The summer of sport: Olympics, Euros, Wimbledon
31st Jul 2021
You won’t need us to remind you that sport has been well and truly ‘kicking’ off the summer. After 18 months of empty stadiums and cancelled fixtures, a bumper-packed few weeks consisting of the men’s football European Championship, the Wimbledon Championships, the build up to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Tour de France, to name a few, have set the ball rolling for events to celebrate and unite not only avid sport fans, but a country that’s been separated by the walls of our homes for too long.
The forthcoming Tokyo Olympics has been the subject of numerous headlines over the past few weeks as organisers have been left scrambling for ways to plan the events amid a ‘state of emergency’ in Tokyo as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise. Despite impending pressure on Tokyo medical services and the fact that only 15% of the country is fully vaccinated, the international Olympic Committee President has insisted the games go ahead, with the country’s prime minster also promising the delivery of the games. The latest blow to proceedings, joining a series of setbacks and overrun budgets, is that over half of the venues hosting the events will bar spectators.
On a more positive Olympics related note, five new sporting events were added to the Tokyo programme in an attempt to attract a younger audience. These sports include karate, skateboarding (where Team GB will be represented by 13-year-old, and World Championship bronze medal winner, Sky Brown, who is considered a major contender), surfing, baseball and sport climbing.
In other sporting news, Novak Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon title on Sunday against Matteo Berrettini, meeting his rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the 20-grand-slam winning post. Djokovic said of his fellow champions: “They are legends of our sport and they are the two most important players that I ever faced in my career. They are the reason that I am where I am today.” The player will now be looking towards the Olympics, although has stated he is unsure whether or not he will compete. Another historic milestone was made in Djokovic’s triumphant final game, as Marija Cicak became the first female umpire to oversee a Wimbledon men’s singles final.
The previous day, Ashleigh Barty beat Karolina Pliskova and became the first Australian women’s champion in 41 years whilst securing her first Wimbledon title. The game, which was described by some as a rollercoaster to watch, was the first occasion since 1977 where the two players competing were making their debut in a Wimbledon final.