After a moving Opening Ceremony that both honored the athletes competing in Tokyo this year, and reflected on what the world has endured over the past year and a half, the Olympic Games are officially underway.
With the pageantry of the Opening Ceremony behind them, the athletes are now ready to focus on their competitions, with many getting started this weekend.
3x3 basketball makes Olympic debut in Tokyo
There are several new sports making their Olympic debuts in Tokyo.
The women’s 3x3 basketball tournament tipped off on Friday night.
The U.S. women’s team took the floor for the first time against France on Saturday and won their game with a score of 17 to 10.
The team also played against Mongolia on Saturday and won with a score of 21 to 9. You can watch a replay here.
Former UConn star Stefanie Dolson, Dallas Wings guard Allisha Gray, Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum and Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young made up the inaugural Team USA 3x3 roster. Young was named a replacement for UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Samuelson got the news last weekend and posted Monday that she was "devastated" to learn she wouldn't be able to compete in her first Olympics.
Dolson is one of many former UConn stars representing Team USA on the basketball court in Tokyo. Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Breanna Stewart, and Napheesa Collier are all competing with the five-on-five team. The group posed for a picture before the Opening Ceremony Friday.
UConn sophomore Aaliyah Edwards will join alum Kia Nurse on Team Canada, and Gabby Williams will be playing for France.
Swimming heats make a splash on Saturday
The swimming competitions at the Tokyo Games made a splash on Saturday morning.
Ridgefield's Kieran Smith competed in his first Olympics where he swam in the men's 400m freestyle event. Smith came in sixth place with a time of 3.45.25 and earned a spot in the finals.
Heats were held in six events: men’s 400m IM, women’s 100m butterfly, men’s 400m freestyle, women’s 400m IM, men’s 100m breaststroke, and women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.
The finals for the men’s 400m IM, men’s 400m freestyle, women’s 400m IM, and women’s 4x100m relay will take place Saturday night beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Along with Smith, Chase Kalisz (men’s 400m IM); Torri Huske and Claire Curzan (women’s 100m butterfly); Emma Weyant and Hali Flickinger (women’s 400 IM); Michael Andrew (men’s 100m breaststroke); and Abbey Weitzeil and Erika Brown (women’s 4x100m relay) are among the top Americans to watch on the first day of the swimming competitions.
One of the biggest questions going into Tokyo was whether or not Simone Manuel would be included in the women’s 4x100m relay team. The four-time Olympic medalist took gold in the women’s 100m freestyle and 4x100m relay in Rio, but she failed to qualify in the 100m freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June. She secured her spot on the Olympic swimming team by winning the 50m freestyle at the trials, but it remains unclear if she will get a chance to go for another gold as part of the relay team.
USWNT bounces back and beats New Zealand
The U.S. women’s national soccer team was dealt an eye-opening defeat to kick off the Olympics, falling to 2016 silver medalist Sweden in a 3-0 rout. The loss snapped a 44-game unbeaten streak and was the first time the team lost by multiple goals in a major tournament since 2008.
Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Stratford's Alyssa Naher, and Co. rebounded against New Zealand on Saturday, which lost to Australia in its opening game. The USWNT beat New Zealand with a score of 6 to 1. You can watch the replay here.
It was an important win for the USWNT who now move on to play Australia in their final group stage game on Tuesday at 4 a.m. ET.
Team USA continues win streak in softball tournament
After going 2-0 to start the Olympics, the U.S. softball team gained another win early Saturday morning.
Team USA now has three shutout wins under its belt, against Mexico on Saturday morning, against Italy on Tuesday night and against Canada on Wednesday evening.
Next up for Team USA is a matchup against Australia on Saturday night.
Watch live at 9:00 p.m. ET or stream online here.
Dalhausser and Lucena return to the Olympics
Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are back in the pit at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The American men’s beach volleyball duo won its pool in the preliminary round at the Rio Games before losing to eventual gold medalists Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt of Brazil on their home court in the quarterfinals. Lucena helped convince Dalhausser, who won gold with Todd Rogers at the 2008 Beijing Games, to return for another Olympic run.
Dalhausser and Lucena, both 41 years old, started Pool D and played against Dutch pair Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen on Saturday morning.
The American duo lost its first pool with a score of 0 to 1.
Dalhausser and Lucena will play Brazil with returning gold medalist Alison Cerutti and his new partner, Álvaro Filho, on Monday at 11 p.m. ET.