Ahmed Hafnaoui’s 400m Freestyle Win Is A Reminder Of What Makes The Olympics Great

The Olympics are, as an entity, fraught with problems and there are many legitimate reasons people have soured on them overall, but there are still moments during the Games that are absolutely tremendous and a reminder of why we love sports.

On Saturday night (Sunday in Tokyo), we got one of those moments in the men’s 400 meter freestyle when Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia won his country’s fourth ever swimming medal, and first in the 400 meter event, with a gold medal swim from lane 8, out-touching Jack McLoughlin of Australia by 0.16 seconds.

The celebration in the pool is incredible from Hafnaoui and, if there is a positive to the lack of fans in the arena, it is being able to hear that celebration and just how much it means to him to pull off the stunning upset. Afterwards, Hafnaoui spoke with NBC’s Michelle Tafoya about the win and seemed as surprised as anyone, but the emotion and excitement as he talked about it being a “dream come true” is, truly, what makes the Olympics great.

As they noted on the broadcast, Hafnaoui was the last man to make it into the field for the final and for him to win the gold is truly stunning. It is the type of moment that shows the best of the Olympics, as he picks up Tunisia’s second medal of the Games — Mohamed Khalil Jendoubi earned a silver in Taekwondo — and gave one of the great underdog moments this Olympics will see.