So far in Tokyo, four Latter-day Saints have each won a medal: one gold, one silver, and two bronze. Learn more about them and their stories below.
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On July 28, the Fijian men’s Rugby Sevens team won gold against New Zealand, defeating New Zealand 27-12. Latter-day Saint Semi Radradra, who plays professionally for the Bristol Bears in England, helped Fiji defend their gold medal from 2016 in Rio. For the various teams he’s played for, Radradra has broken multiple NRL records, including becoming the first player to score consecutive hat-tricks in the first round of two separate seasons. Radradra married his high school sweetheart Vika Fifita in 2017 in the Suva Fiji Temple.
In one of the most talked-about stories of the Tokyo Olympics, Latter-day Saint MyKayla Skinner won a silver medal in the women’s gymnastics vault competition. Skinner, who was an alternate for Team USA in 2016, placed 4th overall in the vault qualifying rounds, but because she placed lower than two of her American teammates and due to a controversial two athletes per country rule, she was eliminated prior to the event finals. But when her teammate Simone Biles stepped out of the vault competition, Skinner stepped in and made the most of her opportunity.
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On August 1st, 36-year-old Valerie Adams of New Zealand won a bronze medal in the shot put, making her a four-time Olympic medal winner. Adams first competed in Athens in 2004, won gold in both Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, and took home silver In Rio in 2016. At a press conference following her win, Adams said, “This is my biggest inspiration. As a mum at the tender age of 36, it’s awesome to be competitive in my chosen event and be here and win a bronze medal, not only for me but for my country and for my children . . . It just goes to show the strength of a woman. You can be a mom and come back and be an athlete as well.”
Latter-day Saint Sarah Robles is bringing home an amazing birthday present from Tokyo. She made history on Monday, August 2—just one day after her 33rd birthday—by becoming the first U.S. woman to win two Olympic weightlifting medals. Robles claimed the bronze medal with a total lift weight of 282kg. She also earned a bronze medal in the same event in Rio five years ago and became the first American woman to win a medal in the event in 16 years. “It’s a really big deal,” Robles told reporters in a post-match news conference. “I’ve struggled a lot throughout my career, it almost feels like I’ve been going uphill both ways with the wind against me. Going from the bottom in the sport, to the top in the sport, to making history in this sport means a lot to me.”
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