2020 Olympics

Cameron Takmil, Staff Writer

 We are only a year away from the 2020 Summer Olympics and there is mounting hype for the games in Tokyo as there will be a lot of fresh faces due to the absence of many Olympic greats. The Olympics are also used as a platform to battle social justice as athletes are given a voice to spread their message. Sports like basketball, soccer and swimming attract fans from all over the world.

    One of the biggest aspects of the Olympics is basketball as it one of the most popular sports in the world. While the United States usually places top three in most years as their squad headline multiple NBA stars, this year’s performance in FIBA have many fans of the USA team worried for the 2020 Olympics. With the FIBA tourney just ending as Spain took home the trophy, the US failed to place in the top three and finished at a seventh place, one of their worst ranks in decades. Many players decided to forgo the USA team camp due to personal reasons or preference as almost ten to twenty players decided not to play for the US. This led to USA coaches to pick lower quality players with little chemistry, which posed an issue in the Semifinals when they were ousted by France. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the team as many are worried that there will be less of a motivation from players to play in the Olympics for the USA team. As for the rest of the basketball tourney, you can expect France, Spain and Argentina to be major factors in Tokyo as they all finished top 3 in the FIBA tournament.

     For Women’s, one of the biggest questions will be the availability of two WNBA legends, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird. They’re set up to make another deep run in the Olympics, with WNBA 2019 MVP Breanna Stewart spearheading the campaign. With the recent advocacy of raised women’s pay in the WNBA and FIBA, Olympics could be a great stage to help globalize the movement outside of the U.S and gain support.

     To the surprise of many, Usain Bolt will not return to the Olympics for the first time since 2000. There are many fresh faces that will help lead the next generation of Olympic athletes. Another superstar that won’t present will be Michael Phelps, as this will be the first Olympics since 1996 without him competing. The competition will headline swimmers like Regan Smith and Caeleb Dressel, who many think can help fill the hole that Michael Phelps left. For gymnastics, Simone Biles will perform in her last Olympics as she is the face of the U.S gymnastics squad. 

     You can’t forget about one of the biggest Olympic past-times: soccer! Men’s soccer has been in the Olympics every year since 1900, while women’s soccer has only been medal sport for the past three Olympics. One unique aspect that makes Olympic soccer interesting is the rule that stops teams from using players under 23 years old (with the exception of three older players) on the roster. Olympics is a showcase for the world’s up-and-coming soccer stars such as Kylian Mbappé, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford. Teams like England, Spain, Argentina and other teams over the world will most likely rank the highest in the cup as they battle for the prized gold medal.

   This year, many projects the U.S. to win the medal count by a large margin with Russia, Japan and China following them right behind. Some others are projected to be England, Australia, France, and Germany. With the Olympics headlining many stars from around the world, it’s unlikely it will disappoint in terms of excitement.