July 22 Tokyo 2020 Olympics news and results

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Ben Church, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Veronica Rocha and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:43 AM ET, Fri July 23, 2021
28 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
7:28 p.m. ET, July 22, 2021

These athletes had to drop out of the Olympics because of Covid-19

From CNN's Seamus Fagan, David Close and Jill Martin

Competition began Wednesday, more than a year after the original start date. The Games were delayed due to the pandemic, but with Covid-19 still spreading unchecked in Japan, organizers have been forced to take unprecedented steps to keep competitors and the public safe.

Athletes who contracted coronavirus have seen their Olympic dreams dashed. Some tested positive in Japan, some before coming.

These are some of the athletes we know who have publicly dropped out due to Covid-19 health and safety protocols.

Team USA: 5

  • Katie Lou Samuelson — USA Women's 3x3 Basketball
  • Coco Gauff — USA Women's Tennis
  • Kara Eaker — USA Women's Gymnastics
  • Taylor Crabb — USA Men's Beach Volleyball (according to NBC)
  • Bradley Beal — USA Men's Basketball (Placed in health and safety protocol but hasn't publicly disclosed a positive Covid-19 test)

Team Great Britain: 3

  • Amber Hill — Great Britain Shooting
  • Dan Evans — Great Britain Tennis
  • Johanna Konta — Great Britain Tennis

Team Czech Republic: 2

  • Pavel Sirucek — Czech Republic Men's Table Tennis
  • Ondrej Perusic — Czech Republic Men's Beach Volleyball

Team Mexico: 2

  • Hector Velazquez — Mexico Baseball
  • Sammy Solis — Mexico Baseball

Team South Africa: 2

  • Thabiso Monyane — South Africa Men's Football
  • Kamohelo Mahlatsi — South Africa Men's Football

Team Australia: 1

  • Alex de Minaur — Australia Men's Tennis

Team Chile: 1

  • Fernanda Aguirre — Chile Women's Taekwondo

Team Netherlands: 1

  • Candy Jacobs — Netherlands Women's Skateboarding

Team Russia: 1

  • Ilya Borodin — Russia Swim Team
5:14 p.m. ET, July 22, 2021

Olympians Gwen Berry, Tommie Smith and John Carlos petition IOC to change stance on demonstrations

From CNN's Seamus Fagan

US hammer thrower Gwen Berry, along with famed 1968 medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos, are three of over 150 athletes, human rights and social justice experts, and sports organizations who cosigned an open letter to high-ranking International Olympic Committee (IOC) members on Thursday, calling for amendments to the IOC rule that threatens to punish athletes for protesting or demonstrating on medal podiums at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Days ahead of her first appearance at the Summer Games, Berry tweeted her support of the petition, saying, “We need to take STAND.” Berry, a contender to medal in Japan, drew much attention when she refused to face the American flag during the playing of the National Anthem at June’s US Olympic Track and Field trials. Berry, 32, is slated to begin her Olympic competition on July 31. 

The letter calls upon the IOC to “refrain from imposing sanctions on athletes protesting and demonstrating in accordance with internationally-recognized human rights frameworks… in any Olympic/Paralympic sites, venues or other areas – including the podium” for the Tokyo and Beijing Games. 

After a 10-month consultation process with over 3,500 athletes who represent 185 different National Olympic Committees and all 41 Olympic Sports, the IOC decided to uphold the rule 50 ban on protests in April. On July 2, the IOC amended rule 50 by adding section 50.2, which loosened previous guidelines, allowing athletes to express their views in mixed zones, news conferences, during interviews, as well as prior to the start of competition.

While offering appreciation for the strides the IOC made in promoting athlete expression, the open letter claims the changes made do not “reflect a commitment to freedom of expression as a fundamental human right nor to racial and social justice in global sport.” 

The letter states “…with this letter we add a collective voice – representing academic experts, educators and advocates on the intersection of sport, human rights, and racial/social justice in global society – to call for amendments to the IOC’s and IPC’s approach to athlete expression generally, and IOC Rule 50.2/IPC Section 2.2 specifically, while reaffirming a commitment to human rights and racial/social justice in the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

“We believe the global sport community is at a turning point in matters of racial and social justice, and we call on you as leaders in the Olympic and Paralympic Movements to make a stronger commitment to human rights, racial/social justice, and social inclusion.”

CNN has reached out to the IOC for comment on the group's request for policy change and full freedom of expression.

Smith and Carlos, the former US sprinters, famously raised gloved fists on the podium during the medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics.

5:02 p.m. ET, July 22, 2021

A tropical cyclone could form during the Olympics

From CNN's Jackson Dill

On the heels of Typhoon In-fa, which is bearing down on the southern Japanese islands, is the potential for a new tropical cyclone to form in the western Pacific Ocean.

There are many unknowns surrounding the forecast on this next storm but the model guidance for several days has indicated a tropical storm or typhoon risk for northern and central portions of Japan around Sunday or Monday.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center gives this area to watch a medium chance for potential tropical development in the short term.

At this time, heavy rain and gusty winds are possible for east central Japan by early next week, which could interrupt some events at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

3:08 p.m. ET, July 22, 2021

Here's what to expect at the Olympics Opening Ceremony

From CNN's Ben Morse

The Opening Ceremony for this year's Summer Games — which were delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic — will take place Friday in Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.

Usually held in a stadium full of ecstatic fans, this year's ceremony will have athletes from across the globe parading in a near empty venue after it was announced that fans would not be allowed to attend because of rising Covid-19 cases in Japan.

"The most difficult part of the process was that the postponement meant a simplification of the ceremonies and the message had to be drastically revised," said Takayuki Hioki, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee executive producer of ceremonies.

"After nearly five years of planning, we found ourselves suddenly having to rethink everything. This was the biggest challenge," said Hioki.

Due to restrictions, only a select number of officials and some dignitaries will be present for the Friday's ceremony.

Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Hidemasa Nakamura told CNN that about 950 VIPs will take part in the event. The total will include around 800 foreign guests and 150 from Japan, CNN affiliate TV Asahi reported.

Japan's Emperor Naruhito, who will declare the Olympics open at the ceremony, will be attending without any other member of the imperial family, according to the Imperial Household Agency.

The agency says that the decision was made in keeping with the plans for other Olympic officials who are also attending unaccompanied by their spouses.

With all the struggles and difficulties that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has faced to stage the Games in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, president Thomas Bach believes it will be a moment of "joy and relief."

"I think It will be a moment of joy and relief when entering the stadium," Bach said during a news conference.

"A moment of joy in particular for the athletes because I know how much they're longing for this moment. They can finally be there and can enjoy this moment under very special circumstances. And a feeling of relief because the road to this Opening Ceremony was not the easiest one."

However as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Tokyo, there will be notable absentees on Friday. Japanese car manufacture Toyota has confirmed its CEO, Akio Toyoda, will not be attending the opening ceremony.

"The motto of the Tokyo 2020 Games is "United by Emotion," added Hioki.

"We spent a lot of time and energy struggling and what we came up with was 'achieving personal best,' 'unity in diversity,' 'connecting to tomorrow'; in other words, the Games vision.

"We have created something with a strong message that will resonate with the audience. It's more about the emotional connection than the excitement.

"We took the athletes very seriously. We had to make sure the athletes who finally have come from abroad don't feel anxious, and yet we want them to be energised and ready for competition," Hioki said.

Marco Balich, a former opening ceremonies executive producer and now a senior adviser to the Tokyo ceremony, told Reuters that Friday's event will be a "sobering" ceremony.

"Nevertheless with beautiful Japanese aesthetics. Very Japanese but also in sync with the sentiment of today, the reality," said Balich, who was in charge of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

12:48 p.m. ET, July 22, 2021

The Olympic events you'll want to watch on Friday

From CNN's Alyssa Kraus

The Olympics Opening Ceremony will take place tomorrow, signaling the official start of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

With many events following throughout the day tomorrow, here are some major events you'll want to watch live on Friday:

  • Opening Ceremony: The Opening Ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. local time in Japan, which is 7 a.m. ET. If you miss the live broadcast, the roughly four-hour event will also be replayed at 7:30 p.m. ET.
  • Tennis: The first rounds of men's and women's singles, along with the first rounds of men's and women's doubles will be broadcast live from 10 p.m. ET to 2 a.m. ET on Friday. The matches will be replayed on Saturday between 7 a.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET.
  • Water polo: The US women's water polo match against Japan will be live at 1 a.m. ET on Friday. The event will be replayed on Saturday, along with events such as 3x3 US women's basketball, rowing, archery and men's cycling, between 10:45 a.m. ET and 2:45 p.m. ET.

In case you missed it, here are some events from earlier this week that will be replayed on Friday:

  • Softball: Two Team USA softball games will be replayed on Friday, including US vs. Italy and US vs. Canada, from 8 a.m. ET to 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The events took place on Wednesday and Thursday respectively in Japan.
  • Football: The US women's football team's match against Sweden will be replayed on Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET. The match took place on Wednesday in Japan.

View NBC's full schedule for Friday and Saturday here.

12:15 p.m. ET, July 22, 2021

Here's how to watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony tomorrow

From CNN's Alyssa Kraus

Tokyo Olympic Stadium is illuminated on July 22.
Tokyo Olympic Stadium is illuminated on July 22. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Opening Ceremony will officially kick off the beginning of the Games tomorrow. The ceremony will take place in the early hours of US Eastern time due to Tokyo's time difference.

What is the time difference?

Tokyo, Japan is 13 hours ahead of US Eastern time, so many of the events — including the Opening Ceremony — will be replayed each day. However, if you are interested in watching the events live, many will be held during the early morning in US Eastern time.

When can I watch the ceremony?

The Olympics Opening Ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. local time in Japan on Friday, which is 7 a.m. ET. This will be the first time NBC broadcasts the ceremony live, and it will feature talent from NBC’s “Today” show.

If you miss the live broadcast, the roughly four-hour event will also be replayed at 7:30 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the Olympics?

NBC, its sister cable networks, its dedicated site NBCOlympics.com and the company’s new streaming platform, Peacock, will broadcast the Olympics.

In linear form, coverage will spill across NBC and eight other Comcast-owned cable channels, including USA, CNBC, NBC Sports Network and Telemundo. The menu will total more than 7,000 hours encompassing 35 sports, with NBC serving as the home for highlights and top events.

You can read more about how to watch the Olympics here.

11:35 a.m. ET, July 22, 2021

Olympics Opening Ceremony will "proceed as planned" 

From CNN's Chie Kobayashi

Tokyo 2020's Opening Ceremony is "currently proceeding as planned," according to a press statement from the Tokyo 2020 International Communications Team. 

The statement says an investigation into the Opening Ceremony has been conducted following the dismissal of former show director Kentaro Kobayashi over anti-Semitic comments he made in the past. 

According to the statement, multiple creators have contributed to the Ceremony, and "no single part of the Opening Ceremony was specifically directed solely by KOBAYASHI Kentaro himself."  

The Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. local (7 a.m. ET)

Some more background: Tokyo 2020's Opening Ceremony show director, Kentaro Kobayashi, was dismissed Thursday following past comments that "ridiculed the painful facts of history," according to Tokyo 2020 organizers.

Local media reports said Kobayashi made anti-Semitic comments in a 1998 comedy act about the Holocaust.

Kobayashi released a statement following his dismissal, saying he apologized "to anyone who may have felt unpleasant" by his former remarks.

"As it was pointed out, there were some inappropriate expressions in the scripts from my past skit," he said.

"Indeed, as pointed out, in the video software that was released in 1998 to introduce young comedians, a skit script I wrote contained an extremely inappropriate expression."

"I understand that my foolish choice of words at the time was a mistake, and I regret it," Kobayashi continues, adding that he was grateful he was able to be involved in the ceremony.

On Monday, Tokyo Olympics opening and closing ceremonies music composer, Keigo Oyamada, decided to resign from his position following criticisms for past interviews that emerged where he described past bullying of classmates. 

11:28 a.m. ET, July 22, 2021

Defending champions Brazil defeat Germany in rematch of 2016 men's football final

From CNN's Aleks Klosok

Richarlison of Brazil, center, scores their side's third goal during the First Round Group D match between Brazil and Germany on July 22.
Richarlison of Brazil, center, scores their side's third goal during the First Round Group D match between Brazil and Germany on July 22. (Toru Hanai/Getty Images)

Brazil striker Richarlison scored a stunning first-half hat-trick as the defending Olympic champions beat Germany 4-2 in their opening game of the men's football tournament on Thursday. 

The Group D encounter was a repeat of the gold medal match from Rio five years ago which Brazil won in a dramatic penalty shootout.

The game was played at the International Stadium in Yokohama – the same venue where Brazil beat Germany in the 2002 World Cup final.

Elsewhere on Thursday, hosts Japan got off to a winning start defeating South Africa 1-0.

South Africa had been depleted by Covid-19 infections after two players and a video analyst tested positive for Covid-19 in Tokyo on Sunday.

At least 18 players were subsequently identified as close contacts and were forced to isolate in their respective rooms in the Tokyo Olympic Village.

A squad of 17 South Africa players did, though, pass pre-game Covid-19 protocols allowing for Thursday’s game to take place at the Tokyo Stadium.

There were also several surprises in the men’s tournament with none of Spain, France or Argentina winning their games.

Mexico stunned France 4-1, Australia upset Argentina 2-0 and Spain, the last European men's team to claim gold in 1992, were held to a goalless draw by Egypt.

10:33 a.m. ET, July 22, 2021

What you need to know about the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

From CNN Editorial Research

The 2020 Summer Olympics are finally underway in Tokyo ahead of the official opening ceremony on Friday after the Games were postponed until this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Games are scheduled to run until Aug. 8. The Paralympics are scheduled to take place Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

Here's a look at the Games: