Layden: Competing under withering pressure, Olympians deserve our fervor and empathy
Bottom of the ninth? Pressure. Two free throws to win the game? Pressure. Six-foot putt to win the U.S. Open? Pressure. But there's not pressure like that heaped on Olympic athletes, who carry the expectations of a nation and only get the chance to shrug it off every four years.
Seiko Hashimoto takes over as Tokyo Olympic president
Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Organizing Committee, speaks during a press conference following the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board meeting in Tokyo Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. The 56-year-old Hashimoto was named president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee after a meeting of its executive board, which is 80% male. She also held a portfolio dealing with gender equality and women’s empowerment. "I think it will be important for Tokyo 2020 to practice equality.”International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said Hashimoto was “the perfect choice” for the job. AdKotani is the sports director for the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee.
Japan starts COVID-19 vaccinations with eye on Olympics
A medical worker receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine Tokyo Medical Center in Tokyo Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Japan's first coronavirus shots were given to health workers Wednesday, beginning a vaccination campaign considered crucial to holding the already delayed Tokyo Olympics. Medical workers say vaccinations will help protect them and their families, and business leaders hope the drive will allow economic activity to return to normal. The first batch of Pfizer vaccines that arrived Friday is enough to cover the first group of medical workers. AdAfter the front-line medical workers will come inoculations of 3.7 million more health workers starting in March, followed by about 36 million people aged 65 and older beginning in April.
Tokyo Olympics: Q&A on vaccines, fans, qualifying and costs
Bach said during this week's trip to Tokyo that he is encouraging all Olympic participants and fans to be vaccinated - if one becomes available - if they are going to attend next year's Tokyo Olympics. The Tokyo Olympics were postponed eight months ago, and now are to open in eight months: July 23, 2021. Hanging in the balance are 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 Paralympians. Tokyo said the Olympics would cost $7.3 billion when it was awarded the games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2013. Takahashi is a former executive of the Japanese marketing company Dentsu Inc., the marketing agent for the Tokyo Games.
Bach comes to Tokyo as cheerleader for next year's Olympics
TOKYO – The IOC and Tokyo Olympic organizers have been shouting the message for months now, that despite the continuing pandemic, the Games will open on July 23, 2021. Bach was also asked last week whether he was going to Tokyo to talk about contingencies for canceling the Olympics. Bach is travelling on a private charter and will meet new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Monday morning. An hour later he’s with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and then holds a media conference with Tokyo organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori, another former prime minister. The IOC president has has called Tokyo the best prepared Olympics in history, a point he's likely to repeat.
Tokyo Olympics to give refunds to ticket buyers in Japan
TOKYO – Fans living in Japan who bought tickets for the postponed Tokyo Olympics have been guaranteed refunds, the local organizing committee said Friday. The IOC and Tokyo organizers are running several task forces looking at ways to handle immigration and COVID-19. He’s also organized a popular Facebook page that’s a go-to for Tokyo ticket information. Tokyo organizers have budgeted $800 million in income from ticket sales in Japan and aboard, their third largest source of income. Organizers say 4.48 million Olympic tickets have been sold in Japan, with 970,000 tickets for the Paralympics.
'Jurassic Park' to 'Apocalypse Now': USOPC faces steep climb
FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2020, file photo, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Los Angeles 2028 organizers in Beverly Hills, Calif. Even before the coronavirus pandemic wiped the Summer Olympics off the 2020 sports calendar, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee was an organization in peril. “Last year I talked about evolution and ‘Jurassic Park,’” chair Susanne Lyons said, in a nod to the changes the USOPC had embarked upon, pre-COVID. College sports teams supplied the U.S. with about 75% of its roster at the 2016 Summer Games. The Summer Olympics are nine months away, with a Winter Games set for February 2022, and the Los Angeles Games — the first Summer Games in America in a generation — scheduled for 2028.
Tokyo Olympics say they found savings even as costs rise
TOKYO – Tokyo Olympic organizers estimate they have found cost-savings of about $280 million by simplifying and cutting some frills from next year’s postponed games. The savings represent about 2% of the official Tokyo Olympic budget of $12.6 billion. Gakuji Ito, the chief financial officer of the Tokyo Olympics, acknowledged the cost-savings figure was only an estimate. Most of the bills for the Tokyo Olympics and the postponement fall on Japanese taxpayers. About $5.6 billion in the Tokyo Olympic budget is private money, and about $1.3 billion of that comes from the IOC.
IOC gets official look at simplification for Tokyo Olympics
TOKYO – The IOC and local organizers are trying to “simplify” the postponed Tokyo Olympics, promising to save money in what one study says is already the most expensive Summer Olympics on record. Organizers and the IOC say they had already slashed several billion dollars in costs before the Olympics were postponed six months ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tokyo and the IOC have not offered an estimate of the savings, but estimates in Japan put them at 1-2% of official spending of $12.6 billion. The document handed out last month by organizers showed them considering “measures to increase” donations to make up for lost income. To keep sponsors on board, the IOC and local organizers have talked confidently in the last several months about the Olympics opening as planned on July 23, 2021.
A flame, a look, one of the Olympics' most powerful moments
FILE - In this July 19, 1996, file photo, American swimmer Janet Evans passes the Olympic flame to Muhammad Ali during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)ATLANTA EDITORS With the Tokyo Olympics postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press is looking back at the history of Summer Games. Here are some of the highlights of the 1996 Atlanta Games, where Muhammad Ali provided the greatest moment before the competition even began. ___Less than 24 hours before the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Olympics, at a secretive midnight practice run, Janet Evans finally got the word. As the last host city to rely mainly on private funding, Atlanta faced griping that its commercial backers made the event look more like a tacky county fair than the Summer Olympics.
NBC resets focus for Tokyo while also looking to Beijing
NBC which has the U.S. media rights through the 2032 Summer Games had already done most of its features and taped promos before the International Olympic Committee postponed the Games in March. Other issues include how many people NBC will send to Tokyo. ABC aired 63 hours from the Sarajevo Winter Games and 180 from the Los Angeles Summer Games, which were both records at the time. NBC's coverage from Tokyo will be over 7,000 hours and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games an additional 2,500. While ABC used only one channel for its coverage, NBC will again air across many channels along with online streaming.
St. Louis Olympics was really World's Fair with some sports
This image provided by the Library of Congress, shows the athletics field at the 1904 Olympic games in St. Louis. The St. Louis Games were the first at which gold medals were awarded to winners, and they remain the only medals made entirely of gold. The first Olympic Games in the New World would produce a profound and permanent result," author and historian Carl Posy wrote years later, shaping every Olympic Games to come." GO FOR GOLDThe St. Louis Games were the first at which gold medals were awarded to winners, and they remain the only medals made entirely of gold. The outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War and the challenge in getting to St. Louis prevented many of the best European athletes from competing.
US Olympic museum to open July 30; will honor 1980 team
This July 17, 2020 photo provided by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum shows the U.S. Olympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colo. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum announced Monday, July 20, 2020 that it will open July 30. It will have a first-of-its-kind tribute to the 1980 Olympic team, which was forced to miss the Moscow Games because of a boycott. Olympic & Paralympic Museum via AP)A 60,000-square foot museum that will include a first-of-its-kind tribute to the 1980 U.S. Olympic team is scheduled to open July 30 in Colorado Springs after a three-year construction project. The project was conceived in 2012, as Olympic leaders looked to establish the first full-fledged Olympic museum in the United States.
On this day: September 19
1988: U.S. Olympic diver Greg Louganis suffers a concussion after hitting his head on the springboard during the preliminary rounds at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Louganis would complete the preliminaries despite the injury, earning the highest single score of the qualifying for his next dive, and eventually repeat his gold-medal-winning performance from 1984. He would also repeat as gold medal winner in the 10-meter platform diving event in Seoul. Hide Caption
On this day: August 3
1984: Mary Lou Retton wins a gold medal in the all-around gymnastics competition at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics, becoming the first female gymnast from outside Eastern Europe to do so. She went on to win four additional medals in Los Angeles: silver in the team competition and the horse vault, and bronze in the floor exercise and uneven bars. Hide Caption