Olympic Events Begin in Full Force

After a yearlong delay, the Olympics began Friday with a scaled-back but still celebratory opening ceremony. Themed “United by Emotion,” the event featured fireworks, musical performances and a cauldron-lighting ceremony executed by Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka.

Now that the Summer Olympics are under way, viewing opportunities are plentiful. After the cauldron was lit, the competition began an inaugural weekend schedule that includes rowing, 3-on-3 basketball, women’s soccer, women’s basketball, tennis, swimming and more. The first 24 hours of the Games include events in more than 20 sporting categories.   

Viewers aren’t the only ones exhausted by the lineup. U.S. Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky has a hectic competition schedule, competing in the 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle events and the 4x200 free relay.  

“It is a lot,” Ledecky told The Japan Times. “I try to just take it one race at a time.”  

Highlights this weekend include the Olympic debut of the 3-on-3 basketball event. Eight women’s and men’s teams will compete in games played on a half basketball court. The aim is to be the first team to score 21 points or have the leading score after the 10-minute game. 

Men’s gymnastics qualifications begin Friday. The competitors are divided into three groups, with U.S. gymnasts Brody Malone, Sam Mikulak, Yul Moldauer, Shane Wiskus and Alec Yoder placed in the final subdivision airing on Saturday.

British Olympian Helen Glover is competing Friday with rowing partner Polly Swann in the coxless pair heat. Glover won gold medals in the coxless pair events at the 2012 London Games and 2016 Rio Games but called her comeback “highly unlikely” after pausing her elite rowing career for four years.

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