Olympics 2024 Live: U.S. Beats Canada in Softball

The softball game was a tight contest, with the two teams battling for nearly seven hours. But the U.S. team, playing in front of an announced crowd of 3,000 fans, prevailed over Canada in the 12th inning to win the Olympic gold.

The world of sports can be cut-throat. The competition can take on many forms, from the world of professional sports to local park leagues, and there are a lot of competitors who are simply looking for any edge they can get. So with the Olympics just over three years away, we were curious about the prospect of our favorite country, the United States, facing off against an American rival that’s making a comeback: Canada.

The U.S. beat Canada 7-4 in Eagle Rock on Sunday, improving on their 4-3 loss in the first game on Wednesday. Tia Blanco knocked out the first two Canadian batters with a pair of hits, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning.

Tokyo time is 2:55 p.m. on July 22.

Here’s what you should be aware of:

Kentaro Kobayashi

Kentaro Kobayashi/Associated Press/Tokyo 2024/Kentaro Kobayashi/Associated Press/Tokyo 2024/Associated Press/Associated Press/Associated Press/Associated Press/Associated Press/Associated

TOKYO, JAPAN — The artistic director of the delayed Tokyo Olympics, Kentaro Kobayashi, was fired only one day before the opening ceremony when video evidence of him making light of the Holocaust in a comedy performance in the 1990s surfaced.

Seiko Hashimoto, Japan’s Olympics minister, said she heard about the routine on Wednesday, sounding weary following a slew of controversies involving the Games and the creative team behind the opening ceremony in particular. Kobayashi made a remark about “massacring Jews” while miming the process of cutting up paper human figures in the comedy. According to her, the organizing committee decided to fire him “immediately.”

Kobayashi stated in a statement that he regretted the routine after filming it and “began trying to produce comedy that don’t harm people.”

“I recognize that my choice of words was incorrect and regret it,” he stated in a statement. “I apologize to anybody who was offended.”

Kobayashi had “made a mockery of a terrible historic event in the past,” according to the organizing committee, and apologized “for having caused difficulties and worries to many stakeholders, including citizens of Tokyo and Japan.”

In contrast to Kobayashi’s quick dismissal, Keigo Oyamada, a composer who wrote music for the opening ceremony, resigned last week after snippets from interviews he gave in the 1990s admitting to serious bullying and mistreatment of handicapped students emerged on social media.

Oyamada apologized at first, and it seemed that he would retain his position, but a massive social media campaign forced him to leave. Mr. Oyamada should have been fired sooner, according to Hashimoto.

Kobayashi is the second opening ceremony artistic director to resign. Hiroshi Sasaki resigned in March when a magazine reported that while suggesting her participation in the event, he likened a famous comedian and plus-size fashion designer to a pig. Sasaki’s departure occurred only weeks after Yoshiro Mori, the previous head of the Tokyo organizing committee, quit over inappropriate remarks regarding women.

Some on Twitter questioned why Kobayashi was dismissed over an outdated routine, while others argued that his firing was insufficient. One user commented, “Kentaro Kobayashi’s removal after the Holocaust skit was discovered in the past is a fast measure.” “But, during tomorrow’s opening ceremony, will they do what this man directed?” Is the issue resolved just because he was fired?”

When asked whether she regretted continuing with the Games despite the unfolding controversies and increasing coronavirus infections in the Olympic Village, Hashimoto said that the Tokyo organizers are “facing every single conceivable issue.” “We want you to remember Tokyo for overcoming a lot of difficulties and succeeding,” she added.

The U.S. women’s soccer team after its 3-0 loss to Sweden on Wednesday.

After a 3-0 defeat to Sweden on Wednesday, the US women’s soccer team. Credit… The New York Times/David Mills

TOKYO, JAPAN — The United States of America of America of America women’s soccer team went into the Olympics on a two-year undefeated run. It awoke on Thursday morning, perplexed as to how things had gone so wrong in its first game, a 3-0 loss to Sweden.

Megan Rapinoe of the United States remarked, “I don’t even know how many goals we’ve given up this year.” (In 12 matches, the answer is one.)

She went on to say, “I don’t recall the last time we let up a goal.” “It’s not ideal to give up three.”

So, what’s next? The good news for the US is that all is not lost, as many experienced players pointed out on Wednesday night. The squad will play New Zealand on Saturday and Australia on Tuesday in their final two group-stage games.

Improved performance in those areas will guarantee a spot among the eight teams that progress to the medal round, a knockout stage when fitness, experience, and skill can erase even the most vexing slip.

The winner of the group that contains the Netherlands (who hanged 10 goals on Zambia on Wednesday) or Brazil (which hung 10 goals on Zambia on Wednesday) may face the runner-up in the Americans’ group (and the former United States coach Pia Sundhage). But those are concerns for the next week.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski of the United States stated, “We placed ourselves in a huge hole.” “However, we are the only ones who can save ourselves.”

For the time being, the American players are preaching patience, either with wise advice or wishful thinking.

“No matter what, we weren’t going to glide through six games,” said forward Christen Press. “And here we are,” says the narrator.

Rapinoe, after watching Wednesday’s implosion, seemed to speak to her team, its fans and everyone else preaching doom when she said, “You want to put a mirror in front of everyone and say: ‘Relax. We’re good.’”

Everyone will know whether she is correct by next week.

Monica Abbott celebrated with teammates during the U.S. win.

Monica Abbott joined her colleagues in celebrating the United States’ victory. Credit… Associated Press/Jae C. Hong

TOKYO, JAPAN — The top-ranked United States softball team beat third-ranked Canada 1-0 on Thursday at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, thanks to Monica Abbott’s strong left arm.

Abbott pitched a perfect game, allowing just one hit while striking out nine batters. Cat Osterman, another American ace, had pitched six shutout innings the day before, striking out nine and allowing just one hit to Italy. Abbott pitched the last inning to seal the 2-0 victory.

So far, Osterman, 38, and Abbott, 35, who both competed in the 2008 Olympic softball competition, have combined to allow just two hits, three walks, and strike out a total of 21 hitters in two games.

Abbott tormented Canada’s offense all game on Thursday, throwing fastballs at 70 miles per hour. In the sixth inning, when she did give up a single, her teammates rushed to her aid.

Sara Groenewegen, Canada’s opening pitcher, hit a double into the right-center field gap with a runner on first base. Haylie McCleney, though, tracked down the ball and threw it to second baseman Ali Aguilar, who passed it to catcher Aubree Munro just in time to grab a diving Joey Lye at home.

Abbott’s gem was saved by the defensive play, and the team’s head coach, Ken Eriksen, stayed with her for the last inning.

On offense, the US threatened with base runners throughout the game, but failed to capitalize on its opportunities. The team’s lone run came in the fifth inning, when McCleney reached on a one-out single and advanced to second on Janie Reed’s sacrifice bunt.

Amanda Chidester faced Jenna Caira and smacked a single to right field, scoring McCleney. Chidester pumped her arms and screamed to her teammates from first base.

There will be no softball games on Friday as the event moves to Yokohama Baseball Stadium, which is closer to Tokyo. The United States will face Mexico on Saturday. The top two teams in the six-team competition progress to the gold medal game after each team has played five games.

Canada and the United States faced off on Thursday after each won their first game of the tournament.

On Thursday, Canada and the United States met after each team had won their first game of the competition. Credit… Reuters/Jorge Silva

TOKYO, JAPAN — It’s Thursday at the Olympic Games, or “Day Negative 1,” as it’s officially called. (On Friday, the opening ceremony will take place.)

The onslaught of sports that will begin on Saturday is only a trickle, but there are a few noteworthy events.

Three additional softball games are scheduled for the morning in Tokyo. The United States defeated Canada 1-0 in a complete-game shutout by pitcher Monica Abbott. The next matches are Mexico vs. Japan and Australia vs. Italy.

Then, in the afternoons and evenings of Tokyo, soccer continues, but this time with men rather than ladies. The United States failed to qualify for the men’s competition, which is dominated by younger athletes.

Mexico-France in Tokyo at 5 p.m. (4 a.m. Eastern on Thursday) and Brazil-Germany in Yokohama at 8:30 p.m. are two of the eight games to watch (7:30 a.m. Eastern on Thursday). Brazil won the gold medal game at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in a penalty shootout.

In the United States, here’s how to watch:

All timings are in Eastern Standard Time.


  • On NBC Sports Network on Wednesday at 8 p.m., the United States and Canada will compete.

  • On NBCSN at 11 p.m., Japan takes on Mexico.

  • On NBCSN at 2 a.m. Thursday, Italy will face Australia.

Soccer for men

  • On USA Network at 4 a.m., Mexico will face France.

  • On USA Network at 7:30 a.m., Brazil will face Germany.

The opening ceremony will take place in Tokyo on Friday night. However, due to the time difference with Tokyo, it will be Friday morning in the US.

The event will be aired live on NBC beginning at 6:55 a.m. Eastern time. The event will be hosted by Savannah Guthrie of “Today” and Mike Tirico of NBC Sports.

The network will broadcast a packaged prime-time version of the event on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, as it has done in previous years.

Olympic events will be broadcast on the Golf Channel, NBC Olympics, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, and USA Network in addition to NBC. NBCOlympics.com, NBCSports.com, and Peacock, the network’s streaming platform, will all be live-streaming events.

The Tokyo Games will last 16 days from the opening ceremony, ending in the closing ceremony on August 8.

Outside the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. The decision to hold events without spectators has proved divisive.

Outside the Tokyo Olympic Stadium. The choice to conduct competitions without the presence of spectators has caused controversy. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee

On Thursday in Tokyo, the second full day of Olympic competition before Friday’s opening ceremony, more athletes were in action, with softball events in the morning and men’s soccer games later in the day.

Off the field, officials are still working to convince Tokyo residents that the influx of thousands of athletes would not exacerbate the spread of Covid-19. More players and teams have been sidelined as a result of a fresh wave of infections, including Mexico’s whole baseball team, which is now quarantined at home and awaiting permission to fly.

While just two sports have officially begun play — soccer and softball — there are already indications that players may take advantage of new regulations that allow for greater activism and demonstrations prior to the start of a game. Four women’s soccer teams took a knee before their matches on Wednesday.

On the pitch, there is shock.

The United States women’s soccer team started the competition the same way it finished the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: by losing to Sweden.

The defeat in the quarterfinals lost them a shot at the gold medal back then. This time, the team’s 44-game winning run came to an end with a 3-0 setback on Wednesday. The United States, which has four gold medals, was one of the favorites to win it all after winning the World Cup in 2019.

The Americans now have two days to prepare for their next match, which will be against New Zealand on Saturday. That game, as well as Tuesday’s encounter against Australia, are very certainly must-wins if the US women are to advance to the next round, when they might play powerhouses such as the United Kingdom, Brazil, and the Netherlands.


After postponing the games for a year due to the epidemic, Tokyo organizers made several significant compromises in order for the event to go place this year, including excluding spectators, which has caused controversy. However, the measures have done nothing to allay people’s fears in Japan, where the number of cases is on the rise.

Athletes who have been found to be infected with the coronavirus

Positive tests are anticipated with daily testing procedures, according to scientists, even among the vaccinated. Although public reports indicate that occurrences among athletes have been minor or asymptomatic, little information on severity has been published. Some athletes who have tested positive have remained anonymous.

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According to the New York Times, 91 individuals, including 10 competitors, have tested positive for the coronavirus among participants, officials, and others working at the Games as of Thursday. Those who tested positive before arriving in Japan are not included in this number. Two members of Mexico’s baseball team tested positive for the virus before the squad’s planned flight to Tokyo, requiring the team to stay in Mexico City for quarantine. Following adverse tests, many players, including those from the United States, will be unable to compete in the Games.


Only two weeks ago, the English men’s soccer team made headlines when its players knelt before games in the Euro 2024 competition to protest racism. While the squad lost the title to Italy, it served to bring attention to issues that were significant to the players and attracted the wrath of certain English politicians.

The organizers of the Olympics modified the regulations, allowing players to protest before games but not during play or while medals were awarded. Women’s soccer teams from Chile, the United States, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have all taken a knee thus far.

According to Tommie Smith, who famously raised his fist to highlight the oppression of Black Americans when he was awarded the gold medal for the 200 meters in track and field in Mexico City in 1968, viewers should expect more protests on Friday at the opening ceremony and throughout the coming weeks of events.

Read an interview with him in the New York Times on what to anticipate.

We’re heading to Australia.

The 2024 Olympics haven’t yet begun, and we’re already talking about the 2032 host city: Brisbane. It’s Australia’s third-largest city, situated on the country’s east coast near the Gold Coast’s surfing hotspots. It will be Australia’s third time hosting the games.

One individual, John Coates, was probably not surprised by the decision to designate Brisbane as the 2032 host city. He’s a vice president of the International Olympic Committee, which drafted the new guidelines for choosing a host. He is also the president of the Australian Olympic Committee, which submitted the candidacy.

Read Tariq Panja’s profile on Coates to learn more about how he helped bring the Games back to Australia.

Ona Carbonell competing in Gwangju, South Korea, at the world championships in 2019. 

In 2019, Ona Carbonell will compete in the world championships in Gwangju, South Korea. Credit… Getty Images/Clive Rose

Ona Carbonell, a Spanish artistic swimmer, has expressed her “disappointment and disillusionment” that she would not be able to accompany her baby to the Tokyo Olympics while she is still nursing him.

Carbonell announced in an Instagram video this week that she would not be taking her nearly-one-year-old son, Kai, to the Olympics. She said that she had to choose between her family and her Olympic dreams in artistic swimming, previously known as synchronized swimming.

As she nursed her baby in the video, she remarked in Spanish, “A few weeks ago, several female athletes began talking about this on social media.” “The topic was whether to prioritize family and nursing above competing in the Olympic Games.”

She said, “We were informed this wasn’t compatible.”

At the end of June, the Tokyo organizing committee loosened a restriction on bringing infants who are nursing to the Games. But the conditions imposed still made it difficult for mothers, Carbonell said, because children would have to stay in a hotel outside of the Olympic confines and under strict quarantine.

“During the 20-ish days I’d be in Tokyo, they wouldn’t be permitted to leave the hotel room,” Carbonell said. “I would have to leave the Olympic villa, the team’s bubble, and travel to their hotel to nurse Kai whenever he needed it throughout the day, putting my team’s health at risk.”

Carbonell, who is 31 years old, is participating in her third Olympic Games. In London in 2012, she earned a silver medal in the duet competition and a bronze medal in the team competition, and in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, she finished fourth in the duet category.

While she had gotten “countless messages of support and encouragement to go to Tokyo with Kai,” she “wanted to convey my sadness and disillusionment that I would ultimately have to travel without him,” she wrote in a statement that accompanied the Instagram video.

An inquiry concerning her video was not immediately returned by the International Olympic Committee.

The date has been changed to July 21, 2024.

Carbonell’s comments were misrepresented in an earlier version of this article. She said that the Olympics made it impossible for her to bring her kid to Tokyo. She didn’t mention that she’d been informed he wasn’t permitted to attend at all.


Credit… Reuters/Jorge Silva

Softball has returned to the Olympic stage after a 13-year hiatus, with one irritating difference: the games are being played on baseball grounds rather than softball pitches.

This week, fans and players alike voiced their dissatisfaction on social media. One of the most noticeable distinctions is that a softball field is smaller than a baseball field, with a dirt infield. Baseball diamonds are composed of a combination of soil and grass or synthetic turf.

Others, on the other hand, are unconcerned.

“I don’t care what the field looks like, we’re happy it’s back & we’ve been waiting a very long time,” Danielle O’Toole Trejo, who plays for Mexico’s national team and is also a player in the Athletes Unlimited pro league in the U.S., wrote on Twitter. “Our play WILL NOT change. We’re GOOD enough to adapt.”

Softball fields were constructed as part of the Olympic infrastructure in both the 2004 Athens Games and the 2008 Beijing Games.

Nonetheless, Jennie Finch, a former US pitcher and Olympic gold and silver medalist, stated that playing on baseball grounds is common, and that she did so many times throughout her career.

Softball is at a major moment right now: it was initially made an Olympic sport in 1996, and it competed in every Summer Games until 2008, when it was discontinued.

It has a developing worldwide presence, and it is a competitive college sport in the United States without a major league home. Softball was the first sport added to Athletes Unlimited last August, although the season was just six weeks long.

In an interview last week, Finch said, “Our sport needs this.” “Being in the Olympic Games and having our presence and having the opportunity to demonstrate how wonderful of a game it is is critical for our sport globally.”

Sweden celebrated its third goal against the United States.

Sweden’s third goal against the United States was applauded. Credit… The New York Times/David Mills

CHOFU, JAPAN — It has been five years. That was the amount of time it has been waiting for this game.

It’s been five years since Sweden demolished the US women’s soccer team’s chances of winning an Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games. It’s been five years since the Americans were forced to look in the mirror and face difficult questions about their age, supremacy, and future.

After five years of waiting, you find yourself back in the same spot.

The United States began the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday where it left off five years ago in Rio de Janeiro: suffering from a humiliating, embarrassing loss to Sweden.

It was a penalty shootout defeat in the quarterfinals back then. It was not quite as close this time: Sweden defeated the United States 3-0. Sweden had hunkered down and irritated the Americans at the time. It just dominated from one end of the field to the other on Wednesday.

“Did we anticipate this outcome tonight? Megan Rapinoe, a forward for the United States, said no. “It’s aggravating, and it’s aggravating because it’s Sweden.”

She went on to say, “I don’t recall the last time we let up a goal.” “It’s not ideal to give up three.”

Before the game, defender Kelley O’Hara said that she and her teammates had been hoping for another chance to play the Swedes at the Games. “It’s what we’ve been waiting for for the last five years,” she added.

They had not anticipated things to turn out this way.

Stina Blackstenius scored a goal in each half for Sweden, a glancing header in the 25th minute and a point-blank finish in the 54th minute, which seemed like fair recompense for a dominating performance at the spearhead of a Sweden assault that had the Americans on their heels virtually from the start.

The United States tried everything to turn the tide. Positional tweaks to try to aid a midfield that was routinely overrun. Substitutions to refashion a largely toothless attack. Reinforcements to bolster a defense that was first stretched and then cut apart.

Even the most dependable veterans who were called in to assist appeared to make no impact. At halftime, Carli Lloyd and Julie Ertz — who was making her first appearance in months — were introduced, but Sweden quickly increased its advantage. Rapinoe was brought in to provide some wing threat, but it never materialized.

Annastacia Palaszczuk, the premier of the Australian state of Queensland, during a news conference Wednesday in Tokyo.

Premier of Queensland, Australia, Annastacia Palaszczuk, speaks during a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday. Credit… EPA/Franck Robichon/Shutterstock

The male Australian Olympic official who won the 2032 games for his nation chastised a prominent female politician and demanded that she attend the opening ceremony in Tokyo, causing shock and anger in Australia.

The uncomfortable conversation took place in front of television cameras during a press conference on Wednesday night after Brisbane, Queensland’s capital, was announced as the host city for the 2032 Games.

The head of the Australian Olympic Committee, John Coates, warned Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that she couldn’t spend her time “hiding” in her room.

Palaszczuk, 51, had flown to Japan to obtain the proposal, drawing criticism at home because to coronavirus border restrictions that prevent most Australians from leaving or returning to the country. She had already said that she will not participate in any Tokyo Olympics activities.

“You are going to the opening ceremony,” Coates, 71, told her during the press conference. I’m still the candidate leadership group’s deputy chair. In 2032, there will be an opening and closing ceremony, according to my understanding.”

“All of you are going to get along there and understand the traditional elements of that, what’s involved in an opening ceremony, so none of you are staying behind and hiding in your rooms, all right?” he remarked to other Queensland lawmakers who had gone with Palaszczuk.

Palaszczuk has refused to explain why she would not be attending the event. “You’ve never gone to an opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, have you?” Coates, a vice president of the International Olympic Committee, pushed her.

“You don’t know the protocols,” Coates said as Palaszczuk shook her head. Coates said Palaszczuk and other authorities should attend the Olympic opening ceremonies since they are a big duty for organizers and cost $75 million to $100 million to put on.

Palaszczuk downplayed the discussion in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday morning, saying that Brisbane was “now a member of the I.O.C. family, and I’m simply going to do what John Coates said.”

She went on to say that Brisbane would not have been chosen as the 2032 host city if it hadn’t been for John Coates. When asked explicitly whether she would attend Friday’s opening ceremony, she said she didn’t want to upset the International Olympic Committee or the Japanese government, and that she would “leave them sort that out.”

When asked whether he had “overruled” Palaszczuk in an interview on Thursday morning, Coates laughed and replied, “Yes, I did that.” He subsequently issued a statement stating Palaszczuk would attend the event, but that it was “always her choice,” and that his remarks at the press conference had been “completely misrepresented.”

Coates’ conduct was dubbed “appalling” and “arrogant” by internet critics in Australia, who said he would not have made the same remarks to a male prime minister.

“This is disgusting,” said Leigh Russell, a former chief executive of Swimming Australia, on Twitter. Another example of how women in sports are treated.”

Jane Caro, a feminist critic, tweeted, “What an arrogant, patronizing guy.” “How can he publicly chastise Queensland’s Premier as if she were a bad schoolgirl?”

A request for comment from the Australian Olympic Committee was not immediately returned.

Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos raised their gloved hands in protest at the 1968 Olympics. 

At the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their gloved hands in protest. Credit… The Associated Press (AP)

When American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists on the medal stand at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics to protest the oppression of Black Americans, they gave voice to generations of athletes eager to express themselves, even as the International Olympic Committee and athletic federations try to limit what they consider political protests.

While the United States Olympic Committee said in December that it would no longer punish athletes who protest, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reiterated that demonstrations during Olympic events or on the medal stand are banned. Because sportsmen all over the world have been awakened in the year since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Smith said in a recent interview, that rule will be put to the test when the Tokyo Games begin on Friday.

Women’s soccer players from the United Kingdom, Chile, Sweden, and the United States knelt before their games on Wednesday, in accordance with a modified International Olympic Committee regulation that allows for protests before to the start of competition.

Smith said it was pointless for the IOC to attempt to silence athletes in a wide-ranging debate after the publication of “With Drawn Arms,” a documentary about his life.

He said, “It’s a reasonable notion that there will be some kind of shift.” “I believe we will see a shift in something within the next three weeks. I’m not sure who gave it to me. That is why the future is crucial.”

Advertisers have spent more than $1 billion to run spots on NBC and its streaming platform.

Advertisers have paid more than $1 billion on NBC and its streaming platform to air commercials. Credit… The New York Times/Hiroko Masuike

The Olympics have traditionally been a near-ideal venue for businesses to promote themselves, with lots of chances to place advertisements amid the spectacle and inspirational tales about athletes who have overcome hardship.

However, as 11,000 athletes from over 200 nations gather in Tokyo amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, Olympic marketers are concerned about the more than $1 billion they have spent on NBC and its Peacock streaming platform.

As more athletes test positive with Covid-19, calls to abandon the $15.4 billion spectacle have become louder. The event is also controversial with Japanese people and many public health professionals, who worry it will spread like wildfire.

“The Olympics are already tainted,” said Jules Boykoff, a former American Olympic soccer player and sports politics specialist at Pacific University in Oregon. “If the situation in Japan deteriorates quickly, we may see some erratic changes in the way agreements are made and the willingness of international corporations to participate.”

Panasonic, a major sponsor, has decided not to send its CEO to the opening ceremony, which is set for Friday. Neither will Toyota, one of Japan’s most powerful corporations, which recently announced that it will no longer air Olympics-themed advertisements in Japan.

Marketing strategies are largely going forward in the United States.

The event is a critical source of income for NBCUniversal, which has spent billions of dollars for exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the United States until 2032. More than 140 sponsors have signed up for NBC’s coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on television, Peacock, and online, up from 100 for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“For some of our blue-chip clients, not being there with an audience of this size and scope is not an option,” said Jeremy Carey, managing director of sports marketing firm Optimum Sports.

Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, Chris Brandt, stated that although the situation was “not ideal,” the business still intended to launch a campaign showcasing Olympic athlete biographies.

The majority of ad expenditure has gone to television, but digital and streaming ad spending is projected to grow. According to many predictions, TV ratings for the Olympics will fall short of those for the Games in Rio and London, but the streaming viewership will skyrocket.

Companies were checking in for updates on the Covid epidemic in Japan, according to ad agency executives, and may fine-tune their marketing messaging as a result.

“Everyone is a little bit cautious,” said David Droga, founder of the Droga5 advertising firm, which worked on a Facebook Olympics campaign featuring skateboarders. “People are very vulnerable right now. Advertisers are attempting to strike the appropriate tone by not being overly sugary or clever.”

Lucy Bronze of Britain took a knee before a match with Chile in Sapporo.

Before a match against Chile in Sapporo, Lucy Bronze of the United Kingdom took a knee. Credit… Getty Images/Masashi Hara

Britain’s women’s soccer team became the first athletes to take advantage of the loosening of the International Olympic Committee’s decades-long prohibition against expressions of protest.

Players on Team GB went to one knee in a protest to promote racial fairness shortly before kicking off their 2-0 victory against Chile, in a move that has become commonplace on soccer grounds in the UK and abroad over the last year. Players from Chile and the United States joined the protest, as did players from Sweden and the United States before Sweden’s 3-0 victory later Wednesday.

If the regulations hadn’t been modified in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, such an activity would have resulted in harsh penalties.

The gesture, which gained traction following George Floyd’s death 14 months ago, is expected to be replicated throughout the games, as sportsmen from all walks of life have campaigned for more freedom of expression. These demands prompted the Olympics’ organizers to relax Rule 50 of its charter, which prohibited any “demonstration or political, religious, or racial propaganda.”

The I.O.C.’s shift in attitude hasn’t gone far enough for certain athlete organizations. Athletes, for example, will not be allowed to vent their displeasure on the gold podium. Individual sports federations may also keep the ban under IOC regulations. FIFA, soccer’s governing body, has said that player protests during the Games are not an issue. The same may be said of track and field. Swimming’s leaders, on the other hand, have said they will not tolerate any form of protest on the pool deck, which should remain “a sanctity for sport and nothing else,” according to the president of the sport’s governing body, and where “respect for the greater whole, not the individual,” according to the president of the sport’s governing body.

Because of the jumble of rules, it’s possible that some competitors may be penalized for gestures performed by others.

Before the Games, IOC President Thomas Bach stated, “There isn’t really a ‘one size fits all’ answer.”

Nippon Budokan in Chiyoda ward in Tokyo on Sunday.

On Sunday, the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo’s Chiyoda district hosted a concert. Credit… The New York Times/Hiroko Masuike

The finding of isolated instances, even among vaccinated athletes, during the Tokyo Olympics is fully anticipated, according to experts, and is not necessarily reason for concern.

Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, stated, “This isn’t really that surprising.”

Still, these cases do raise thorny questions about how to design testing programs — and respond to test results — at this phase of the pandemic, in which the patchy rollout of vaccines means that some people and communities are well protected from the virus while others remain at risk.

“When does a positive test truly imply that there is a problem?” said Dr. Rasmussen.

Covid-19 tests, which were previously very restricted, are now readily accessible in most industrialized countries, allowing institutions such as private companies, schools, professional sports leagues, and Olympic organizers to screen individuals for the virus on a regular basis.

Olympic competitors are not obliged to get vaccinated, and authorities in Tokyo are relying largely on testing to keep the virus at bay. According to the Olympic playbooks, or manuals, anyone going to the Games must submit two negative tests conducted on different days within 96 hours before departing for Japan, regardless of immunization status.

Within 72 hours after departure, at least one of the two exams must be completed. When the participants arrive at the airport, they are evaluated once again.

Antigen tests, which are less sensitive than P.C.R. testing but are usually faster and less expensive, are also required of athletes, coaches, and officials on a regular basis. (Depending on their degree of contact with athletes and authorities, Olympic employees and volunteers may be tested less often.) A P.C.R. test is used if the results of a test are ambiguous or positive.

“Every step of filtration reduces the danger for everyone else,” Brian McCloskey, head of the International Olympic Committee’s Independent Expert Panel, told reporters this week, adding that the number of confirmed illnesses so far is “lower than we expected.”

Transmission questions remain unanswered. Vaccinated individuals with asymptomatic or breakthrough infections may still be able to spread the virus to others, although the frequency of this is unknown. Many experts believe it is better to err on the side of caution and frequent testing until the research is more conclusive or immunization rates increase.

When you search that hard for illnesses, particularly in a group of individuals who have just flown in from all over the world and have different degrees of vaccination availability, you’re almost certain to discover some.

Kang Can Young, a member of South Korea’s formidable national archery team, practices in her home country in April.

In April, Kang Can Young, a member of South Korea’s illustrious national archery squad, trains in her native country. Credit… The New York Times/Chang W. Lee

South Korean archers have won 23 of the 34 Olympic gold medals granted in the event since 1984, making it virtually a foregone conclusion.

The difficult part is getting to the Games.

Just ask Chang Hye-jin, who won two gold medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, or Ku Bon-chan, who did the same in the men’s competition. This year, neither champion made the cut.

Ask Kim Je-deok, 17, who this spring triumphed in the crucible of South Korea’s national team selection tournament, which pits the country’s top 200 archers against each other for six tickets — three men and three women — to the world’s biggest sporting event, regardless of rankings or previous performance.

Kim, who just recovered a shoulder ailment that would have kept him out of the Olympics if the event hadn’t been postponed by a year, said, “Once-in-a-lifetime luck came to me.”

Over the course of eight months, the South Korean archers shot hundreds of arrows in many rounds of rigorous competition. The difficult part may be finished for those who made it this far.

Since 1984, the South Korean archery team has won gold at every Summer Olympics. Since the team event’s inception in 1988 in Seoul, the women’s team has been especially dominating, winning gold eight times in a row. The men’s and women’s teams swept the gold medals in the team and individual events at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The squad is well-known in the archery world for its meticulous preparations. Wind devices and artificial noise (crowd noises, camera shutters) are used by national coaches to mimic unfavorable environmental circumstances that athletes may face during events.

The Korea Archery Association’s vice president, Jang Young-sool, said, “Our objective is zero-defect training.”

The United States (U.S.) women’s softball team beat Canada in their Olympic opener at 8:30 a.m. EDT today. The U.S. squad had a 3-2 lead after five innings, and Canada rallied to cut the U.S. lead to 4-3 going into the final inning. The U.S. scored its lone run in the seventh when the Canadian pitcher intentionally walked the U.S. leadoff batter.. Read more about softball olympics usa vs canada and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who won USA vs Canada softball?


Who won the USA softball game today?

The USA beat Japan 5-2.

What channel is the Olympic softball game on today?

The game is on NBC.

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