Olympic Daily News: 12 August 2020

Get your daily update of Olympic news: Trivia, trends, and talking points featuring the Williams sisters set for 31st meeting, Dipa Karmakar returns to training

By Scott Bregman

August 12 marks International Youth Day.

According the United Nations website, the day is meant to “celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.”

Then, who better to spotlight than Coco Gauff, who at just 16, has been outspoken on issues of race in the United States and – see below – gender in sports.

“I have no problem with people saying they’re better than me because they think their skill level is better than me,” Gauff said in a reply to a comment on TikTok. “But if you think you’re better me because of the sole fact that you’re a boy and I’m a girl… that doesn’t make any sense.”

Serena and Venus Williams set to face each other for 31st time

The Williams sisters will play each once again.

Serena Williams survived a slow start at tennis’ Top Seed Open in Kentucky, coming alive at four games all in the second set and never looking back to beat Bernarda Pera 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

“I didn’t know how I was going to feel, I didn’t know how I was going to do,” Serena Williams said of her return to competitive tennis amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has meant new match protocols and no fans in the stands. “It kind of reminds me of the junior days. There was something kind of nostalgic about that.”

Sister Venus took on another former No. 1 player in Victoria Azarenka, dismissing her with relative ease, 6-3, 6-2, setting up the 31st duel between the Olympic champion sisters

“Quite honestly, this is perfect,” Venus Williams said afterward. “I haven’t played in forever so I want to play the best players, I think I got my wish playing Serena. So, here we go.”

Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar returns to training

Five-and-a-half months after gyms were shuttered in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar was finally able to return to training on Monday.

“I have returned to the gym for the first time since it was closed on March 16. I have been at home for these 5.5 months,” Karmakar told reporters. “We sportspersons tend to become mentally weak when we are away from our apparatus for long periods. But my coach (Bisweswar Nandi) sir made us do fitness training through online mode and didn’t let us go lack.”

Karmakar made history in 2014, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to win a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Her appearance at Rio 2016, where she finished fourth in the vault final, was also a first for a female Indian gymnast. She is most well-known for attempting the Produnova vault, which is a handspring double front.

“I am so happy to return here, and I thank the state and central governments for allowing us to return to our sports,” Karmakar said.

Team Canada unveils Tokyo 2020 kits

Canadian Olympic hopefuls know what they’ll be wearing on the podium and at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies next summer at Tokyo 2020 after the Canadian Olympic Committee unveiled their team kits on Monday.

“There is something quite special that I can’t really explain when an athlete receives their Official Team Canada Collection at the Olympics,” said Erica Wiebe, who is the reigning Olympic wrestling champion. “It is a symbol of pride and honour of representing your country on the biggest stage.”

The three outfits were made by Hudson’s Bay and includes a stylish Closing Ceremony jean jacket with 1964 and 2020 etched on the collar, representing both times Tokyo has played host to the Games.

“By unveiling the collection now, our goal is to inspire athletes and fans to keep the spirit and momentum of Team Canada strong, as we look forward to our athletes embarking to Tokyo next summer to compete on the world stage,” says Hudson’s Bay president Ian Nairn.

Trivia time

Yesterday, we asked how many countries have hosted an Olympic Games (either summer or winter). The answer? 23 with the United States topping the list, having hosted eight times (1904, 1932, 1984, 1996, summer; 1932, 1960, 1980, 2002, winter).

Here’s today’s question.

U.S. gymnast Simone Biles won four Olympic golds at Rio 2016. Who was the last female gymnast to win four golds in a single Games?

  1. Larisa Latynina

  2. Nadia Comaneci

  3. Ecaterina Szabo

  4. Ludmilla Tourischeva