Bermuda becomes smallest country to win gold as Flora Duffy claims triathlon

Here are excerpts from The Guardian (July 27, 2021). [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for all related links.]

The most glorious of rainbows formed over Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo early on Tuesday morning as the world’s greatest triathletes swam, pedalled and puffed their way around the Odaiba Marine Park. At the end of it, Bermuda discovered its first pot of Olympic gold.

It came in the form of the 33-year-old Flora Duffy, whose stunning victory meant the island in the Atlantic – with its population of about 62,000 – became the smallest country to win gold at a summer Olympic Games.

“I think the whole [of] Bermuda is going crazy, that’s what makes it so special,” said Duffy, who powered impressively clear on the 10km run to win in 1hr 55min 36sec – 74sec clear of Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown, who recovered from a puncture on the 40km bike section to take silver.

“Yes, this was my dream, but I also knew it was bigger than me.”

Duffy had spent five years carrying the burden of being Olympic favourite as well as having her country’s sole hopes on her shoulders. No wonder she repeatedly uppercut the air in celebration as she crossed the line. “It’s been a heck of a lot of pressure,” she said. “I would never recommend being an Olympic favourite for five years. But it is all worth it now.”

Her path to glory had been made more treacherous by the tropical storm Nepartak, which ripped through Tokyo overnight. The high winds and heavy rain delayed the start by 15 minutes and led to multiple bike crashes. Duffy, though, looked serene – and supreme – throughout.

After God Save the Queen, the official national anthem of Bermuda, had been played, Duffy said she had never been tempted when Team GB had tried to recruit her as a teenager because of her dual nationality, even though more resources and money would have been thrown at her.

“My mum grew up in Burnley and my dad is from Barrow-in-Furness, but I’m born and raised in Bermuda, that’s where my heart is,” she said. “I have family in England and that’s special, but for me it was always Bermuda that felt the most special. But it is nice that when God Save the Queen is played, it honours my British and Bermudian side.” [. . .]

[Flora Duffy of Bermuda celebrates after winning the Olympic triathlon – and her country’s first Olympic gold medal. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile/Getty Images]

For original article, see

Bermuda becomes smallest country to win Olympic gold after Flora Duffy’s triathlon triumph (CNN, July 27, 2021)

Bermuda Has the Smallest Population to Ever Win Olympic Gold (NPR, July 26,  2021)

Of related interest:

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