The Olympics only started on Friday and it has already brought us many beautiful moments and surprises. Here’s what you need to know on the first Monday of Tokyo 2020 (in 2021).
Do the Japanese participate in the games? The Japanese government’s decision to go ahead with the Olympics was unpopular at home. Petition to cancel matching 350,000 signatures in May. Before the Games officially began on Friday, nearly eight in 10 people (78%) in Japan said they did not think the Olympics should go ahead as planned, Scan Ipsos MORI.
But has the spirit of the Olympic Games proven to be contagious? Japan did particularly well during the first weekend of the competition, taking home five gold medals – including Go Skateboarding for the first time. Only China, with six countries, has more.
Some people went to outdoor events even though they were not allowed in. According to Yiannis Exarchus, CEO of Olympic Broadcasting Services, more than 70 million people attended the opening ceremony in the country.
“The interest in games is booming,” he said. “Even today I think more than 80% of Japanese have watched some matches.”
Big surprises and annoyances: It’s only been a few days and the Olympics have already given us happy tales of victory and the human accomplishments for which they are so famous.
Austria recalled Anna Kissenhofer’s life span to outsmart the big names and win the women’s road race. She started the sport only in 2014 and does not currently have a professional contract.
Tunisian Ahmed Hefnaoui shocked the world of swimming by winning the gold medal in the 400m freestyle. In the preliminary round, he qualified eighth with the slowest qualifying time among all the finalists.
The American men’s basketball team, with its NBA stars, lost its first game to France on Sunday night. The French used the size of three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and an impressive performance from fellow NBA teammate Evan Fournier to shock the Americans, who were unable to capitalize on multiple attempts to shut down the game.
Some other early adopters: Anastasija Zolotic became the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in taekwondo, and fencing Lee Kiefer was the first American woman to win gold in singles chips.
What’s going on in Japan today:
- swimming: Britain’s Adam Peaty won the gold in the 100m breaststroke, while Ariarn Titmus beat American Katie Ledecky in the 400m freestyle final.
- Skateboarding: From The first gold medal is on the line in the women’s street final.
- Rugby Sevens: Fiji, the winner of Rio 2016, beat hosts Japan 24-19 in the morning, while New Zealand, the other favorite, faced South Korea with a score of 50-5. The second round of matches will take place from 4:30 pm in Japan.
The full program can be found on the Olympic Games website over here.
Evil tv scholar. Proud twitter aficionado. Travel ninja. Hipster-friendly zombie fanatic.