A Historic Day of Firsts

The Philippines and Bermuda have won their first Olympic gold medals ever, for weightlifting and women’s triathlon, respectively.

July 26 was a historic day for the Philippines and Bermuda at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, as each country won their first-ever gold medals. 

The Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz won gold in the 55-kilogram category of women’s weightlifting. Diaz also set an Olympic record, lifting a combined weight total of 224 kilograms in two attempts. The tight battle resulted in China’s Liao Qiuyun taking the silver. “I sacrificed a lot. I wasn’t able to be with my mother and father for how many months and years and then of course, training was excruciating. But, God had a plan,” Diaz told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Diaz also serves in the Philippine air force and takes immense pride in representing her country.

Flora Duffy took home Bermuda’s first-ever gold medal in women’s triathlon. The two-time world champion dominated all three legs of the race — swimming, cycling and running — to clinch the victory, ahead of Great Britain’s silver medalist Georgia Taylor-Brown and bronze medalist Katie Zafares of Team USA. Duffy’s time of 1:55:36  is especially impressive due to the difficult weather conditions that the athletes faced that day and that initially delayed the beginning of the race. Duffy’s gold also made Bermuda the smallest country to ever win gold at the Summer Olympics.

Bermuda began participating in the Olympics in 1936, while the Philippines competed in their first Olympics almost 100 years ago in 1924.