Kelsey Jenkins #1 of Team Canada high-fives teammates before their game against Team United States during the Softball Opening Round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium on July 22.
Kelsey Jenkins #1 of Team Canada high-fives teammates earlier than their recreation towards Team United States throughout the Softball Opening Round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium on July 22. Yuichi Masuda/Getty Image

The Olympics formally kick off Friday evening in Tokyo with the opening ceremony, however competition at the pandemic-delayed Summer Games is already underway.

Here’s what you must know forward of the second day of occasions:

Covid retains coming: The challenges of holding one of the world’s most prestigious sporting competitions throughout a pandemic have by no means been extra clear. Several athletes have seen their desires dashed after testing constructive both in their house nations or upon arrival in Japan. Dozens of instances in Japan have been tied to the Games.

With a bit greater than 24 hours to go till the opening ceremony, organizers proceed to exude confidence the Olympics will be held efficiently with the security measures in place.

Still, issues look remarkably totally different than years previous. The practically empty stadiums in which athletes are competing are a relentless visible reminder of the pandemic’s toll. Tomorrow’s festivities might 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 did not rule out a last-minute cancellation, however issues seem like going forward as deliberate.

“The world needs now more than ever a celebration of hope,” World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a speech in Tokyo ahead of the Games. “The celebrations may be more muted this year, but the message of hope is all the more important.”

Activist athletes: Five ladies’s soccer groups protested towards racism forward of their opening matches: Great Britain, Chile, the United States, 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 had been standing up for human rights.

Softball, soccer and taking pictures: The schedule right now is lighter than a traditional Olympic day, however listed here are some of the highlights:

  • The top-seeded US softball crew takes on Canada, which is ranked third
  • Men’s soccer begins with eight matches in the afternoon and night Japan time
  • Official taking pictures coaching will happen at the Asaka Shooting Range.


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