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Tokyo 2020 First Weekend: Big Wins, Impactful Moments & Olympic Upsets

Simone Biles & Kayla Skinner

Tokyo 2020 is just getting started. See how superstars like Simone Biles and Caeleb Dressel performed this weekend at the Olympics.

The Olympic Games are officially underway in Tokyo. There's a lot to cover, so let's check out how Team USA measured up.

First off, before we dive in to some of the big swimming moments this weekend, let's take a stab at the women's individual foil competition.

Team USA fencer Lee Kiefer made history this weekend as the first athlete in Team USA history to win an individual foil medal in general, let alone a gold one. Kiefer's alma mater, Notre Dame reached out via social media to congratulate the fencer on her historic accomplishment.

Now, fencing wasn't the only event in which Team USA struck gold.

Florida native, Caeleb Dressel went for gold leading his team to victory in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay. Freestyle is Dressel’s specialty and he won gold in the same event at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Another freestyle swimmer showed off their skills this weekend.

For Team USA superstar Katie Ledecky, it was neck-and-neck in the women's 400m freestyle. In the end, she finished in second place just 0.67 seconds behind her competitor, Australian standout Ariarne Titmus. Still, Ledecky was able to get Team USA on the podium with a silver medal.

As if the race didn't have enough virality from the nail-biter-finish, Titmus's coach got the meme treatment for his over the top reaction to the win. The commentators even compared him to Doc Brown from the Back To The Future trilogy.

But, the women's 400m freestyle wasn't the only event that ended in a close call.

The men's 400m freestyle ended with an upset as well. This time, 18-year-old Ahmed Hafnaoui from Tunisia finished ahead of Team Australia and Team USA. Even gold medalist Michael Phelps was impressed by the swimmer's ability to win from Lane 8. Phelps told reporters:

"I just feel like the globe is starting to step up and swim faster and for me it's fun to watch. It's amazing to be able to see kids stand up and accomplish their goals.

Who knows, maybe Ahmed Hafnaoui is on his way to becoming the next Michael Phelps.

Tom Daley made a splash this weekend in more ways than one. The openly gay diver from Great Britain won the gold medal in the Men's synchronized 10 m platform diving event. In an interview after the win he had this to say:

"I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion. And I feel very empowered by that because when I was younger I felt I was never going to achieve anything because of who I was."

The other athletes on the podium come from China and Russia. Daley's message was streamed globally to both of those countries and countless other countries that have laws in place against gay marriage. Hopefully his message will bring about change across the globe. Needless to say, this is sure to be an iconic moment in Olympic history.

In other swimming news, Team USA dominated the men’s 400m individual relay with a 1-2 finish. The duo, Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland edged out Australia’s Brendon Smith and came out on top.

Team work made the dream work for USA not only in the pool but on the court for the Women’s Basket ball team in 3x3 this weekend.

Kelsey Plum of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces led her teammates to victory over and over again this weekend. In their game against Romania, Plum dominated with 12 points, shooting 9-of-12. The 3x3 women's team is currently undefeated with 6 wins and 0 losses.

Unfortunately, Team USA came up short in this weekend’s men’s basketball game against France.

France defeated Team USA in a shocking upset this weekend. This loss marks Team USA’s first basketball loss since 2004. In the fourth quarter, Team USA stayed stagnant at 76 points for the last 3 and a half minutes while France continued to rack up their points. Although the team is full of superstars like Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, and Devin Booker, it was evident that the teamwork component is absent.

Men’s basketball wasn’t the only event that found Team USA experiencing a rocky start. Believe it or not, there were some missteps for the gymnastics team this weekend.

In Rio 2016, one athlete took over the Olympic conversation: the most decorated American gymnast Simone Biles. This year, everyone's got their eyes on Biles, so it isn’t hard to imagine that the ‘GOAT’ feels that she has “the weight of the world on [her] shoulders at times.” Nevertheless, despite a rocky start, Biles sets out to go for gold in all four categories that she qualified for: Vault, Uneven Bars, Beam, Floor.

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John Sileo

John is a Communications student at Marist College, with concentrations in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Theatre.

John is a Communications student at Marist College, with concentrations in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Theatre.