Simone Biles has credited Naomi Osaka for her decision to pull out from the gymnastics team final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, saying the tennis star inspired her to “focus on my mental health.”
Why this matters: Biles’ exit has raised awareness on how mental health is equally important to physical health, especially among athletes in high-stress environments such as the Games. Last month, Osaka dropped out of the French Open to give herself a break from social anxiety and “long bouts of depression.”
Kuo Hsing-chun, known as the “goddess of weightlifting,” won the first gold medal for Taiwan and set three Olympic records during her set on July 27.
Setting Olympic records: Kuo, 27, competed in the 59 kilograms (130 pounds) weightlifting event and set three Olympic records, but fell short in trying to break the world record she originally set in 2019, according to Taiwan News.
Australian table tennis veteran Jian Fang Lay, 48, took on the Olympics for the sixth time.
Tokyo Olympics: Considered “one of the country’s all-time greats,” Lay competed in her first Olympics in 2000 at the Sydney games and has yet to receive a medal, Fox Sports reported.
South Korean table tennis teen phenomenon Shin Yu-bin received a special message from BTS member V supporting her Olympic bid.
Olympic ARMY: Shin, the youngest ever Korean Olympic table tennis player at 17, is a self-proclaimed BTS fan and V is her favorite among the group’s members, reported Korea Herald.
Players from Japan and Great Britain’s women’s soccer teams reportedly dropped to one knee before their match at the Tokyo Olympics on July 24.
Why this matters: American footballer Colin Kaepernick first “took the knee” in September 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality in the U.S. Since then, the gesture has been used to call attention against racism, discrimination and social injustice, most recently in the height of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd.
Japan’s Jun Mizutani, Mima Ito ‘take revenge’ on China’s gold medal streak in mixed doubles table tennis
Japan received its first gold medal in table tennis mixed doubles as the host country’s team smashed China’s winning streak.
A surprising turn of events: Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito bested China’s Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen with a 4-3 final score at the mixed doubles grand finals at the Tokyo Games on Monday, Associated Press reported.
Canadian swimmer Maggie MacNeil sets new record for Americas with Olympic gold in 100-meter butterfly
Maggie MacNeil brought home the gold for Canada after she placed first in the 100m butterfly on Sunday.
Not only did she win Canada’s first gold medal of the season, but she is also the first Canadian to win a gold medal in the women’s 100m fly, according to the Olympics Twitter account.
Two Japanese skaters became the first-ever Olympic gold medalists for skateboarding during the sport’s debut at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in the Tokyo Games over the weekend.
First skateboarding men’s street gold: Yuto Horigome, 22, won his historic medal over silver medalist Kelvin Hoefler (Brazil) and bronze winner Jagger Eaton (U.S.), reported ESPN.
Momiji Nishiya made history and broke two Olympic records with her gold medal win in skateboarding on July 25.
Record-breaking win: The Osaka-born 13-year-old became the world’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist in women’s skateboarding, according to NBC Olympics.
Naomi Osaka is back on the court, and she’s already won the first two matches in the beginning days of her Olympics debut in Tokyo.
On to the third round: Representing Japan in the Games, Osaka faced off against China’s Zheng Saisai on Sunday and defeated her opponent 6-1, 6-4 in Ariake Tennis Park’s Centre Court. In the second round on Monday, she defeated Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic, 6-3, 6-2.
China’s Li Fabin showcased his signature move and broke two Olympic records when he won the gold medal for weightlifting on Sunday.
One-legged stunt: The 28-year-old Chinese weightlifter pulled off a one-of-a-kind lift that had him momentarily standing on just one leg during his opening clean and jerk lift in the men’s 61-kilogram (around 134 pounds) category, reported the Associated Press.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who ‘came from nothing,’ wins first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines
Filipino athlete Hidilyn Diaz brought the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold medal after winning the women’s 55-kilogram (121-pound) weightlifting competition.
What happened: Diaz, a four-time Olympian, set a new Olympic record after lifting a combined weight of 224 kilograms (493.8 pounds) on Monday, CBS News reported.