2020 Tokyo Olympics: Watch Team USA, South Africa Swimmers Embrace in Pool After Thrilling Race

by Quentin Blount

Sportsmanship has been the name of the game at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And that was the case yet again on day seven.

South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker won a thrilling race on Thursday evening to win the Olympic gold medal. And in doing so, she also broke the world record in the Women’s 200-meter Breaststroke Final with a stunning time of 2:18.95. Finishing in second place and earning a silver medal was Team USA’s, Lilly King. Meanwhile, Team USA’s Annie Lazor rounded out the top three, earning herself a bronze medal.

Don’t get us wrong here, the race was amazing. But what happened afterward was perhaps even more incredible. After Schoenmaker won the first gold medal for South Africa at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she burst into tears. Her emotions got the best of her at the moment, but her fellow competitors helped to remind us what the Olympics is all about. Two of Team USA’s swimmers joined in with Schoenmaker and one of her South African teammates in an emotional embrace.

The official Tokyo Olympics Twitter account tweet the video shortly after the race concluded. You can take a look at the dramatic ending for yourself down below:

“South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker BREAKS the world record to win the gold in the women’s 200m breaststroke and her reaction is priceless. @_king_lil and @lazorlaze win the silver and bronze for @TeamUSA. #TokyoOlympics”

Fans who were watching the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been impressed with how the competing athletes support one another.

“The sportsmanship at these games has been absolutely incredible,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “In the absence of families and fans, the athletes are all supporting each other. True spirit of the games.”

“Women supporting women is the best,” another follower replied.

Team USA Swimming Continues to Impress at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Although it was a swimmer from South Africa who took the gold on Thursday night, Team USA can still be proud of what they accomplished. Thursday’s silver and bronze medals for the American swimmers are just two more to add to the list.

In addition to the success of Lilly King and Annie Lazor, Chase Kalisz and Katie Ledecky have also shined in Tokyo. Kalisz won the United States its first gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And for Ledecky, well, she continues to add to an already storied career. Last night, she won the inaugural women’s 1500-meter freestyle. That gives the 24-year-old her sixth gold medal in her Olympic career.

“I think people maybe feel bad for me that I’m not winning everything,” Ledecky said after winning the 1500-meter. “But I want people to be concerned about other things that are going on in the world, people that are truly suffering.”