In the U.S., oftentimes after a team clenches an important win, the team pours Gatorade all over the coach. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, though, this Cuban wrestler decided to carry his coach around the ring for a victory lap.
Mijaín López is now a four-time Olympic gold medalist in men’s Greco-Roman wrestling. He secured his most recent victory against Georgian Iakobi Kajaia in the final, blowing him out of the competition with a stunning 5-0 win. Of course, no one was as excited about this as López and his coach, who ran out into the ring to meet the champion. In response, the wrestler hoisted his coach over his shoulder and ran around the ring. He held Cuba’s flag in his other hand. His coach, clearly proud of his athlete, raised both fists in the air in celebration.
This isn’t the first time the 2020 Tokyo Olympics athlete celebrated with one of his coaches. During the 2016 Rio Olympics, López earned his third gold medal in a 6-0 match that made him only the third Olympian to ever win more than two medals in Greco-Roman wrestling.
To celebrate, the six-foot-five “Giant of Herradura” not only lifted his coach into the air but then proceeded to bodyslam him into the mat. While his coach caught his breath on the ground, the thrilled gold medalist danced around the ring. Fortunately, for his current coach, López didn’t repeat the same ritual.
2020 Tokyo Olympics Athlete Earned Discipline and Physique Early in Life
Before López made his debut in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he was just a hardworking kid from Cuba with lots of discipline. According to Marca, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist used to carry fruit boxes and animals all the time as a kid. His dedicated work ethic gave him the strength to become a boxer. Soon, a wrestling coach found López and encouraged him to try Greco-Roman wrestling.
And he was a natural.
López even became so passionate about the sport that he continued to work towards the 2012 London Olympics after suffering a double leg break in Beijing. Without missing a beat, he joined the 2016 Rio Olympics for his first record-breaking win. Now, after his fourth consecutive gold medal, the legendary wrestler might be ready to hang up his uniform.
Earlier in the Games, the athlete hinted that this would be his very last world competition. At 38 years old, it’s understandable why after four incredible wins why the champion is ready to retire. However, fans still hope that he will return in 2024 to once again hold Cuba’s flag in the Opening Ceremony. Though the wrestler seemed content with leaving the international ring after this year, there’s a chance we haven’t seen the last of the Giant of Herradura.