Can Brendan Doyle make it to Beijing 2022 as the only skeleton racer in Ireland?
Steeplechaser Lizbeth Vicuna is a rising star in a rare discipline for Ecuadoran athletics. (Spanish)
U23-rider Biniam Ghirmay wins Eritea's first medal in UCI road race history.
Italian Rebecca Passler is continuing family success in biathlon after her first "A" team summer.
Will We See These Athletes at Beijing 2022?
Filipino short track speed skater Julian Macaraeg is on a (financial) quest to compete at Beijing 2022.
Will biathlete Emilien Claude graduate to a full-time season on the senior IBU season after a successful junior year in 2021?
Erika Lindgren is another short track-ster to watch, as she looks to put the sport on Sweden's radar.
Hallie Clarke is just 17 years old, but a rising star with big ambitions in skeleton for Team Canada.
Thomas Barr knows it will probably take another personal best time to make it into an Olympic 400 meter hurdles final for the second time.
The Daily Mail features Team USA's Abdi Abdirahman, running the Tokyo 2020 marathon in what will be his fifth Olympic Games.
Javelin thrower Shivpal Singh has high confidence for India's medal chances on the field at Tokyo 2020.
Team Great Britain's hammer thrower Taylor Campbell shows one of the publicity risks of being a relative unknown making it into the spotlight.
Heir apparent to Claressa Shields, boxer Naomi Graham will be the "first female active-duty service member to fight for the U.S.at the Olympics".
Track cyclist Annette Edmondson hasn't let exercise-induced asthma deter her from Tokyo 2020.
Can NBA star Dennis Schroder suit up for the Olympics this summer after Team Germany's surprise qualification?
Team Nigeria's women's basketball team might feature three sisters...one of whom might take special interest in the July 27 game vs Team USA....
3x3 basketball player Agnis Cavars: Not only making an Olympic debut in a new Olympic discipline, but carrying his nation's flag, too.
With Olympic qualification in hand, Kenyan Guadencia Makokha has moved successfully from indoor to beach volleyball.
Fran Kirby's recovery from a heart condition is complete with inclusion in Team Great Britain's Olympic soccer team.
And...Team Spain's young soccer star Pedri insists that he can perform at Tokyo 2020 without hurting fitness for Barcelona F.C.
Colombian Maria Camila Osorio Serrano is one to watch, after her two wins at Wimbledon shoot her well into the top 100 of the tennis rankings.
Tokyo 2020-bound sprint canoeist Nevin Harrison's pre-race tears are a ritual to help center herself before competition.
Luigi "Il Gorilla" Busa thanks his father and wife- both karate experts as well - for helping him on his way to Tokyo 2020 for the sport's Olympic debut.
Sport Innovation Lab: Olympic ice hockey great Angela Ruggerio has a new endeavor that focuses on the science of fan data.
BMX rider Saya Sakikabara is going to Tokyo 2020 for Team Australia, fulfilling a dream for her - and her brother Kai.
Get to know Team USA water polo stalwart Jesse Smith, a veteran of (now) five Olympics on a squad of relative newcomers.
Team USA's Monica Abbott pens a letter of thanks to her parents for their support in her persistence to continue in softball.
Hoping that "young athletes will be inspired by her journey", modern pentathlete Joanna Muir finds going to Tokyo 2020 "amazing".
Get to know Team USA's newest men's gymnastics star, rodeo-riding, frog-giggling Brody Malone.
And, South African gymnast Caitlin Rooskrantz answers a few questions from FIG.
Soraya Aghaei becomes the first Iranian woman to secure qualification in Olympic badminton.
"We chose to keep our dreams alive." Refugess athlete and swimmer Yusra Mardini narrates the latest #StrongerTogether message from the IOC.
And...not even the threat of crocodiles can stop Edha Belo from training for a chance to swim at Tokyo 2020!
Can Rio 2016 gold medalist judoka Majlinda Kelmendi win a second gold for her hometown fans in Kosovo?
Tokyo 2020 checks in with Team USA weightlifter Sarah Robles on her progression in and perspective on the sport, her Rio 2016 medal, and more.
Megan Jones and Celia Quansah are not just teammates for Team Great Britain's rugby sevens, they're also partners off the pitch.
And more partners...Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud are set to return to the Summer Olympics together for Team Netherlands in equestrian dressage.
Kai Kazmirek is a study in throwing.
Gergo Siklosi takes a breather.
Usain Bolt with a Father's Day family portrait...
Oleg Zernikel is focused.
Elena Lopez stops traffic.
The Weight of Gold (2020)
A Quick Film Review
The approaching end of Mental Health Awareness Month inspired another look at last year's The Weight of Gold documentary, highlighting the more-common-than-you'd-think unseen challenges elite athletes face.
As narrator, star swimmer Michael Phelps is well-qualified to lend his voice. History's most-decorated Olympian, he has been open over the last handful of years about the difficulties he has faced with depression.
The Weight of Gold's other participants - fellow Olympians experiencing a variety of success - are frank in leveraging their personal insights, shedding light on the pervasiveness of added mental pressure.
Commentary from freestyle skier Jeremy Bloom (also listed as co-executive producer), diver David Boudia, figure skaters Sasha Cohen and Gracie Gold, bobsledder Steve Holcomb, hurdler/bobsledder Lolo Jones, skier Bode Miller, short track speed skater Apolo Ohno, skeleton race Katie Uhlaender, and snowboarder Shaun White help paint a picture which underscores the under-publicized struggles elite-level athletes face in high performance.
Driven by Olympic dreams from a young age, these athletes face a life hyper-focused on attaining Olympic success, with everything non-Olympic goal related viewed as an obstacle to block out. The narrow vision sets them up for shock once dreams are unfulfilled or end. What happens when they experience failure or end their careers? Too many are not prepared for how to define themselves outside of training for the one Olympic moment, and when the cameras leave.
Meanwhile, financial pressures while training often compound struggles. The vast majority of Olympians do not experience significant outside sponsor support, and any national team stipends are too paltry to adequately give relief to athletes with limited non-training time. Uhlaender is particularly powerful in her segments, revealing the added pressure of being the stipend support for the entire team, as the leader of a smaller, fringe sport.
Most poignant is watching included commentary from Holcomb, raw in his openness...filmed some time before his suicide in 2017. His death, following those of fellow Olympians Steven Scherrer and Jeret Peterson, was a marker in driving attention to mental health. But, unfortunately, not the last, as Kelly Catlin and Jack Hatton fell victim to depression just in the last couple of years.
The Weight of Gold's overarching message is what has been a glaring lack of attention to mental health from the structure of official team support, especially for retired athletes. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has taken bigger steps of late...unveiling a mental health landing page and most recently a hotline. Obviously, these are steps in the right direction. (Note: the film's producers, along with HBO Sports has a resource page, too).
In its intimate moments, The Weight of Gold reminds us that Olympians, behind the veneer of super-human athletic power, are merely humans, too, operating under extremely charged conditions. It's great to see Phelps & co. use their platform as high-profile athletes to deliver the message that it's "okay to not be okay".
But these are doubtless just an extreme few of the countless stories out there. And what of the scores of athletes who don't make an Olympic team? As the Tokyo 2020 Games quickly approach, and as we look forward to enjoying elite performance, it's key to remember their humanity, too.
About This Blog
A fan blog celebrating the stories of Olympic sport athletes, and all things Olympic Games and Olympic sports
Random highlights of Olympic sport athletes - news, social links, and more, seen through the cheeky lens of this one particular, passionate fan.
A Little Roundup
Links to select Olympic sports headlines & news, celebrating athlete stories and features
Let's Get Social
What are Olympic sport athletes up to on social media and away from competition?
Athletes Worth Watching
A look at some emerging Olympic sport athletes worth keeping an eye on
Ramblings and Things
I have my own comment and opinions on Olympic sports news sometimes!
A Quick Review
Thoughts on Olympic sports films, art, books, TV, etc. that I've come across now and then
Read more about me.
Me at Rio 2016's Barra Olympic Park
Header: Kallimarmaro stadium in Athens, site of the first modern Olympics in 1896