Tokyo – With a population of only 63,000, Bermuda became the smallest country or territory to win an Olympic gold medal.
On a rainy morning in Tokyo, Flora Duffy, 33, won the British island territory in the women’s individual triathlon — a grueling race consisting of swimming in open water for nearly a mile, cycling nearly 25 miles and running 4.6 miles.
“Flora Duffy was already the golden girl for Bermuda before she took off in the women’s Olympic triathlon tonight, but now she is simply a solid gold after destroying a world-class field in Tokyo,” local newspaper Royal Gazette flowed after winning.
Duffy is one of two Bermudian athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics. The remote group of islands lies in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, more than 600 miles from the nearest land mass.
Duffy’s win was even more impressive as she came back from several injuries, including a foot problem that knocked her out of competition for an entire year in 2018-2019. In November 2020, she said she was also dealing with a knee infection.
“I am so glad I was able to execute, and yes, I fulfilled my dream of winning a gold medal, but I also achieved my first gold medal in Bermuda,” she said. “She’s older than me and this is a really great moment.”
“I think it was a lot like the perfect race for me,” she added.
The Bermudian dropped out of the swimming section at 6NS place, then quickly caught the leaders in the cycling portion of the race. She swapped the lead multiple times during the bike with silver medalist, Georgia Taylor Brown of Britain, and bronze medalist, Katie Zafris of the United States.
Duffy pulled away from the race and finished more than a minute ahead of her nearest competitor in a time of 1 hour 55 minutes 36 seconds.
Bermuda Prime Minister, David Burt, She said “You worked hard and made an entire island proud!”
The only other medal ever won by Bermuda was in 1976, a bronze in men’s heavyweight boxing.