After 17 days of competition at the Tokyo Olympics, the United States finished with the most medals won overall and the most gold medals, with its 39 golds just barely beating out China, which won 38. On the last day of the Games, the U.S. women’s volleyball team secured the 39th gold medal, beating out Brazil to win the country’s first gold in the sport.
Two Belarus coaches allegedly involved in attempting to force sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya to return home have had their accreditation rescinded and been asked to leave the Olympic village. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday it had taken the action against Artur Shumak and Yuri Moisevich, who it says also face IOC disciplinary proceedings launched two days ago.
American gymnast and four-time Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles has withdrawn from Thursday’s individual all-around final in Tokyo. Biles, the most successful US gymnast of all time, said she had to focus on her mental health after pulling out of the women’s team final on Tuesday. The 24-year-old has reached all five individual finals in Tokyo.
The Tokyo Olympics opens on Friday with a ceremony reflecting a Games like no other, walking a fine line between celebrating the feats of the world’s best athletes while acknowledging the global hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Postponed for a year, organizers were forced to take the unprecedented step of holding the Games without fans as the pandemic continues to take lives around the world.
The show director of the Olympics opening ceremony has been dismissed, one day before the event is due to be held. Footage of Kentaro Kobayashi from the 1990s recently emerged in which he appears to be making jokes about the Holocaust. Japan’s Olympic chief Seiko Hashimoto said the video ridiculed “painful facts of history”. The dismissal is the latest in a string of scandals to hit the Games.
An alternate on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team tested positive on Monday for the coronavirus just days before the Tokyo Olympics was set to begin, according to American Olympic officials. The gymnast, who authorities did not publicly identify, tested positive while training for the games in Narita, about 35 miles east of Tokyo, according to city officials. She is between the age of 10 and 19.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has called Tokyo the “best ever prepared city” to host the Olympics with 10 days to go until the opening ceremony. Tuesday also marked the opening of the Olympic village, where the majority of athletes will stay during the course of the Games. Over 11,000 athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees will compete in Tokyo with around 85 percent vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the IOC.
Thousands of Japanese spectators will be allowed to attend events at the Olympic Games this summer, organizers said on Monday, despite warnings from health experts that crowds risk fuelling a surge in coronavirus cases. The president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, Seiko Hashimoto, said attendance would be capped at up to 50% of a venue’s capacity or a maximum of 10,000 people.
Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto is “100%” certain the Olympics will go ahead, but warned the Games “must be prepared” to proceed without spectators in the event of a coronavirus outbreak. There are 50 days until the delayed Tokyo Games begin on 23 July. Japan is dealing with a fourth wave of coronavirus cases, with 10 areas of the country under a state of emergency.
More than 230,000 people have signed a Japanese petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled in the two days since it was launched online, as public concerns mount over holding the showpiece event during a pandemic. With 11 weeks to go before the start of the Games, already postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus, questions remain over how Tokyo can host the global gathering while keeping volunteers, athletes, officials and the Japanese public safe from COVID-19.