After A Year Of Delays And Uncertainty, The Olympics Formally Kick Off Today

After A Year Of Delays And Uncertainty, The Olympics Formally Kick Off Today

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1 min agoThe history of the Olympic torchFrom CNN Style’s Jacqui Palumbo

The Olympic torch relay has been downgraded for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, with Covid-19 turning the flame’s traditionally public journey from Olympia, Greece, into a largely private affair.

While past Olympic Games have seen the torch carried undersea by a diver or flown through the air by a ski jumper, this year’s relay was instead composed of isolated ceremonies around Japan ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony.

Yet, many of the rituals were preserved. As always, the flame burst to life in Olympia using sunlight reflected off a parabolic mirror, representing the might of the sun god Apollo. Since March, it has been making its way to Tokyo via plane and road (though there were none of the camel or parachute journeys seen in adventurous relays of the past).

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1 hr 2 min agoSurfing is in the Olympics for the first time. Here’s how it worksFrom CNN’s Josiah Ryan

Surfers arrive for a practice session at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach on July 23. Ryan Pierse/Getty ImagesSurfing will make its Olympic debut this year — an extraordinary moment for a sport that traces its origins to at least 2,000 BC in ancient Polynesia, according to surf historian Matt Warshaw in his book, “A Brief History of Surfing.”

Who is competing? Some 40 surfers — 20 men and 20 women from 18 countries — will make history as the first to represent their sport on the Olympic stage.

Carissa Moore and John John Florence of Hawaii, Caroline Marks of Florida and Kolohe Andino of California will represent the US in surfing’s Olympic debut.

Floridian Kelly Slater, widely considered the greatest surfer of all time, has been named as the official alternative for Andino and Florence, who are both recovering from injury-induced surgeries.

In the women’s competition, Lakey Peterson of California is the back-up for both Moore and Marks.

When and where? The competition is slated to begin Saturday, July 24, according to the International Surfing Association, the sport’s governing body recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). However, there’s a 16-day window in which the two-day competitions could occur to maximize chances for the best possible waves on a shoreline known for sometimes fickle and diminutive surf in summer. 

The competition will occur at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, one of the closest surfable beaches to Tokyo — about a 1.5-hour drive away. 

How does it work? The Tokyo Olympics will feature the surfing discipline of shortboarding, which developed in tandem with California skateboard culture and is now the dominant style of competitive surfing worldwide. Shortboarding emphasizes quick turns and radical maneuvers in steep, hollow waves, as well as aerials performed above the lip of the wave. 

The women’s and men’s contests will be composed of six heats lasting 20 to 35 minutes, depending on conditions, in order to narrow the field down to gold, silver and bronze medalists, according to the IOC.

Heats will be judged by a panel of five judges who will score each wave ridden on a scale of one to 10, based on six criteria such as difficulty, innovation, variety, speed, power and flow. The judges’ highest and lowest scores will be discarded and athletes will be given the average of the three scores remaining. A surfer’s two highest-scoring waves in a heat will be combined for a total score — with no limit on how many waves a surfer may ride.

1 hr 27 min agoRussian archer Svetlana Gomboeva is recovering after fainting from the heatFrom CNN’s Radina Gigova

Archer Svetlana Gomboeva is treated for heat exhaustion in the women’s individual ranking round during the Olympic Games at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field on July 23, in Tokyo. Justin Setterfield/Getty ImagesRussian archer Svetlana Gomboeva is recovering after fainting from heatstroke at the Olympics on Friday, her team said in a statement.

Gomboeva was seen by doctors after fainting, who gave her water to drink and then sent her to rest. She will return and continue competing at a later date, the statement said.

“Everything is normal,” the Russian Olympic Committee said. “She is feeling well.”

The incident was not altogether surprising, as the Tokyo Olympics are forecast to be one of the hottest Summer Games in decades. While the average high temperature in Tokyo during the period of the Olympics is 86-88 degrees Fahrenheit (30-31 degrees Celsius), temperatures in recent years have approached as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) in the city.

In early 2019, the International Olympic Committee both acknowledged and addressed some of the hot weather concerns by moving the marathon and various outdoor events to the cooler northern city of Sapporo — which is located about 500 miles (800 kilometers) north of Tokyo. However, temperatures in Sapporo were forecast to hit highs of 87 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius) over the next week, according to CNN Weather.

Gomboeva is representing the Russian Olympic Committee. Russian athletes aren’t competing under their national name at the Tokyo Games due to sanctions over doping. The official Russian team was banned from taking part in the 2020 Olympics by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)��for not complying with the organization’s investigations.

1 hr 41 min agoMeet the 44-year-old marathon runner competing in Tokyo, his fifth — and possibly final — OlympicsThe Tokyo Oly

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After a year of delays and uncertainty, the Olympics formally kick off today

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