We are only one weekend into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (that’s not a typo…despite it being 2021 they are still the 2020 Olympics) and it has been packed full of great moments for team USA and athletes around the world. There is a lot of content to cover so I’ve compiled the best moments so far.
- Team USA’s flag bearers mic’d up
In a stroke of genius, NBC made the decision to live mic Sue Bird and Eddy Alvarez who were honored to be team USA’s official flag bearers. The pair were asked to tell the NBC coverage anchors how it felt to walk into the stadium carrying the nation’s flag and they did not disappoint. Alvarez, a member of Team USA’s baseball team and professional player for the Miami Marlins, was choking back tears as NBC cut to his parents who are watching him from home in Florida. Bird, who is a member of Team USA’s women’s basketball team, said that the energy in the room was indescribable. The addition of their commentary was a fresh take on the already high energy team USA entry and was a great add for future games.
- Lexi Lagan got her close up
FPF has been following the journey of Lexi Lagan representing the US in pistol shooting. She was front and center at the opening ceremony and got this shiny close up showing her patriotic scarf and mask and attention to the beautiful lighting of the torch. Go Lexi!
- Lt. Amber English taking home gold for Team USA in skeet shooting as an active duty member of the U.S. military
Amber English made her Olympic debut with a huge splash by breaking the women’s event record hitting 56 of 60 targets and taking home a surprise Gold medal for Team USA. She shared her victory with fellow American Vincent Hannock who is a three time gold medalist in the skeet competition for Team USA. Amber English and Vincent Hannock met at age 16 when they began their shooting training and used to have dinner with each other’s families in their respective childhood homes. It’s an inspiration that not only Americans swept the skeet competition, but long time friends and members of our armed forces.
- When Anastasija Zolotic became the first American woman to win a gold medal in Taekwondo
Anastasija Zolotic took on the Russian Olympic Committee (the Russian team is not allowed to compete due to doping but their athletes are able to compete under the Olympic banner) and was understandably celebratory when she quite literally kicked butt and took home that first gold medal for Team USA in this sport.
- Caroline Marks gets highest score for Team USA in round 3 of Surfing competition
Caroline Marks hasn’t taken the Gold home for team USA but she has advanced on to the finals absolutely dominating her competition putting up massive scores. She has been truly shredding, never missing a wave and hitting her technicals like the pro she is even though she’s only 18 years old. Marks beat her competitor in round 3 (a Japanese competitor) 15.53 to 7.74. 15.53 was the highest score of the event including over her male competitors. Her closest scorer is Australia’s male competitor, Owen Wright.
- Team USA’s men’s swimming team keep the legacy alive with a 400 m relay gold medal
With the shadow of Olympic legend, Michael Phelps, looming over the pool, Team USA had a lot to live up to and they delivered. With no Phelps for the first time since 2004, the team led by Caeleb Dressel featuring Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker and Zach Apple (Apple who put up the best time as anchor) absolutely flew through the pool edging out Italy and Australia in the silver and bronze respectively by just fractions of a second as is the tradition of swimming. A Gold well earned and proof that the USA has lasting winning strength in the pool.
- The Skateboarding debut
For the first time, skateboarding was added as an Olympic event. While the United States wasn’t able to take home any Gold medals, the first event (street) offered a big win for the host nation of Japan who took home Gold in both the mens and womens events ( 22-year old Yuto Horigome and 13- year old Momiji Nishiya respectively). Even without a US winner, skateboarding was a joy to watch. With the under 18 participants required to wear helmets, the little champions were easy to spot and absolutely dominated the competition.
Team USA will have a chance at medaling in the upcoming Park skateboarding events.
- Katie Ledecky wins for the US even when she loses
Katie Ledecky is swimming 6000 competitive meters in the Tokyo Olympics and 2400 of them in one day. This does not count warm ups or cool downs or any training. Without question the greatest female swimmer in the world, Ledecky missed Olympic Gold for the first time in her career in the 400 meter race to Australia’s Ariarne Titmus, taking home Olympic Silver for Team USA. When the pair of women looked back over their shoulder to see who touched first (within fractions of fractions of a second) they laughed and patted each other’s shoulders and celebrated that they gave each other such a spirited race. There is no malice in Ledecky. She represented America better in that moment of her loss than she could have in her win.
Meanwhile she won the 1500m qualifier by like 7 seconds which is an unheard of lead setting a new Olympic record. So she will be taking home some Gold elsewhere.
- When Team USA’s female gymnasts had an “off day” and still came in (a very close) second in the preliminary round
You know your team is the best in the world when they have a noticeably bad day on the mats but still come in second with only a point between them and the leaders. Team USA star Simone Biles still qualified for the finals in every single individual apparatus. She also still leads for individual all-around Gold even after making several “mistakes.” That goes to show viewers how much better her routines are than the competition that she has so much space for error and still dominates.
So the headlines might be that Team USA had an off-day but if that is their off-day, the Russians better watch out for when they’re on. The team will have a chance to take home Gold in the finals this week.
- The absolutely ridiculous overuse of the phrase the colloquialism “GOAT” officially killing it for all future generations
You may have heard the colloquialism “GOAT” when referring to certain athletes like Simone Biles. It stands for “greatest of all time” and while it was cute once, it has now been so beaten and overused that its filing a complaint with the Department of Labor.
Its one thing if it was just for Simone Biles. But no, not only do the announcers and media call Simone Biles the GOAT (Twitter even made her a little goat emoji to represent her at the Olympics), but they also referred to about a zillion other people as the GOAT including Katy Ledecky and Michael Phelps in one sitting.
There is nothing less cool than Savannah Guthrie using slang and let me tell you it has been absolutely heinous to hear her and her stuffy media colleagues say that someone or another person is “the GOAT” over and over and over again.
But its also sort of hilarious because they’ve totally sucked the meaning out of the word and made it lame so now we can never use it again.