Light the torch! The 2020 Tokyo Olympics finally began this month after being delayed one year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The summer Olympics were originally set to take place in Tokyo in July 2020, but organizers were forced to push them back as the health crisis spread around the world. Now, more than ever, Team USA is ready to go to Japan and compete on sports’ greatest stage.
With a delayed timeline, there is an influx of new faces for the U.S.’s team, including Sunisa “Suni” Lee on the women’s gymnastics team. The 18-year-old has been on the rise in the sport since 2019, and an extra year of training resulted in her finishing second in the all-around at the Olympic trials last month behind returning all-around Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles.
“This means so much to me. I’ve worked so hard for the past couple of years,” Lee told NBC after making the team. “To just go on the floor and do everything I was supposed to do feels amazing. Thinking about this moment right here, making the Olympic team at the Olympic trials [powered me through].”
Biles, for her part, opened up about the ups and downs she experienced amid the Olympic postponement as Sports Illustrated’s July cover star.
“I kind of let myself go through the emotions,” she recalled in E! News’ preview of the upcoming issue. “Sad, mad, angry, pissed off, hysterical—all of the phase. And that’s the first time in my life I’ve ever felt the emotions rather than somebody coming up to me and telling me, ‘Hey, it’s gonna be OK.’ I got to relish in all of those emotions and phases myself.”
The 24-year-old Olympian, who has four gymnastics moves named after her, also noted how hard it’s been having so much success so early on in her life and where she goes from here.
“I try not to be so hard on myself because I’m, like, ‘OK, if I were in school and graduated, I feel like I’d be struggling with them, trying to find a job, trying to find out who I am,’ so it kind of eases my mind,” Biles told the magazine. “We’re just all struggling to find out who we are and what we’re good at, rather than what society tells us what we need to do.”
Scroll down to learn more about the Tokyo Olympics: