Covid-19 was not enough to overpower the beauty of the Olympic Games – and Team GB delivered again

Editorial: To have maintained such a phenomenal level of achievement at three Games in a row is a quite incredible achievement

Monday 09 August 2021 07:57
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For most people, the various gold rushes came in the morning. They were news to wake up to, rather than thrilling moments to revel in. The tricky time difference did much to mask the unavoidable sadness of the empty stadiums. The Tokyo Olympics were disfigured by the virus, but Covid-19, ultimately, was not enough to overpower the beauty of the Games, which is as ageless as ever.

Team GB won 65 medals, as many as it did in London, albeit fewer of them gold, and were only two down on their record total of 67, from Rio de Janeiro in 2016 (though few people are adding the caveat to this much repeated statistic, which is that there were 12 per cent more events to win in Tokyo – 339 compared to London’s 302).

To have maintained this phenomenal level of achievement at three Games in a row is a quite incredible achievement. It is a vindication of decisions made in the wake of Atlanta 1996, when Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent won Great Britain’s only gold.

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