Reside Updates: The Tokyo Olympics: NPR
Gold medalist Flora Duffy from Bermuda (center) celebrates her triathlon victory on Tuesday alongside silver medalist Georgia Taylor-Brown from Great Britain. David Goldman / AP hide caption
David Goldman / AP
David Goldman / AP
TOKYO – With a population of just 63,000, Bermuda is the smallest nation or territory to have won an Olympic gold medal.
On a rainy morning in Tokyo, Flora Duffy, 33, claimed victory for the British Isles in the women’s individual triathlon – a grueling race that involved swimming nearly a mile in open water, cycling nearly 25 miles and running 7.4 kilometers .
“Flora Duffy was Bermuda’s golden girl before she went to the women’s Olympic triathlon tonight, but she’s just gold now after destroying a world-class field in Tokyo,” raved the local newspaper The Royal Gazette after her victory.
Duffy is one of two Bermudian athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics. The remote archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is more than 600 miles from the nearest land mass.
Duffy’s win is all the more impressive as she battled back from multiple injuries, including a foot problem that put her out of competition for a full year in 2018-2019. In November 2020, she said she was also dealing with knee infections.
Flora Duffy of Bermuda performs in the women’s triathlon in Tokyo on Tuesday. Eugene Hoshiko / AP Hide caption
Eugene Hoshiko / AP
“I’m so excited I was able to make it happen and yes, I achieved my dream of winning a gold medal, but also Bermuda’s first gold medal,” she said. “It’s bigger than me and it’s a really cool moment.”
“I think it was almost the perfect race for me,” she added.
The Bermudian came out of the swimming part in 6th place and then quickly caught up with the leaders in the bike part of the race. On the bike, she swapped the lead a few times with the silver medalist, Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown, and the bronze medalist Katie Zaferes from the USA
Duffy pulled away in the run and finished the race with a time of 1 hour, 55 minutes and 36 seconds, more than a minute ahead of her closest competitor.
Bermuda Prime Minister David Burt said: “You have worked so hard and made an entire island proud!”
The only other medal Bermuda ever won was a bronze medal in men’s heavyweight boxing in 1976.