After making Olympic history, Bermuda’s Duffy celebrates a “cool moment.”
Flora Duffy, a triathlete, reveled in a “cool moment” after earning Bermuda’s first Olympic gold medal in history in Tokyo on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old won the women’s race in 1hr 55min 36sec, more than a minute ahead of Georgia Taylor-Brown of the United Kingdom, with Katie Zaferes of the United States claiming bronze.
Bermuda is the smallest nation or territory in terms of population (approximately 70,000) to ever win a gold medal at a Summer Games, thanks to Duffy’s achievement.
She remarked, “I have not only realized my dream of earning a gold medal, but I have also accomplished Bermuda’s first gold medal.”
“It’s bigger than me, and that’s a great feeling. That was the most difficult kilometer of my life (the final one of the run).
“I think I can live the rest of my life being referred to as an Olympic champion.”
Clarence Hill, a boxer who earned a bronze medal at the 1976 Olympics, was Bermuda’s sole previous Olympic medalist.
It was a nice reward for Duffy, who had been suffering from injuries and had been diagnosed with anemia in 2013.
She left the sport after failing to complete the event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and went to work in a shop before returning to it and earning a degree.
Duffy seized command in the final running part of a race that had been delayed by 15 minutes due to slick conditions in the Japanese capital following heavy overnight rain.
After the first of four laps, she had built up a lead of about a minute and was never challenged again.
As she reached the finish line, the broad grin she wore entering the finishing straight gave way to tears as she realized what she had accomplished.
“I just tried to keep my cool and not let my mind wander to the reality that this was actually happening until the last kilometer of the run,” Duffy explained.
“I just offered my coach, my husband, a small smile when I saw him on the side of the road.
“From there, I just let all the feelings wash over me, but I don’t think it will strike me until a few days from now.”
Taylor-Brown was frustrated by a flat rear tyre during the cycling phase of the race, which put her 22 seconds behind the leaders heading into the running section, but she rapidly made up the time.
“I just heard ‘tzzzsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss Brief News from Washington Newsday.