Unwrapping the Summer Games


Lexie Bordenkecher, editor

Despite a state of emergency declared in Japan less than two months before the 2021 Olympics, they are still preparing to run as planned.

International fans will not be allowed to be in the stands supporting their countries, but all essential employees will be there. U.S. athletes have been preparing for this moment their whole life, but some will fall short in trials.

Olympic trials for various sports kick off in the next few weeks. Diving is right here in Indianapolis, starting on June 6. Swimming begins June 13 in Omaha, Nebraska, track and field is in Oregon, starting June 18, and gymnastics trials will be in St. Louis starting June 24. Here are some of the most promising American athletes in the most popular sports.

While the official teams haven’t been announced, many veterans are planning to clinch their spots on their respective teams. USA basketball recently announced 44 finalists, with many notable names included. Some of which are: Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Steph Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James, Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner, and Russell Westbrook. 

For swimming, Olympic veteran and 3x gold medal winner, Ryan Murphy is essentially a lock for a spot. Other newbies include Shaine Casas and Justin Ress. 36 year old, 6x Olympic medal winner Matt Grevers will be attempting to secure a spot on the 2021 Olympic swimming team after narrowly missing out on the 2016 Olympics. 

The US Women’s soccer team will be going for gold in Tokyo, after coming off a World Cup Championship in 2019. The team will most likely see the return of Megan Rapione, Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd. Other names that will probably be included on the roster are Alyssa Naeher, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Julie Ertz.

The potential US Track and Field team has had some unfortunate mishaps over the last year. Current 100m world champion, Christian Coleman has been banned from participating in the 2021 Olympic games for missing two drug tests. Two time gold medal winner Christian Taylor will also miss out on the Olympics this year due to a ruptured achilles. Newbie Noah Lyles and 3-time Olympian Justin Gatlin also hope to secure spots on the team. On the bright side, reigning 400m hurdles gold medal winner, Delilah Muhammad will most likely be returning to the team, alongside Sydney McLaughlin, also on hurdles.

And finally, arguably the most popular summer Olympic sport, women’s gymnastics. Four-time gold medalist at Rio, Simone Biles, will most likely lead the team. Rio silver medalist Laurie Hernandez is also hoping to return to the summer games. Newcomers Jade Carey, Sunisa Lee, Morgan Hurd, Skye Blakley, and Jordan Chiles will also be competing for the four spots available on the US team.