The first medals are set to be awarded in swimming with Americans Emma Weyant and Chase Kalisz among the favorites for gold in the women’s and men’s 400-meter individual medley finals.
The U.S. men’s basketball team gets into action in their version of pool play against France. Meanwhile, skateboarding and surfing will make their debuts as official Olympic sports.
And Simone Biles makes her debut in Tokyo as the women’s qualification round begins in gymnastics.
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TOKYO — French gymnast Samir Ait Said suffered a gruesome injury at the Rio Olympics that horrified anyone who saw or heard it. Competing in Tokyo five years later, he is the epitome of the Olympic spirit.
“When I arrived here, I had some flashbacks from Rio. But then I realized I have to go forward,” Ait Said said Saturday, after qualifying for the still rings final. “I gave everything I had, thinking about my family, especially my father. I will give everything I have to have a gold medal. At least a medal.”
– Nancy Armour, USA TODAY
Pro hoops fans from the 1990s and early 2000s will feel a twinge of nostalgia during NBC’s coverage of Olympic basketball in Tokyo. The “Roundball Rock” theme song the network used for the NBA on NBC from 1990-2002 will be featured on its men’s and women’s basketball telecasts.
Composed by John Tesh, “Roundball Rock” became synonymous with the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls teams and its frequent national exposure extended into the Los Angeles Lakers’ run of championships with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
(The theme even spawned a 2013 Saturday Night Live skit featuring Jason Sudeikis as Tesh.)
The first (re)appearance of the Olympics will come when Team USA meets France in its Olympic opener on Sunday (8 a.m. ET).