Tokyo Olympics: San Marino sent only five athletes to the Games — and won 3 medals
Tokyo Olympics: San Marino, which made its Olympics debut way back in 1960, finally found itself dipped in glory by winning its first-ever medals at the Tokyo games.
The country, with a population of around 33,860 people, won three medals. Fascinating is that it had sent only five athletes to Tokyo to compete against the world’s nations.
Alessandra Perilli bagged the bronze in women’s trap shooting while Perilli teamed up with Gian Marco Berti to win silver for San Marino in the mixed team trap event. The third medal came through wrestler Myles Amine, who claimed bronze in the men’s freestyle wrestling event.
Though this was not Perilli’s first Olympics, the bronze win came about as a sweet moment and Stuff.com quoted her as saying that “this is the first medal for me and for my country. We are a small country but very proud. They are for sure going crazy, crying. I don’t know, but for sure, now they are. There was no pressure, but only support from my country, from my team, from my federation, and the Olympic committee.”
In the mixed team trap event, Gian Marco Berti and Alessandra Perilli bagged silver for San Marino. They lost to Spain but defeated the US in the process.
Wrestler Myles Amine’s bronze for San Marino in the men’s 86-kg freestyle wrestling event by beating India’s Deepak Punia for a score of 3–2. Punia is a 2019 world silver medallist, but he did not meet expectations this time around.
Tokyo Olympics: From Michigan, but San Marino man
Fascinating is the fact that Amine hails from the US state of Michigan but represented San Marino because of his family’s Sammarinese citizenship.
Amine’s mother’s grandfather had come to the US from San Marino in the early 1900s. Anime received the right to represent San Marino, Amine, though he knew that switching was tough.
For the wrestler, the switch did not have anything to do with national pride. “If I had my way, I would wrestle for both countries. The opportunity to wrestle for San Marino was better in our situation,” he was quoted as saying by the Stuff report.
Tiny nation on top of the world
With three Tokyo Olympics medals, San Marino is on top of the world in celebration. Just about 61 square kilometers of the European continent in size, it enters history books as the smallest country in the world to win Olympic medals.
It is all about the spirit and not the size of the country. San Marino has proved this beyond doubt in Tokyo.