TOKYO (AP) — In some of their most emotional moments, Olympic athletes display their national pride.
Medal winners are often handed the flags of their countries as they celebrate their wins. Some wrap themselves in them and weep. Others drape them over their heads or hold them behind their backs as they take victory laps.
Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands wrapped her country’s flag around her and laid down on the track as she celebrated her gold medal in the women’s 5000 meters. Hours earlier, she had picked herself up from a scary fall on the final lap of her 1500-meter heat to not only finish that race, but win it as well.
Hanna Mills and Eilidh McIntyre celebrated their sailing gold medal by taking Britain’s flag into the water with them. Kevin Mayer of France and Valarie Allman of the United States jumped for joy with their flags behind them as they celebrated winning silver in the decathlon and gold in the discus throw, respectively.
New Zealand’s Risi Pouri-Lane and Michaela Blyde hugged, wrapped in their national flag, as they celebrated their gold medals in women’s rugby sevens in an empty stadium.
And the gold medalists from the Russian Olympic Committee’s sabre fencing team celebrated gold by leaping behind a flag featuring the Olympic rings. Russia’s flag is banned due to doping issues.
These Associated Press photos capture the athletes as they celebrate their wins, flags in tow.