Team USA’s Women Are Winning Games And Taking Names At The Tokyo Olympics

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As much as Olympians like to predict what their environment will be like during competition, that was not possible in Tokyo.

Tropical Storm Nepartak caused wild waves at the Olympics’ first Women’s Surfing competition. While Olympians were practicing in small waves beforehand, Nepartak upped the ante with unpredictable waves crashing down. In a last-minute decision, the quarterfinals, semifinals, and medal matches were all pushed to Tuesday, with head-to-head elimination rounds. 

But none of this fazed Carissa Moore, a 28-year-old from Hawaii.

The surfer performed under pressure – one could say thrived, with precise control over her board – and, ultimately, took home the first Olympic gold medal in women’s surfing over South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag.

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A post shared by Carissa Moore (@rissmoore10)

Moore posted on her Instagram shortly after the win, saying “I woke up this morning and it wasn’t a dream,” proceeding to thank those who have supported her. She ended the post sweetly; Moore grew up surfing with her father in Honolulu, and wrote at the end of the caption, “Dad it’s been fun training with you for this moment.” 

The young surfer has racked up plenty of experience and accomplishments, taking her surfing skills to various competitions and winning effortlessly. (At just 18, she was named the youngest world champion surfer.) She has won four world titles, and just this year tied the record for most Championship tour wins: 24 – yes, count them – in total.  


The Olympics have been odd, pushed a year back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then implementing audience participation restrictions and COVID-19 protocols, including plenty of isolation in the Olympic bubble. Moore acknowledged this, saying “I feel super blessed, super fortunate.… It’s been a crazy couple of days, a little bit of a rollercoaster of emotions…learning how to trust myself without my family here.” 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Carissa Moore (@rissmoore10)

She also revealed that her nerves almost got the better of her before her last surf. “There’s always little moments of self-doubt. I had one before I paddled out for the final. I had to call home and be like, ‘OK, what do I do?’ They were, like, ‘you know what to do.’”

There’s no doubt that her home state is ecstatic regarding this. January 4th in Hawaii is already “Carissa Moore Day,” so one can only imagine how they will celebrate her return as an Olympic gold medalist. 

In other sports, there were even more momentous firsts. Lydia Jacoby, a 17-year-old from Seward, Alaska, clinched the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke. Videos of her classmates, friends, and family were played on the screen, with plenty of jumping, screaming, and hugging.

It was an upset – she was swimming against her more experienced teammate, Lilly King, who won two gold medals in 2016; in Tokyo, she won her third, but this time taking the bronze. 

“I wasn’t really expecting a gold medal, so when I looked up at the scoreboard it was insane,” Jacoby said. King was happy for her teammate, saying “[I’m] so excited for Lydia. I love to see the future of American breaststroke coming up like this.”

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Lydia Jacoby (@lydiaalicee_)

And then there were Jessica Parratto, 27, and Delaney Schnell, 22, who won USA’s first-ever medal – silver – in the women’s synchronized 10-meter platform diving event. Schnell said after the event, “That last dive was one of the most nerve-wracking ones I’ve done in my entire career.” And Parratto was equally excited, saying “It just goes to show that if you stay focused and you’re confident, anything can happen.”

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Delaney Schnell (@laney_schnell)

So far, these up-and-comers are showing that the USA is fully capable of landing on the podium in any sport – and the games are just beginning.

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Which wins are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!


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