Who can forget the iconic moment in Beijing in 2008 when Usain Bolt streaked away from the field in the Men’s 100m Final to take an astonishing Gold – celebrating before he had even reached the finish line? And then he went on to do the same in London, and again in Rio – incredible.
The Olympic Games create characters and personalities who live in the collective memory for generations, and Tokyo’s Games will be no different.
Even though the big man from Jamaica isn’t competing next year, spectators will still have plenty of their heroes to cheer on. We’ve pulled together a list of some of the most exciting to look out for in 2020.
Eliud Kipchoge: THE Marathon Man
The Kenyan marathon runner and current world record holder is loved by fans from around the globe. His quest to go under 2 hours finally bore fruit in Vienna a few months ago, when he stormed past adoring crowds to complete the world’s fastest ever marathon. Although it won’t count as a record, look for him to follow it up with an amazing performance in Tokyo.
Simone Biles: Best Ever?
The electrifying American gymnast sent a powerful message when she burst onto the Olympic scene in 2016, overcoming adversity to rise to the very top. Since then, she has gone on to become the most decorated international gymnast EVER, despite only going to her 2nd Olympics in 2020 (and being just 22 years old).
Tom Daley: Beloved and Brilliant Challenger
The diver is a massive favorite with the Brits back at home for his winning smile and boyish good looks. He’ll be hoping to be on form for Tokyo despite ups and downs in his career over the last few years, as he looks again to challenge the Chinese dominance on the diving board.
Caeleb Dressel: Phelps’ Follow-On?
The heir to Michael Phelps’ vacant swimming throne might be on the horizon. At the World Aquatics Championships this year, Dressel broke Phelps’ record for most medals at a single meet (winning 8), as well as breaking two of his World Record times.
Could 2020 be the start of the next American swimming king’s reign?
Kōhei Uchimura: Home Favourite
Kōhei Uchimura is the holder of an unofficial trophy that only a very few elite athletes can claim – victories at every major championship throughout an entire Olympic cycle. Already one of the greatest gymnasts ever before London 2012, he proceeded to win there before going on to win every World Championships and the next Olympics in Rio. What?!
Despite his age, he will be competing at Tokyo in front of a home crowd, so you can expect excitement!
The magic of the Olympics is in the stories that emerge, and every Games has stories both new and old. Expect to see some reputations deflated, and prepare to discover someone or something new.