With a population of just 63,000, Bermuda became the smallest nation or territory to win an Olympic gold medal at a summer Games when Flora Duffy won the triathlon in Tokyo. The 33-year-old, making her fourth appearance at an Olympics, came out on top of the 56-woman field with a time of one hour 55 minutes 36 seconds – more than a minute ahead of Great Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown and USA’s Katie Zaferes.
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. The country is so small, it only sent two athletes to the Tokyo Games – Duffy for the triathlon and rower Dara Alizadeh. To put into context the size of Duffy’s win, at 51 kilometres the triathlon event itself is longer than an end-to-end walk across the length of Bermuda (40km). It is 15 times smaller than New York. For Duffy, it was a welcome reward after persistent injuries and a diagnosis of anaemia in 2013. She quit the sport after failing to finish the event at the 2008 Beijing Games and started working in a shop in Bermuda before eventually returning to the sport after studying for a degree. In a race delayed by 15 minutes because of slippery conditions following heavy overnight rain, Duffy took control in the final running section.