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2021-08-06 00:28:06

Delayed by a year by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics are finally drawing to a close. For athletes, it is the culmination of five years’ hard work. But it’s not all blood, sweat, and tears. In between the moments of fierce competition, there are the flashes of laughter, camaraderie, and heartfelt — or sometimes heart-shaped — joy that make it all worth it.

Chen Yang competes in the women’s discus throw final, Aug. 2, 2021. Ben Stansall/AFP via People Visual

Chen Yang competes in the women’s discus throw final, Aug. 2, 2021. Ben Stansall/AFP via People Visual

Zhu Yaming competes in the men’s triple jump event, Aug. 3, 2021. David J. Phillip/AP via People Visual

Zhu Yaming competes in the men’s triple jump event, Aug. 3, 2021. David J. Phillip/AP via People Visual

Zhang Xiaonan of China (left) in action against Natalya Coyle of Ireland in the women’s individual fencing event, Aug. 5, 2021. Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via People Visual

Zhang Xiaonan of China (left) in action against Natalya Coyle of Ireland in the women’s individual fencing event, Aug. 5, 2021. Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via People Visual

Sun Yiwen (right) and Katrina Lehis of Estonia during the medal ceremony of the women’s individual fencing competition, July 24, 2021. An Lingjun/Sportsphoto/People Visual

Sun Yiwen (right) and Katrina Lehis of Estonia during the medal ceremony of the women’s individual fencing competition, July 24, 2021. An Lingjun/Sportsphoto/People Visual

Guan Chenchen competes during the women’s balance beam final, Aug. 3, 2021. Amin Mohammad Jamali via People Visual

Guan Chenchen competes during the women’s balance beam final, Aug. 3, 2021. Amin Mohammad Jamali via People Visual

Tang Xijing and Guan Chenchen (No. 320) celebrate after the women’s balance beam final as the United States’ Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee look on, Aug. 3, 2021. Zheng Huansong/Xinhua

Tang Xijing and Guan Chenchen (No. 320) celebrate after the women’s balance beam final as the United States’ Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee look on, Aug. 3, 2021. Zheng Huansong/Xinhua

Coach Lang Ping (in red) embraces Yuan Xinyue after the Chinese women’s volleyball team’s defeat of Argentina, Aug. 2, 2021. Toru Hanai via People Visual

Coach Lang Ping (in red) embraces Yuan Xinyue after the Chinese women’s volleyball team’s defeat of Argentina, Aug. 2, 2021. Toru Hanai via People Visual

Liu Shiwen and Xu Xin at the mixed doubles table tennis final, July 26, 2021. Wei Zheng/Sportsphoto/People Visual

Liu Shiwen and Xu Xin at the mixed doubles table tennis final, July 26, 2021. Wei Zheng/Sportsphoto/People Visual

A gloved volunteer picks up a ball during the men’s table tennis event, Aug. 3, 2021. Kin Cheung via People Visual

A gloved volunteer picks up a ball during the men’s table tennis event, Aug. 3, 2021. Kin Cheung via People Visual

An underwater view of diver Xie Siyi as he enters the water during the men’s three-meter springboard diving event, Aug. 2, 2021. François-Xavier Marit/AFP via People Visual

An underwater view of diver Xie Siyi as he enters the water during the men’s three-meter springboard diving event, Aug. 2, 2021. François-Xavier Marit/AFP via People Visual

Quan Hongchan waits by the pool to see her final score during the women’s 10-meter platform diving final, Aug. 5, 2021. Quan would go on to win the event. Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via People Visual

Quan Hongchan waits by the pool to see her final score during the women’s 10-meter platform diving final, Aug. 5, 2021. Quan would go on to win the event. Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via People Visual

Yang Qian reacts after winning the gold medal in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event, July 24, 2021. Alex Brandon/IC

Yang Qian reacts after winning the gold medal in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event, July 24, 2021. Alex Brandon/IC

Weightlifter Li Wenwen poses for a celebratory photo, Aug. 2, 2021. Bai Yu/Sportsphoto/People Visual

Weightlifter Li Wenwen poses for a celebratory photo, Aug. 2, 2021. Bai Yu/Sportsphoto/People Visual

Swimmer Wang Shun poses for a photo after winning the 200-meter individual medley final, July 30, 2021. Fu Tian/CNS/People Visual

Swimmer Wang Shun poses for a photo after winning the 200-meter individual medley final, July 30, 2021. Fu Tian/CNS/People Visual

Quan Hongchan is lifted aloft by her coach after winning the women’s 10-meter platform diving event, Aug. 5, 2021. Oli Scarff/AFP via People Visual

Quan Hongchan is lifted aloft by her coach after winning the women’s 10-meter platform diving event, Aug. 5, 2021. Oli Scarff/AFP via People Visual

Huang Dongping (left) and Wang Yilü celebrate their win in the mixed doubles badminton final as Zheng Siwei (bottom left) and Huang Yaqiong look on, July 30, 2021. Alexander Nemenov/AFP via People Visual

Huang Dongping (left) and Wang Yilü celebrate their win in the mixed doubles badminton final as Zheng Siwei (bottom left) and Huang Yaqiong look on, July 30, 2021. Alexander Nemenov/AFP via People Visual

Viktor Axelsen (left) of Denmark greets his opponent Chen Long of China after winning the men’s singles gold medal match in badminton, Aug. 2, 2021. Zhang Lintao/People Visual

Viktor Axelsen (left) of Denmark greets his opponent Chen Long of China after winning the men’s singles gold medal match in badminton, Aug. 2, 2021. Zhang Lintao/People Visual

Sprinter Su Bingtian celebrates after winning his men’s 100-meter semi-final, Aug. 1, 2021. Richard Heathcote via People Visual

Sprinter Su Bingtian celebrates after winning his men’s 100-meter semi-final, Aug. 1, 2021. Richard Heathcote via People Visual

Sprinter Su Bingtian says a prayer before the men’s 100-meter sprint final, Aug. 1, 2021. Wei Zheng/Sportsphoto/People Visual

Sprinter Su Bingtian says a prayer before the men’s 100-meter sprint final, Aug. 1, 2021. Wei Zheng/Sportsphoto/People Visual

Swimmer Zhang Yufei shows off her medals from the 2020 Summer Olympics, Aug. 1, 2021. Du Yang/CNS/IC

Swimmer Zhang Yufei shows off her medals from the 2020 Summer Olympics, Aug. 1, 2021. Du Yang/CNS/IC

Editor: Kilian O’Donnell.