This year’s Olympics, like every other, has been beautiful and significant. However, this time, it has hit many amazing milestones that show the world’s desire for unity and peace. Many instances have made historic achievements, fought against stereotypes and inspired all of us to push harder and reach the goals we want to achieve. With Rio now over, let’s look back at 7 instances which had touched the hearts of people world-wide.
1/ The first Hijabi to represent USA
Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first female athlete to represent the USA while wearing the hijab, a traditional Islamic garment. Muhammad has battled many cases of Islamaphobia in her daily life. However, she did not want such things to get her side tracked and lose hope in diversity, stating that she wants her team to be “as diverse as the community I grew up in.”
Not only did she compete in the Olympics but she is also a part of a progressive movement that addresses a sensitive issue: Islamaphobia. She may not have won gold (she won bronze), but she has made Olympic history and won the hearts of a million.
2/ Unity in diversity
In a display of Olympic sportsmanship, this picture shows two women, clad in two different attires, playing the same sports in the same field and with the same level of hard work and determination. They have different values, yet their value is measured by their will and spirit. This picture has become one of many iconic images of the Olympics, and that shows the symbol of unity everyone wishes to have in the Olympics.
3/ Winning Gold
When it comes to wishing to compete in the Olympics, it is a massive burden to reach Olympic state level and represent your country. However, one promising swimmer makes it look so easy. Joseph Schooling, met his idol, Micheal Phelps when he was only thirteen.
That day must have been fantastic for him back then, but not as amazing as the day he beat the idol himself. Schooling took first place with a Games record of 50.39 seconds while Phelps scored 51.14 seconds.
Getting inspired by your idol to work hard is cool, but winning gold against them is just another level of amazing.
4/ Sportsmanship between North and South Korean athletes
Despite the controversial history North and South Koreans , Gymnasts Lee Eun-Ju and Hong Un-jong did not let it get in the way of an adorable friendship.
Another incident was when the North Korean competitive shooter, Kim Song Guk, who won bronze said something that caught the hearts of millions. After South Koreas Jin Jong Oh had won gold, he said, “If the two (Koreas) become one, we could have a bigger medal”. “If both the gold and bronze medals came from one Korea, it could have been a much greater win.” A perfect example that politics should not divide people. This is another example of the united spirit of the Olympics.
5/ Saudi Arabia’s first female athlete to compete
Kariman Abuljadayel is the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete in the 100m track field in the Olympics, creating history for the Middle Eastern world.
Many have praised the lady for the effort she put in and for aiding breakthroughs in stereotypes surrounding women in Saudi Arabia.
6/ Egypt’s first woman to stand on the podium
Sara Ahmed has also made Olympic history as the first Arab woman to win a medal in weightlifting and for being the first Egyptian woman on the rostrum. The 18 year old won bronze in the woman’s 69-kilogram weight class by lifting a combined weight of 225 kilograms.
Ahmed is another inspiration to women all around the world, competing in her hijab and unitard, winning bronze and a spot in Olympic history wearing her religious identity proudly. Moreover, like Muhammad, she is a part of a progressive movement that fights against Islamophobia.
7/ The first-ever Refugee team
“Being a refugee does not mean you are not a human being.”
– Rose Nathike Lokonyen
For the first time, in the Olympics, there was a refugee team on the list. With the increasing political unrest around the world, this team is a symbol of hope for those who have fled home in order to save themselves. The members each have an inspiring story to share about their determination for survival from their dire circumstances. This comes to show that everyone just desires to live and wish to have a place to call home.
The crowd gave the 10 member Olympic refugee team a standing ovation as they marched into the Maracana Stadium for their first time. Regardless of whether they won a medal or not, they won the fight of their lives. And that, is simply amazing.
The team consists of Yusra Mardini, Popole Misenga, Yonas Kinde, Rami Anis, Yolande Bukasa Masika, Yiech Pur Biel, Paulo Amotun Lokoro, James Chiengjiek, Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, Rose Nathike Lokonyen
Congratulations to all participating countries. Hopefully, in the future, there will be more amazing moments to come!