NOW the curtain has come down on the two-week sporting extravaganza in Japan, we can enjoy some reflection on one of the biggest gambles in sporting history that came off, and gave the world some much-needed 'feel good' factor.
At CurraNZ HQ, as suppliers to elite sport, we share loyalties between the Brits and New Zealanders, and saw many customers and ambassadors from both nations competing on CurraNZ.
Needless to say, we threw our support behind the combined contingent, and enjoyed many heart-popping over the two weeks.
Team GB finished fourth in the overall medal table with a staggering 64 medals – far exceeding their expected tally of 36 – and almost matching that of Rio’s 67.
New Zealand secured its greatest ever medal haul at this event, departing Tokyo with 20 medals – seven gold, and a new Kayak sprint champion, Lisa Carrington, who became one of the small nation’s most decorated athletes.
While confidentiality means we can't 'name names', we were delighted to see many British and Kiwi athlete customers medal, with three of our athlete ambassadors making their Olympic debuts in Tokyo.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be catching up with them, but here's a rundown of how they fared:
New Zealand's hammer throw champion produced a strong first round performance to qualify for the final with a throw of 72.30M, placing her fourth out of a field of 15.
Julia's best throw landed at 72.69M and placed her in ninth position out of the final 12. A grateful Julia said afterward:
"Still processing a lot of feelings about last night but the overwhelming feeling is gratitude. Grateful for Dave (Dad, coach). Grateful for the epic team I have supporting me both on the ground and from NZ. .....Grateful for my body holding up. Grateful for the outpouring of love from all around the world. Your messages mean everything."
The national K2 champions came here as the 'unknown Kiwis' and punched well above their world ranking of 15 with a fantastic fifth place in the K2 1000M canoe sprint final.
Max was pinching himself on the start line, looking at the other competitors and seeing World Champions in many of the other boats.
He said afterwards: "To say Kurtis and I achieved fifth still feels surreal. Our original goal was to make the A final, so to go even further is a dream come true."
Their fifth shows how far they've come in world standings, after finishing 19th at the World Cup 2019.
Andrea Anacan was New Zealand's first-ever representative in karate in Japan, and one of only ten karatekas from Oceania who qualified to compete in the women's kata.
Andrea faced a tough line up in Pool B and completed her two kata, but did not make it to the final rounds of competition.
She says: "What an honour to represent the NZ team, to have the fern on my chest, still so surreal, thank you for allowing me to represent you '.
We are super excited to have supported these elite athletes on their journey to representing their country - they made us all proud.