July23 , 2021

It is the second day of Olympic competitors in Tokyo. Here is what you need to know

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Kelsey Jenkins #1 of Group Canada high-fives teammates earlier than their recreation in opposition to Group United States in the course of the Softball Opening Spherical of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium on July 22. Yuichi Masuda/Getty Picture

The Olympics formally kick off Friday night time in Tokyo with the opening ceremony, however competitors on the pandemic-delayed Summer time Video games is already underway.

Here is what you’ll want 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 optimistic both of their house international locations or upon arrival in Japan. Dozens of circumstances 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 might be held efficiently with the protection measures in place.

Nonetheless, issues look remarkably completely different than years previous. The practically empty stadiums during which athletes are competing are a relentless visible reminder of the pandemic’s toll. Tomorrow’s festivities could look much more barren. Organizers mentioned solely 950 VIPs will attend the opening ceremony, held in a stadium with 68,000 seats.

Japan’s high 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 Basic Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned in a speech in Tokyo forward of the Video games. “The celebrations could also be extra muted this 12 months, however the message of hope is all of the extra necessary.”

Activist athletes: 5 girls’s soccer groups protested in opposition to racism forward of their opening matches: Nice Britain, Chile, the US, Sweden and New Zealand. Australia’s crew 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 have been standing up for human rights.

Softball, soccer and capturing: The schedule at the moment is lighter than a traditional Olympic day, however listed here are among the highlights:

  • The highest-seeded US softball crew takes on Canada, which is ranked third
  • Males’s soccer begins with eight matches within the afternoon and night Japan time
  • Official capturing coaching will happen on the Asaka Capturing Vary.