August 11, 2022

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Olympics 2021 — First gold given, plus updates from all the action in Tokyo

Olympics 2021 -- First gold given, plus updates from all the action in Tokyo

The Olympic Games are officially underway in Tokyo. Following an eventful, if different, opening ceremony, and Naomi Osaka shining as she lit the Olympic torch, it was time to get to the action.

Team USA boasts a stacked roster of 613 athletes in 36 disciplines. That is the second-most Olympic athletes in United States history, trailing only the 1996 Atlanta Games, when America had a contingent of 646 athletes.

Still adjusting to the time difference in Tokyo? Did you miss something from Day 1? We’ve got you covered.

USWNT back to its winning ways

After suffering a stunning loss to Sweden in group play, the American soccer team returned to action against New Zealand. Team USA cruised to a 6-1 win.

That was Rose Lavelle’s 10th goal for the USWNT. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the U.S. has won all nine games Lavelle has scored in.

ESPN FC’s Caitlin Murray writes that there’s still something lacking from Team USA, even after thumping New Zealand.

Next up for the Americans is Australia on Tuesday morning.


A swimming stunner

Japanese swimmer Daiya Seto failed to qualify for the men’s 400-meter individual medley final. Seto is the reigning world champion and held the fastest time in the world before the Olympics.

Elsewhere, Australian swimmer Emma Mckeon, who is aiming for seven medals, made her return to the Olympic pool.

American Katie Ledecky, seeking her own epic Olympic feat, and Caeleb Dressel, who could win seven golds in Tokyo, will highlight the swimming action Saturday.


‘King Kohei’s’ reign is over

The reign of Japan’s “King Kohei” Uchimura, two-time Olympics all-around gymnastics champion and holder of seven Olympic medals, came to an abrupt end on Saturday morning when he failed to qualify for the apparatus final, closing his storied Olympic career.

Uchimura is competing in his fourth Olympics.


Osterman is back

Team USA and University of Texas softball legend Cat Osterman made her return to the Olympic pitching circle early Saturday.

The 38-year-old pitched six innings of one-hit ball and Monica Abbott struck out the side in the seventh, helping the top-ranked U.S. shut out No. 5 Mexico 2-0 on Saturday.

Team Mexico, by the way, featured pitcher Danielle O’Toole, who will have a cameo in the upcoming “Jackass Forever” movie.


Djokovic is enjoying himself

Novak Djokovic is trying for the elusive “Golden Slam” and cruised (6-2, 6-2) in his opening round match against Bolivian Hugo Dellien. He also took some time to, impressively, work on his flexibility with the Belgian gymnastics team.


Nigerian first

China earns first gold of Games

China’s Yang Qian won the first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics, taking the top spot in the women’s 10-meter air rifle.

Yang overtook Russia’s Anastasiia Galashina when she missed the center two rings for an 8.9 on her final shot.

Yang had a 9.8 on her final shot and finished with an Olympic record 251.8. Galashina finished at 251.1.

Naomi Osaka lights the torch

Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion and one of the superstars of the Games, joined Muhammad Ali, Steve Nash, Wayne Gretzky, Rafer Johnson and the 1980 U.S. men’s hockey team as Olympians who have had the distinguished honor of lighting the cauldron.

Willis: Osaka shines in closing the opening ceremony.


Team USA sings HBD to KD

It’s not even his birthday? Team USA made a point of trolling NBA superstar Kevin Durant by serenading him with a very public and very loud rendition of “Happy Birthday.” For those who think this could have been a pure gesture, we must inform you that Durant’s birthday isn’t until September.


Pre-parade fit check

Team USA showed off its look before marching in the opening ceremonies at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Friday.


‘Let’s just take a moment’

Returning for his third Olympics as the flag-bearer for Tonga, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, Pita Taufatofua is always a crowd pleaser. His appearance prompted NBC’s Savannah Guthrie to say, “Let’s just take a moment.”


NBA’s Hachimura carries flag for hosts

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura carried the flag for Japan at the opening ceremony. Hachimura was the No. 9 pick of the 2019 NBA draft out of Gonzaga.


A new look for hoops


Konnichiwa from FLOTUS


Team USA’s water wall

Team USA women’s water polo goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson allowed her team to take a commanding lead over Japan. Johnson finished with 15 saves. The Americans defeated the host nation 25-4 in the first match of Group B.