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Gearing up for her first Olympics, Sun president Jen Rizzotti hopes coaching in Tokyo won't be her last role with USA Basketball

Sports / Olympics /

Serving as an assistant coach to the U.S. women’s basketball team at the Olympics is an honor and a dream come true for Jennifer Rizzotti, the former UConn standout and now Connecticut Sun president. But while her new role with the WNBA team marks a career shift away from coaching, Rizzotti hopes that Tokyo won’t be her last involvement with...Read more

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Helene Elliott: 'Olympic grandmas' Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinner ready to be Tokyo golden girls

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — The competition floor stretched out behind them and tantalizing possibilities danced in front of them as MyKayla Skinner and Simone Biles smiled for the cameras on Thursday at Ariake Gymnastics Centre. On Sunday, when team qualifying takes place, they will be tumbling and twisting and flying toward medals at the Olympic Games. First, ...Read more

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Phenom Suni Lee soars into Olympics spotlight as a Hmong trailblazer

Sports / Olympics /

ST. PAUL, Minn. — In the Hmong culture, a khi tes is a ritual of celebration. When someone reaches a joyous milestone, family and friends tie white string around that person's wrists, while offering blessings, congratulations and good wishes.

Suni Lee couldn't gather with her large extended family after she made the U.S. Olympic team, so the ...Read more

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Tokyo Olympics: Diverse faces are representing Japan. Does it reflect real change?

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — With millions around the world watching, Rui Hachimura walked onto the gleaming white floor of Japan’s Olympic Stadium on Friday waving the country’s red-and-white flag.

The 6-foot-8 Washington Wizards forward with a Japanese mother and Beninese father led his nation’s athletes in procession, a beaming smile peeking out of the ...Read more

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Jim Souhan: Flame, yes, but opening ceremony was short on sparks

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — The Tokyo Olympics fired the director of the opening ceremony a day before it took place because he joked decades ago about the Holocaust.

After watching the ceremony at Olympic Stadium on Friday night in Japan, I would suggest that the organizers rehire him so they can fire him again.

It's going to be a weird few weeks, folks.

It ...Read more

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U.S. women's water polo team carries legacy of triumph and tragedy into Olympics

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — There were deaths, near deaths and gruesome injuries.

There was a mass shooting in Las Vegas, a nightclub collapse in South Korea and a terrorist bombing at a train station in Belgium. And all that happened before COVID-19 put everyone’s life on hold for a year.

The last five years have been a series of tragedies and triumphs for ...Read more

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The curious case of the potential flag bearer shut out of Olympics opening ceremony

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — In a development that makes the inclusion theme of the Tokyo Olympics seem insincere, Jesse Smith, captain of the U.S. men’s water polo team, went from a potential flag bearer for his country to being shut out of the opening ceremony.

One of the nominees for the Team USA flag-bearer role that went to Eddy Alvarez, Smith was forced ...Read more

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Dylan Hernandez: Pandemic Games are turning into Tokyo's Olympic Scandal Games

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — At this point, the Tokyo organizing committee is the bureaucratic equivalent of the Titanic's orchestra, its members figuratively continuing to play their instruments even as the hopelessness of their situation has come into focus.

They look exhausted.

They sound defeated.

"As the person in charge of the organizing committee that ...Read more

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Tokyo opening ceremony clings to traditions on a backdrop of humility

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — Dozens of men and women run across the field in a darkened stadium, keeping their distance from each other. They symbolize all the athletes who have trained in solitude during the pandemic.

The Japanese flag comes into view, borne by a small group of young people and health care workers. The national anthem is sung as if in prayer.

...Read more

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Helene Elliott: Olympic Games go on because there is too much money at stake

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — When there should have been cheers Friday night as athletes marched in for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics there instead was an eerie silence in a cavernous stadium that was closed to spectators because of the COVID-driven state of emergency that still grips most of Japan.

When there should have been silence during solemn ...Read more

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Olympics begin with a somber opening ceremony in a near-empty Tokyo stadium

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — Here’s what you should know about Arisa Tsubata, the woman who ran on a treadmill at the beginning of the Olympic opening ceremony Friday.

She is a nurse who worked at a Tokyo hospital throughout the pandemic.

She is also a boxing champion who was on track to make the Japanese team when COVID-19 hit and organizers postponed the ...Read more

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There will be plenty of fighting on and putting fours up at Tokyo Olympics

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — The official Olympic mascot is Miraitowa, a cheerful animated character checkered in blue and white that was designed to appeal to young children in Japan.

The unofficial mascots might as well be Tommy Trojan and Joe and Josephine Bruin.

USC and UCLA have combined for 103 Olympic competitors with ties to the respective schools, ...Read more

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Tokyo is welcoming, wary as Games finally begin

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — Thomas Gilman wanted nothing more than to go to Japan this summer, to wrestle for the U.S. team at the Tokyo Olympics. He was much less certain about whether Japan wanted him to come.

The Iowa native had read countless reports describing the country as a reluctant host for the pandemic-delayed Summer Games. Public opinion polls showed...Read more


New players, new identity, but same goal: U.S. women's basketball eyes seventh straight Olympic gold

Sports / Olympics /

Winners of six consecutive gold medals, the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team has achieved a level of consistent dominance rarely seen in sports. But that won’t make their quest for gold at the Tokyo Games any easier.

Unlike other countries’ programs, the U.S. didn’t get weeks or months to play together ahead of the Games, with the ...Read more

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5 things to know about Zach LaVine and USA Basketball ahead of the Olympics, including expanded role for Bulls guard

Sports / Olympics /

CHICAGO — After a testing issue resulted in a brief stint in health and safety protocols for COVID-19, Zach LaVine was scheduled to fly to Tokyo and rejoin Team USA on Thursday afternoon.

LaVine should be cleared to practice with the team Friday and be ready to play in the opener against France Sunday. The men’s national basketball team is ...Read more

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German women's field hockey captain can wear rainbow armband at Olympics as 'symbol of sexual diversity'

Sports / Olympics /

We’ll see her true colors shining through.

The captain of the German women’s field hockey team will be allowed to wear a rainbow-colored armband and socks at the Tokyo Olympics.

Nike Lorenz was given the go-ahead by the International Olympic Committee to wear the LGBTQ Pride colors during this year’s Games as a “symbol of sexual ...Read more

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What do the Olympics sound like without fans? You can hear cicadas buzzing outside Tokyo Stadium. Welcome to the Quiet Games.

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — Roughly 30 minutes into Mexico’s first Olympic match Thursday, goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa made a diving save to keep the game tied against France.

It was the kind of save that, in previous Summer Games, would have made the crowd roar in appreciation of a big moment on a big stage. Songs would be sung, chants would echo throughout ...Read more

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Mark Zeigler: Wanted or not, Tokyo Olympics to officially open Friday

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — Olympic rowing and canoe races will be held on the Sea Forest Waterway, a 2,000-meter course in a narrow channel that connects to Tokyo Bay. Because it doesn’t have natural banks that absorb choppy water, organizers devised a wave dispersal system of more than three miles of special cylindrical buoys.

Like everything else at the ...Read more

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Eddy Alvarez took an unconventional path to being a U.S. Olympic flag bearer

Sports / Olympics /

TOKYO — Eddy Alvarez arrived in Japan on Thursday as the most experienced Olympian on Team USA's baseball roster. It just so happens that his experience has nothing to do with baseball.

Alvarez defied the odds by winning a silver medal in the 5,000 meter short-track speedskating relay at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi as a Miami native and ...Read more

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Unhappy with the Olympics? Congress could do a lot

Sports / Olympics /

A year delayed, the Tokyo Olympics are now upon us, and with them, a chance for Americans of all stripes to come together to celebrate that most beloved sport: politicizing the hell out of whatever’s captured the public’s attention.

The Summer Games don’t officially start until Friday (and could even be canceled at the last minute amid ...Read more