Summer Games For The Ages


Photo by magerleagues, Creative Commons

A banner displayed in downtown Tokyo, Japan in preparation of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

After 56 years and 364 days, the Summer Olympics finally returned to Tokyo, Japan. 2020 brought a lot of uncertainty to the world and long with that was the decision to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympics to the summer of 2021. 

This delay, along with the decision to not allow fans to attend the games, brought along brand new events to showcase to viewers across the globe.

These six new events ranged from more unconventional sports like karate, skateboarding and sport climbing to typical sports like baseball and softball – both of which have not been a part of the Olympic games since 2008.

By far the most fascinating event had to be Mountain Biking. Mountain Biking is exactly what it sounds like: 10, 2.5 mile laps across the highly elevated humid terrain of rural Tokyo, Japan. 

In this event, the world saw tires pop, racers fall and most importantly Tom Pidcock, from Great Britain, and Jolanda Neff of Switzerland absolutely scorch the competition by finishing first in their respective races by a combined one minute and 30 seconds. 

The other competition that caught the attention of many was Taekwondo. This combat sport is forgin to many conventional sports fans but when taken the time to watch, this sport becomes very enjoyable. 

Taekwondo is a one on one competition with the main goal of scoring the most points, or reaching the point goal, before the three rounds are over. Sounds normal but like most combat sports there’s a twist… points are scored by way of kicking and punching. 

If an athlete is able to kick or hit their opponent’s body without being hit or kicked themselves, they are rewarded a point. More intricate techniques, like spinning kicks, are rewarded more points so essentially, the game is based on how well an athlete is able to perfect the art of kicking and punching. 

This event also brought the U.S. their first ever female Taekwondo gold medalist, Anastasija Zolotic.

The 2020 games also brought something that we haven’t seen since 2004. The team USA men’s Basketball team finally lost a game. While they eventually ended up defeating France and winning Gold, the fact that the U.S. lost a game for the first time in 17 years is probably the least craziest thing to happen given the events that have unfolded in the past year.

But even after watching Team USA’s 25 game win-streak snap, this was not the most memorable moment that happened during the two and a half weeks of Olympic events.

Two U.S. athletes made headlines for very different reasons. Six time Olympic medalist, and the face of gymnastics, Simone Biles decided to withdraw from numerous gymnastics competitions in order to focus on, and better, her mental health.

Gable Stevenson made waves across the wrestling world after dominating his opponents throughout the Olympic tournament. Stevenson, who won gold, is now being looked at by combat sport organizations such as the WWE and UFC for a potential future career. 

There were other numerous upsets throughout the few weeks in Tokyo but people will have to wait three more years until the next Summer Olympics. Hopefully, for the sake of the world, the 2025 Summer Olympics, held in Paris, France, will be without delay.