Regardless of the time of year, there are always sporting events to be excited about. January brings the Super Bowl. In the Spring, there’s the Masters and the Daytona 500. Later in the year, sports fans are treated to the World Series.
But every 4 years, there’s something to get really excited about in the Summertime, the Olympics. The next Summer Games will be taking place in Tokyo in 2021. Not only will the competition feature some new events, but there will also be many superstar athletes. Here’s a look at the upcoming Summer Olympics.
Basketball Is Going To Look A Lot Different
Basketball has a long tradition in the Summer Olympics. In 1992, the United States began to send their best pro’s to the games and have been dominant. European teams like Spain and Argentina, though, have closed the gap with their sharpshooting and team play.
But the next Summer Olympics will feature a different kind of basketball. The games have added a 3 on 3 basketball event. This is likely to look more like a pickup game than a standard 5 on 5 match, and should add an extra element of fun.
There’s A Lot More Excitement About The Women’s Soccer Team Than The Mens
The US Women’s Soccer team is an absolute global powerhouse that is coming off a World Cup Victory. The American women, though, were unable to capture the Olympic Gold in 2016 and will be looking for redemption this time around.
The Mens’ team will have more of an uphill battle. The American males did not even qualify for the most recent World Cup. The last time US Mens’ Soccer won a medal at the games was 1904.
Tokyo Is A Very Safe Place
The Olympic games are always held in a major city and some cities are safer than others. The most recent games were held in Rio de Janeiro, a place with a high crime rate There were significant concerns about the safety of both the athletes and tourists.
Those concerns won’t be repeated during the next games in Tokyo, Japan. The Asian city is considered among the safest large metropolitan areas in all of the world.
The Medals Will Be Made Of Recycled Medals
Gold, Silver, and Bronze are all, of course, precious metals. And the awards that hang around the winning athletes’ necks are made up of these materials. Things will be a little bit different come the next games.
The Japanese government has asked it citizens to donate their old and unused phones and computers. There is a small amount of precious metal in each of these devices. Japan will be taking the tiny remnants from each of these devices to create this year’s medals.
There Was Some Controversy Over The Stadium Design
During each Olympic games, the host city usually needs to build some arenas that can host specific sports. Since Tokyo held the 1964 games, the city has some venues that can be reused. But a new building had to be created to house other sports.
The first arena the country wanted to create was criticized for looking too much like a turtle. This prompted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to step in and shut the project down not only due to design but also due to rising costs.
Japan Will Be Showing Off The Latest In Technology
Once upon a time, nations would hold a World’s Fair where they could show off their latest technological advances. That was in the past, though. The last World’s Fair was held in Louisiana in 1984.
The Olympics, though, allow countries to show off what they’ve been working on. The next games will be no exception. Among the latest advances being shown at the games will be driverless cars, facial recognition, baggage carrying robots and an expanded security network.
The Country Is Going To Be More Packed Than Usual
While the Olympic games, especially the summer ones, are usually held in major cities, Tokyo will have a challenge on its hands. The games can’t be successful if it isn’t simple for the attendees and athletes to get to their events.
Tokyo is a notoriously crowded city. Public transportation, things like buses and subways will be packed. To try and combat this, the country will be asking people to work from home and will also relocate a famous fish market.
Someone Else May Win A Medal In Swimming
1996 in Atlanta. That was the first year that Michael Phelps first participated in a Summer Olympics. He laid waste to the competition over the next 20 years winning a grand total of 28 medals including 23 golds.
But Phelps had his last Olympic run during the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro where he took home 5 Golds and 1 Silver. Some other swimmers will get a chance to get up on the stand during the next games. US favorites include Caeleb Dressel and Chase Kalisz.
This Will Be Tokyo’s 2nd Olympic Games
It’s not easy to win the opportunity to host the Olympics. Even a massive city like Tokyo has to wait its turn to feature the games. The last time the event was held in Tokyo was all the way back in 1964.
Tokyo was originally supposed to hold its first Summer Olympics in 1940. The International Olympic Committee, however, decided to strip the country of the honor when they invaded China during World War II.
Someone Else May Be Able To Win Some Running Medals
Sometimes in the Olympics, quite often actually, there is a sprinter who dominates the sport for multiple summer games. Since the 2008 games in Beijing, that runner has been Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.
Bolt won the 100 and 200 meter races in 2008, 2012, and 2016. Some other promising runner will get to take home the honors this time around. The favorites for the gold include Americans Justin Gatlin and 21-year-old Christian Coleman.
Tokyo Beat Out Multiple Countries
The decision on which country will host the games is done years in advance. And it’s not easy to win the honor. There is a long and drawn-out process that cuts contenders down and they are eventually voted on by the IOC.
Japan’s two main competitors for the next games were Istanbul and Madrid. Turkey has never hosted the games but has made 4 attempts. Madrid has also made multiple attempts which came in 1972, 2012 and 2016.
The Games Won’t Be Cheap
It is a very expensive endeavor for a city to host the games. Japan had initially estimated that it would cost the country 730 billion yen, which works out to about $6.8 billion. Those estimates were later raised to close to $20 billion.
While this figure is really high, it won’t make for the most expensive games ever. The 2008 games, which were held in Beijing cost around $40 billion. The most expensive Olympics, held in Sochi in 2014, were estimated to cost $50 billion.
Skateboarding Will Be An Event
The Winter Olympics have long featured snowboard events like the halfpipe. And the snowboarding star of the last few Winter games has been Shaun White. The Flying Tomato could also be making an appearance in the Summer Games as well.
In addition to being great on the snow, White is also a very accomplished skateboarder. While the Flying Tomato might not be a favorite to medal in any of the new events, he is still sure to draw plenty of eyes.
Russia Will Be Back This Year
Russia has long been involved in the Olympics and has always prided itself on winning plenty of medals. They’ve been a dominant force, too. Since the modern games began, Russia has finished second all-time in medal count behind the United States.
But the Russian athletes did not have the opportunity to take home any medal in 2016. The country was accused of using illegal substances in massive numbers during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The US Women’s Gymnastics Team Makes Its Return
The Women’s gymnastics events are always a highly anticipated part of the games. And over the last 30 years or so, the United States Women have dominated the event. That includes 2016 when they took home the all-around gold.
Simone Biles will be back, but most of the other members of that team have retired. This will provide an amazing opportunity for a new generation of young female gymnasts to have their names known worldwide!
Skateboarding Won’t Be The Only New Sport
New sports bring not only new excitement to the games, but they also bring a lot of new eyes too. While skateboarding and 3 on 3 basketball have been the most talked-about new events, there will be others as well.
Surfing will make its debut, with the US’ Kolohe Andino hoping for the gold. Sports climbing will also be a part of the newest games. All eyes will be on famed US climber Alex Honnold if he qualifies.
Baseball And Softball Are Back
The United States has a great Olympic history in both baseball and softball. Of course, the two sports were created here and are both very American. Still, teams from both Asia and Latin America are always in hot contention for the gold.
The last time that two sports appeared in the games was back in 2008. The US won’t be sending over any of its professional players, though other countries will. Still, it will be a chance to get a close look at some stars of the future.
Katie Ledecky Is Coming For All The Medals
Every Olympics has its fair share of breakout superstars. And during the 2016 games, swimmer Katie Ledecky became a new superstar for the United States. Then just 19 years old, Lececky took home 5 medals including 4 golds in Beijing.
She will be back again this next go around and will still be in her early 20s. In the prime of her career, the swimmer could lay down another stunning performance. She’ll have a target on her back, but Ledecky figures to take home a lot more gold.
Simone Biles Will Be Back Too
There were a lot of stars who shone brightly in Beijing. But the most-watched in any given Olympics is women’s gymnastics. And Simone Biles dominated the competition in 2016.
Not only did Biles show the world that she was worthy of all the hype, but she also did so while being 19 years of age. The scary thing is that Biles has only gotten better since 2016. She is a good bet to rack up plenty more medals.
This Will Be One Of 3 Summer Games For The Decade
Thanks to the four-year gap in between games, most decades only have 2 Summer Olympic Games. Of course, there are Winter games in between the gaps, but nothing draws fans in quite like the Summer Games.
The next Olympics will take place in Tokyo. The sites for 2024 and 2028 have also been decided already. The 2024 event will move over to Europe and take place in Paris. The ’28 games return to America and will be in Los Angeles.