After a yearlong delay, the Olympic Opening Ceremonies are happening today. Just like the rest of the events, there won’t be fans in attendance due to COVID-19. I feel bad for all the athletes who’ve trained their whole lives for these two weeks only to have to perform in empty stadiums amid the (understandable) mounting pressure for the games to be called off entirely. But once the starting guns sound, I’ll be glued to the tv like I have been for every other Olympics, hooting and hollering as history is made.
Will gymnast Simone Biles bring home another bag of golds? Who will be the new world’s fastest man now that Usain Bolt is done (there’s a chance it’s Trayvon Bromell from Florida.) Will the women’s soccer team bounce back from their opening loss to Sweden? (I think so.) Speaking of soccer, did you know 5 of our Thorns are in Japan right now? Here’s the scoop on our fellow Oregonians representing the USA & other countries at the “2020” Tokyo Olympics.
Thorns superstars Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Becky Sauerbrunn and Adrianna Franch are making the USA proud. And it’s hard not to cheer for Thorns legend Christine Sinclair who just made her 300th international appearance for Canada.
Track & Field
This is where Oregon shines brightest, largely thanks to the track powerhouse at the University of Oregon.
Here are the Ducks (some current, some alumni) in Tokyo: Raevyn Rogers (800), Jenna Prandini (100, 200), Devon Allen (110 Hurdles), English Gardner (4×100), Cravon Gillespie (4×100), Micah Williams (Benson High too! 4x 100), Galen Rupp (Central Catholic High! marathon), Cole Hocker (1,500), Matthew Centrowitz Jr. (1,500)
Sally Kipyego (Kenyan born, Eugene-based & now representing Team USA in the marathon)
Woody Kincaid (U of Portland & PDX-based Bowerman Track Club) and Grant Fisher (Bowerman) are both in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
Elise Cranny & Karissa Schweizer, (Bowerman Track Club, 5,000 meters)
Plus, Ryan Crouser from Gresham’s Barlow High will try to defend his Olympic gold in the shot put.
Other countries: Jessica Hull (U of O alum, 800 & 1,500 m and Charlie Hunter (U of O, 800 m) for Australia, Claire Michel (U of O, triathlon) for Belgium, Jillian Weir (U of O, Hammer throw) for Canada.
Scott McGough (U of O), Jimmie Sherfy (U of O), DJ Johnson (Beaverton native)
Janie Reed (U of O)
Damian Lillard (Blazers), Jamie Scott (OSU)
Mariel Zagunis (Valley Catholic High School in Beaverton)
Best of luck to all athletes representing their countries at the greatest sporting event in the world and as always, GO DUCKS!