What You Should Know About This Year’s Olympics
After a yearlong postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Summer Olympics is happening. The Summer 2021 Olympics will be occurring in Tokyo, Japan, despite the ongoing spread and concern of COVID-19. First thing you need to know – although it is happening in 2021, it will be called the Games of the XXXII Olympiad.
COVID-19, live audience or no live audience?
Believe it or not, most Japanese public would prefer that the Olympic games be canceled; however, organizers are pushing hard for the event to go on as scheduled. Because of the uncertainty, all the athletes are training like it is most definitely happening. Spectators will be watching remote this year.
When is the Summer Olympics 2021?
The Tokyo Olympics will begin on Friday, July 23, with the opening ceremony held at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium. NBC will be broadcasting the entire opening ceremony, which will start at 6:55 a.m. E.T. The Summer Olympics will span 17 days with the closing ceremony on Sunday, August 8. Current plans do not include fans at the Olympic stadium, but the issue is still being decided.
List of Summer Olympics 2021 events
There will be six new sports, four of which will be their Olympic debut:
- Sport climbing
- Baseball (returning sport)
- Softball (returning sport)
There will also be a series of new exhibition events, such as 3-on-3 basketball and mixed-gender relays in swimming, among many other sports.
Background on the Olympic Games
The Olympic Games first originated in ancient Greece in 776 BC. It has become the world’s most prominent sporting competition! The games were held every four years in Olympia, located in the western Peloponnese peninsula in honor of the god Zeus.
The first modern Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens and featured 280 participants from 13 nations, including all 43 events. Since 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games have been held separately and have alternated every two years. Summer events included track and field, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, cycling, tennis, weightlifting, shooting, and fencing.
The Olympics took off as an international sporting event after 1924 when the Games of VIII Olympiad were held in Paris. 3,000 athletes, with more than 100 women among them, from 44 nations competed that year, and for the first time, the Games featured a closing ceremony.
The Winter Olympics debuted that year, including figure skating, ice hockey, bobsledding, and the biathlon. Eighty years later, when the 2004 Summer Olympics returned to Athens (for the first time in more than a century), nearly 11,000 athletes from a record 201 countries.
The Boys in the Boat
Daniel James Brown
My favorite book about the Olympic Games is The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. This non-fiction novel was first published on June 4, 2013.
The story takes place in the 1930s where the United States was in the middle of the Great Depression – a significant chunk of America’s population was unemployed. The main character, Joe Rantz, had a harsh childhood and tried to escape the working-class family from a small town. After enrolling at the University of Washington, Rantz tried out for the crew team. His hard work had paid off, and he joined the Washington varsity team, where he earned a spot on the American Olympic crew team.
After a tragic incident with his teammates, the American team had regrouped and won the Olympic gold. After years of loneliness and insecurity, he finally felt that he was a part of something great. This book is truly inspiring, and I recommend reading it.
Mystery at the Olympics: Rush for the Gold
The Mystery at the Olympics: Rush for the Gold by John Feinstein was first published in 2012. Feinstein is a New York Times bestselling author of traditional sports books. The novel is based at the London 2012 Summer Games.
The main character is Susan Carol Anderson, who is a competitive swimmer. Anderson soon becomes in high demand due to her looks and swimming ability but finds it challenging to keep up with her fast-paced life. Both sexuality and sexism are prevalent within this book.
Several rules within the Olympics begin to pop up regarding exclusion versus availability to the public, in an effort to protect athletes. Everyone wants a piece of Anderson’s success – agents, sponsors, and the media. How far will they go to ensure that America’s newest Olympic darling wins the gold? You’ll have to read it to see!
Running for My Life: One Lost Boys Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games
Running for My Life: One Lost Boys Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games was written by Lopez Lomong was first published on July 16, 2012.
The main character is Lopez Lomong, who is born in a small Sudanese village of Kimotong. His parents unconventionally named him Lopepe, which means “fast” in their native language. He and his family lived in a mud hut with no running water or electricity. His village had no school and his parents were illiterate.
Sudanese rebels were training their captives to be soldiers when three older boys engineered an escape and took Lomong with them. After the 2000 Olympics, the U.S. accepted 3,500 “lost boys” from Sudan, which included Lomong. After he made it through the selection process, he lived with a family in Upstate New York.
This book is about achieving the impossible. It is also about faith and the desire to give back to the world. This book powerfully demonstrates the American Dream and reminds us that saving even one person can save thousands more. I love this book because of the true story it tells of one’s life and how someone who comes from nothing can turn their life into something unimaginable. I recommend anyone reading this book.
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