Italian medals

At 38 medals, Italy beats its Olympic records

The record of Italian medals had been standing for over 50 years. That’s when the country’s athletes stopped at 36 wins, both during the Olympics of Los Angeles 1932 and Rome 1960. Now, Tokyo 2020 brings a new record: 38 medals. The good news? The Games are far from over. 

So, who beat the record? Both men and women, teams and individuals. Some of them surprised because they were underdogs. Other surprised because they pushed through challenges to get to the podium. In the list of Italian medals, the bronze curse has finally been broken. The gold medals of this week have taken over the debate -and raised expectations for everyone else.

The Italian medals at the Olympics

It’s impossible to forget the first gold medal at Tokyo 2020. It was Vito Dall’Aquila, who grabbed the crown of king of taekwondo, -58kg on Saturday, July 24th. Then, for five days, the Italian won silvers and bronze, although the fencing team didn’t celebrate much. While the fencing champions lived through defeats and drama, the relay men’s 4×100 freestyle celebrated the first medal ever in this specialty -a shiny silver. The next gold came on July 29th with Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini in the rowing.

Women took the lead in the count of Italian medals. And boxer Irma Testa contributed with her historic bronze, the first one for an Italian woman of boxing at the Olympics. Another historic bronze came from Lucilla Boari in the archery, who also came out after the podium. Then the men came back with a bang.

They did it with Italian athletics and the stunning results of Marcell Jacobs and Gianmarco Tamberi. Two friends, two gold medals in 15 minutes, and a hug that no one will forget.

Perhaps pushed by these two victories, the men’s of track cycling made their way to both the gold medal and the world record. While they sped their way to the podium, gymnast Vanessa Ferrari jumped and twirled her way to the silver, after too many surgeries, injuries, and disappointments. Swimmer Gregorio Paltrinieri was just as worried but, after his silver at the 800 meter freestyle, he gained the bronze in the 10km.

However, the real news of the past two days from Tokyo 2020 are the Italian medals in the 20km specialty. First, Massimo Stano and then Antonella Palmisano, both worth the gold. Hers was the Italian medal number 36.

So, what’s number 37? And is there a number 38?

It’s the gold medal of Luigi Busà in the karate -75kg. Let the Italian athletes celebrate, while we wait for the 4×100 men’s relay with Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs.

The wait was worth it. In fact, the men’s relax bring home medal number 38. And it’s another gold, for the Italian lightning bolts. Calling it the biggest surprise of the Olympics 2020 athletics is an understatement.

 

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