In unprecedented Olympic Games, athletes throughout the Americas overcame more than two years of adversity and uncertainty to deliver outstanding performances on the biggest stage in sport.
One of those athletes included Bermuda’s Flora Duffy.
The Pan American Games medalist and nine-time World Champion triathlete adds an even greater and more historic achievement to her successful career — an Olympic gold medal.
The fourth time is the charm. Duffy is now an Olympic Champion and medalist for the first time in her illustrious career after competing at every Olympics since Beijing 2008.
Her incredible podium-topping performance not only gave her an elusive Olympic medal, but also gave the small island nation of Bermuda its first Olympic gold in history and second overall medal since it began competing at the Games in 1936.
“I think the whole of Bermuda is going crazy, that’s what makes it so special. Yes, this was my dream, but I also knew it was bigger than me,” Duffy told reporters after her historical race.
Bermuda last won an Olympic medal at the hands of heavyweight boxer Clarence Hill who earned the bronze at the Montreal 1976 Games. With Duffy’s gold medal, Bermuda becomes the smallest country by population to ever win an Olympic title.
Duffy was the odds-on favorite to take home the gold and has trained under the pressure of being the presumed favorite for the past five years. After the Rio 2016 Olympics, Duffy became the first athlete in history to win three triathlon world championships in the same year, placing 1st in the ITU, WTS and Xterra World Championship events. These outstanding performances put the world on notice of her talent.
And it was on full display early Tuesday morning in Tokyo at Odaiba Marine Park. Flora never dipped below 6th place throughout the event and remained in the top 3 after the first five kilometer mark in the biking portion of the race. Once the third and final stage of the 10km run began, it was Duffy’s gold for the taking as she led the race at each of the checkpoints through to the finish.
In the end, Flora Duffy finished a full minute and 14 seconds ahead of second place Georgia Taylor-Brown of Great Britain who was followed closely behind by Katie Zaferes of the United States who took the bronze.
The Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games bronze medalist, nine-time World Champion and Commonwealth Games Champion is now an Olympic Champion and legend for her beloved Bermuda.