The Olympics formally kick off Friday night time in Tokyo with the opening ceremony, however competitors on the pandemic-delayed Summer season Video games is already underway.
Here is what it’s worthwhile to know forward of the second day of occasions:
Covid retains coming: The challenges of holding one of many world’s most prestigious sporting competitions throughout a pandemic have by no means been extra clear. A number of athletes have seen their desires dashed after testing constructive both of their residence nations or upon arrival in Japan. Dozens of instances in Japan have been tied to the Video games.
With just a little greater than 24 hours to go till the opening ceremony, organizers proceed to exude confidence the Olympics will be held efficiently with the security measures in place.
Nonetheless, issues look remarkably completely different than years previous. The practically empty stadiums wherein athletes are competing are a relentless visible reminder of the pandemic’s toll. Tomorrow’s festivities might look much more barren. Native media is reporting that solely 950 VIPs will attend the opening ceremony, held in a stadium with 68,000 seats.
Japan’s prime Olympic official didn’t rule out a last-minute cancellation, however issues seem like going forward as deliberate.
“The world wants now greater than ever a celebration of hope,” World Well being Group Director Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned in a speech in Tokyo forward of the Video games. “The celebrations could also be extra muted this yr, however the message of hope is all of the extra vital.”
Activist athletes: 5 girls’s soccer groups protested towards racism forward of their opening matches: Nice Britain, Chile, the USA, Sweden and New Zealand. Australia’s group remained standing with their arms locked collectively and posed for a pre-game photograph with the nation’s Indigenous flag.
Swedish defender Amanda Ilestedt mentioned after the match they had been standing up for human rights.
Softball, soccer and taking pictures: The schedule at present is lighter than a standard Olympic day, however listed here are a few of the highlights:
- The highest-seeded US softball group takes on Canada, which is ranked third
- Males’s soccer begins with eight matches within the afternoon and night Japan time
- Official taking pictures coaching will happen on the Asaka Taking pictures Vary.