The Tokyo Summer Olympics were amazing.
One thing that really moved me was how happy most of the athletes were who earned a bronze medal.
I have watched hundreds of Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Championships, NHL Stanley Cups, NCAA National Championship football games, college World Series, Final Fours and PGA Senior and PGA Major tournaments. The runner-up team or individual sometimes seemed so devastated when they didn’t win.
The Olympics are so different than those other sporting events because it is not win at all cost. The athletes who win the bronze and silver medals are sometimes happier than the ones who won the gold.
The modern Olympics began in 1896. The 1904 Summer Olympic games in St. Louis were where the gold, silver and bronze medals were first introduced.
Molly Siedel, a Wisconsin native, won the first bronze medal in the marathon and was so overcome with emotion, pride and joy after the race, she said “I was hoping to be in the top-10,” she didn’t win, but was an Olympic medalist.
The United States earned 113 total medals (39 gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze) at the Tokyo Olympics. The women earned 66 of them and the men 47, with the combination being the most at the event among any country.
This was the seventh straight Olympics that the United States has won the most medals.
Allyson Felix set the record with the most medals by an American track athlete winning 11 (seven gold, three silver and one bronze). In Tokyo she won the gold medal in the 4x400 meter relay and the bronze in the open 400. She said that her bronze medal this summer actually means more to her than some of her gold medals. Six of her gold medals she had teammates that helped her win gold, where this summer as a 35-year-old runner, she won the bronze medal all by herself.
That shows you how important a third-place finish can be, especially when it’s rewarded with an Olympic medal.
The Tokyo Summer Olympics held 339 events in 33 sports. There were 11,091 athletes competing from over 200 nations. The total medals presented were 1,017 (339 gold, 339 silver and 339 bronze). Less than 10-percent of the athletes competing were medalists.
I believe for the Summer Olympics that will be held in Paris in 2024, we should add a fourth-place medal to honor more athletes. My son Nathan thinks that medal should be copper. That would be very appropriate since two United States citizens (myself and my son) would be adding something to France’s Olympics.
Our Statue of Liberty was a gift from France and is estimated to contain 100 tons of copper. How ironic the Statue of Liberty torch could be a symbol next to the Olympic torch in France in 2024.
After the 2024 Olympics, this torch will be sent to the 2028 Olympics held in Los Angeles.
I sent these ideas to the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well.