Grenada, Cyprus Win First Ever Olympic Medals
Here in America, Olympic medals are not only frequent, but expected. And while the majority of attention is understandably paid to the nations at the top of the medal count, two more countries have finally put their names on the board for the first time. The latest to do so are Grenada and Cyprus.
Grenada’s first medal was a gold, with 19 year old Kirani James dominating the men’s 400m with a time of 43.94 seconds. He became the first non-American competitor to break 44 seconds in the event. The Grenadan government has declared Tuesday to be a national holiday in James’ honor. James also gained notoriety on Sunday for trading name tags with double amputee Oscar Pistorius after their semifinal qualifying heat.
Cyprus earned their first medal with a silver in the sailing Laser division (which, I’ll admit, disappointed me when I found out there were no actual lasers involved). It was claimed by Pavlos Kontides, who made Cypriot history with his performance in the series of 11 races.
Over the weekend, Guatemala won their first medal, a silver in the 20k race walk won by Erick Barrondo on Saturday.
These Olympics have featured a number of firsts, between three nations allowing women to compete for the first time and a number of countries winning their first medals. Hopefully there is more Olympic history in the cards during these London Games.