Two Olympic athletes made history Sunday after becoming the first American women to win gold medals in their sports at the Tokyo Olympics.
Team USA’s Taekwondo Athlete Anastasija Zolotic was awarded a gold medal after defeating Russian athlete Tatiana Minina with a 25-18 score at the women’s 57kg taekwondo event, NBC Connecticut reported. The 18-year-old entered the gold medal bout after defeating Nada Laaraj of Morocco by 11-4 in the Round of 16, followed by a 17-9 win in the quarterfinals against Hatice Kubra of Turkey, then achieving victory against China’s Lo Chia-ling in the semifinals with a 27-18 score.
Her victory added the 10th medal for Team USA’s all-time Olympic taekwondo victories, which became an Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney Games, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Ex-Weightlifter: Women Told To ‘Be Quiet’ About Transgender Athlete’s Inclusion On Olympic Team)
U.S. Olympic Fencer Lee Kiefer defeated Inna Deriglazova of Russia by 15-13 at the individual women’s foil fencing competition, becoming the first American fencer to win foil gold, the New York Post reported. After achieving victory, the 27-year-old gold medalist ripped off her mask and yelled “Oh my God!” in excitement.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 25, 2021
“It’s an incredible feeling that I share with my coach, I share with my husband, with my family, just everyone that’s been a part of this,” Kiefer said, according to the outlet. “I wish I could chop it [the medal] up in little pieces and distribute it to everyone I love.”
Kiefer is in her fourth year as a medical student at the University of Kentucky, the outlet reported. Her husband, Gereck Meinhardt, won the foil bronze at the 2016 Olympics.
The Olympics witnessed the female victories months after Yoshiro Mori, a Tokyo Olympic organizer, made sexist remarks objecting to the idea of increasing female representation to the board.
“On boards with lots of women, the board meetings take so much time,” Mori said in February. “When you increase the number of female executive members, if their speaking time isn’t restricted to a certain extent, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying.”
When confronted over his comments at a press conference, Mori responded that he “doesn’t listen to women that much.” He refused to resign from his position after receiving backlash for his remarks.