After a 12-month delay, the unprecedented 2020 Summer Olympics is taking place without fans or spectators and under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Caeleb Dressel pulled in two more gold medals today, first in the men’s 50m freestyle, an all-out spring that took Dressel 21.07 seconds to complete. In the last race of the evening, Dressel led Team USA to still more glory in the 4x100m medley relay. Dressel completely swept the sprint events and has become the fifth swimmer to win at least five gold medals at one Olympic Games
Dressel’s teammate Bobby Finke won his second gold medal in the men’s 1500, finishing with a blazing finishing kick that has been his trademark in these Games.
Mykayla Skinner, who replaced Biles after she withdrew from the vault competition won the silver medal, just days after she announced the end of her elite gymnastics career on Instagram after failing to qualify in the finals. Simone Biles also withdrew from the floor exercise finals, but it is still to be determined if she will compete in the balance beam.
Team USA’s Sunisa Lee took the bronze in the uneven bars, and now has a gold, silver and bronze medal to show for the 2020 Olympics.
There were 18 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, including one athlete who was at the Olympic Village at the time of the positive test. The total now stands at 246, according to data released by the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.
The surrounding city of Tokyo reported 3,058 new cases on Sunday, a 7-day average increase of 213.6%, according to data released by the Tokyo metropolitan government.
The American golfer Xander Schauffele won the gold medal in men’s individual after he was tied for the lead with two holes to play. This win is even more special for Schauffele, whose mother was raised in Japan and whose grandparents are residents of Tokyo.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev bested both Jérémy Chardy and Novak Djokovic to make it into the finals where he defeated Karen Khachanov, 6–3, 6–1. Zverev is ranked fifth in the world by Association of Tennis Professionals, but in the 2020 Games in Tokyo he is now officially first.
Australian Logan Martin of the men’s division and Great Britain’s Charlotte Worthington of the women’s won the first-ever Olympic gold medals in freestyle BMX, while Team USA’s Hannah Roberts took home the silver. The aerial competition was the newest addition to the discipline of cycling, which also includes road racing, track and cross-country.
Every Olympic Games sees a fair share of tears shed, but this year has been especially emotional — especially for the champions. There is no shortage of hardships in a normal cycle for Olympic greats, but for the pandemic-delayed Tokyo games athletes have also battled through tropical storms, the summer heat and the deafening silence of empty stands.
Perhaps it is this combination, along with the realization of so much training and hard work, that has brought tears to the eyes of so many of the games’ champions.