Simone Biles’s withdrawal from competitions at the Tokyo Olympics has put renewed focus on mental health in sports. WSJ looks at how the stigma and treatment for athletes’ state of mind has shifted. Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters
Postponed by a year. Plagued by existential rumors. The Tokyo Olympics have had a rocky road, thus far. But what’s it like for the athletes? This film looks at how Olympic hopefuls experience Olympic-sized uncertainties, under the already strained circumstances of a global pandemic.
Despite the rampant Coronavirus pandemic, the mythos of the Olympic Games is alive and well. The world’s top athletes dream of participating, though only a fraction of them will make it that far. This film accompanies four athletes over the course of a year, as they try to reach the Olympic Games in Tokyo. For fencer Alexandra Ndolo, high jumper Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch, javelin thrower Thomas Röhler and taekwondo master Madeline Folgmann, the time leading up to the Summer Games constitutes the greatest sporting challenge of their lives.
The postponement of the Games throws a wrench in their intensive training plans. It also forces them to confront some uncomfortable questions. What if all of this intensive preparation goes to waste? Are they working towards a moment in their lives that may never come? These four competitive athletes experience a year full of disruption, hardships, health risks, small successes, and big disappointments.
For one athlete, the pandemic even becomes a stroke of luck – but can she take advantage of it? The challenges that these elite athletes face striving for their dream of competing in the Olympic Games are unique. It is a time that will leave its mark on these athletes, as they embark on a journey with an uncertain outcome.
In the southern Spanish windsurfing paradise of Tarifa, top German athlete Nico Prien demonstrates his trick to ‘fly’ across the water; hydrofoiling. With the support of a fin-like foil, the board is held up above the waterline – and it’s said to feel as if you were flying above the surface. Is foiling the future of water sports?
In 2018, the Rio games were estimated to have a total cost of $20 billion, far beyond the Rio organizing committee’s initial estimate of $2.8 billion. The city of Rio shelled out $8.2 billion on legacy builds, or builds intended to live well beyond the Olympic’s three-week life-cycle. Cities incurring overrun costs when hosting the Olympics is not just unique to just Rio; according to the Council on Foreign Relations, since 1960, every Olympics saw high overrun costs. As overrun costs become a growing concern, several cities withdrew their 2022 winter Olympic bids in 2014, citing the potential costs. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) enacted the Olympic Agenda 2020 in 2014; the agenda provided new regulations specifically to mitigate cost concerns. However, the IOC was faced with another challenge: hosting the Tokyo Olympics amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020, golf saw a surge in new players following the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing measures. Callaway, the maker of golf balls, clubs, bags and apparel, has been thriving. But with movie theaters, travel and concerts expected to rebound, will golf club makers like Callaway and its rival Acushnet be able to maintain their momentum?
Kayaker Aniol Serrasolses descended a snowy mountain in his kayak before reaching a river where he performed a world-first flip off a waterfall.
The Araucanía Region of central Chile encompasses terrain ranging from the west’s Pacific coastline to volcanoes and the Andes mountains in the east. Its southeast, with many freshwater lakes and temperate rainforest, forms part of the Chilean Lake District. Nature reserves, including Huerquehue National Park and Conguillío National Park, protect ecosystems with lakes, rivers and forests of monkey puzzle conifers.
A group of friends in Latvia have adapted their hobby to the harsh weather conditions to create a new sport they have dubbed ‘kiteskating.’
10 Mar 2021 – 21 Mar 2021The final event of the racing cycle, The 36th America’s Cup Match will see the defender Emirates Team New Zealand take on Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, winner of the PRADA Cup, in an epic battle to keep – or claim – the America’s Cup. The winner will be the first team to score seven points.
A strong boat, and an impressive sailing performance saw Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli beat INEOS Team UK by 7 victories to one in the Prada Cup final. The Italians will now go on to the America’s Cup itself.