It’s Saturday, July 24 – the official first day of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Here’s what you need to know.
Newly announced Covid-19 cases: The global pandemic has postponed the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by a year, and although the Games have finally begun, Covid-19 is still creating difficulties for athletes and organizers.
There were 127 Olympics-related Covid-19 cases as of Saturday, with another 17 new infections announced in the previous 24 hours. Although Tokyo 2020 officials did not disclose which nationalities were affected, some athletes and teams are making their own announcements.
One example is Dutch rower Finn Florijn, whose Olympic dream was scuttled after he tested positive for Covid-19 in Japan on Friday. In a statement released by the Dutch team, Florjin said his Olympic journey was “end immediately.”
“Rays of Hope”: The Olympic Opening Ceremony went smoothly on Friday night, including a spectacular drone show, John Lennon’s “Imagine” and of course the traditional parade of athletes through the Olympic Stadium.
Amy Bass, a professor of sports studies in the US, said the event provides “ray of hope” for what has been a difficult Olympics so far.
The Olympic flame was lit by Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, a chosen Olympics organizer, said to reflect “a message of diversity and inclusion.” In a tweet, Osaka said lighting the Olympic flame was “without a doubt the greatest athlete achievement and honor I have had in my life.”
What is true with the schedule: The opening day of Tokyo 2020 had an impressive start when the first official gold medal of the Games belonged to Chinese athlete Yang Qian in the women’s 10m air rifle event.
More events are scheduled for Saturday and Friday evenings US time, including the start of swimming, table tennis and water polo competitions. Medals for cycling, fencing, judo, taekwondo and weightlifting are also expected to be awarded on Saturday.
The full Olympics schedule can be found this.
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