There have been so many impressive women at the Olympics in Rio in addition to the U.S. gymnastics team and swimmer Simone Manuel.
I’m dazzled by all the “firsts” in these games. Last week, Michelle Carter became the first U.S. woman to win a gold medal in shot put, and the first to win any medal in the event since since 1960, when Earlene Brown took home the bronze.
In another first for women, Americans Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin swept the 100m hurdles, winning gold, silver and bronze respectively. All the previous 1-2-3 sweeps in track and field had been in men’s events, according to NBC. Look at the joy in this photo!
Allyson Felix became the most decorated woman in U.S. track and field AND the first woman in U.S. track and field to win five gold medals.
Also in track and field, Dalilah Muhammad became the first U.S. woman to win the 400m hurdles. Look at her go!
Here’s yet another first: Helen Maroulis won the first gold medal for U.S. women’s wrestling.
There were firsts for non-U.S. women too, including Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin, who won bronze in taekwondo, becoming the first woman from Iran to medal in the Olympics.
While I always choke up when the winners shed tears of happiness and pride, my new favorite way of celebrating a gold medal comes courtesy of Japan’s Risako Kawai, a wrestler who expressed her joy by body-slamming her couch twice and then carrying him around on her shoulders while he waved the Japanese flag.
Risako Kawai wins gold in the 63kg freestyle, celebrates by body slamming her coach…twice. https://t.co/3nZ10QtWAW https://t.co/nySNtpGPvT
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 19, 2016
Can we give her a gold medal for celebration?
For further reading, here is Variety’s story on the women taking center stage at the Olympics and a Chicago Tribune commentary on how the high-performing black women at the Olympics don’t get all the respect they deserve. New York Magazine has a piece on the women of the Olympics and “shine theory.”
UPDATED TO ADD: I almost missed fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who became the first U.S. athlete to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab. She helped win a team bronze for the U.S. in sabre.
And here’s a massive OOPS: I thought I mentioned world-record-setting swimmer Katie Ledecky in my last Olympics post, but I didn’t! Four gold medals and one silver medal in one Olympics? I can’t leave her out.
I’m sorry, Katie. But at least I didn’t write this headline.
This headline is a metaphor for basically the entire world. pic.twitter.com/5WpQa04N0o
— Nancy Leong (@nancyleong) August 14, 2016
I also have to comment on one dude: U.S. sprinter Tyson Gay, who was wearing layers of gold chains with jewelry-designer-level expertise.
I don’t know how anyone can run with so much jewelry on; I marveled over the athletes wearing just one necklace! Unfortunately for Gay, he doesn’t have to worry about his chains clashing with a bronze medal for the 4×100 meter relay, because the U.S. team was disqualified for an early baton handoff. The team was previously stripped of the silver medal it won at the 2012 London games because Gay was suspended for drug use. Four years before that, a failed handoff involving Gay prevented the team from completing the preliminary heat. Basically, Gay and the Olympics don’t go together very well … but I still love the necklaces!