2021 2020 Olympics are underway in Tokyo, Japan, whether they should be or not, and since nearly two weeks worth of 24/7 athletic content seems pretty daunting, I’ve collected all the best moments (so far) for you to check out right here.
This page will be updated with the latest news up top as the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo continue.
Aug 6 – USA Basketball takes home three gold medals
Defeating France 87-82, Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum led the men’s USA Basketball team over a stacked French team of Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, and Nicolas Batum. France had defeated the USA team earlier in the tournament’s preliminary round, but USA was able to rally back for the gold.
“It’s winning time,” Durant told NBC. “It’s one game where you go home, it’s no series.”
Two days later, the USA Women’s team defeat Japan 90-75 thanks to Brittney Griner’s 30 points. Their gold medal marks the 7th in a row for Team USA at the Olympics. USA also took home the gold for women’s 3×3 Basketball.
Aug 5 – Speed Climbing is an amazing addition to the Olympics
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have some amazing new events: Skateboarding, Surfing, Karate, and now Speed Climbing. Winning the debut gold medal and setting a new World Record, Polish climber Aleksandra Miroslaw scaled a 15-foot climbing wall in 6.84 seconds. That’s unbelievably fast.
Aug 5 – I’m worried for the Javelin judges who stand too close
They stand too close! Some of them even lean in to see where it lands! It’s a flying spear thrown from over 60m away! Why can’t they just wait a little bit and stand off to the side?
Aug 4 – France’s Steven Da Costa won the first ever Olympic medal in Karate
Competing in the lightest weight class at 67kg (roughly 147 lbs), France’s Steven Da Costa won the first ever Olympic gold meda for the debut of Karate, defeating Turkey’s Eray Samdan 5-0. He finished Samdan by landing an “Ippon” ranked kick to the head worth 3 points, the highest score possible for a hit.
Aug 4 – USA’s Katie Nageotte surprise upsets the defending champion to win Women’s Pole Vault
Defeating both the former Olympic champion Katarina Stefanidi of Greece and the 2019 World Champion Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia, USA’s Katie Nageotte took home the gold medal by being the only competitor able to clear 4.90m. Aiming for a new personal best, she set up 5.01m, but having already won the gold, she was too overcome with emotions to finish the vault. “I know my family got up very early to watch, and I would have felt very bad if I’d made them get up at 6 in the morning to watch me no-height,” she told ESPN.
Aug 4 – USA’s Ryan Crouser defends his Shot Put title and sets a new Olympic Record
In a repeat podium of the Olympics in Rio de Janiero in 2016, USA’s Ryan Crouser takes the gold medal, USA’s Joe Kovacs the silver, and and New Zealand’s Tom Walsch the bronze. Throwing 23.30m, Crouser overtakes his own previous Olympic record, just shy of the 23.37m World record, which is also his.
Aug 3 – Sweden’s Armand Duplantis was basically competing against himself in Men’s Pole Vault
At just 21 years old, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis was competing way beyond his years in Tokyo, clearing every hurdle up until the gold medal winning 6.02m jump on his first try. Competing basically against himself, his closest competitor bowed out at 5.97m, USA’s Chris Nilsen. Having no scratches on his perfect record to gold, Duplantis set up the World Record 6.19m, and excitedly attempted to break it three times, each try barely missing.
Aug 3 – USA’s Sydney McLaughlin breaks her own World Record in 400m Hurdles
In the 400m hurdles event in Tokyo, USA’s Sydney McLaughlin shaved a half-second off of her own world record to win gold running in 51.46 seconds. USA’s Dalilah Muhammad, who was the previous Olympic champion, took home the silver medal.
Aug 3 – Simone Biles returns to win bronze on beam
Leaving the competition earlier to focus on her mental health, USA Gymnast Simone Biles overcame a case of the “twisties,” a mysterious condition in the Gymnastics world that affects a competitors ability to sense the ground when they’re spinning in the air. Biles returned to compete in her last event, balance beam, and ended up winning the bronze medal. China’s Guan Chenchen won gold, and Tang Xijing the silver. Biles took the bronze on beam last Olympics in Rio as well.
Aug 2 – Sifan Hassan is one of the greatest long distance runners I’ve ever seen
Sifan Hassan, of the Netherlands, has pulled off two amazing feats in Track and Field long distance running in Tokyo so far, and she’s nowhere near done. On Sunday, she tripped and tumbled in a 1500m preliminary heat, got up, and sprinted the last 300m to still WIN the heat (video above). Then, on Monday, she won the gold medal in the 5000m race, similarly waiting for her chance to strike until the final lap, and outrunning her competition by a long shot.
Aug 2 – Cuban Wrestler Mijain Lopez defends his title for the fourth Olympics in a row
Demonstrating total control over his competitor, Georgia’s Iakobi Kajai, Cuban wrestler Mijiain Lopez threw forced Kajai out of the ring five times to win the gold medal in Tokyo. Winning his fourth wrestling gold in a row, Lopez joins only a handful of athletes to hold their title for four Olympics games in any individual event.
Aug 1 – In Men’s High Jump, a Gold Medal is shared in ultimate display of sportsmanship
In an intense battle to clear the 2.39m high jump, Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi agreed to share the gold metal instead of competing in a jump-off. The two competitors shared the Olympic podium in Tokyo, with Barsham’s gold medal the second-ever gold medal won for Qatar in any Olympic event.
Aug 1 – Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs stuns in Men’s 100m
With Usain Bolt retiring in 2017, Tokyo 2020 opened up for a new class of Olympic runners. Stunning over USA’s Fred Kerely and Canada’s Andre De Grasse, Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs took the gold, running 100m in 9.80 seconds. “It was my childhood dream to win an Olympic Games, and obviously, a dream can turn into something different, but to run this final and win it is a dream come true,” Jacobs said.
Aug 1 – Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas sets a new World Record in Women’s Triple Jump
Breaking the world record set in 1995, Venezuela’s triple jumper Yulimar Rojas traveled 15.67m in her final attempt, with the silver medal going to Patricia Mamona of Portugal. “I can’t describe this feeling and this moment,” Rojas said after winning the gold medal. “Wow. It is a fantastic night.”
Aug 1 – Great Britain’s Max Whitlock defends his Pommel Horse title
Winning the gold medal in Men’s Gymnastics on the Pommel Horse for Great Britain, Max Whitlock defends his title from 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. “Thank you so much for all of your support, it’s been a crazy journey,” he wrote on Twitter. “Can’t quite believe it!”
Aug 1 – Rebecca Andrade wins first gold medal for Brazilian Gymnastics with the Vault
Winning the first gold medal in Gymnastics for Brazil Rebecca Andrade overcome an ACL injury to compete in Tokyo. “Reaching the podium,” she said, “I didn’t imagine that I would return doing all these vaults.” USA’s MyKayla Skinner, who did not expect to compete and took Simone Biles’ place, won the silver medal.
Aug 1 – Alexander Zverev wins Tennis gold, upsetting world No. 1 Novak Djokovic
Defeating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the Semifinals on Friday, Germany’s Alexander Zverev went on to beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 6-3 6-1 to win the gold medal. “There is nothing better than this,” said Zverev, currently the world No. 5 ranked tennis player. Djokovic bowed out in the bronze medal match due to a shoulder injury, leaving Tokyo without a medal.
In the women’s gold medal match, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland defeated Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in a three-set, 2 and a half hour match. Vondrousova had beaten the favorited Naomi Osaka is a major third round upset match to make the finals and win silver, while Bencic, the world No. 12 ranked athlete, took home the gold medal.
July 31 – Taiwan’s Flag Anthem plays in front of Chinese athletes in Tokyo
Winning gold in Men’s doubles Badminton, Taiwan’s flag anthem played live in the Tokyo stadium for those also watching the Chinese duo take the silver medal. Due to the tense political history and relationship between Taiwan and China, Taiwan technically competes under the name “Chinese Taipei.” For context, Taiwan is technically governed independently, but Beijing, China considers Taiwan to be a province. With both countries attending the medal ceremony, it was a historic event in which the Chinese athletes and their viewers heard the Taiwan flag anthem.
July 31 – USA’s Raven Saunders twerks in Tokyo after winning silver in Women’s Shot Put
Despite losing the gold to China’s Lijiao Gong, Raven “the Hulk” Saunders twerked for the camera, taking home the silver medal. Saunders donned a Joker mask, while her hair was also dyed green and purple. Just short of the 20m line, Saunders threw at 19.79m, whille China’s Gong threw over 20.58m, a personal best, for the gold medal.
July 31 – Jamaica sweeps Women’s 100m with Elaine Thompson-Herah’s new Olympic Record
Defending her title from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Elaine Thompson-Herah set a new Olympic record for the gold medal, running 100m in 10.61 seconds. Thompson-Herah now ranks as the second fastest woman of all time, with her fellow Jamaican competitors sweeping the event. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took silver and Shericka Jackson set a personal best to take the bronze. The event had largely taken up headlines the past few days when Sha’Carri Richardson, a gold medal underdog for team USA, was suspended from competition.
July 31 – Sweden dominates Discus thanks to Daniel Stahl
With a throw at nearly 69 meters, Daniel Stahl, standing at 6’7″ and weighing roughly 340 lbs, took home the gold for Sweden alongside his fellow countryman and training partner Simon Pettersson, who won the silver medal. Stahl was the reigning World Champion, and the favorite to win going into the Tokyo Olympic games. “I am extremely proud,” Stahl told the press. “We have been kicking ass.”
July 30 – China’s Ma Long defends Table Tennis title
In an all-China final between the world’s No. 1 and 2 seeds, Ma Long defended his Olympic title against Fan Zhengdong tosecure his fourth career gold medal. Since Table Tennis was introduced in the 1988 Olympics, China has won 30 of the 35 events held.
July 30 – Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega upsets Uganda with 10,000m Final win
Despite Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei massive lead early on in the Men’s 10,000m Track & Field event, Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega came out ahead in the last lap to win the gold medal. With a time of 27 minutes and 43.22 seconds, Barega barely defeated Cheptegei, the favorited former-World Champion, by just 0.41 seconds. Cheptegei and his running mate, Jacob Kiplimo, secured the silver and bronze medals in an all-Africa podium event.
July 30 – South Korea’s An San swept all three Archery events
Winning gold in both the team and mixed team archery events, An San faced Russia’s Elena Osipova in a shootout that secured San her third gold medal, sweeping all three Olympic Archery events in Tokyo. Receiving criticism for her short haircut online (as silly as that sounds), An San replied saying that she cut it, “because it’s comfortable.” President Moon Jae-in of South Korea weighed in an official statement that said, “her pride is our pride.”
July 29 – USA’s Sunisia Lee wins gold in Women’s All-Around Gymnastics
After Simone Biles dropped out, the media tried to make it seem like it was over for team USA, but this morning Sunisia Lee, the 19-year-old Hmong-American, defeated the favorites Rebeca Andrade of Brazil (silver) and Angelina Melnikova of Russia (bronze), to take home the gold.
“I didn’t even think I’d ever get here,” Lee said. “It doesn’t even feel like I’m in real life.”
July 28 – USA excels at Swimming with Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel
Competing in the Men’s 100m (that’s to the other side of the pool and back), USA swimmer Caeleb Dressel won gold by setting a new Olympic Record: 47,02 seconds. He beat silver medalist Kyle Chalmers of Australia by six-hundredths of a second. “I could actually see him in my peripherals, I knew he was right there,” Dressel said. “I couldn’t see him, but you can see disturbances in the water. I knew — who else would it be besides Kyle?”
The USA has now taken home the most medals in Swimming events, as USA Swimmer Katie Ledecky and her Australian rival Ariarne Titmus, has been the other dominating highlight for Olympic Swimming in Tokyo. In the latest race, Ledecky won the 800m event for the third time in a row, with Titmus in second.
July 28 – The USA Women’s Team just won the Olympic debut of 3×3 Basketball, so what is that exactly?
Taking home the gold medal in the Olympic debut of 3×3 Basketball, The USA Women’s Team, boasting WNBA players, beat Russia 18-15. The name sounds pretty self-explanatory, 3 vs. 3 half-court basketball… but the rules for the professional version of the sport may have some people going, “wait, the score was 18-15? What is this?”
According to the Official Rules of the Game: a team scores 1 point for a shot inside the 3-point arc, which is just called the “arc” now because shots made from outside the arc are worth 2 points. Free throws are still worth just 1 point. Well, if the score was 18-15, how quick are these games? It turns out games are only 10 minutes long, and you win by either scoring 21 points in that time period, or having the most points at the end of 10 minutes.
I’ve never heard of such a quick, low-scoring ruleset, and it’s probably why the USA Men’s Team, without a single NBA player, did not medal. Also, a big L to the graphic designer who thought it was a good idea to put that blue line right over Aliisha Gray’s eyes and cover Stefanie Dolson with a big red rectangle.
July 28 – Japan’s Daiki Hashimoto wins top prize in Men’s All-Around Gymnastics
After high-scoring events on the floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, and parallel bars, the top three competitors with a chance to medal went one right after the other for their final scores on the high bar. Nikita Nogarnyy of Russia, the 2019 World Champion, took the bronze, Xiao Ruoteng of China took silver, and Daiki Hashimoto took the gold for his home country. As the world no. 1 for high bar, Hashimoto finished with the highest score for a total score just 0.4 higher than silver-medalist Xiao Ruoteng. At the age of 19, Hashimoto becomes the youngest gymnast to win Olympic gold in the Men’s All-Around.
July 28 – These Tennis players are about to pass the f**k out
The heat wave in Tokyo is making conditions for Tennis players almost unbearable. Spanish player Paula Badosa retired from her quarterfinal match due to heatstroke, and was escorted out of the venue in a wheelchair. During another incident this morning, Danil Medvedev told the chair umpire that he could finish the match but that he may die in the process.
According to CNN, weather in Tokyo is currently 93 degrees, with over 80% humidity. After further complaints from world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the Olympic officials have decided to reschedule the Tennis matches for later in the day.
July 28 – Toyota debuted its scary basketball robot
Decked out in spiky chain-mail looking metal skin, Toyota’s CUE, a basketball shooting robot, came out during half-time of the USA vs Iran Men’s Basketball game and landed perfect free throws. The robot, which can’t walk or dribble, won’t be replacing NBA athletes any time soon, but it can reportedly sink 2,000 free throws in a row so do not hit it with any shooting fouls if you want to win a game against it.
July 28 – USA Men’s Basketball team slams Iran 122-66
Damn, 122-66? They didn’t have to do it to them like that.
July 27 – Simone Biles bows out of Women’s Team Gymnastics Final to discuss mental health
Echoing Naomi Osaka’s recent statements about the pressure that athletes face from both the press and the weight of their victories, Simone Biles removed herself from competition in the Women’s Team Gymnastics competition, and later announced that she would not be competing in the Women’s All-Around in Tokyo either.
“This Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself when I came in — and I felt like I was still doing it for other people,” Biles said after the event concluded. “So that just, like, hurts my heart, because doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people.”
Though saddening to see the USA Women’s Team place second behind Russia, Biles’ statements add to the growing concern from athletes that organizations need to do more regarding mental health in order to help them compete at such high levels.
July 27 – Czech Tennis player Marketa Vondrousova defeats Naomi Osaka in surprise upset
Though a huge fan of Osaka, as a fan of the sport of tennis it was insane to see such an upset in the third round. Marketa Vondrousova, the world No. 42 ranked player from the Czech Republic, upset the Olympic cauldron lighter and world No. 2 Naomi Osaka in a stunning 67-minutes. “I should be used to it by now, but the scale of everything is a bit hard because of the break that I took,” Osaka told the press.
“I am really sorry but I am so happy with my game today,” Vondrousova said of her winning match. “I knew she was going to fight to the end… She was also the face of the Olympics, so it was also tough for her to play like this.”
July 27 – USA Softball outfielder Janie Reed robbed a potential home run
During the gold medal Softball game, USA outfielder Janie Reed outstandingly caught a potential left-field home run to great excitement from the rest of the team. Despite a 2-0 upset loss to Japan, Reed and the USA Softball team still walked away with the silver medal.
July 26 – Diver Tom Daley’s press conference speech on LGBT Olympians
Winning the Gold Medal in Men’s Synchronized Diving 10m platform, Great Britain’s Tom Daley told reporters at the following press conference that “there are more openly out LGBT athletes at these Olympics games than any other Olympic games previously,” and told young LGBT watchers at home that, “no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone, and you can achieve anything.”
“I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and an Olympic champion,” Daley said.
July 26 – A loss turned into a marriage proposal
Argentine fencer Maria Belen Perez Maurice may have been eliminated in the Women’s Sabre even in the round of 32, but as she was speaking to reporters, her coach, Lucas Guillermo Saucedo, turned defeat into a marriage proposal. When Saucedo held up a piece of paper asking, “Do you want to marry me” (in Spanish), she accepted.
“They told me to turn around, and he had the letter. I forgot everything. I was like, ‘Oh my God,'” Perez Maurice said. “We love each other so much, and we want to spend our lives together. We are going to celebrate in Buenos Aires with a big barbecue.”
July 26 – Hidilyn Diaz won the first ever gold medal for the Philippines in Women’s Olympic Weightlifting
Lifting an Olympic record 127kg (equivalent to around 280lbs) in the clean-and-jerk, Hidilyn Diaz made history winning the Philippines’ first ever gold medal in the Olympics. “I sacrificed a lot. I wasn’t able to be with my mother and father for how many months and years and then of course, training was excruciating,” Diaz told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “But God had a plan.” She could probably pick me up and throw me so high.
July 26 – The horny-for-gold Australian swimming coach
When Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus defeated the favorited Katie Ledecky of America to win the gold medal in the Women’s 400m, the camera expertly panned to Australian swimming coach Dean Boxall, who showed off his excitement by thrusting his hips and humping the glass partition from the stands. I’m just glad that there’s someone out there this excited about people swimming back and forth in a pool.
July 26 – Swimmer Ryan Murphy’s upper body
enough said, or more like enough seen.
July 26 – Two 13-Year-Old’s won medals in Women’s Olympic Skateboarding
Debuting for the first time at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Women’s Street Skateboarding top awards both went to 13-year-old’s Nishiya Momiji of Japan (Gold) and Rayssa Leal of Brazil (Silver). Four of the eight women in the street final were 16 or younger, grinding rails to become among the youngest competitors to ever win an Olympic medal.
July 26 – Canoe Slalom is by far the most obscure event I’ve seen yet
Well, I’ve found the weirdest event this year: Canoe Slalom. Building a simulated white-water rafting course, the lanes are incredibly tight as the canoe competitors must pass in between little slalom polls, sometimes by going back up against the current, as fast as they can. Favorite things about this event (which has apparently been around since the ’70s): how it looks like the lower-half of their body is just a canoe because their legs are completely tucked in.
July 25 – Gymnast Luciana Alvarado took a knee in protest
Despite the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s decision to ban athletes from making “hand gesture[s] or kneeling” in protest to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Luciana Alvarado, Costa Rica’s first Olympic gymnast to qualify for competition, ended her floor routine by both kneeling and raising her fist in solidarity. Although she did not earn a high enough score to continue in the event, it was a historic tribute in the sport of gymnastics.
July 25 – The USA Men’s Basketball Team lost their first game against France
The USA Men’s Basketball team had a 24-0 record from the past three Olympics, until now. Losing in their first game against France, all-stars such as Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, Bam Adebayo, and recent NBA champion Jrue Holiday were bested by the French team in a low scoring 83-76. In the shocking loss, the USA Men’s team shot poorly, with Lillard shooting 3-10, Durant 4-12, and Holiday 5-13.
An exciting tournament this year, France’s team boasted NBA stars of their own, including Celtics’ Evan Fournier, Jazz’ Rudy Gobert, Clippers’ Nicolas Batum, and Nets’ Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. “They are better individually,” Fournier told the press after the game, “but they can be beaten as a team.”
July 24 – Hungarian Fencer Aron Szilagyi wins his third Olympics in a row
Winning gold in 2012 in London, in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, and now in Japan, Aron Szilagyi, a fencer from Hungary, defended his title for his third gold medal in a row in the individual sabre event. China’s Sun Yiwen won gold in the women’s event.
July 23 – The Opening Ceremony was full of video game music
Gamers rejoice! Though presumably blind to a general audience, the opening ceremony was actually full of music from popular video games, celebrating Japanese gaming history with themes from Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, Soul Calibur, Chrono Trigger, Disney’s Kingdom Hearts, and more.
July 23 – Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic Cauldron
It’s rare for an olympic athlete to be the one to light the Olympic cauldron, especially since Osaka’s torch lighting comes after the former-No. 1 tennis player’s statements regarding mental health in sports. After all the criticism she received from tennis organizations, it was wonderful to see her home country spotlight her in this way. Another torch bearer this year: one of my personal favorite athletes, former New York Yankee ballplayer Hideki Matsui.
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.