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USA Volleyball’s Haleigh Washington overcome with emotion at Closing Ceremonies

Phil Walter/Getty Images

Team USA’s Haleigh Washington was visibly overwhelmed with emotion during Sunday’s Closing Ceremonies in Tokyo. The U.S. volleyball player was caught on camera looking at her gold medal, in tears and seemingly in disbelief.

The United States volleyball team had a historic Tokyo Games, cruising past Brazil in the championship game Sunday to capture the program’s first-ever gold medal. Washington recorded five points and three blocks in the win.

“All the hard work we put in through these months, these last few years, just a lot of release of emotion,” Washington said after the Olympic final on Sunday.

The gold-medal drought had weighed heavily on Team USA, leading many players to show their emotions after the momentous victory.

“It just came out. It wasn’t cute,” Washington said. “I was ugly crying out there. It was not cute, but it was amazing.”

Team USA adds the gold medal to its full collection in the past decade, including bronze from the 2016 Rio Games and silver from the 2012 London Games.