Olympic thrills direct from Tokyo!

From stellar Canadians to barely-teenaged medallists, the long-delayed Summer Games are making up for lost time
tokyo A year later, 2020 is determined to have something great with its name on it ... the Summer Games! (ID 175432073 © Rvlsoft | Dreamstime.com)


Even if you're not much of a sports fan, we're pretty sure that you won't be surprised to know that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics did not go as planned last year. Few things did!

But athletes around the world kept their focus, trained as hard as they could, all with faith that one day, their moment would come. And here it is ... RIGHT NOW!

Since finally getting their start last Friday, the Tokyo Summer Games have been full of excitement. We've been especially intrigued by both Canada's early success and just how young some of these amazing Olympians are.

Water wonders

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Meet Canada's first gold medallist of these Games, Margaret Mac Neil! (Getty Embed)

As of this morning, Canada has four medals, and three of them have come in the pool. These medals are silvers for Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu in women's synchronized three-metre springboard competition and the women's 4x100m freestyle relay team, and gold for Margaret Mac Neil in the 100m butterfly. (In addition, a bronze was won by Jessica Klimkait in women's under 57kg judo.)

These results show that even though these Olympic were delayed, a lot of Canada's strengths from Rio 2016 remain, where the country's swimming and diving teams were world class and most of its medallists were women. Also, Canada's standout star of Rio—swimmer Penny Oleksiak—is a member of that 4x100m relay team, so she's picking up right were she left off five years ago, too.

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The team of Kayla Sanchez, Margaret Mac Neil, Rebecca Smith, and Penny Oleksiak won silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay. (Getty Embed)

And coming soon? Canuck star Kylie Masse will compete for gold in the 100m backstroke final.

Surprises abound

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Australia's Ariarne Titmus and USA's Katie Ledecky served up an epic clash in the pool. (Getty Embed)

But it's not all business as usual in Tokyo. Early surprises have been served up already, such as Team USA's men's basketball team actually losing a game for the first time ever (congrats, France!). But maybe the biggest shock so far? American Katie Ledecky actually coming second.

Essentially a walking gold medal, Ledecky is a triple world-record holder (400-, 800-, and 1500-metre freestyle) and wins nearly every event she enters. But Australia's Ariarne Titmus is proving that she is every bit the superstar's equal.

In the women's 400m freestyle, she came from behind to beat Ledecky in a thrilling finish to one of the first must-see races of the Games. And she did it despite Ledecky achieving her second-best time in her entire career (the best, of course, is that world record, which she still holds). This is shaping up to be one of the best rivalries in the sport and proof that the best in the sport simply drive others to be even better!

As Titmus herself said, "I wouldn’t be here without [Ledecky]. She’s set this standard for middle-distance freestyle. If I didn’t have someone like her to chase I definitely wouldn’t be swimming the way I am."

Kids rule!

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Thirteen-year-old Momiji Nishiya of Japan shredding her stuff. (Getty Embed)

Let's step away from the pool for a second and hit the pavement to check out one of the most exciting additions to the Tokyo Games. Skateboarding!

Skating has always been especially popular with young people, so it's no shock that some of its best athletes are still in high school.

But still in MIDDLE school? Yep!

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These teen skaters—Brazil's Rayssa Leal and Japan's Momiji Nishiya and Funa Nakayama—are the best in the world! (Getty Embed)

In fact, on the medal podium for women's street skateboarding, the winning athletes were aged 13, 13, and 16—that's Momiji Nishiya of Japan, gold; Rayssa Leal of Brazil, silver; and Funa Nakayama of Japan, bronze. What an exciting debut for both this sport and these Olympians!

So much more to come

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After a big silver in Rio, Canada has high hopes for sprinter Andre de Grasse. (Getty Embed)

This is just a sampler of what Tokyo 2020 still has in store for us. Soccer, tennis, softball, baseball, a wide array of martial artists and wrestlers, and, of course, track and field (including Canadian sprinting star Andre de Grasse's quest to become the new fastest man in the world!)—there's so much to be excited about in the next couple of weeks.

What events and athletes are you most excited about?


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