Rising COVID-19 cases among athletes have become a concern at the Tokyo Olympics days before the Opening Ceremony. While cases among athletes continue to pop up, the director of the World Health Organization says the Games should go on.
“The Games should go ahead to demonstrate what can be achieved with the right plan and safety measures. He said the Olympics have the power to bring the world together and to inspire and show what’s possible,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom said.
The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for Friday evening in Japan with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden in route to attend.
Olympic action has already begun though. It started with a stunner in soccer for the U.S. Women’s National Team. The team getting routed by Sweden in their first match of group play.
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“We got our ass kicked. We just looked a little bit nervous. I think we played a little bit tight –we don’t ever need to play that way. I don’t know if we’ve been cooped up or just excited or a long wait, but [Sweden’s] had the same thing. Taking this one in stride, we got bopped. We got to take that on the chin and move forward,” forward Megan Rapino said after the match.
Only two teams in Olympic history have won the gold medal after losing their opening match of the tournament. Norway in 2000 and the U.S. women’s team in 2008 in Beijing.
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North Texas athletes are also making their way to Tokyo. Unlike in years past, athletes will be arriving at different times to keep the number of people in the athlete village down to a minimum due to COVID concerns. Vincent Hancock (men’s skeet) and Austen Smith (women’s skeet) have been in Tokyo for a few days getting acclimated to the area. Both will start competition on Sunday, July 25.
Allisha Gray of the Dallas Wings is also in Tokyo. She is part of Team USA’s first 3v3 women’s basketball team. Gray making history in the inaugural Olympics for the event.