Basketball star Sue Chicken and baseball participant Eddy Alvarez have been chosen as flag bearers for the US Olympic Group at Friday’s Opening Ceremony — an occasion which will function an anticlimactic begin for the long-delayed Tokyo Video games.
Firstly, the Video games already started days in the past, but it surely’s not fully uncommon for the Olympics to start out earlier than the Opening Ceremony.
What is exclusive is about Friday’s occasion at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium is that in contrast to previous Video games, there will probably be fewer than 1,000 spectators in attendance resulting from coronavirus restrictions. As CNN reported, about 950 VIPs will probably be on the occasion, together with 800 overseas company and 150 from Japan, together with Japanese Emperor Naruhito, who will probably be a part of the proceedings.
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A sundown view of the Japan Nationwide Stadium within the Metropolis of Shinjuku a day earlier than the opening ceremony of the Olympic video games
Basketball star Sue Chicken and baseball participant Eddy Alvarez have been chosen as flag bearers for the US Olympic Group at Friday’s Opening Ceremony. Chicken is the second US ladies’s basketball participant to hold the flag, becoming a member of present coach Daybreak Staley, who did it on the 2004 video games. These had been the primary that Chicken participated in. ‘It is an unimaginable honor to be chosen the flag bearer for Group USA,’ Chicken mentioned. ‘I do know what which means, as a result of I acquired to witness Daybreak Staley undergo it when she was chosen in 2004. It is an honor that’s greater than the second in that you’ve got been chosen by your fellow Group USA athletes to characterize your complete delegation, and it’ll final ceaselessly.’ Chicken will probably be attempting to win an unprecedented fifth gold medal with teammate Diana Taurasi, which might give them essentially the most in golds in ladies’s basketball historical past. Alvarez turns into the primary baseball participant to hold the flag for the US. The game returned to the Video games on the request of Japan after being absent from the earlier two Olympics. He made his main league debut final 12 months with the Miami Marlins, however has been within the minors this 12 months. If the US baseball staff had been to medal, he’d be the one the third American to medal in each the Winter and Summer season Video games, becoming a member of Eddie Egan (boxing and bobsled) and Lauryn Williams (observe and discipline and bobsled)
US gymnasts Jordan Chiles (left) and Simone Biles pose after a coaching session on the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo
First girl Jill Biden arrives on the US army’s Yokota Air Base in Fussa, western Tokyo on Thursday morning
April Ross, from the US, returns a volley throughout ladies’s seaside volleyball observe on the 2020 Summer season Olympics
Viewers hoping to neglect in regards to the final 16 months of the pandemic could need to flip their consideration elsewhere.
Marco Balich, a former Olympic ceremony producer who’s advising the Tokyo Video games, described Friday’s ceremony to Reuters as ‘sobering.’
‘Very Japanese but in addition in sync with the sentiment of as we speak, the truth,’ Balich mentioned.
Alterations to the Opening Ceremony had been understandably unavoidable after 4 years of planning adopted by the chaos of the pandemic, which resulted within the year-long postponement of the Tokyo Video games.
‘Probably the most tough a part of the method was that the postponement meant a simplification of the ceremonies and the message needed to be drastically revised,’ mentioned Takayuki Hioki, an government producer for the ceremonies.
Simone Biles practices on the uneven bars on Thursday
‘After almost 5 years of planning, we discovered ourselves instantly having to rethink all the pieces. This was the largest problem,’ mentioned Hioki.
However the challenges have not cease there.
The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee fired the opening ceremony director Kentaro Kobayashi on Thursday due to a Holocaust joke he made throughout a comedy present in 1998.
After which there’s the potential for extra controversial protests.
Gamers from 5 ladies’s soccer groups kneeled in assist of racial justice Wednesday, the primary day it was allowed on the Olympic Video games after a ban lasting many years. The concession underneath Olympic Constitution Rule 50, which has lengthy prohibited any athlete protest inside occasion venues, was lastly allowed this month by the Worldwide Olympic Committee.
The IOC has tried to reconcile imposing the rule whereas recognizing, and typically celebrating, the long-lasting picture of American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos every elevating a black-gloved fist on the medal podium on the 1968 Mexico Metropolis Olympics.
However the greatest story at Friday’s opening ceremony will stay COVID-19, which is at the moment flourishing in Tokyo.
Town hit one other six-month excessive in new COVID-19 circumstances on Thursday as worries develop of a worsening of infections throughout the Video games.
Thursday’s 1,979 new circumstances are the best since 2,044 had been recorded on January 15.
Group USA’s Kevin Durant warms up throughout a coaching session on the Saitama Tremendous Area in Saitama on Thursday
Evy Leibfarth of Group USA trains on the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre forward of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games on Thursday
Eduardo Alvarez Aznar of Spain takes half within the familiarization for the equestrian dressage occasion on the equestrian Park
The Olympic Rings are pictured as staff put together the house plate space at Yokohamal Stadium in preparation for softball
Members of Japan self-defense pressure examine belongings at a safety gate of the Worldwide Stadium Yokohama
A common view exhibits the 3×3 basketball competitors court docket on the Aomi City Sports activities Park, forward of the 2020 Olympic Video games
Pedestrians stroll previous an enormous show exhibiting information report in regards to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee sacking of Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony director Kentaro Kobayashi, in Tokyo, Japan, 22 July 2021. Only a day earlier than the opening ceremony is because of be held, the organizing committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Video games determined to sack Kentaro Kobayashi, director of the opening and shutting ceremonies, after footage from the late Nineteen Nineties not too long ago emerged of a skit during which he seems making jokes in regards to the Holocaust
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is set to carry the Olympics, positioned Tokyo underneath a state of emergency on July 12, however every day circumstances have sharply elevated since then
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is set to carry the Olympics, positioned Tokyo underneath a state of emergency on July 12, however every day circumstances have sharply elevated since then.
The emergency measures, which largely contain a ban on alcohol gross sales and shorter hours for eating places and bars, are to final till Aug. 22, after the Olympics finish on August 8.
Japan has reported about 853,000 circumstances and 15,100 deaths because the pandemic started, most of them this 12 months. Nonetheless, the variety of circumstances and deaths as a share of the inhabitants are a lot decrease than in lots of different nations.
Past the seating restrictions on the Opening Ceremony, spectators are banned from all venues within the Tokyo space, with restricted audiences allowed at a couple of outlying websites.
The state of affairs has deteriorated so quick that Guinea pulled pulled its 5 athletes from the Tokyo Video games on Thursday.
Minister of Sports activities Sanoussy Bantama Sow made the announcement in a letter Wednesday addressed to the president of the Guinean Olympic committee, blaming the virus and its variants.
‘Because of the resurgence of COVID variants, the federal government, involved with preserving the well being of Guinean athletes, has determined with remorse to cancel Guinea’s participation within the thirty second Olympics scheduled for Tokyo,’ the assertion mentioned.
Simone Biles has unveiled a collection of boundary-pushing components over the past 4 years, and her newest — the Yurchenko double-pike vault, which has solely beforehand been completed in worldwide competitors by males — will develop into the most recent to bear her title within the sport’s Code of Factors if she’s in a position to land it in Japan
Coaching continues for different Olympic athletes, reminiscent of gymnastics star Simone Biles (pictured), who reportedly landed one other Yurchenko Double Pike vault — a transfer so tough it hasn’t been tried in Olympic competitors
US gymnasts (from left) Sunisa Lee, Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum pose after a coaching session
In the meantime, coaching continues for different Olympic athletes, reminiscent of gymnastics star Simone Biles, who reportedly landed one other Yurchenko Double Pike vault — a transfer so tough it hasn’t been tried in Olympic competitors.
The 24-year-old Biles, hasn’t misplaced since 2013, and is among the many 2021 favorites, partially, due to her potential to tug off the transfer, which derives its title from former Soviet gymnast Natalia Yurchenko.
BILES GETS AN EMOJI
A brand new emoji honors Simone Biles
Win or lose, Simone Biles has already claimed a slice of historical past on the Tokyo Olympics.
The reigning all-around champion — long-regarded as the best gymnast of all time — has develop into the primary athlete to be awarded their very own emoji on Twitter.
The social media platform introduced Wednesday that it had given Biles her personal emoji — a goat carrying a leotard and a gold medal.
The image is a reference to Biles’ standing because the ‘G.O.A.T: Best of all time’ — a tag the 24-year-old Olympian has embraced in recent times.
‘Witness greatness. Tweet with greatness,’ the official Twitter Sports activities account wrote in asserting the emoji.
The image is generated by inputting #SimoneBiles or #Simone in Tweets.
Biles not too long ago started competing in a leotard adorned with silver rhinestones within the form of a goat’s head.
The American star — who has dubbed her private goat character ‘Goldie’ — says the leotard design is supposed to encourage others.
‘I simply hope that youngsters rising up watching this do not or aren’t ashamed of being good at no matter they do,’ she mentioned in a latest interview.
‘I would like youngsters to study that, sure, it is okay to acknowledge that you simply’re good and even nice at one thing.’
On Thursday, Biles tried the maneuver twice, rolling her touchdown as soon as and sticking it flawlessly on her second try.
‘I did not assume she was going to do the double pike as we speak,’ coach Annie DiLuzio instructed reporters. ‘Then she got here out and did it and I used to be simply as shocked as everyone else.
‘If she does it like that, we may see it in competitors, I am unsure when.’
Biles has unveiled a collection of boundary-pushing components over the past 4 years, and her newest — the Yurchenko double-pike vault, which has solely beforehand been completed in worldwide competitors by males — will develop into the most recent to bear her title within the sport’s Code of Factors if she’s in a position to land it in Japan.
Sure, Biles is effectively conscious of her affect. She did not get into this attempting to develop into some extent of inspiration. But she’s hardly operating from the duty.
‘When any person is striving for perfection and doing her abilities, it pushes different athletes to know that it is potential and that they’ll do it, too,’ Biles mentioned earlier this month. ‘So, I really feel like I might say now we have reached some extent the place gymnastics is getting tougher and tougher and slightly bit extra harmful. So we’re sort of strolling on eggshells right here, but it surely’s thrilling to look at.’
Sadly for the US, alternate Kara Eaker has examined constructive for COVID-19 in an Olympic coaching camp in Japan.
Al Fong, the non-public coach for each Eaker and fellow Olympic alternate Leanne Wong, confirmed the constructive check in an e-mail to The Related Press on Monday. The coach mentioned Eaker, 18, was vaccinated in opposition to the novel coronavirus two months in the past.
Eaker and Wong have been positioned in isolation.
USA Gymnastics didn’t establish Eaker or Wong however mentioned in a press release the athlete who examined constructive and one other alternate could be topic to further quarantine restrictions.
‘The Olympic athletes moved to separate lodging lodging and a separate coaching facility, as initially deliberate, and can proceed their preparation for the Video games,’ the group mentioned in a press release. ‘The complete delegation continues to be vigilant and can preserve strict protocols whereas they’re in Tokyo.’
The constructive check was the most recent in a rising line of every day reviews of athletes and others testing constructive on the pandemic-delayed Olympics. Eaker is the primary American to check constructive.
‘In alignment with native guidelines and protocols, the athlete has been transferred to a lodge to quarantine,’ the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee mentioned in a press release, citing privateness in not figuring out the person.
The 4 alternates – Eaker, Wong, Kayla DiCello and Emma Malabuyo – traveled to Japan with the six-woman US delegation of world and Olympic champion Biles, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee, MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey.
The constructive check got here after Eaker acquired what was described as a ‘false constructive’ over the weekend. Eaker took a subsequent check that was unfavourable earlier than testing constructive once more a number of instances.
‘Kara is s doing very effectively with no signs,’ Karla Grimes, who works at GAGE Middle, the fitness center within the Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, suburbs the place Eaker trains, mentioned in an e-mail to the AP. ‘She is extremely sturdy and really courageous. Though this can be a very disappointing end result for her, she needs everybody to know she is OK.’
Biles, who can also be the world champion, and the remainder of the common staff have been vaccinated. Skinner, who made the staff within the ‘plus-one spot’ – that means she will compete as a person in Tokyo – following Olympic Trials did battle each COVID-19 and pneumonia final winter.
Alternates have been rooming with different alternates since arriving in Japan, with the aggressive staff rooming with fellow rivals. All Olympic athletes and coaches have been moved to their very own rooms because the constructive check, with the Olympic athletes additionally shifting to a brand new lodge, as was initially deliberate.
Megan Rapinoe of United States vies with Hanna Glas of Sweden within the Ladies’s First Spherical Group G match between Sweden and US throughout the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games at Tokyo Stadium. The US misplaced the sport — their first defeat in 44 matches
The US will probably be represented by flag bearers Chicken, a four-time Olympic ladies’s basketball gold medalist and the accomplice of US soccer star Megan Rapinoe, in addition to Alvarez, a speedskating silver medalist on the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Chicken is the second US ladies’s basketball participant to hold the flag, becoming a member of present coach Daybreak Staley, who did it on the 2004 video games. These had been the primary that Chicken participated in.
‘It is an unimaginable honor to be chosen the flag bearer for Group USA,’ Chicken mentioned. ‘I do know what which means, as a result of I acquired to witness Daybreak Staley undergo it when she was chosen in 2004. It is an honor that’s greater than the second in that you’ve got been chosen by your fellow Group USA athletes to characterize your complete delegation, and it’ll final ceaselessly.’
Chicken will probably be attempting to win an unprecedented fifth gold medal with teammate Diana Taurasi, which might give them essentially the most in golds in ladies’s basketball historical past.
Her accomplice Rapinoe, in the meantime, is hoping for her second gold medal following her 2019 World Cup triumph in France, however the US already dropped its opener to Sweden, 3-0, ending its 44-match profitable streak. The Individuals will proceed within the group stage on Sunday in opposition to New Zealand.
Alvarez turns into the primary baseball participant to hold the flag for the US. The game returned to the Video games on the request of Japan after being absent from the earlier two Olympics.
He made his main league debut final 12 months with the Miami Marlins, however has been within the minors this 12 months. If the US baseball staff had been to medal, he’d be the one the third American to medal in each the Winter and Summer season Video games, becoming a member of Eddie Egan (boxing and bobsled) and Lauryn Williams (observe and discipline and bobsled).
Stefanie Dolson of Group USA practices in 3×3 basketball at Aomi City Sports activities Park forward of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games
US ladies’s seaside volleyball staff sport the identical tiny bikini bottoms that Norwegian gamers had been FINED for not carrying as a result of they felt ‘sexualized’
Gettin’ prepared! Group USA’s ladies’s seaside volleyball staff donned bikini bottoms as they hit the court docket on Monday for a observe session forward of the Summer season Olympics in Tokyo
By Carly Stern for DailyMail.com
Group USA’s ladies’s seaside volleyball staff donned sports activities bras and bikini bottoms as they hit the court docket on Monday for a observe session forward of the Summer season Olympics in Tokyo.
Whereas the tiny, skin-baring uniforms have been round for Olympic Video games previous, this 12 months they’ve confirmed controversial after Norway’s staff refused to put on them for the latest European Championship, claiming the revealing bikini bottoms make them really feel uncomfortable and unnecessarily sexualized.
The Norway staff was slapped with a $1,700 fantastic by the Disciplinary Committee of the European Handball Federation on the identical day the US staff took to the court docket for his or her observe session.
The stiff punishment was slammed by Norway’s Minister for Tradition and Sports activities, Abid Raja, who mentioned: ‘It is utterly ridiculous. What a change of angle is required within the macho and conservative worldwide world of sport.’
Members of Group USA, nevertheless, do not seem to have objections to the skimpy sportswear, with staff members photographed donning them for observe.
Teammates Alexandra Klineman, 31, and April Ross, who turns 39 tomorrow, had been seen training on a volleyball court docket outdoors of the sector on Monday.
Each wore Group USA bikini tops and bottoms that fell inches beneath their navels. They actually confirmed loads of pores and skin, however protected their faces from the solar with sun shades and visors.
The pair have been enjoying collectively since 2018 and ranked quantity two on the earth. Thought of high contenders for medals, they have already got six Federation of Worldwide Volleyball wins.
Ross additionally has an Olympic silver medal from 2012 and a bronze from 2016.
Although neither appeared significantly uncomfortable within the uniform, their Norwegian counterparts have spoken out in opposition to the barely-there outfit.
On the European Seashore Handball Championship in Varna, Bulgaria on Sunday, the teammates donned not bikini bottoms however tight shorts as they confronted off in opposition to Spain.
In doing so, they risked a fantastic of fifty euros per participant per match, in response to Norway’s Katinka Haltvik, quoted by public broadcaster NRK.
Pictured: Norway’s seaside handball staff is going through a fantastic after the gamers refused to put on bikini bottoms in a European Championship match, as an alternative competing in non-regulation shorts
Forward of the European Championship, Norway approached the European Handball Federation to ask for permission to play in shorts, however had been instructed that breaches of the principles had been punishable by fines.
The staff determined to go forward with the shorts anyway, and Norwegian Handball Federation president Kare Geir Lio instructed AFP mentioned that it was ready to pay the fines for the gamers.
‘A very powerful factor is to have gear that athletes are snug with,’ Lio mentioned, including that ‘it needs to be a free selection inside a standardized framework.’
The difficulty has been debated in seaside sports activities circles for a number of years as some gamers discover the bikini degrading or just impractical.
The Norwegian seaside volleyball gamers mentioned they discovered the bikini bottoms too revealing, with the uniform making them really feel unnecessarily sexualized and particularly uncomfortable after they have their intervals.
However guidelines on the event banned shorts, although male gamers are anticipated to put on them.
In bother: By ditching the regulation bikini bottoms, the Norwegian ladies’s staff (pictured in 2017 carrying bikini bottoms) risked a fantastic of fifty euros per participant per match
The principles governing uniforms on the Olympics, nevertheless, are a bit totally different, and permit for gamers to cowl up extra ought to they select to.
Ladies’s tops ‘should match intently to the physique and the design should be with deep cutaway armholes on the again, higher chest and abdomen (2-piece), respecting the area required for the producer emblem, athlete quantity, nation flag/nation code, and the place for the athlete’s title.’
For the bottoms, they’ll put on briefs that ought to ‘be a detailed match and be reduce on an upward angle in the direction of the highest of the leg’ — or they’ll additionally put on a closely-fitting one-piece ‘with open again and higher chest, respecting the area for the required inscriptions to be made.’
Nonetheless, ladies may select to put on shorts that ‘function whole size of 26-28 cm (from waistband) and 26 cm above the knee, and a waistband of 6-7 cm large.’
They will additionally put on a half-sleeve high or knee-length pants, the bottoms of that are ‘ really useful to function whole size of 47 cm (from waistband) and three cm above the knee, and a waistband of 6-7 cm large.’
The principles beforehand required bikinis solely, however had been modified to be extra culturally inclusive. That 12 months, Egypt’s staff performed in long-sleeve shirts and pants.
Norway’s seaside handball staff compete in 2017 in regulation clothes. The difficulty has been debated in seaside sports activities circles for a number of years as some gamers discover the bikini degrading or just impractical