If you come across the 2020 Olympic Games while channel surfing, be aware it isn’t being repeated from last year. It’s being staged one year after its originally scheduled dates.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first time the Games were rescheduled rather than just being canceled. The 2020 Olympics is the fourth held in Japan, the second for Tokyo. The opening ceremony was last Friday and will conclude Aug. 8. COVID remains a divisive issue as polls in Japan show that a large majority of its residents did not want the Games to be held there this summer as positive cases are on the rise.
Interaction between athletes, coaches and staff in the Olympic Village, where a large number of people are housed, is limited and fans are virtually banned from attending the various events. Medal winners are only allowed 30 seconds to take photos without wearing a mask. On a positive note, the Games feature four first-time Olympic sports: karate, skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing. Overall, there are 339 events in 33 sports.
With Japan born tennis star Naomi Osaka eliminated in the third round to 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-4, Simone Biles sharing that she is experiencing mental health issues related to the pressures of high expectations, and the USA men’s basketball team losing to France in the opener, the American Olympic team has had some unexpected results. But Alaskan Lydia Jacoby has given them a boost.
Jacoby, 17, won the women’s 100-meter breaststroke on Monday in 1:04.95, becoming the first American woman to win a gold medal in swimming in these Olympic games. Jacoby defeated Tatjana Schoenmaker from South Africa who was .27 seconds behind her. Jacoby’s U.S. teammate, Lilly King, who was seeking her second consecutive gold medal in this event, came in third, .59 of a second after Jacoby.
Another American taking home gold is Anastasija Zolotic, becoming the United States’ first gold medalist in women’s Taekwondo. The 18-year-old Zolotic, a Florida native of Serbian descent, defeated Russian Tatiana Minina 25-17 on Sunday, winning the featherweight division.
Before each round of a match, Zolotic let out a loud scream as she put on her helmet. It was self-motivating and possibly intimidating. Since she began practicing martial arts, Zolotic has been telling friends and family for years that she would be an Olympic champion one day. She proved to be right, and on her first try.
“I just want the country to be proud of me, to share this flood of emotions,” said a jubilant Zolotic. “It’s unbelievable. It really hasn’t sunk in yet.”