The Best Moments From the Tokyo Olympics

torch lighting

From stunning upsets to the best Olympic celebrations, check out some of the highlights from Tokyo.

Though the Tokyo Olympics kicked off with a scaled-down opening ceremony and has banned fans to restrict the spread of Covid-19, there’s still been plenty to love about this year’s Games. Watch some of the 2020 Olympics highlights, including Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic flame and Simone Biles’ triumphant return to competition.

Watch 2020 Olympics Highlights

Allyson Felix Wins Her 10th Olympic Medal

The American runner won bronze in the 400 meters, collecting her 10th Olympic medal — the most won by any female track athlete. The next day, she won gold as part of Team USA’s 4×400-meter relay squad and made history again, becoming America’s most decorated track athlete.

U.S. Women’s Basketball Win Seventh Straight Title

Team USA proved once again why they’re considered one of the most dominant dynasties in sports. The Americans beat Japan 90-75, claiming their seventh straight gold medal and extending their Olympic winning streak to 55 games. It was also the fifth gold medal won by Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi. (And the third for Tina Charles, who we interviewed last month.)

U.S. Men’s Basketball Wins Gold Again

Team USA got off to a rocky start, losing to France at the start of the tournament. They met France again in the gold-medal game and this time the Americans came prepared, winning 87-82 to claim their fourth straight Olympic title.

Simone Biles Returns to Competition

After withdrawing from previous events, citing her mental health, Biles returned to compete in the balance beam final. Biles won bronze and said the medal “means more than all the golds” she’s collected throughout her career.

Karsten Warholm Smashes 400-Meter Hurdles World Record

The showdown between Norway’s Karsten Warholm and American Rai Benjamin in the 400-meter hurdles is already being called the “greatest race in Olympic history.” The two men both broke the previous world record of 46.7 seconds, though Warholm narrowly edged out Benjamin with a time of 45.94 seconds.

Laurel Hubbard Becomes the First Out Trans Woman to Compete

Even though she didn’t collect a medal, the New Zealand weightlifter made history just by participating, becoming the first out transgender woman to compete at the Games.

Sifan Hassan Triumphs in the 1500 Meters

Dutch runner Sifan Hassan stumbled going into the final lap of her 1500-meter heat, but in a brilliant comeback sprinted to reach the front of the pack.

High Jumpers Share Gold

Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim both cleared a jump of 7 feet, 9.25 inches. The friends and longtime rivals were given the option of breaking the tie with a jump-off, but decided instead to share the medal.

Caeleb Dressel Sets New World Record

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel is racking up the medals in Tokyo. He won gold by swimming the 100-meter butterfly in 49.5 seconds on Saturday, breaking a world record he set just the day before.

Sunisa Lee Wins All-Around Gymnastics Gold

18-year-old Sunisa Lee became the first Asian-American woman to win the all-around gymnastics event. But even before her victory, Lee had gone down in the history books as the first Hmong American Olympic gymnast. Watch her family’s celebration:

The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Wins in Shootout

After playing the Netherlands to a 2-2 draw in the quarterfinal, the U.S. women’s soccer team went to penalty kicks. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made two phenomenal saves (on top of blocking another penalty kick in the 81st minute) to lift her team to a 4-2 win on penalties. Watch Megan Rapinoe put away the winning penalty:

Simone Biles Opens Up About Her Mental Health

The greatest gymnast of all time withdrew from the women’s team gymnastics final, citing a need to take care of “her body and mind.” Biles showed incredible strength by discussing the pressure she’s been under.

“I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a backseat,” she said. “I knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job and I don’t want to risk the team a medal.”

Lydia Jacoby Stuns in 100-Meter Breaststroke

17-year-old American swimmer Lydia Jacoby pulled off an upset win over Lilly King, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder in the event. Jacoby — a bluegrass performer from Seward, Alaska (population: 2,773) — has also put her tiny town on the map. Check out their wild watch party below:

American Carissa Moore Wins First-Ever Surfing Gold

Carissa Moore became the first woman to win a gold medal in the new Olympic sport. The weather forced organizers to jam three rounds of competition into a single day, and Moore — a four-time world champion born and raised in Hawaii — rose to the occasion.

Philippines Wins Gold at Last

After 97 years, the Philippines finally has a gold medal thanks to weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz. Diaz lifted a whopping 224 kilograms (nearly 494 pounds) to set an Olympic record and end her country’s gold-medal drought.

13-Year-Old Momiji Nishiya Skates to Olympic Gold

In the first ever women’s street skateboarding competition, two 13-year-olds ended up on the podium. Yes, you read that right. 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya, of Japan, won gold, while Rayssa Leal, also 13, of Brazil, captured silver.

Dean Boxall’s Viral Celebration

Australian Ariarne Titmus bested American phenom Katie Ledecky in the 400-meter freestyle. It was a highly anticipated showdown between two of the sport’s best, but immediately after the race, all eyes were on Australia’s swim coach Dean Boxall, whose wild celebration has delighted the internet.

“I think I went outside my body,” the coach told reporters. “I just lost it.”  

Ahmed Hafnaoui’s Stunning Upset

Ahmed Hafnaoui pulled off a stunning upset in the 400-meter freestyle. The 18-year-old Tunisian had the slowest qualifying time going into the event and shocked the sport with his victory, earning just the fifth gold medal ever for his country.

Even Hafnaoui seemed surprised by the result: “I just can’t accept that — it is too incredible.”

Naomi Osaka Lights the Olympic Torch

After withdrawing from the French Open and skipping Wimbledon, Naomi Osaka returned to the stage in dramatic fashion. Representing Team Japan, she became the first tennis player to light the Olympic torch.

Drones Light Up the Sky at the Opening Ceremony

A drone display was a highlight of the opening ceremony. More than 1,800 drones lit up the sky above the Olympic Stadium, forming the Tokyo 2020 logo before shifting to create a stunning replica of the globe.