It’s not the sunny Olympic beach volleyball that no one had imagined.
There was no loud crowd when the names of the athletes were announced at Shiokaze Park on Friday. Instead, the Olympians rushed over soaked, packed sand through a human tunnel of cheering stadium staff.
The music might have come through the speakers, but the booming bass was drowned out by even louder thunder.
Despite the pouring rain, which caused a technical timeout during their match, USA team stars April Ross and Alix Klineman persisted in going undefeated in Tokyo.
The Americans are now 3-0 in the pool after beating the Dutch side Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink on Friday. After their win, Ross and Kleinman told CNN how much they miss fans, facing pressure and controversy over the women’s bikini rules.
There is nothing like playing for the fans and this stadium is amazing so I can only imagine what it would have been like with all the Japanese spectators, ”Ross said.“ At the same time, I think that we feel really grateful just to be competing here.
Mental health has become a major focus of the Games, with American gymnast Simone Biles stepping down to protect her mental and physical health.
“We see how important it is in elite sports, and in all sports, and in life in general. It’s something I’m constantly working on, “said Ross, who added that she reads, keeps a journal and meditates to distract herself from the pressure.” It’s a daily practice. It can be really difficult. ”
Uniform comfort: Emphasis was also placed on athletes wearing non-traditional uniforms with more coverage, such as the German women’s gymnastics team. The Norwegian beach handball team has previously been fined by the European Handball Federation for wearing shorts instead of the required tight-fitting briefs.
I really think people should be able to wear what they’re comfortable in. I think that’s the main thing, ”Klineman said. “I really respect athletes who speak out and say they’re uncomfortable.
“For us personally, I think we feel comfortable in our wetsuits. We are fortunate to have been able to work with our sponsors to design the fit and fit of our wetsuits.”
As beach volleyball is often played in sweltering heat, “wearing full clothing is not always comfortable or realistic,” she added.
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