Olympic Daily News: 3 August 2020

Get your daily update of Olympic news: Trivia, trends, and talking points featuring Noah Lyles on mental health, Tokyo Paralympics schedule and venues announced

By Scott Bregman

36 years ago today, American gymnast Mary Lou Retton became the first member of Team USA to win Olympic gold in gymnastics when she stuck her final vaults for a 10.0 at the Los Angeles Olympic Games.

Since Retton’s victory in 1984, the U.S. women have come to dominate Olympic gymnastics competition including taking the all-around crowns in 2004 (Carly Patterson), 2008 (Nastia Liukin), 2012 (Gabby Douglas), and 2016 (Simone Biles).

Noah Lyles opens up on mental health

American track sprinting star Noah Lyles has made it look easy, establishing himself as a contender for Olympic gold medals at next summer’s Tokyo Games in multiple events including the 200m where he is the reigning World Champion.

But the 23-year-old took to Twitter Sunday to share that on the inside, things have been harder.

“Recently, I decided to get on an antidepressant medication,” wrote Lyles. “That was one of the best decisions I have made in a while. Since then, I have been able to think without the dark undertone in mind of nothing matters.

“Thank you God for mental Health,” he concluded.

His post was met with overwhelming support including Kellie Brinkley, who took bronze in the 100m hurdles at London 2012, and Raven Saunders, who competed in Rio. The disclosure comes days after the debut of the HBO documentary "The Weight of Gold" about mental health in Olympians, which featured Michael Phelps, Gracie Gold, Sasha Cohen and more.

Paralympic schedule, venues confirmed for Tokyo 2020

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee announced the competition schedule for the Paralympic Games on Monday (3 August), to be held from 24 August-5 September, 2021, at the same 21 venues as originally planned for 2020.

The Paralympic Games will feature 539 events across 22 sports including two that are new - taekwondo and badminton. The first gold medal will be given out on 25 August in the women's cycling track C1-3 3,000-meter pursuit at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka Prefecture.

"Right now we cannot train like we've been able to in the past," taekwondo athlete Tanaka Mitsuya said at a press conference Monday. "I have concerns in these times just like any other athlete. But I'm sure we will lay down every precautionary measure possible in working together with everyone around the world. That's our job as athletes.”

World Surfing Games set for May 2021

The World Surfing Games, originally schedule for May 2020, will be held 8-16 May 2021, the International Surfing Association have announced. The event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Given the global trend of the virus, we’ve decided it is the best interests of the health and safety of all involved to reschedule the World Surfing Games to 2021. Our decisions have been and will continue to be guided by public health experts and authorities,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre.

The event will have special import next season, determining 12 athletes who will move on to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Five men’s and seven women’s tickets to Tokyo will be awarded to the highest placing eligible athletes.

“Through solidarity we will come out of this situation stronger as a sport, while gaining additional momentum towards Surfing’s Olympic debut,” added Aguerre.

Trivia time…

Yesterday, on national Sisters Day, we asked how many Olympic gold medals have tennis super stars Venus and Serena Williams won? Both have four.

Here’s today’s question.

The first Paralympic Games were held in 1960 in what city?

  1. London

  2. Athens

  3. Rome

  4. Los Angeles