TOKYO (WAVY) — The countdown is on. Today marks 100 days until the Opening Ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics.
Athletes are hopeful that after a year-long delay, they’ll be able to compete for gold this summer. However, there’s no question these games will be unlike any other.
The 100 day milestone was not reached in 2020 because of the pandemic, so athletes are excited about the moment.
“To think about 100 days out, it is crazy but then again for us, it’s just another day in training,” said gymnast and five-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles. “One day closer.”
Athletes like Biles are gearing up to compete, after a challenging year.
“It’s been tough but during our time off, we still did Zoom workouts with our coaches so we were still engaged and as soon as we got back in the gym, it was kind of like, full speed again,” Biles said.
It’s also full speed ahead for Olympic officials and Tokyo organizers, who are out with plans to protect athletes and coaches as they converge on Japan in July.
Temperature checks, mask-wearing, sanitizing stations and frequent COVID-19 testing will be common.
While the International Olympic Committee says it supports athletes getting vaccinated, it won’t be mandatory for them to compete.
As for overseas spectators, they are banned from this summer’s games, whether they’ve been vaccinated or not.
That’s something Olympian Allyson Felix is reckoning with. She envisioned her 2-year-old daughter cheering her on in the stands.
“It’s not an ideal situation for anyone and it’s something that we’re all faced with and for me, my family will just have to adjust,” Felix said.
While fans can expect the typical summer Olympic highlights like track and field, swimming and gymnastics, a slate of new sports will make their debut, including karate, surfing, sport climbing and skateboarding.
There will be traditions new and old, designed to bring the world together for a few short weeks.
“The Olympics are world peace and that’s when everybody just comes together,” Biles said.
The 2022 Winter Olympics will be just six months away from the summer games, scheduled to take place in Beijing, China, from February 4 to February 20.