The 2021 Summer Olympics Games are off to a fast start in Tokyo, Japan. Unfortunately, things have not been working out as planned for Team USA. For the first time since 1969, the United States did not bring home a gold medal on day one of the Olympics. Fortunately, America bounced back to earn five gold medals over the weekend and put itself in a great position for the first full week of the 2021 Summer Olympic Games. Over the next few days, medals will be up for grabs in women's 3x3 basketball, softball, soccer and swimming.
Well, that didn't go as planned. Team USA seemingly underperformed in a number of sports including swimming, basketball and gymnastics. Fortunately, the Olympic games are still young and there is still room for medals to be won in Tokyo, Japan.
- Team USA falls to Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert and France on Sunday morning. After leading by nearly 10 points at halftime in their Olympic debut, Team USA scored only 11 points in the third quarter as Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum limped to a seven-point loss. Given Team USA's exhibition losses to Australia and Nigeria earlier this month, some are wondering if Team USA will even get a medal in men's basketball.
- Team USA finishes second in women's gymnastics stumbles in the preliminary round, but advances to final. No one is perfect and that includes Simone Biles. Biles and her teammates performed well on Sunday, but a few uncharacteristic mistakes caused Team USA to finish second in the preliminary round. Fortunately, Biles and her teammates still have an opportunity to fly home with gold medals later this week.
While Team USA stumbled in gymnastics and men's basketball, there were a few bright spots for the United States in Tokyo. Most notably, Team USA walked away with its first gold medals in women's individual foil and women's taekwondo.
- Team USA goes 3-0 in boxing. Men's boxing has not won a gold medal in boxing since Andre Ward did it in 2004, but that could change in Tokyo. Both Keyshawn Davis and Duke Ragan looked strong in their first Tokyo bouts. Adding on, Oshae Jones of Toledo, Ohio is expected to win gold in the women's welterweight division. If she meets expectations, Team USA will take home a gold medal in women's boxing for the third straight Olympics.
- Team USA remains undefeated in women's 3x3 basketball. Led by coach Kara Lawson, Team USA has proved to be a powerhouse in the first Olympic women's 3x3 basketball tournament. After taking down China on Monday morning, the United States has earned a record of 6-0 and a spot in the semifinals.
- Simone Manuel saves the women's 4x100 freestyle relay. While Manuel did not originally qualify for the women's 4x100 meter freestyle, she proved to be the saving grace for the team as they nearly missed the medal stand. Manuel walked away with the fifth medal of her Olympic career and set herself up well for the 50-meter freestyle prelims later this week.
Beyond Team USA
The 2021 Summer Olympic Games are not an American competition. They are a stage for some of the world's greatest athletes. From Solvenia's basketball phenom, Luka Doncic, to Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce of Jamaica, there are a number of athletes outside of the United States to keep your eyes on.
- Naomi Osaka is back and better than ever. Much was made about Osaka's decision to withdraw from both the French Open and Wimbledon, but it looks like she made the decision that was best for herself and her family. Refreshed and recharged, Osaka looked more than ready to represent Japan in women's tennis as she thrashed Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland in 65 minutes.
- The world is learning about the legend of Paola Engonu. Late Sunday night, a photoshopped photo of Engonu playing in the Olympics began circulating around the internet. While the photo exaggerated her ability to jump up in the air and deliver the kill, Engonu's skill is off the charts. If you don't believe me, check out this highlight reel.
Everything Happening Around The Olympics
Every four years, the Olympics do a great job taking our minds off of the world's ills and everything going on around us. However, this Olympics feels a bit different than those of years past. From an uprising in Cuba to a global pandemic, there is so much going on in the world that makes it impossible for anyone to just "stick to sports" over the next two weeks.
- The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government recorded 1,763 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday. In comparison, the Japanese city recorded less than 1,100 new coronavirus cases last Sunday. If cases continue to rise at this rate, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government warns that the city will face a "critical" issue within the next two weeks.
- Tropical storm Nepartak is coming! Three days ago, weather experts were worried that a typhoon would hit portions of Japan and impact the lives of Olympic athletes and thousands of others. Over the weekend, the threat has decreased to the level of a tropical storm. Still, Nepartak is expected to make landfall on Tuesday and potentially impact all outdoor events.
- Tensions continue to rise within the International Olympic Committee. Lawmakers in the United States are beginning to push for the IOC to move the 2022 Winter Olympic Games out of China due to what America deems an ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other minority groups. At this time, the IOC has responded to the United States' issues.
What To Watch Today
The first few days of the Olympics have been jammed pack with exciting and unpredictable events. Monday will be no different. From basketball to boxing, there is a lot to keep your eyes on, but we'll all try our best to watch what we can despite the 13 hour time difference.
- Women's Basketball - Team USA v. Nigeria: After falling to Team WNBA and Australia in back-to-back exhibition games, America is looking to get off to a good start in women's basketball. Led by Dawn Staley, A'ja Wilson and Jewell Lloyd will look to start their Olympic run against Nigeria, a team they beat by 30 points in an exhibition game last week. Action is set to begin at 12:40 a.m. ET on Tuesday, July 27.
- Softball - Team USA v. Japan: In back-to-back games, Michelle Moultrie and company have won with walk-off hits. Most recently, America took down Japan in softball with a late, walk-off home run. On Tuesday morning, they'll retake the field with an opportunity to beat Japan yet again for the gold medal. The ball game is set to begin on July 27 at 7:00 a.m. ET.
- Women's Soccer - Team USA v. Australia: Things didn't exactly get off to a great start for Crystal Dunn and the women's national soccer team. On Wednesday, Sweden poured in three goals and shut out the United States to end their 44-match win streak. Fortunately, Dunn and company bounced back with a 6-goal performance against New Zealand. With a shot to capture sole possession second place in Group G, Team USA will battle Australia. The match is scheduled to begin at 4 a.m. ET.
Q: Where can I find a schedule of events?
Q: How can I watch Olympic events?
A: NBC is broadcasting the 2021 Summer Olympic Games. Visit their website for more information.
Q: When will track and field events begin?
A: Olympic track and field events will begin on July 29.
Q: When does the men's basketball team play again?
A: Team USA will play Iran on July 28 at 12:40 a.m. ET.