Let the Games Begin – NBC Connecticut

With the opening ceremony scheduled to begin at 6:55 a.m.ET Friday morning (on NBC and live streaming), there’s already plenty of action going on at the Tokyo Olympics. The US women’s softball team won their opener against Italy, while the women’s football team was stunned by Sweden, losing 3-0 and ending a 44-game go-without streak. defeat.

The opening ceremony will be televised and broadcast live from Tokyo early Friday morning, and rebroadcast during prime time Friday evening. Here’s what you must watch in Tokyo during the Opening Ceremony, plus one final pre-opening event.

Who will light the cauldron during the opening ceremony?

The Japanese Olympic Committee has not announced who will light the cauldron, but there are some very good candidates.

Japan could honor golfer Hideki Matsuyama, who became the first Japanese to win a golf major when he won the Masters in April.

Or they could take a more symbolic path, finding a current or former Olympian who has recovered from COVID-19. At the Tokyo Games in 1964, runner Yoshinori Sakai had the honor. He was born on August 6, 1945, the day the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico said viewers can expect a “realistic and honest” opening ceremony. “It’s not in a vacuum,” Tirico said. “It’s understanding that people are suffering. There are difficult times. ”

Watch live on NBC at 6:55 a.m. ET or on digital platforms here. Watch delayed on NBC prime-time at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Who will be the flag bearer of Team USA?

UConn legend Sue Bird and baseball player Eddy Alvarez have been chosen to be the flagship of the United States team. It was announced on Wednesday’s episode of “TODAY” that the four-time WNBA champion and MLB infielder would lead the United States to the Parade of Nations.

Sue Bird, Eddie Alvarez

American women’s basketball star Sue Bird and USA Baseball infielder Eddy Alvarez were selected as the team’s flag bearers at the opening ceremony in Tokyo.

Bird, who won two national championships with the Huskies, is no stranger to international competition. She has four Olympic gold medals and won four more golds at the FIBA ​​Women’s Basketball World Cup.

Alvarez will also be looking to add to his collection of Olympic medals. Although he had no Olympic baseball experience, Alvarez won silver in short track speed skating at the Sochi Olympics. He played for the Miami Marlins in 2020 and is part of their minor league system this season.

Team USA in the Parade of Nations

More than 600 American athletes are expected in Tokyo and are ready to compete at the highest level. Not all will participate in the Parade of Nations, as many events are already underway or will take place the day after the Opening Ceremony.

During the opening ceremony, nations will parade in alphabetical order in Japanese, following the custom of using the language of the host country to determine the order. But this year’s Parade of Nations will also have a few peculiarities.

The United States will be listed at the end of the parade order. Japan will be the grand finale of the parade, and future Olympic host countries will parade just ahead of the host country. France, host of the Paris 2024 Olympics, will precede Japan, and the United States, host of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, will precede France.

Team USA to wear Ralph Lauren at opening ceremony

Ralph Lauren, who has been dressing Team USA since 2008, unveiled the uniforms for this year’s opening ceremony last week. The outfits for Tokyo perfectly match the designer’s preppy, American aesthetic.

The United States Olympic team will wear traditional navy blue blazers, with a Team USA crest on one chest and Ralph Lauren’s famous Polo Pony logo on the other.

As shown by beach volleyball players Alix Klineman and April Ross below, Team USA will pair the blazers with a Breton striped shirt, a star and striped print scarf, and a belt made from recycled plastic bottles. Ralph Lauren also designed solid navy blue masks with a small American flag for American Olympic athletes.

The flag bearer’s jacket also has a durable feature: RL COOLING technology, an individual air conditioning system integrated into the garment.

“Through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ralph Lauren celebrates the pioneering spirit and tradition of America, while embracing modernity and innovation – and it is with this philosophy in mind that we approached the development of RL COOLING technology, ”said David Lauren, director of Ralph Lauren Corporation. brand and innovation director.

“Recognizing the summer heat of Tokyo, we sought to develop a solution for Team USA that combines fashion and functionality, making them feel better on one of the biggest stages in the world.

Rowing starts tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET

The competition begins tonight for the rowers in the sculling events. You can stream it live here starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Although no American qualified in single sculls, the Americans were able to climb to the medal podium in single sculls and single sculls. Kara Kohler competes in the singles, in which she won the world championship in 2019, and hopes to add a medal to her bronze in the four-scoop team in 2012. Gevvie Stone, who was a silver medalist in ski de couple in Rio, is teaming up with Kristi Wagner in couple doubles.

Olympic Games - Previews - Day -5

Maja Hitij

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 18: United States women’s doubles athletes in action during a training session at Sea Forest Waterway on July 18, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Maja Hitij / Getty Images)

In the couples quadruple squad, Ellen Tomek and Meghan O’Leary – who won the doubles together in 2016 – are joined by newcomers Alie Rusher and Cicely Madden.

Connecticut has two rowers competing in Tokyo. Austin Hack and Liam Corrigan, both of Old Lyme, are teammates in the eight-man crew. Their competition starts on Saturday evening.

Tonight’s competition is a preliminary series – no medals will be awarded in rowing until July 27.

Watch live at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN or digital platforms here.

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Ray Coulombe

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