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Tokyo Olympics: 10 heartwarming moments from this summer’s Games

Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Just like that, Tokyo 2020 is over.

We waited an extra year to see a record 339 gold medals won over 19 days of competition in the Japanese capital.

Away from the brilliant sporting achievements, there were also plenty of moments which tugged at the heartstrings and left a lump in our throats.

From true sportsmanship to emotional reunions, we look at 10 heartwarming moments from an Olympic Games like no other.

Friends first, rivals second

Misugu Okamoto is lifted in the air by her fellow competitors after falling in the women's park final
Misugu Okamoto is lifted in the air by fellow competitors after falling

Japan’s Misugu Okamoto qualified for the women’s park skateboarding final with the highest score.

The 15-year-old world number one was last to compete in the final, but suffered heartache when she fell off her board after attempting an indie flip on her final run.

She slipped off her board and down to fourth in the rankings, meaning GB’s Sky Brown secured the bronze medal.

As Okamoto lay on the ground in tears, her fellow finalists, who had an average age of 17, rushed over to console her, lifting her on to their shoulders and clapping her out of the bowl.

Talk about sportsmanship at its finest.

Daley gets his gold

There was barely a dry eye when Tom Daley ended his long wait for an Olympic gold medal, with his superb performance alongside Matty Lee in the synchronised 10m platform.

Daley has lived most of his life in the public eye after making his Olympic debut in 2008, aged 13.

Sixteen years later his dream was finally achieved and he was crowned Olympic champion.

His reaction says it all.

‘History my friend’

Why have one Olympic champion when you can have two?

After an exhausting two-hour men’s high jump final, Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy couldn’t be split, having recorded best clearances of 2.37m.

They were offered an opportunity to take part in a jump-off, but quickly decided to share the gold.

Cue wild celebrations.

The image of the two sharing the podium will be an iconic reminder of the Games.

Anyone for a night-time garden party?

A back garden in Maidenhead was the place to be for the men’s 200m freestyle final.

With no family or friends allowed to travel to Tokyo to watch their loved ones, GB swimmer Tom Dean’s mum had a plan B.

Though her son entered the race as an outsider, Jackie Hughes wasn’t missing the chance to make an occasion of his Olympic debut, and it’s a good job she didn’t.

Keen to not upset the neighbours, she invited them round to watch the race along with about 70 of Dean’s family, former coaches and friends as he claimed a stunning gold ahead of GB team-mate Duncan Scott.

Look at the scenes. No wonder they went viral!

The comeback queen

The Olympics is all about seeing the world’s best athletes go head-to-head on the global stage.

So it was a real shame that US gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of the all-around, vault, floor and uneven bars after suffering with the ‘twisties’.

The four-time Olympic champion returned for the beam on the final day of artistic gymnastics action in Tokyo, and bounced back in style to earn a place on the podium.

No BMX medals, then two at once

Team GB had never won an Olympic BMX medal, then Kye Whyte and Bethany Shriever claimed two within a few minutes.

Whyte’s silver in the men’s race came first, before Shriever held off two-time champion Mariana Pajon to win the women’s event.

Shriever, who needed crowdfunding to be able to go to Japan, was lifted into the air by Whyte as the pair celebrated their historic achievements.

You love to see it.

Be more Ruby

Jill Douglas’ post-match chat with New Zealand rugby sevens star Ruby Tui will go down as one of the greatest interviews of Tokyo 2020.

The Black Ferns centre won us all over after her side thrashed The Russian Olympic Committee to reach the last four.

They went on to win gold.

One family, three Olympians

Galal Yafai won Team GB’s first gold in the boxing ring in Tokyo.

The new Olympic flyweight champion is the younger brother of boxers Kal and Gamal, who both competed at the 2008 Games before turning professional.

After receiving his gold medal on the podium, emotions ran high as Galal was reunited with Kal over the phone, live on the BBC.

Galal’s first question to his brother?

“How did I box?”

Schoenmaker’s stunning world record

There was a brilliant moment at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre when South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker realised she had won gold and broken the 200m breaststroke world record.

As she clocked the big screen clearly in shock, Schoenmaker broke down in tears as the record which stood for eight years was finally broken.

Schoenmaker’s compatriot Kaylene Corbett, plus the USA’s Lilly King and Annie Lazor were quick to congratulate her and the four embraced in the pool as the news sunk in.

The reunions

Many athletes have said the hardest thing about Tokyo 2020 was being away from their loved ones.

In terms of their achievements in Tokyo, gymnast Max Whitlock and rower Helen Glover had contrasting experiences.

While Whitlock successfully defended his individual pommel horse title, Glover narrowly missed out on a medal by just 0.01 seconds in the women’s pair.

But for the British duo the weeks away from home were all worth it for these reunions.

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