10/17/2021 at 07:17

Rugby’s new Chapter – Tokyo Olympics 2020

Although the Tokyo Olympics were postponed for 2021, everybody was excited to see the happy faces of athletes who got the chance to be under the world public’s eye for two weeks. Rugby has an interesting history as an Olympic discipline. Firstly, it was present at the Olympic games in 1900, 1908, 1920, and 1924. After that, rugby was removed as a discipline from the Olympics, since there were few rugby teams that could compete. In 1957, the International Olympic Committee issued a statement that rugby couldn’t be recognized as a sport from then on. It was not until the Rio 2016 Olympics that rugby made its great comeback as a discipline. There were several highlights at Tokyo Olympics 2020 that drew attention to rugby matches.

Medals – men

As far as men are concerned, Fiji managed to defend its gold from Rio 2016. For those who haven’t been familiar with Fiji, rugby is actually a national sport on this tiny Pacific island. The silver medal went to New Zealand, although one may believe New Zealand would be more successful than Fiji. Although being in second place, the New Zealand rugby team should be proud, since this is their first Olympic medal at rugby. The bronze went to Argentina who defeated the American national team, which may also seem like a surprise.

Medals – women

When it comes to women’s teams, New Zealand came back to the throne after the great failure at the Rio finals in 2016. The New Zealand women’s team will definitely be remembered for the way they celebrated their final victory – they performed traditional Haka dance and showed their true joy and passion for this sport. France got the silver medal, although everybody expected Great Britain to defend theirs from the Rio Olympics. Instead, they were defeated by Fiji in the match for the bronze medal.

BugWarp, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The rugby stars who brought the sport to a whole new level

Chloet Jacquet, a French female rugby player, made the French rugby fans believe the gold medal was really close.  In the last two minutes, she scored enough to make France fall only 2 points behind the leading team. However, her effort wasn’t enough for the French team to win in the finals. Ignacio Mendy, an Argentinian player, played smartly at the crucial moments and secured the bronze medal for his country. Marcos Moneta, also an Argentinian player, would be definitely remembered for the most successful tries at Tokyo 2020. He managed to score six tries, more than any rugby player there. Reap Ulunisau is believed to be the best rugby playmaker – she became the first Fijian to do the hat-trick and the first player ever to cross the whitewash at the Olympics.

Sara Cox – the first professional female referee

Since we are living in the era of gender equality, it is nice to point out that Sara Cox opened some new doors in her career. After judging women’s rugby seven finals at Tokyo Olympics 2020, Sara got the opportunity to officiate the Premiership male game in her mother country England. She gained a lot of support online and offline, which definitely points out the absurdity of dividing sports into males and females.