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Japanese skateboarder Misugu Okamoto entered the final round of the women’s park event in the lead, only for her worst nightmare to happen on the last run.
The 15-year-old bailed on an indie flip attempt, falling hard into the concrete bowl at the Tokyo Olympic Skatepark and all the way down to fourth place in the event, missing the podium.
But what came next was one of the most heartwarming moments of the Games, something that captured the essence of sportsmanship.
As Okamoto exited the bowl with painful tears running down her face, several competitors ran to her support, hugged her, and lifted her high on their shoulders, prompting the purest smile you’ll see all day and a fist-pump into the air from the young skateboarding phenom.
What it's all about ❤️
Heartbroken after falling and missing out on a bronze medal in park skateboarding, Japan's Misugu Okamoto was lifted and cheered up by her competitors.
(via Ezra Shaw & Jamie Squire/Getty) pic.twitter.com/NS3HYsPeqV
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) August 4, 2021
sensacional essa parte que as skatistas levantaram a Misugu Okamoto pra dar uma injeção de ânimo nela
o tipo de imagem que fica pra história dessa olimpíada pic.twitter.com/sQ6aREJjka
— Dersu Uzala Olímpico 🏴 🥋🧗♂️⛹️♂️🤼🤾🤸🚣♀️ (@UzalaAntifa) August 4, 2021
Nahhh misugu okamoto still no.1 in my heart
— nis (@ansdynrsl) August 4, 2021
The entire event was the best expression of the #OlympicSpirit I've seen in these #OlympicGames . Not an inch of arrogance, and they all seemed to be enjoying the event itself (beyond their own performances). The true expression of Joy of Effort, Fair Play and Respect for Others.
— ann. (@annwemakes) August 4, 2021
🙏🏻🤗😭❤️❤️❤️This just melts my heart. The level of support shows how together they can push each other and will be there to help even if they fall! #TeachableMoment
— Mabel 🌹🐱 (@Mabel_YG) August 4, 2021
Okamoto had admitted that she felt pressure entering the Olympic Games on home soil, but that didn’t stop her from landing unreal tricks for most of the event. Just check out this silky smooth 540:
Okamoto Misugu shows us how it's done with this fast and high 540 out of the gate. pic.twitter.com/HWeoI5zIp3
— Jack (@Jac5Connor) August 4, 2021
the women's park skateboarding final was really cool. she may have been 4th but misugu okamoto impressed me the most. so dope seeing young ppl skateboarding on such a big stage.
— "stage acting" fan (@sadjabroni) August 4, 2021
She expressed regret to Japanese media over failing to land the indie flip, but ultimately said she was grateful for the kindness shown by her competitors.
Fellow Japanese skateboarders Sakura Yosozumi and Kokona Hiraki won gold and silver, rspectively, while Great Britain’s Sky Brown won bronze.
Skateboarding continues to bring great vibes to the Olympic Games.
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