Bermuda just took home the gold medal in the women’s triathlon in Tokyo – making it the smallest country to win gold at the Summer Olympics. Flora Duffy earned the gold medal in the event with a time of 1:55:36.
This is the first Olympic gold medal for Bermuda, which has an estimated population of 62,034. The country is so small, it only sent two athletes to the Tokyo Games – Duffy for the triathlon and rower Dara Alizadeh.
The country’s first Olympics was Berlin in 1936 and in its Olympic history, it has only taken home one other medal — boxer Clarence Hill won a bronze in the men’s 81kg heavyweight competition at the Montreal Games in 1976.
With its first gold medal, Bermuda joins a short list of small countries to win gold at the Olympics — but it’s still the smallest to do so at the Summer Games.
According to the Olympics, five notable small countries have won gold. Luxembourg, which has an estimated population of 637,177, won gold in the men’s 1500 in 1952. Suriname, in South America, which has an estimated population of 607,600, won gold in the men’s 100 butterfly in 1988. Bahamas, which has an estimated population of 381,200, won gold for sailing in 1964. And Grenada, in the Caribbean, which has an estimated population of 113,084, won gold in the men’s 400 in 2012.
Lichtenstein, which has an estimated population of 38,245, won gold alpine skiing at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
Bermuda is not the only country to take home its first Olympic gold this week. Hidilyn Diaz won the first Olympicfor the Philippines on Monday. The ended the country’s 97-year Olympic drought after completing an overall lift of 224 kilograms during the Women’s 55kg Weightlifting Competition — setting an Olympic record.
Bermuda’s Premier David Burt congratulated the country’s star athlete. “You’ve worked so hard and you’ve made an entire island proud,” he tweeted.
After the triathlon — in which competitors swim 1500 meters, cycle 40 kilometers and run 10 kilometers — Duffy spoke about the historic win, saying: “I think (the medal) is bigger than me.”
“It’s going to inspire the youth of Bermuda and everyone back home that competing on the world stage from a small island is really possible,” she said, according to The Associated Press.