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“Eurovision winners after 31 years. European champions after 53 years. Olympic gold medal in high jump after 41 years. First Olympic gold medal in the 100 meters. If we attack now, it is easy for us to recover Istria, Dalmatia, Corsica and the Mona Lisa “.
This message was shared on Monday by numerous Italians on social networks, elated by the good performance their athletes had on Sunday at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, when they won two unexpected gold medals.
“This is the biggest day in the history of Italian sport“, said the president of the Italian Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malagò, regarding the triumph obtained in the high jump final by Gianmarco Tamberi and the victory in the 100 meter dash by Marcell Jacobs, who officially became the fastest runner in the world. world and therefore in successor to the legendary Usain Bolt.
“We achieved something epic and extraordinary – just like success in soccer – and that is bringing the country together,” Malagò said. “We’ve had some epic victories, like winning the World Cup (four times), but in (Olympic) terms, this is something our grandchildren’s grandchildren will read about one day in history books“.
The Italian press joined in the excitement. “The Olympus of the gods”, the newspaper titled The Stamp, Meanwhile he Corriere della Sera It said “History of us.”
In the diary Sports Gazettes, a columnist explained the magnitude of the triumphs: “Achieving first place in the 100 meter sprint and in the high jump means beating some fantastic competitors. That is why Italy has never had a day like this in 125 years participation in the Olympics “.
But Sunday’s extraordinary day is also, in part, the latest in a series of triumphs that the country has added throughout 2021.
From Eurovision to Tokyo
The hot streak began in May when Italian alternative rock band Maneskin won the Eurovision music competition, something that had not happened for more than three decades.
In July, the Italian soccer team conquered the European Championship again after 53 years without a title, by defeating England on penalties; while Matteo Berrettini at the Wimbledom tournament it became the first Italian to reach a Grand Slam final in 45 years.
“We had already had enough signs that this was the year of Italy. But We never thought that this country, one of the most affected by the pandemic, stunned by the covid-19, would rise up with such vigor to lead us to reach the most important record in the history of the sport: on the first day of August, Marcell Jacobs, born in Texas, but very Italian, won the 100 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, succeeding Usain Bolt as the man most the world’s fastest, “wrote journalist Veronica Cursi in Il Messaggero newspaper in an article about” how proud we are to be Italian. “
And it is that these victories have generated a feeling of renewal for a country that in 2020 was one of the hardest hit by the covid-19 pandemic.
“This is definitely very important for Italy, after the country went through one of its hardest moments since World War II. We had 128,000 deaths, confinements, etc.,” said Italian journalist Davide Lerner on the BBC program Outside Source .
In addition, beyond the medals, the Olympic day on Sunday had an important emotional component not only because of how significant the triumphs were, but also because of the way they were produced.
After breaking his Achilles heel in his last race before the 2016 Rio Olympics, in which he was unable to participate, Gianmarco Tamberi’s sports career was strongly questioned, so his victory had a certain claiming charge.
At the same time, as Tamberi and his main rival Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar finished tied after a grueling two-hour competition and decided to share the gold medal, spectators around the world were moved by their sporting gesture.
To make matters worse, Tamberi was still on the track celebrating his triumph when just minutes later, Jacobs crossed the finish line and claimed gold in the 100-meter dash.
Both athletes embraced and Italians around the world savored a unique moment in their history: that an Olympic champion received another in the middle of the track.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.