Baker, 69 (Japanese)
The men’s 4x100m relay, for sure. Each of the athlete’s times were in the 10-second range, which is slower than the other top sprinters in the world. However, when you combine them together to make a team, they had the speed and skill to beat faster teams and win the silver medal. Their baton passes were amazing — it just goes to show how important research and practice is in sports.
Liquor store owner, 65 (Japanese)
I have the television on all day, so I watched all of the Olympic highlights. However, I suppose my personal highlight was the synchronized swimming. The coach was such a monster! She was so strict that I found myself feeling sorry for the team. But they won a medal, so I was so happy — and relieved — to see that.
Managing director, 33 (English)
I enjoyed watching Kohei Uchimura retain his gold medal — he is a legend in men’s gymnastics, respected around the world. I loved learning about less famous sports such as dressage and synchronized diving; I find that I go from novice to armchair expert in about half an hour’s TV viewing. I also enjoyed how much love there was in the air this year — there were four wedding proposals live on TV!
Retired, 57 (Danish)
Since I’m from Denmark, it has to be when we won the gold medal in handball! The Danish team had won both the European and world championships in the past, but had never even won an Olympic medal before. I saw the game live — we were slightly ahead after the first half, but then for the last five minutes, there was no doubt.
Company president, 62 (Japanese)
There were many wonderful moments, especially when Japan won golds. My highlights were two events: First, women’s table tennis, though they only won bronze. We’ve watched Ai-chan (Fukuhara) develop since she was little. The other was women’s wrestling. When Saori Yoshida won silver, she was so apologetic, but I thought her silver medal was brighter and heavier than gold.
Record label sales, 23 (Japanese)
There were no highlights for me, really, because I don’t watch much sports. But the Olympics were in Rio, on the other side of the world, and the global awe and excitement that comes from single moments at the Olympics reminded me that it’s really only the games that can deliver such a feeling of international oneness. I viewed it all from an outsider’s perspective, so it was a bit weird, but still amazing.