/ 09 August 2021

Aussies go go in Tokyo

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THE SQUIZ
And like that, the Olympic Games are over after sailing gold medallist Matt Belcher did the honours carrying Australia’s flag at the closing ceremony. After more than 2 weeks of competition in the COVID-delayed and crowd-free spectacle, Australia ended up 6th on the medal tally with 17 gold, 7 silver and 22 bronze medals. We were behind (in ascending order) ‘Russia’, Great Britain, Japan, China and the US. Our athletes put in an equal-best performance in terms of gold medals won. And they provided some much-needed sustenance for us at home with more than half of the nation locked down at times during the past fortnight.

IT HAS BEEN A BIT WEIRD, RIGHT?
It has – and tough for those in Tokyo. While they’ve so far prevented the Games from becoming the superspreader event that locals feared, they have been pricey. Scheduled to cost US$7.5 billion, the final price tag will be more than twice that. Olympic Committee boss John Coates said Tokyo’s venues were the best ever, and it was a shame that no one was allowed to enjoy them. And while US TV audiences didn’t get on board, the ratings here show that Aussies soaked up every second. From the opening ceremony to day 11 of the Games, 19.95 million Australians had watched Seven’s coverage (paywall). Compared to the Rio Games in 2016, viewership was up 50% nationally.

AND THE HIGHLIGHTS?
Today’s final Tokyo Sprint at the end of the email is bang on, so check it out. But to call out one, it’s hard to go past the Boomers bronze medal on Saturday night. Forty years in the making, our basketballing blokes finally got on the podium after finishing 4th several times. And to see what it meant to co-captain Patty Mills and how the team was grounded in the efforts of those who came before them… Well, there’s a lot in it that goes beyond sport. If you’re not ready to move on, a mega gallery of pictures is here. And reset the clock – the Paralympics start on Tuesday, 24 August…

Image source: Getty Images

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