Flora Duffy won the women’s triathlon on Tuesday, turning into the first Bermudian in Olympics history to bring home a gold medal.
The 33-year-old Duffy crossed the end goal with a period of 60 minutes, 55:36 minutes, over a moment in front of second-place finisher Georgia Taylor-Brown of Great Britain. Katie Zaferes of the United States acquired bronze.
Duffy’s gold marks simply the second Olympic award for Bermuda, an island territory with a population of 64,000. Clarence Hill won a bronze medal in boxing 1976.
“I think (the medal) is bigger than me. It’s going to inspire the youth of Bermuda and everyone back home that competing on the world stage from a small island is really possible,” Duffy said.
It was the fourth Olympic appearance for Duffy. Her past best result was an eighth-place finish in 2016. She won the ITU World Triathlon titles in 2016 and 2017, and she has been positioned as high as No. 1 on the world.
“I tried to just keep my composure and not allow my mind to drift to the fact that this was really happening until about the last kilometer of the run,” Duffy said. “I saw my husband — he’s my coach — on the side of the road and just gave him a little smile. From there I just sort of allowed all the emotions to come.”
Duffy’s victory was promptly met with acclaim from those in Bermuda, including the island head, E. David Burt.
“Congratulations, Flora Duffy,” Burt wrote on Twitter. “You’ve worked so hard and you’ve made an entire island proud.”
Duffy has recently said this would be her last Olympic Games.