I know I'm not the only one that cries watching the Olympics. This year, I wasn't even that excited to watch, but as soon as I turned on the Opening Ceremony, my heart fluttered like a sappy old-fashioned Asian mom who gets excited when her overgrown children finally get married. I love world sporting events like this, because they really do just bring us all together. It doesn't even matter who wins, when I watch someone win, I get emotional for them, because I know how much this means to some of them and their countries, and how hard they worked to get there. So, in case you need a mood lift or just want to relish in some positivity, here are ten happy stories from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Some will make you teary and some will make you laugh.
1. High Jump Friends From Qatar and Italy Share Gold Medal
At first I thought it was just sweet that they decided to share the gold medal instead of continue with a tiebreaker. I hate tiebreakers at the Olympics. It seems unfair. But then I read their story, which made this sweet story even sweeter. Read the touching story here.
2. 14-Year-Old Chinese Diver Just Wants to Do Kid Things
She started diving as a way to earn money to help support her mother's recovery from an accident that left her with broken ribs. She has never been to amusement parks or the zoo, and hopes to be able to play the claw machine at an arcade one day.
3. Suni Lee Is The American Dream
Daughter of refugees, Suni Lee's gold medal win in the women's gymnastics all-around finals is the picture of the American Dream. Her selection as part of Team USA put Hmong Americans in the spotlight, one of the most overlooked minority communities in the U.S. There are so many things to say about Suni's representation on the Olympic stage, that requires a whole separate blog.
4. From Cambodian Orphanage to Olympic Stage
As a single gay man, Jerry Windle had a difficult time becoming a dad. When he found his son Jordan at a Cambodian orphanage, Jordan was malnourished, had scabies, and several infections. But Jerry made a promise to Jordan, that he would take care of him and give him the best life possible. Read their story here.
5. Thai Olympian Presents Her Dad Her Gold Medal
Panipak Wongpattanakit won gold in the women's 49kg taekwondo category and immediately upon arrival back home in the Phuket International Airport knelt on her knees in front of her father and presented him with the gold medal. This photo makes me teary-eyed, and it gives me a lot of pride in our overall Asian heritage's deep respect for our elders, especially those who have given us the greatest support. Incredibly endearing was also her response to how she was going to spend her time in Phuket before returning home, “I want to enjoy the delicious seafood here, as I know it is very famous. I want to eat seafood, grilled meat – and cookies and crepes!”
6. Sumo Wrestler Statue Spooks Equestrian Horses
This one is just for laughs. I was watching one of the show jumping events, and was laughing when the commentators noted that they thought the sumo wrestler statue was spooking the horses. It was an obstacle that riders kept having trouble with, because as they'd come around and the back side of a large man was staring them down. I just tried to imagine myself as a horse in this situation, and I can't help but giggle a little. I'm not sure if they can tell it's a real man or not!
7. Tom Daley Knitting
British gold and bronze medal diver was photographed knitting a pouch for his gold medal (and will now need one for his bronze one!). In fact, Tom's got a whole IG page dedicated to his knitting, and it's safe to say that Tom can easily have a second career!
8. Norwegian Triathlete Gives Belgian Triathlete Pep Talk After Belgian Finished the Race Last
The sportsmanship of athletes from competing countries coming together to support one another gets me every time.
9. This Japanese Fan's Message to Athletes
10. Imagine Winning The First Ever Gold Medal For Your Country.
That's what weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz did for the Philippines.
There are so many more joyful and touching Olympic moments. What are your favorites? Hope you've all been enjoying the games!