Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Olympic Blurb 2016: Day 15

There are a lot of athletes getting interviewed now that their events are wrapped up and done. Near the beginning of the Olympic Games many athletes are closed up, focusing on their event. But now there's a lot of shots of the athletes parading around, relaxing and/or showing off their medals.

If an athlete is getting interviewed, there is one question that is definitely getting asked to almost everyone, even those athletes who insist they are retiring after these Rio Games:

"So are you coming back for Tokyo?"

The next Olympic Games are taking place in Japan from July 24 through August 9, 2020. For many young athletes, going to the next Olympic Games is a no-brainer. However, for athletes nearing the end of their professional careers, keeping up the training for another four years can be hard to process, especially since most of them have experienced a grueling time of it the past four years.

And then there are athletes like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, who keep insisting that they're done even though so many are insisting they stay. I believe Phelps, but I'm not sure about Bolt. I know he's had a lot of injuries outside of the Olympics, but so many people know him and love him, and he drinks up the spotlight.

Those athletes are the ones that dread that Tokyo 2020 question.

But go ahead and ask me.

That's right.

Go ahead!

Hey, are you going to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?

You better believe I am going to do everything in my power to be in Tokyo for the Olympics!

London was a pipe dream, since I was in the middle of a move. Rio de Janeiro was never enticing enough for me to attend - not because of the Olympics, but because South America has never been on my list of places to visit.

But Tokyo? That city has always been on my travel list. I have flown through Narita to get to Beijing and then back to Minneapolis, but I have never been outside of the airport.

In 2020, though, I am all about it. I want to go everywhere and do everything. I want to go to Tokyo Disneyland and Disney SEA, the latter of which is rumored to be the best theme park in the world. I want to visit all the sites and landmarks like Tokyo Tower and Chidorigafuchi and the Shibuya Pedestrian Scramble and Akihabara!

Mostly, though, I want to see as many Olympic events as possible. I already follow @Tokyo2020 on Twitter, and they have been posting designs and pictures of their event arenas. Many of the buildings are already in existence, and some are pretty far along in construction! See some of the pictures below:











If the IOC ever needed a host city to be completely prepared and ready after the unpreparedness of Rio, I'd say they have chosen wisely with Tokyo.

I've been trying to watch as many events as possible in Rio and decide which ones would be fun to see in person. Here's my list:

  • Track and Field is number one. I've decided that going during the decathlon would be the best idea, since decathlete events last longer than the morning session and start earlier than the evening session. I would also love to go during either men's or women's shot put.
  • Swimming would be great to see, too. While the crowds in the track and field stadium have been less than spectacular, the swimming crowds were dynamic, and I want to be a part of that.
  • Gymnastics would be fun, but it might be a hard ticket to get. 
  • I would love to attend the whitewater kayaking area, or the canoe/kayak stadium. The area for those events are a bit smaller than rowing, but are easy to follow.
  • I think getting a beach volleyball ticket might be impossible, but I like indoor volleyball more, anyway! 
  • Believe it or not, equestrian jumping is also on my list. Dressage is too boring for a spectator sport, but jumping is very exciting. 
  • Track Cycling in the velodrome might be fun, though I'd have to go during the pursuit events.
  • Today I also decided that the modern pentathlon stadium would be enjoyable. I watched the final events of running/shooting, and it was all contained in the stadium.
  • The Opening Ceremony might be fun to witness, but I'm not sure if I'd be able to follow everything without a lot of close-ups. However, the lighting of the flame would definitely still bring me to tears, and I would be able to see it in PERSON.
I am excited to start saving my pennies for this trip. I have a lot of plans in my head, especially because the Rio Games are going on right now. Things might not fall into place, but I always say that if I say to people that I'm going to do something, then I'm even more likely to actually get out there and do it!

Let's see those mini blurbs!
  • Today's round-up:
    • men's canoe
    • kayak
    • women's triathlon
    • women's mountain biking
    • women's golf
    • men's diving
    • women's handball
    • women's rhythmic gymnastics
    • women's volleyball
    • boxing
    • women's taekwondo
    • men's soccer
    • track and field
  • Considering that Brazil has never won Olympic gold in soccer before, I don't mind too much that Neymar secured them gold in the men's tournament with a shoot-out final kick win. Brazil hasn't had too much of a hometown medal bump, so this one is good for them. 
  • You think there are droughts between gold medals? How about 108 years?! Matt Centrowitz finally gave the US another gold medal in the men's 1500m - the first since Mel Sheppard in 1908. He ran in front almost the whole race. Maybe middle- and long-distance US runners are finally figuring out they need to stay in front to medal? 
  • Like I said above, I really loved watching the Modern Pentathlon today. I caught three of the five disciplines: fencing, running, and shooting. (There's also swimming 200m and a horse jumping events.) I also found a nice explanation on NBCOlympics.com's Twitter feed:
  • Usually when we hear of Kenyan athletes at the Olympics, we think of tall, skinny, powerful distance runners. Well, not Julius Yego. He is a large javelin thrower, and his first throw tonight resulted in him splayed on the ground. But he stayed behind the line, and he had the first place throw for a time! (He then got injured in the fourth round, so maybe his method wasn't quite the best.)
  • I can't believe the US finally got its first triathlon gold medal EVER today thanks to Gwen Jorgenson. There are so many US triathletes! How in the world did it take so long? (And NBC's commentator for the triathlon ended up being Tom Hammond, who could have been found earlier in the Games doing play-by-play for gymnastics.)
  • By the end of this week there were so many disqualifications on the track! What is up with that? (Paul Chelimo of the US was disqualified after the men's 5000m but then was reinstated later. Those officials are picky!)
  • The US ran those final relays like beasts. It was great to see them close out the track and field events on top. We didn't take them all, but we took enough!
The Olympic Blurb for 2016 wraps up tomorrow. Don't miss it!

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