Over and over, year after year, the stewards of the Olympics say it: The Games aren't supposed to be political. But how do you avoid politics when you're trying to pull off an event of this complexity during a lethal and protracted pandemic?
The simple act of taking a knee felt like something more monumental when it happened on Olympic soccer pitches in Japan on the opening night of action. Players from the United States, Sweden, Chile, Britain and New Zealand women's teams went to a knee before their games Wednesday night, anti-racism gestures the likes of which had not been seen before on the Olympic stage. They figured to be the first of many of these sort of demonstrations over the three-week stay in Tokyo. How have protests and demonstrations at the Games evolved over the years? Here's a brief rundown.
Though there's much excitement and renewed enthusiasm for the women's game, the objectification, pay disparities and opportunity gap have taken its toll. Industry leaders say they're committed to righting the wrongs that have long held female surfers back in the male-dominated sport. The mental, financial and logistical roadblocks for women in surfing date back centuries.
There was history — and her story, too — in the broadcast booth at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night. For the first time in Major League Baseball history, an all-female announcing crew called a game as the Tampa Bay Rays played the Baltimore Orioles.
It's an Olympics like no other — and the Tokyo Games are surely that — but this is an event that has persevered through wars, boycotts and now a pandemic over its 125-year modern history. The Tokyo Olympics have already broken new ground because of the 12-month delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, pushing it into an odd-numbered year for the first time. But with no fans permitted in Japan, foreign or local, it has the distinction of being the first Games without spectators.
The Games of the 32nd Olympiad were to have started last July 22 but were pushed back by the coronavirus pandemic. Despite many in Japan questioning whether it is wise with the virus still raging in the country, the International Olympic Committee is pushing ahead.
After a yearlong delay and months of hand-wringing that rippled across a pandemic-inflected world, a Summer Games unlike any other is at hand. It's an Olympics, sure, but also, in a very real way, something quite different.
With college athletes able to profit from their fame for the first time, North Carolina opened a new path Tuesday for its players to cash in: group licensing for official Tar Heels merchandise. North Carolina is believed to be the first school in the nation to launch a group licensing program for current athletes. Under the partnership with The Brandr Group, athletes will receive a cut of net revenue for merchandising opportunities pursued by TBG with products that include the school's official trademarks and logos.
The top half of the sixth inning in the game between the Padres and Washington Nationals had just ended in front of about 33,000 fans when several gunshots were heard echoing around Nationals Park.
In the moment, no one knew whether the rapid series of shots was coming from inside the ballpark or beyond.
Two South African soccer players became the first athletes inside the Olympic Village to test positive for COVID-19, and other cases connected to the Tokyo Games were also confirmed Sunday, highlighting the herculean task organizers face to keep the virus contained while the world's biggest sports event plays out.