Olympic Games 2021: 15 sports and athletes not to be missed
It’s finally here: The 2021 Olympics officially kicked off in Tokyo on Friday, July 23, and wow, it was worth the wait. These Summer Olympics have already been historic for a number of reasons related to the pandemic: postponement, competition without crowds and athletes who have already withdrawn after testing positive for the coronavirus. But on a more positive note, the Tokyo Games are already historic for female athletes.
Women won more medals in 2016 and 2018 for the United States team than male athletes and are also on track to achieve the most glory in Tokyo; this year, six major countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, China and Russia (whose athletes will compete for the Russian Olympic Committee, because the doping ban against the country is still in effect) have more female athletes competing than men.
But it’s not just about numbers. The female athletes are set to have an epic run at this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics – the women of the U.S. basketball team will be aiming for their seventh straight gold medal (some dynasty-level stuff right there ), Allyson Felix will attend. Fifth Olympic Games (while helping pay for childcare costs for other Olympian moms), Katie Ledecky will look to be the first woman to win most career gold medals (in all sports) , Carissa Moore and Bryce Wettstein will have a shot at becoming the first woman to win Olympic medals in surfing and skateboarding (two new Olympic sports), Scout Bassett will have another shot at Paralympic gold, and Simone Biles will be , well, Simone Biles.
You’re going to want to watch it all. Here are the iconic sports and athletes to watch for at the 2021 Olympics.
Simone Bilès. Need we say more?
GOAT will compete in its second Olympic Games as the greatest gymnast of all sexes in history. In addition to her unprecedented debut on the Olympic stage, she is in contention (along with swimmer Katie Ledecky) to become the woman to win the most career gold medals in any sport.
But it’s not just Biles that you’ll want to watch. The 2021 women’s gymnastics team is bursting with talent. Also on the team: Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner. Together, they could take the top podium places in each event, making them the first team to win gold in each event of the competition.
After the qualifying round on July 25, it’s official: the women’s gymnastics team qualified for the team finals on July 27. Not only that, but Biles qualified for all four event finals, plus the all-around! As the Team USA Twitter account puts it, “Just goat stuff.”
In the end, Biles and Lee advanced to the all-around final on July 29, the bars final on August 1, and the beam final on August 3. Biles and Carey will compete in the vault final on August 1 and the floor final on August 2. .