Amazing performances for women in women’s boxing event, including this tremendous gold-medal performance by 17 year old middleweight Claressa Shields of Flint, Michigan. ESPN called it: “A performance worthy of Cassius Clay, Joe Frazier, Oscar De La Hoya and every American Olympic champion that came before Shields.” I can’t embed this video (you suck, NBC!) but the last two minutes are full of joy and pure Muhammad Ali-style heart, humor, and swagger.
In the lightweight round, Katie Taylor of Ireland won, bringing home Ireland’s first gold medal since 1996. Taylor is incredibly popular in her homeland and reaction in her hometown of Bray was explosive. The most exciting response—even if you don’t speak Irish— was the teary and breathless call by Raidio na Gaeltachta’s commentator Seán Bán Breathnach, who proudly sings praises comparing Taylor to historic and modern Irish heroines like Grace O’Malley, Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Maud Gonne, and Mary Robinson. (If any Harpies are Irish speakers, I’d love to know what else he was saying).