The latest on the Tokyo Olympics. They are now under severe restrictions following a year-long delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony has begun with a spectacular display of fireworks and indigo lighting up the night sky.
It all began with one female athlete kneeling in the middle of the stadium. The shadow behind her took on the form of a seedling as she walked, and she was able to see it growing as she stood. A variety of athletes were included in the video, which began with the moment Tokyo won the Olympic bid 2013 and then progressed to images of a pandemic-ravaged world.
The fireworks followed, a 20 second blast of light — as though to announce that the Olympics had finally come out of dark times.
The International Olympic Committee released the order for the parade of nations and names of all flagbearers.
According to Olympic tradition, Greece enters first. It’s a tradition that the host nation enters first, so it will likely take at least a few hours before Yui Susaki (Japan) and Rui Hachimura (Japan) lead their national contingent into stadium.
The parade’s second place goes to the Refugee Olympic team. The order of the Japanese alphabet determines which other countries are included in the group. For example, Iceland and Ireland go before Azerbaijan.
According to the IOC, 206 teams (205 nations plus the refugee team) will participate in the opening ceremony. Volunteers will be able to carry flags from some nations. Some nations will only have one flagbearer. Two will be the norm for most countries, with one male and one woman chosen to take on this role.
Tokyo 2020’s opening ceremony will begin in 364 days, which is behind schedule. It has a completely different feel to what was planned before the pandemic.
The Olympic Stadium is almost empty. Outside the front gates, there is no souvenir shop for Tokyo 2020. Fans have not stayed away, however. Many hundreds of people gathered at the gates and on the streets to wave at anyone with an Olympic credential, or any vehicle bearing an Olympic logo.
Later in these games, track and field events will take place in the stadium. For the opening ceremony, the track is covered in a large black tarp. The infield is covered in a white tarp. Graphics will be displayed throughout the evening.
A few dignitaries, as well as invited guests, will be present in the stadium seats. This includes Jill Biden, U.S. first Lady.
Six Polish swimmers returned home from the Olympics before they even began. Their dreams were thwarted by Tokyo sending too many athletes.
Only 17 Polish swimmers qualified for the Tokyo Games. 23 swimmers from Poland were flown by their swimming federation to Japan. This caused outrage among the many who were denied the chance to compete.
Alicja Tchorz, a two-time Olympian, was one of those sent home. She vented on social media about the sacrifices she made in order to get another chance at the Summer Games. But it was a complete flop.
The team demanded that Pawel Slominski, president of the Polish Swimming Federation, resign. He also issued his own statement, expressing regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation of the athletes.
Slominski stated that there was confusion about the qualifying rules, and that he was simply trying to allow as many athletes and coaches to participate in the Olympics.
Olympic officials have moved scheduled rowing events from Monday to Sunday because of the bad weather forecast in Tokyo for Monday.
Officials warn that rain, strong winds, and strong gusts could create unrowable conditions at Tokyo Bay’s Sea Forest Waterway.
This change will affect the semifinals of single and double sculls for men and women, as well as repechage for men’s or women’s fours. Also, the Sunday opening heats for both men’s 8s and women’s 8s were moved to Saturday.
Kaylee McKeown, an Australian swimmer, has unexpectedly pulled out of one of her top events due to a hectic schedule at the Tokyo Olympics.
McKeown won the 200-meter individual Medley. She’s currently ranked No. McKeown was ranked No. 1 in the world, and would have been a favourite to win a medal. Instead, she will focus on her backstroke events as well as the relays.
Rohan Taylor, an Australian coach, said that it was a challenge for a rookie to enter the Olympics.
The 200 IM semifinal heats will be Monday night, while the 100 back final will take place the following morning. Taylor said that timing could be difficult so it was decided to drop the individual Medley.
McKeown, a 20-year old swimmer, set a new world record in the 100 meters at the Australian trials last month. He will be a strong contender for the gold medal in that event.
According to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, about 100 of the 613 U.S. Olympic athletes who will be arriving in Tokyo for the Olympics have not been vaccinated.
Jonathan Finnoff, the medical director of American Athletics, said that 567 athletes had completed their health histories before they left for the trip. Finnoff estimated that 83% of them had answered yes to being vaccinated.
Finnoff claims that 83 percent is a significant number, and the committee is happy with this.
Nationally, 56.3% have had at least one dose.
According to the International Olympic Committee, around 85% of Olympic Village residents are currently vaccinated. This number is based on the information provided by each country’s Olympic Committee, but it cannot be independently verified.
An San from South Korea broke the Olympic women’s archery record by scoring 680 in qualifying rounds on a hot, humid day.
Her score was higher than the 673 set in 1996 by Lina Herasymenko, Ukraine. Kang Chae Young (675) and Jang Minhee (677 respectively were the second and third place finishes for An San.
Svetlana, an archer for the Russian Olympic Committee, collapsed under intense heat. She was treated by medical personnel. Temperatures reached over 30° Celsius (86° Fahrenheit).
Kim Je Deok from South Korea was the winner of the men’s qualifying round with 688. Brady Ellison, United States, came second (682), and Oh Jin Hyek, South Korea, third (681).
Saturday will see the Olympic debut of mixed team events. Next Friday’s women’s single competition will be held, and the next day the men’s single event.
Tokyo has seen about 50 protestors gather to call for the cancellation of the Olympics.
Friday night local time will be the opening ceremony
Protesters gathered in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building chanting “no” and “save lives”. They also held signs that read “cancel the Olympics.”
The Games are moving forward a year later than expected, with a large number of spectators absent and opposition from many of the host nations.
As fears grew about worsening infection during the Games, Tokyo saw a six-month record in COVID-19 new cases. However, Japan has a much lower proportion of deaths and cases than many other countries.
To prevent the spread coronavirus infections, the opening ceremony will not be attended by spectators. However, some guests, officials and media will attend.
Jill Biden met with several U.S. athletes to meet and greet them before the Tokyo Games.
The first lady of the United States is visiting Tokyo to support the athletes, and attend the opening ceremony.
She spoke virtually with Eddy Alvarez (a short track speed skater and baseball player) and Sue Bird (a basketball player). Both will serve as flagbearers of the United States at the opening ceremony. Allison Schmitt is a four-time Olympic swimmer who is also a mental health advocate.
Biden explained to the athletes that they had given up a lot in order to travel to Tokyo, and that they relied on support from their families and friends.
She will dedicate Saturday a room at the U.S. chief for mission to former U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and his wife, Irene Hirano Inouye.
For staff and their families, she will host a U.S. vs. Mexico softball watch party at U.S. Embassy. She will also cheer on U.S. athletes competing before they leave Tokyo.
Lebogang Shange, a South African race walker, has been banned from doping for four years and will not be able to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
The ex-African champion was entered in Aug. 5’s men’s 20-kilometer race. Tokyo’s Court of Arbitration for Sport decided the case.
Shange, a 30-year-old man, was found to have tested positive for trenbolone. He was temporarily suspended in December 2019. His ban will expire prior to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
According to the Swiss Olympic team, Kariem Hussein, 400-meter hurdler for Switzerland, has been banned from competing in the Olympics for nine months after testing positive.
The event at Tokyo Games saw the entry of the 2014 European champion. Next Friday’s heats begin. It is not clear if Hussein’s replacement will be in the 40-athlete roster.
The tribunal of the Swiss Olympic body backed the ban by one week. This was from the time Hussein was provisionally suspended. The reason for the suspension was not disclosed.
Tokyo Olympic organizers reported 25 new COVID-19 instances. Three of these cases are from athletes who were announced Thursday.
There are 13 athletes in the 110 Olympic-accredited individuals who have tested positive in Japan from July 1st.
The latest update included three media workers who had traveled from overseas to Japan.
The Olympic tennis tournament’s opening match between Naomi Osaka and David Ferrer has been moved from Saturday to Sunday.
The organizers did not immediately give a reason for the change. They stated that the move was made by the tournament referee.
Osaka was originally set to face Zheng Saisai, China’s 52nd-ranked in the first contest of the Games at center court Saturday morning.
Osaka could have played a part in Friday’s opening ceremony. This could explain why the move was made. She wouldn’t have much time to rest before Saturday’s match.
Osaka will be competing for the first time since she pulled out of the French Open after the first round because she needed to rest her mind.
She is a top athlete in Japan.
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, several Russian athletes were excluded from the Tokyo Olympics due to doping suspicions. This was based on evidence from a Moscow-based testing laboratory that was closed in 2015.
Olivier Niggli, WADA’s director general, says that the agency intervened with sporting bodies to ensure that those athletes were not chosen.
As punishment for state tampering in the Moscow laboratory’s database, 335 Russian athletes have been accredited to Tokyo. They are competing without a flag or anthem. The Russian Olympic Committee’s acronym ROC is used for the team name without the “Russia” part.
Last December, the Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed an identity ban on the Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
The key to bringing closure on the Russian-backed doping scandal was giving WADA access to the laboratory’s database and samples.
WADA had a list with around 300 suspect athletes and provided evidence to Olympic sport bodies in possible disciplinary cases.
Niggli said that “we crossed-checked everything we had from this lengthy list” in order to make sure athletes weren’t selected for Tokyo.
Svetlana, a Russian archer, lost consciousness in intense heat during a competition at Tokyo Olympics.
Stanislav Popov, coach of Gomboeva, stated in comments to the Russian Olympic Committee (via the Russian Olympic Committee) that Gomboeva fell shortly after finishing the qualifying round on Friday.
Popov claims that she couldn’t bear the heat for a whole day and that humidity made it worse. Temperatures in Tokyo were above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Organisers moved the marathons and other race-walking events from Tokyo to Sapporo because of the heat.
After the U.S. Olympic Committee restricted the number of players allowed to participate in the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremonies, Jesse Smith, the U.S. men’s water polo team captain, will not be able to attend.
The Olympic water polo rosters are made up of 13 players. Twelve are available for each game. Smith stated that the USOPC told Smith that the team could have 12 credentialed competitors walk in the ceremony.
Smith posted on Twitter, “We tried keeping our team together, and changing it with every constructive outlet but we were unsuccessful, and now it is time to refocus and get game ready.” “So tonight, I’m sending my team out to represent (the United States), proudly and take in every moment. Let’s get going boys!
Smith, 38 years old, is competing in his fifth Olympics. He matches Tony Azevedo’s record for the most Olympic teams for a U.S. Water Polo athlete. Before Eddy Alvarez, a baseball player, was chosen to be the U.S. flag bearer male for the opening ceremony.
After protests from Ukraine, a map on the Olympic website was changed to reflect a border crossing the Crimean Peninsula.
This map is part of the “Cheer Zone”, which tracks how people around the world support different teams at Tokyo Games.
Late Thursday, the map showed a black line running across Crimea’s top in the same way as national borders. Friday morning was the last day of the line. In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea to Ukraine. It is still considered Ukrainian territory by Ukraine.
In an e-mail, the Ukrainian Embassy in Japan informs the Associated Press that it has protested to Japan’s IOC and that the map was corrected.
Michal Schlegel, a road cyclist from Czech Republic, is the fourth athlete to be positive in this sport before the Tokyo Games.
Schlegel was positive for the team’s Izu training base and will be absent from Saturday’s road race.
Czech Olympic Committee stated Friday in a statement that Schlegel was in isolation and that Zdenek Stebar and Michael Kukrle will be their only riders at Musashinonomori Park to compete in the first Summer Games medal event.
Marketa Slukova, Ondrej Perusic, and Pavel Sirucek, Czech table tennis players, were also positive earlier in the week. The Czech Olympic team has been prompted to investigate whether the outbreak could be linked to the chartered flight from Prague to Tokyo.