The 8th Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be held from 24th July to 9th August: one month of sports, entertainment and cultural performances. The opening ceremony will see the rising sun symbol of Japan, which was originally designed in the Meiji period in the 19th century, be used for the first time.
The summer of 2020 will be remembered as one of the greatest years in the history of the modern Olympics. The United States marched into town as a favorite to win the men’s gymnastics team gold medal, and the South Koreans took the women’s side. But the Olympics will also be remembered for what happened outside the sports venues. This year in Japan, the country bid farewell to the 2020 Summer Olympics in the best way it could think of: by hosting the 2020 Summer Paralympics. The Tokyo Games have been a huge success, and the Paralympics will be even bigger.
The 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan, during which time the country will host 12 sports and showcase the world. To prepare, the Japanese government has stated a plan to build a new 90,000-seat national stadium in time for the Tokyo Olympics.. Read more about when are the olympics 2021 and let us know what you think.
Tokyo time is 9:28 a.m. on July 25.
Here’s what you should be aware of:
On Thursday, Nyjah Huston of the United States practiced at Ariake Urban Sports Park. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
Skateboarding makes its Olympic debut with the men’s street event in the hot, sun-baked Ariake Urban Sports Park, after decades of trying. Twenty men qualified for the sport, and the first skateboarding gold medal will be given at noon Sunday in Tokyo.
We arrived 90 minutes before the first heat, and the skaters were already getting warmed up. Temperatures are predicted to be in the 90s, with little to no shade. There is music and an enthusiastic announcer, as with most skate competitions. There isn’t much of a crowd, apart from a swarm of sweaty reporters at one end.
Nyjah Huston, the 26-year-old American generally considered as the greatest competitive street skater in history and the subject of a lengthy New York Times article published last week, will get the most attention. He has won all of skateboarding’s main competitions, including world championships, the Street League Skateboarding series, the X Games, and the Dew Tour. His trophy room in Laguna Beach, Calif., is barely big enough to hold all of his trophies and medals. He’ll probably fit in one more here at the Olympics.
Huston’s main opponent for gold is a local skater, Yuto Horigome, 22, the son of a Tokyo taxi driver (about whom we also reported) and Huston’s main adversary in recent years. Huston won a Dew Tour contest in the first big post-pandemic event this spring, and Horigome went on to win the world title in Rome. If there is an upset, it will be if none of them finishes 1-2 in either order.
However, the competition is large, and many competitors entered with serious medal aspirations. Among them are Americans Jagger Eaton and Jake Ilardi. With four Olympic skateboarding events (men’s and women’s street, and men’s and women’s park), the safe bet is on one of three countries: the US, Japan, or Brazil. However, there are outliers, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Vincent Milou of France won a medal today.
The format is as follows: The competitors were split into four heats, each with five skaters. Each will complete two timed laps around the skate park, hustling their way over the rails, bumps, and ledges in their own unique route. Falling does not disqualify anybody, but it does not improve their performance.
Skaters will also be able to do five tricks of their choice. Each run and trick — a total of seven — will be scored on a 10-point scale by a panel of judges. The best four results are combined.
The top eight skaters in each heat will advance to the final. The preliminary scores are wiped, and the procedure is restarted from the beginning. Someone will have won a gold medal before these athletes eat their lunch.
The skateboarders have been training at the park for the last several days, an hour or two each day, to figure out which features to hit and link together. The park has received unanimous praise for being large, entertaining, and very hot.
Simone Biles received a standing ovation from the audience in St. Louis during her floor performance at the Olympic Trials in June. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
Simone Biles, in a nutshell.
For the first time at these Olympics, the transcendent American star of the Games goes to the uneven bars, the beam, the vault, and the floor at approximately 2:10 a.m. Eastern time. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, NBC will broadcast the tournament in prime time for American television audiences.
Swimming is usually a highlight of the first week of the Games, with the first four gold medals scheduled to be presented at 9:30 p.m. Saturday night, Eastern time, is ideal for prime-time watching. Individual medleys of 400 meters are on the menu. That’s an opportunity for Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, a worldwide star, to shine. The men’s 400-meter freestyle and the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle complete the program.
After igniting the cauldron at the opening ceremony, Naomi Osaka will be remembered for the rest of her life. She’ll also want to be remembered for winning the gold medal in tennis; she’ll face China’s Zheng Saisai in the first round.
April Ross and Alix Klineman are the new faces of women’s beach volleyball in the United States, and they’ll attempt to follow in the footsteps of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.
After a few stutters in exhibition games, the American men’s basketball team takes the court for the first time, and the opposition is formidable: France, which has five NBA players, including Rudy Gobert.
Chase Kalisz of Team USA in the men’s 400 individual medley heat at the Tokyo Aquatics Center during the butterfly stroke. Credit… The New York Times/David Mills
The first debut of skateboarding in the Olympics and the next game for the apparently unstoppable US softball team are among the highlights of Saturday evening’s television coverage in the United States. All timings are in Eastern Standard Time.
Skateboarding: Men’s street skateboarding makes its Olympic debut, with preliminary runs live on USA beginning at 7:30 a.m. The finals begin at 11 p.m. on USA, with NBC picking up at midnight.
Beach volleyball: Starting at 8 p.m., NBC will broadcast preliminary matches as part of its multisport coverage. At 9 p.m., NBCSN will replay an earlier match between American Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena and Dutch Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen. Starting at 2 a.m., NBC will air extra coverage throughout its overnight broadcast.
CNBC offers repechages in men’s and women’s single sculls and pairs at the age of eight. At 11 p.m., CNBC will show replays of the men’s and women’s eights heats.
Swimming: Starting at 8, NBC will broadcast the finals of the men’s and women’s 400-meter individual medleys as part of their multisport coverage, with extra coverage beginning at 2 a.m.
Basketball three-on-three: A preliminary game will be shown live on NBC’s multisport coverage beginning at 8 p.m. Additional coverage on CNBC and USA begins at 8 p.m. and 10:40 p.m., respectively.
Softball: The US women’s team is on a run, and they’ll meet Australia on CNBC at 9 p.m., with a repeat on NBCSN at midnight.
Tennis: The first-round singles and doubles events resume on the Olympic Channel, with coverage beginning at 10 a.m.
Volleyball: At 10 p.m., NBCSN will broadcast a rerun of the men’s match between the US and France. At midnight on NBC, the United States women take on Argentina in a Group B encounter.
At 10:40 a.m., USA will broadcast the elimination rounds, and at 3 a.m., CNBC will broadcast the final of the women’s team event.
Cycling: The women’s road race will be shown on USA at midnight.
CNBC will broadcast the mixed-doubles quarterfinals at 12:20 a.m.
Water polo: At 1 a.m., CNBC will broadcast the men’s Group A match between the United States and Japan.
Gymnastics: The men’s team competition is scheduled to begin at 2 a.m. on NBC’s nighttime broadcast.
CNBC will broadcast the women’s synchronized springboard competition at 2:10 a.m.
Fencing: CNBC begins coverage of the women’s individual foil competition at 3 a.m.
At the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles is training at the gymnastics facility. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
Simone Biles was asked to pick the happiest moment of her career in a phone interview approximately a week before departing for the Tokyo Olympics.
“It’s probably my time off,” she said.
It was a powerful statement coming from the most decorated gymnast in history, a woman who transformed the sport.
Biles accomplished everything her sport and nation expected of her five years ago. She helped the United States women’s gymnastics team win its third straight team Olympic gold medal and then won three individual gold medals in the all-around, vault, and floor exercise, all while wearing a red, white, and blue ribbon in her hair. She emerged as America’s darling from those Games, the itchy sash worn by every outstanding American female gymnast.
Then, only weeks after she returned from Rio, it was revealed that those in charge of protecting gymnasts and maintaining the sport’s integrity had failed miserably, exposing an ingrained culture of physical and mental abuse.
Lawrence G. Nassar, a longstanding national team doctor, assaulted hundreds of female athletes, including many of Biles’ colleagues — and, though she didn’t know it at the time, Biles herself.
She has said that she feels deceived, which exacerbates the original pain. Despite this, she has managed to put those emotions aside and embrace her newfound power as an independent Black woman who knows her value and has no one to answer to. She has joined top Black female athletes like Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams in exercising her power in sports and culture, and she is no longer simply a sweetie.
Biles is the only Nassar victim, at least the only one who has come out publicly, who will participate in Tokyo, in a display of defiance and resilience in a sport that has traditionally required compliance from its young competitors.
“I’m going to go out there and represent the United States of America, the World Champions Centre, and Black and brown girls all around the world,” she stated over the phone. “At the end of the day, I’m not representing the United States of America Gymnastics.”
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Table tennis, gymnastics, and swimming were among the 23 sports that began competition on Saturday in Tokyo. Here are some of the finest pictures taken on the ground by the New York Times crew.
Naomi Osaka is a supernova, perhaps the most well-known female athlete not named Serena Williams on the world. Credit… The New York Times/Hiroko Masuike
The Tokyo Olympics are finally here, for better or worse. As a result, a tremendous weight will once again rest on the shoulders of a single group of athletes: Black women.
Simone Biles is one of the most talented athletes competing in the Olympics. However, if history repeats itself and she does her most spectacular feats in Tokyo, gymnastics authorities will impose an artificial scoring restriction. Some speculate that this is done to deter other competitors from trying equally risky aerial feats. I believe the sport’s authorities will be unable to cope with her boldness.
Naomi Osaka is a supernova, perhaps the most well-known female athlete on the world who isn’t Serena Williams, Osaka’s hero who wisely chose not to compete in the Olympics. However, if Osaka is not courteous and cordial in her interviews with the media, she will be thrown under the bus, a reaction sparked by her withdrawal from the French Open because she did not want to participate in press conferences there. That pressure is compounded by the fear that if she does not win a gold medal, she would be labeled as either too black or not Japanese enough.
Gwen Berry is a world-class hammer thrower and one of the most outspoken athletes in the fight against racism and inequality. The Olympic authorities, on the other hand, have made it plain that she must behave on the medal podium – or else.
There will be two personalities in these games. They will expose the Olympics’ unscrupulous pursuit of billions of dollars in revenues from sponsorships and broadcast contracts, which has pushed the event onto a Japanese public that wants it canceled due to a spike in coronavirus infections and a state of emergency.
They’ll put on heart-stopping, dramatic performances, despite the fact that no fans will be able to see them live.
They’ll show something different. The system that surrounds and organizes sports, especially the Olympic movement, fails to assist women, especially Black women.
At least 35 of the Japanese Olympic team’s 583 members are multiracial. They will participate in boxing, sailing, running, rugby, and fencing, among other sports, and are medal contenders in tennis and judo.
Rui Hachimura, a basketball player whose mother is Japanese and father is Beninese, and Naomi Osaka, a tennis champion whose father is Haitian American and mother is Japanese, are among the highest-wattage players on Team Japan. Ms. Osaka, 23, ignited the Olympic flame situated atop a set of steps carved into a pyramid shaped like Mount Fuji on Friday.
The fact that two of the opening ceremony’s main parts went to multiracial athletes demonstrates Japan’s eagerness to show the world a varied face. Mr. Hachimura’s and Ms. Osaka’s popularity in Japan had already been verified when Nissin, the instant noodle maker, attached their faces to Cup Noodle packaging, a marketing honor similar to being on a cereal box.
Even while it celebrates the achievements of its “hafu” athletes — “half,” as in half-Japanese and half-something else — Japan must also deal with xenophobia in a culture where race is central to national identity.
Sewon Okazawa, an Olympic welterweight boxer who is the son of a Japanese mother and a Ghanaian father, stated, “My whole life has been a challenge to people around me of what it means to be Japanese.”
Credit: The New York Times/Doug Mills
Katie Ledecky’s dominance has become so regular that her surname has become a verb, meaning “to destroy the competition.” She’s been ledecking away in her specialty – distance swims longer than 400 meters — for almost a decade, seldom encountering a real opponent and definitely nothing approaching a competitor.
She now has one.
Ariarne Titmus of Australia, a brave Tasmanian who speaks big and swims fast, is about to ask Ledecky the one question she’s never had to answer in her two previous Olympic appearances: How will she react to a swimmer who has put a target on her back and taken direct aim at it?
In a pre-Olympic press conference last month, Ledecky, 24, said of Titmus, “I’m confident she’ll be fast, and I’m sure she feels the same about me.”
Titmus, how fast are you? She has recently been a few seconds quicker than Ledecky in both the 200 and 400 meters, events that Ledecky swept four years ago.
Titmus, 20, came within half a second of beating Ledecky’s world record of 3:56.46 in the 400 meters during Australia’s Olympic trials last month. Ledecky swam the distance in 4:01.27 in the US trials in June.
Titmus came within 0.11 of a second of breaking the record in the 200 meters, which was established in 2009 when swimmers were using sleek suits that minimized drag, which are now prohibited. At the US trials, Ledecky raced the 200 freestyle in 1:55.11, almost two seconds slower than the world record.
Apart from her timings, Titmus’s post-trials remarks sent shockwaves across the swimming world.
After Ledecky’s 400-meter race, Titmus remarked of her, “She’s not going to have it all her own way.”
Nyjah Huston worked out in Tokyo’s Ariake Urban Sports Park on Thursday. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee
Skateboarding will make its Olympic debut, although it will resemble other big skate competitions such as the Dew Tour or Street League Skateboarding.
There are two separate disciplines: street and park, each with its own certified participants and assessed by a panel. Consider snowboarding in the Winter Olympics to be similar to slopestyle and halfpipe — small differences in the environment with somewhat different sorts of acrobatics.
The men’s street skateboarding competition will take place on July 25. The following day, on Monday, July 26, there will be a women’s street.
Both of the street events are heavily stacked with favorites. Nyjah Huston of the United States is regarded as the greatest street skater in the world for males. His main opponent is Yuto Horigome of Japan, who defeated Huston in the world championships in June and may become one of his country’s greatest Olympic stars.
A Brazilian sweep in the women’s street competition is possible. Skaters from Japan and the United States, such as Mariah Duran and Alana Smith, may stymie that possibility. But Brazil boasts three of the greatest in the world: Leticia Bufoni, a five-time X Games gold winner, Pamela Rosa, and Rayssa Leal, who is just 13 years old.
Women’s park will be contested on Wednesday, August 4th, towards the conclusion of the Olympics. Men’s park will be held the next day, on Thursday, August 5.
These contests will begin the previous evening on the East Coast and finish after midnight on the West Coast due to the time zone difference. They’ll air on either NBC, CNBC, or the USA Network.
On Sunday, skateboarding makes its Olympic debut. The film’s main star, Nyjah Huston, makes an appearance. Credit… The New York Times/Todd Heisler
CALIFORNIA’S LAGUNA BEACH — Nyjah Huston was speeding between his $3 million home overlooking the Pacific Ocean and his own indoor skatepark, where he was preparing for the Olympics, in his Mercedes coupe.
He was discussing how he got there and, more recently, the gap between public impressions and personal emotions.
Being an adult when you weren’t allowed to be a kid may be difficult. Knowing who your friends are when you didn’t have any as a kid. When you’ve never been inside a classroom before, it’s difficult to learn. And to rebuild trust after your most intimate connection broke on the precipice of maturity.
He sat at a stoplight, idling.
His focus was broken by a little voice. Nyjah shifted his gaze. A little kid stood on the pavement, smiling, nodding, and waving enthusiastically as though seeing Santa in a procession.
“Hello, Nyjah!” says the narrator.
Nyjah grinned, nodded, and pressed the accelerator.
At the age of 26, he joins the ranks of LeBron James, Tiger Woods, and Serena Williams as single-named athletes. He is the world’s second most renowned skateboarder. (At 53, Tony Hawk may never relinquish the championship.) For three-quarters of his life, he has been famous.
However, a new audience will be introduced to Nyjah when skateboarding makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo, beginning with the men’s street category on Sunday.
Nyjah has never competed in the Olympics before, nor has he ever had a tale like his.
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