Howdy and welcome to the Guardian’s dwell protection of the Olympic Video games. We’re right here to give you 24-hour rolling protection of all of the highs and lows and in-betweens of maybe the strangest instalment for the reason that very first in Athens in 1896. That is the “Tokyo 2020” of 2021. The Video games that couldn’t occur a yr in the past due to Covid-19, and the Video games many consider shouldn’t occur even now because the pandemic continues to chop a swathe by way of Japan. Indicators of a fifth wave are all over the place within the host nation, the place an infection and loss of life tolls are rising and vaccination charges stay low, and the capital shall be underneath a state of emergency for the whole lot of competitors. That’s earlier than mentioning the spiralling monetary price.
However, as Worldwide Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach mentioned, “there isn’t a Plan B”. And so, organisers have pressed on, and virtually 80,000 athletes, officers, help workers and sure, us the media, have both arrived or will contact down imminently. The native temper is one among derision, to the purpose that one of many Olympics’ largest sponsors, Toyota, introduced it is not going to run Tokyo 2020-related adverts. In such an setting controversy already abounds, likewise with athletes taking the knee, tremendous fast tremendous spikes, and all of the others which have sadly grow to be one thing of Olympics custom reminiscent of doping, corruption and the standing of Russian athletes, a few of whom will compete however underneath a impartial flag.
We are going to maintain you updated with all of this, and, after all, the precise sport. Throughout 16 days, in entrance of zero spectators, 339 gold medals shall be received throughout 33 sports activities. For many athletes, a lot of whom have endured the troublesome 12-month delay, simply making it to Tokyo is an achievement. Attending to the beginning line with out testing optimistic or changing into a detailed contact shall be one other feat in itself. Try this, and this Video games – regardless of the entire above – represents the height of so many sporting careers. Reputations shall be realised, magnified and shattered, and new international stars made.
Each nation approaches the Olympics otherwise, follows totally different athletes and groups and excels in several sports activities. Whether or not you might be rooting for Crew USA, Crew GB, Australia, or another, we shall be right here 24/7 for all the massive moments and in addition most of the small ones too, protecting all the pieces off the sphere and on. We’ll be there for Ash Barty, Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Dina Asher-Smith, Stephanie Gilmore, Kevin Durant, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Ariarne Titmus. We’ll maintain you throughout the brand new sports activities in addition to the blue riband occasions.
With help from colleagues in New York, Sydney and London, our protection consists of experiences and wonderful writing from our Guardian staff in Tokyo. Sean Ingle, Justin McCurry, Andy Bull, Barney Ronay, Tumaini Carayol, Suzanne Wrack, Kieran Pender and Tom Dart are on the bottom, plus skilled evaluation by way of the video games from Greg Rutherford, Caroline Dubois and Ben Ryan – athletes and coaches who’ve been there and performed that, and Dubois is there now.
Daily you possibly can obtain the very best of the motion together with the following day’s highlights straight to your inbox by way of our each day publication. Enroll right here. We even have a whole schedule, rolling medals desk, and full outcomes. For planning, try our highlights abstract and venue information.
However first, the opening ceremony! I’m right here for all of the build-up earlier than my colleague Barry Glendenning will take you thru the ceremony a little bit afterward. Please do drop me a line by way of e-mail or Twitter.