This isn’t the sunny, Olympic seaside volleyball anybody had envisioned.
There was no roaring crowd as the athletes’ names had been introduced on Friday at Shiokaze Park. Instead, Olympians ran out onto soaked, packed sand by way of a human tunnel of clapping stadium employees members.
The music could have been blasting by way of the audio system, however the booming bass was drowned out by even louder thunder.
Despite the pouring rain, which precipitated a technical timeout throughout their match, Team USA stars April Ross and Alix Klineman continued to stay unbeaten in Tokyo.
The Americans are actually 3-0 in pool play after they defeated the Dutch group of Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink on Friday. After their win, Ross and Kleinman spoke to CNN about how a lot they miss the followers, coping with the strain and controversy over women’s bikini rules.
There’s nothing like taking part in for followers and this stadium is wonderful, so I can solely think about what it will’ve been like with all of the Japanese spectators,” stated Ross. “At the identical time, I believe we really feel actually grateful simply to be competing right here.”
Mental well being has change into an enormous focus of the Games, with US gymnast Simone Biles pulling out to guard her psychological — and bodily — well being.
“We’re seeing how vital it’s in elite sports activities, and all sports activities, and life normally. It’s one thing I’m continually engaged on,” stated Ross, who added she reads, retains a journal, and meditates to take her thoughts off the strain. “It’s an day by day apply. It will be actually powerful.”
Uniform consolation: Focus has additionally been on athletes carrying non-traditional uniforms with extra protection, reminiscent of the German ladies’s gymnastics group. The Norwegian seaside handball group was beforehand fined by the European Handball Federation for carrying shorts as an alternative of the required high-cut, tightfitting, briefs.
I actually assume individuals ought to be capable to put on what they’re comfy in. I believe that’s the backside line,” stated Klineman. “I actually respect the athletes who’re talking up and saying that they’re uncomfortable.”
“For us personally, I believe we really feel comfy in our fits. We are fortunate we started working with our sponsors to design the minimize and match of our fits.”
As seaside volleyball is usually performed in sweltering scorching situations, “carrying full garments shouldn’t be all the time comfy or sensible,” she added.