With the curtain now drawn on Tokyo 2020, Eurosport looks back on the highlights of the last 15 days of sporting action to review some of the key moments of the Olympic Games.
Team GB game away with 65 medals in total - 22 of them gold, 21 silver, and 22 bronze - just two shy of Rio 2016's count, and matching the number won at London 2012 (although seven more golds were won in London).
From the seriousness of athletes bringing mental health into the spotlight, and coronavirus cases dominating the headlines, down to hilarious and heartfelt celebrations, records being broken, the occasional awkward disaster, and the off-track moments with Tom Daley's knitting, it's been a wild 15 days of sport in Japan...
Tokyo 2020
'To save the best til last was fantastic' - Wiggins in awe of record-breaker Jason Kenny
24/02/2022 AT 09:02

Mental health in the spotlight

Since the global coronavirus pandemic tore up the script and changed the lives of billions of people around the world -- not to mention affecting people's mental health in a multitude of ways -- many athletes used their platform to bring mental health to the headlines and were honest about their struggles coming into the Games involving preparation, lifestyles, along with many other personal circumstances.
Team USA superstar Simone Biles dominated the headlines when she withdrew from a number of gymnastics events citing suffering from the "twisties," which is what gymnasts describe as becoming disorientated in the air and losing control of their body mid-routine which is dangerous and could cause serious injuries.
The news of Biles withdrawing from all events bar the beam started a global conversation about athletes' mental health, with others publicly showing their support and even major sponsors expressing their support for athletes who prioritise and speak openly about mental health.
GB diver, and now bronze medallist, Jack Laugher told Eurosport in a brilliant interview about how he "hit rock bottom" and almost quit the sport before the Games. "I wanted to quit this year at quite a few points. It’s really, really hard but I worked with psychologists, stripping everything back to basics and getting back to what is just you." he said.

Naughty horse refuses to jump

'Her face says it all' - 'Devastation' for pentathlon leader as horse refuses to jump

A horse probably doesn't care about a gold medal, let alone the Olympics in general. But the rider of course does, as you could see from Annika Schleu's tears as her lead in the modern pentathlon and chance for a gold medal was shattered after the horse, Saint Boy, refused to jump. The incident was dubbed "a real-life nightmare" by commentators, and saw Germany’s modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner disqualified from the remainder of the Games after she punched the horse.

Tom Daley's knitting

Finally, at his third Olympic Games, Team GB's Tom Daley, who has somewhat become a national gem, won the elusive gold medal - in the synchronised diving with Matty Lee - and then followed that with a third bronze in the men's individual 10m. But there's no doubt he wins a gold medal for his knitting. Spotted in the grandstand watching the women's diving doing some knitting, he then revealed he made a Union Jack pouch for his medal, and a superb Team GB cardigan.

From the 'eh?!' to 'oops' to slightly bizarre

You can't help but feel for France’s Mourad Aliev, who staged a sit-in protest after his disqualification against GB's Frazer Clarke. The images of him sitting looking helpless on his own at the edge of the ring are sad, but then when you hear that his behaviour included punching a TV camera you might change your mind, the incident was just a bit weird.
Canada’s Pamela Ware suffered what is possibly a diver's worst nightmare and scored 0.0 after misstepping on the springboard and bailing out of the routine mid-air, meaning she pencil jumped in the women's 3m diving. Ware was booted out of the semi-finals for a failed dive.
Men's 800m runner Nijel Amos, who was a medal favourite, shattered his hopes in the semi-finals after colliding with USA's Isaiah Jewett. Oops. The pair got up and jogged over the line together.
The USA failed to qualify for the men's 4x100m relay after a "horrible exchange" of the baton.
"Would you believe it?" A badminton player from Indonesia ran off the court to change his racket during a doubles match after the string broke mid-game, and the pair still managed to won as his partner held the fort.

'Would you believe it?!' - Player runs off court to change racket, still wins 'sensational' point

Passion, via shared gold medals

If you ever wanted to see what true passion looks like, watch the Australian swimming team coach's reaction as his star swimmer Ariarne Titmus faced Katie Ledecky in the swimming. Or the heartfelt moment when close friends Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Qatar's Mutaz Barshim each got a gold medal in the men's high jump after they both cleared 2.37m.
The pair struck up a friendship 11 years ago at the world junior championships in Canada, and each had similar struggles in their careers including being told by doctors to consider another sport following serious ankle injuries. According to the Associated Press, when they’re not at the track, they’re playing checkers or cards.

Songs, tears, shared golds and a coach absolutely losing it - Tokyo's best celebrations

Success stories

Who doesn't love a success story? Officially Britain's strongest woman, Emily Campbell won silver in the women's 87kg+ weightlifting, and made history by becoming GB's first woman to medal in weightlifting, and the first medal since 1984 with an incredible 161kg clean and jerk (a new British record) and total of 283kg.
She said she hopes to inspire girls to pick up a barbell: "To have three girls qualifying, it shows that you don’t have to sacrifice your femininity to be a weightlifter. You are a women in weightlifting and you can be what you want to be, and I hope that we do inspire younger girls to go into the gym and pick up a barbell."
Is your jaw still on the floor after the men's 400m hurdles? Karsten Warholm of Norway won the 400m hurdles and smashed his own world record in the process. Eurosport's Greg Rutherford called it "one of the greatest athletic performances in the history of this sport".

'I couldn't quite believe it' - Rutherford on shock of watching Warholm's world record

Similarly, Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas shattered the long-held women's world record in the triple jump with a jump of 15.67 metres. Her celebration was just as joyous to see as writing her name in the record books.
The Kennys. Their household holds 12 Olympic medals, and individually they are the most decorated Olympians of Team GB. I have lost count at the number of events they have medalled in this time around, so head over here as Paul Hayward writes all about it.
Jamaica hoovered up more or less all the medals in the women's track. Elaine Thompson-Herah won the 100m, and 200m - which no woman has ever done before - AND the 4x100m relay. In the 100m, Jamaica also had a clean sweep of the podium.

'No woman has done that before!' - Thompson-Herah seals stunning sprint double with 200m gold

Djokovic drama

The man just can't seem to keep his cool when the stakes are high. His shot in the Olympics was a big opportunity, not just for a medal but for the Golden Slam which means winning all four tennis grand slams and an Olympic gold, following his Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon success earlier this year.
But the "frustration boiled over" once again as he abused his racket when he was knocked out in the semi-finals and was beaten by Spain's Carreno Busta in the bronze medal match.

Refugee team

From homeless to the Olympic Games - Cyrille Tchatchet II tells his incredible story

It is second time a refugee team has featured at an Olympics. The team aims to send "a powerful message of solidarity and hope," and the 10 athletes who competed at Rio 2016 were such a hit that the IOC decided to increase the team to 29. So many of the athletes have incredible stories to tell that who am I to choose which ones to spotlight?
You can watch and read about many of them here and catch up with their progress.
Tokyo 2020
BMX, skateboarding and 3x3 basketball - how the Olympics are moving with the time
01/01/2022 AT 17:54
Tokyo 2020
Biles made us feel normal to discuss our mental health - the heartwarming moments of Tokyo 2020
23/12/2021 AT 10:05