Tokyo Olympics will have no spectators at venues in Tokyo

The Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice wants the rules prohibiting athlete demonstrations at the Olympic and Paralympic Games be changed
Getty Images
1 Comment

The Tokyo Olympics will not have spectators at venues in Tokyo and any areas of the country that are under new measures to combat a rise in coronavirus cases.

“Venues in Tokyo will be not including spectators,” Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic minister Tamayo Marukawa said, according to a translator.

The International Olympic Committee supported the decision in a joint statement with local organizers, the Japanese government and the International Paralympic Committee.

Spectators will be allowed at some venues outside of Tokyo where the measures are not currently in place.

The Opening Ceremony is July 23. Opening and Closing Ceremonies, track and field (except marathons and race walks), swimming and gymnastics are among the events that take place in Tokyo and will not have spectators.

“A very heavy judgment was made,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said, according to a translator. “We are now faced with the COVID-19 [resurgence], so we have no other choice but to hold the Games in a limited way. … We are very sorry we are able to deliver only a limited version of the Games, but we want to have thorough operation to deliver safe and secure Games.”

Competition begins July 21 with softball and soccer games in Fukushima, where spectators are as of now allowed. Fukushima is 150 miles north of Tokyo.

On road events that don’t have spectators in the traditional stadium sense, including road cycling, triathlons, marathons and race walks, “There will be a request for refraining from going to the road side to cheer,” Hashimoto said.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government decided Thursday to issue a what it calls a “state of emergency” from Monday to Aug. 22.

A main focus of the emergency is a request for bars, restaurants and karaoke parlors serving alcohol to close.

Previously, organizers announced that overseas spectators will not be allowed inside Olympic venues.

A decision on spectators for the Tokyo Paralympics, which open Aug. 24, will be taken after the Olympics close Aug. 8.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Birk Irving, last man on Olympic team, extends breakout season with Mammoth win

0 Comments

One year ago, Birk Irving was the last man to make the four-man U.S. Olympic ski halfpipe team. Since, he continued to climb the ranks in arguably the nation’s strongest discipline across skiing and snowboarding.

Irving earned his second World Cup win this season, taking the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California, on Friday.

Irving posted a 94-point final run, edging Canadian Brendan Mackay by one point. David Wise, the two-time Olympic champion who won his fifth X Games Aspen title last Sunday, was third.

A tribute was held to 2015 World champion Kyle Smaine, a U.S. halfpipe skier who died in an avalanche in Japan last Sunday.

“We’re all skiing the best we have because we’re all skiing with Kyle in our hearts,” Irving said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “We’re skiing for him, and we know he’s looking down on us. We miss you Kyle. We love you. Thank you for keeping us safe in the pipe today.”

Irving also won the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on Dec. 17. Plus, the 23-year-old from Colorado had his best career X Games Aspen finish last Sunday, taking second.

The next major event is the world championships in Georgia (the country, not the state) in early March. Irving was third at the last worlds in 2021, then fifth at the Olympics last February.

The U.S. has been the strongest nation in men’s ski halfpipe since it debuted at the Olympics in 2014. Wise won the first two gold medals. Alex Ferreira won silver and bronze at the last two Olympics. Aaron Blunck is a world champion and X Games champion.

Irving is younger than all of them and has beaten all of them at multiple competitions this season.

New Zealand’s Nico Porteous, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, hasn’t competed since the Games after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

In snowboarding events at Mammoth, Americans Julia Marino and Lyon Farrell earned slopestyle wins by posting the top qualification scores. The finals were canceled due to wind.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Olympic 400m champion, announces pregnancy

0 Comments

Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the two-time reigning Olympic 400m champion, announced she is pregnant with her first child.

“New Year, New Blessing,” she posted on social media with husband Maicel Uibo, the 2019 World Championships silver medalist in the decathlon for Estonia. “We can’t wait to meet our little bundle of joy.”

Miller-Uibo, 28, followed her repeat Olympic title in Tokyo by winning her first world indoor and outdoor titles last year.

Also last year, Miller-Uibo said she planned to drop the 400m and focus on the 200m going into the 2024 Paris Games rather than possibly bid to become the first woman to win the same individual Olympic running event three times.

She has plenty of experience in the 200m, making her world championships debut in that event in 2013 and placing fourth. She earned 200m bronze at the 2017 Worlds, was the world’s fastest woman in the event in 2019 and petitioned for a Tokyo Olympic schedule change to make a 200m-400m double easier. The petition was unsuccessful.

She did both races anyway, finishing last in the 200m final, 1.7 seconds behind the penultimate finisher on the same day of the 400m first round.

She did not race the 200m at last July’s worlds, where the 200m and 400m overlapped.

Notable moms to win individual Olympic sprint titles include American Wilma Rudolph, who swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1960 Rome Olympics two years after having daughter Yolanda.

And Dutchwoman Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics, when the mother of two also held world records in the high jump and long jump, two events in which she didn’t compete at those Games.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!