wins that stood for more than just a medal. So, before we start wrapping our minds around the next Summer Olympics in Paris for 2024, we’re taking a look back at some of the athletes who gave us notable — and proud — moments in the 2020 Olympics. And this is just a few of the many athletes that made their native countries proud.
Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn made history walking away with the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter hurdle finals. This win was the island’s first gold in track and only second gold ever. Not only did Camacho-Quinn hit a personal record in the semifinals with her 12.26 win, but she also set a new national and Olympic record. Her brother, Robert Quinn, a linebacker from the Chicago Bears, said of his sister’s big win: “I’m still in disbelief like, ‘That’s not real.’ That’s my baby sister, and she’s an Olympian. I don’t know, man. I can brag about that.”
Neisi Dajomes Barrera
Neisi Patricia Dajomes Barerra also made history. She is the first woman ever to win a gold medal for her country of Ecuador. The 23-year old earned the gold for the women’s weightlifting 76kg (167.5 lbs) event.
Yulimar Rojas won the gold while breaking a world record. Rojas competed in the triple jump and recorded a 15.67-meter jump becoming the first Venezuelan woman to win gold. “I am lost for words. I can’t describe this feeling and this moment,” said Rojas. “Wow. It is a fantastic night.” Indeed it was. The previous record has been standing since 1995 with a recorded 15.50-meter jump.
Rebeca Andrade has one of the most inspirational stories from this year’s Olympics. After suffering a third ACL tear in 2019, the 22-year old gymnast from Brazil was sure she was done — but that was far from the case. Rebeca won a silver in the individual all-around and gold in artistic gymnastics, and she also made history as the only woman from Brazil to earn the gold in the sport.
Mijáin López Nuñez
Cuba’s Mijáin López Nuñez made history — four times. The Greco-Rokan wrestler has become the only man to win four gold medals in four Olympics. In a press conference after his historic win, he said, “I feel happy and proud to be the best in the world and make history. “I’ve had a long career, working hard to make these goals and break this record. Being able to break this record today, is for me, a great achievement because I’ve faced the best, and I can be proud.”