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LIST: 7 athletes at the Tokyo Olympics everyone is crushing on

By KAREN AVERION PANGAN Published Aug 05, 2021 3:48 pm

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics has its fair share of winning moments and standout names—three of which come from our own country—so far, making it one of the most memorable cycles in the history of the sporting event.

While the whole world is celebrating the athletes for their performances, some athletes have caught the appreciation of the masses because of their charisma in the stadium.

Here, a list of the 2020 Olympic athletes who have won gold in our hearts.

1. Jeong Seung Won, Soccer, Republic of Korea

The 24-year-old football midfielder of the Daegu FC under South Korea’s professional football association K League 1 has caught the eyes of many because of his skills in the field and “idol-worthy” looks.

Jeong made his career breakthrough when he won the Korean FA Cup in 2018 and the international 2020 AFC U-23 Championship in Thailand which led the Republic of Korea to qualify for the 2020 Olympic games. His team finished fifth in the Olympics after bowing to Mexico.

2. Gabriel Medina, Surfing, Brazil

Gabriel Medina, one of two of the athletes representing Brazil for surfing, has caught the eyes of fans because of his smooth skills and dashing looks. According to his profile, he first began surfing at the age of seven after being influenced by his stepfather to try the sport.

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At 15, he became the youngest surfer to win a World Surf League back (2009) and the first to win the same overall title in 2014. He qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after placing in the World Surf League back in 2019. He placed fourth in the Men’s event. Fun fact: Surfing Shortboard is one of the five new sporting events that debuted in this year’s Olympic games.

3. Zehra Gunes, Volleyball, Turkey

Standing at a towering 6’5 inches, Zehra can easily pass off as a supermodel as she is a head-turner on the volleyball field. The 22-year-old is known for her powerful blocks and has been named Best Middle Blocker three times in World Championships held in Peru (2015), Mexico (2017), and Shaoxing (2019).

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She loves playing the piano and reading during her free time, and might we say she does a pretty good job with fashion, too, from the way her Instagram feed looks? Her team last faced off the Republic of Korea in the Women’s Quarterfinals where they lost 3-2.

4. Bianca Pagdanganan, Golf, Philippines

Bianca is the perfect example of a true Filipina beauty with her looks and talent. Though she only debuted as a professional golfer in 2020, she already has quite a record under her belt such as ranking first in the Women’s Team Asian Games in 2018 and finishing third in the Asian Games Individual Stroke Play.

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She first fell in love with golf when she was seven, taking after her father who, according to her, used to always play the sport as a hobby. She is a huge supporter of equality in golfing, having spoken up about the difference in media exposure between men’s and women’s golf and the gender pay gap before. She finished No. 1 in the Women’s Individual Stroke Play Round 1 as of writing this story.

5. Kim Heejin, Volleyball, Republic of Korea

It would be impossible for Kim Heejin, the 30-year-old middle blocker of the Republic of Korea’s volleyball team, not to stand out on the court with her statuesque 6’0” height and androgynous beauty.

Fondly nicknamed Heejini Hyung (older brother in English) because of her pixie cut, Heejin has amassed quite a following because of her monster blocks and gentle manner. Don’t believe us? Just check out the Olympics feed on Tiktok and you are sure to find a video or two of her there.

She debuted for the national team in 2009 and was named the Most Valuable Player at the Korea Volleyball Federation in 2013 and 2015. Fun fact: she was originally planning to specialize in high jump but her coach encouraged her to switch to volleyball instead.

6. Tom Daley, Diving, Great Britain

Olympic sweetheart and LGBT icon Tom Daley once again caught the attention of the media for his stunning performance in this year’s Diving event. Dale is already a household name after winning two bronze medals from the 2012 Olympics in

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London and 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but this year, he has managed to finally snatch gold for the Men’s synchronized diving 10-m platform.

He has also made social rounds after he was snapped doing some knitting while watching other diving events. Can we just say, adorable?!

7. Luke Michael Gebbie, Swimming, Philippines

Completing the list is our very own bet for the swimming event, 24-year-old Luke Gebbie who made his Olympic debut this year. He qualified for the 2020 Olympics with 828 Federation Internationale De Natation points and participated in the Men’s 50m and 100m Freestyle in the swimming events this year.

Despite not being able to advance to the semifinals, Luke was able to set a new national record of 49.64 seconds, beating his own record of 49.94 seconds which he set in the 2019 FINA World Championships.

Banner photos from the athletes and their fans’ Instagram accounts; photo of Bianca Pagdanganan by AFP