The Tokyo Olympics are underway, with an Opening Ceremonies unlike any in recent memory. There were 68,000 empty seats at the ceremonies, and there were stripped-down delegations from the competing nations, but the competitions themselves will be robust affairs.Athletes watch as fireworks go off during the Opening Ceremonies in Tokyo. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
As the competitions begin, here are a few factoids that you can pull out to wow your friends at your nightly Olympic watch parties.
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According to the list of athletes on the Olympic website, 11,656 athletes are participating in this year’s Games, from Katrine Aalerud (a Norwegian cyclist) to Sylwia Zyzanska (a Polish archer).Paraguay's delegation parades during the Opening Ceremonies in Tokyo.
There are athletes as young as 12 years old in the Games: Syrian table tennis player Hend Zaza. Australia, meantime, has two equestrian athletes in their 60s: Mary Hanna (66) and Andrew Hoy (62).
The athletes hail from 206 nations, including the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, which comprises 29 athletes who have been displaced from their home nations because of conflict or natural disaster.Flag bearer Sofya Velikaya leads the Russian Olympic Committee during the Opening Ceremonies. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
The Russian Olympic Committee is sending 335 athletes, but they are not competing under the banner of “Russia” but as “ROC” — the Russian Olympic Committee — and even that full name can’t be displayed. The Committee flag — three flames flying above Olympic rings — is to be flown and displayed in lieu of the Russian flag, part of the fallout from a systematic doping scandal.
The Olympics feature 339 events in 33 sports. Somewhere around 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded. There will be medals in 47 track and field events, the most of any sport. We’re tracking the medal count here.The Olympics are finally here. Here’s a guide to help you watch the Tokyo Summer Games.
The United States has the largest contingent of Olympic athletes with 657, followed by host Japan with 615.
The U.S. team was led by flag bearers Sue Bird (basketball) and Eddy Alvarez (baseball) during the Opening Ceremonies.Flag bearers Sue Bird and Eddy Alvarez of lead Team USA. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Thirteen nations have sent only two athletes to this year’s Olympics: Andorra, Bermuda, Brunei, Central African Republic, Dominica, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Somalia, South Sudan and Tuvalu.Dara Alizadeh leads the modest Bermuda contingent at the Opening Ceremonies. (Mike Blake/Reuters) Tokyo Olympics begin officially with the Opening Ceremonies. Naomi Osaka lights cauldron.
Track and field has the most Olympic athletes, 2,176 of them representing 200 countries and vying for medals in 47 events.
With only 19 competitors, cycling BMX freestyle has the fewest athletes at the Olympics.
There are 158 Americans competing in track and field, the most of any Olympic sport.Nevin Harrison trains in Georgia in early July. (Brynn Anderson/AP)
Of the Olympic sports in which Americans are competing, canoe sprint has the fewest with only one U.S. athlete: Nevin Harrison. There are two sports with zero Americans: team handball and field hockey.Continue Reading