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Team USA's Ben Stevenson and Japan's Yusuke Inaba on July 25. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

TOKYO — Sunday was a chance to venture beyond my comfort zone of softball and soccer.

Behind the scenes: I decided to check out the U.S. men’s water polo team, since I flew over to Japan with them. They managed a nice come-from-behind victory over Japan, with the only downside being spilling an entire bottle of water in my backpack.

  • Somehow, by the grace of the Olympic gods, my laptop, accessories, camera and lenses all emerged unscathed.
  • While at the aquatics center, I ventured next door and managed to see the last couple minutes of synchronized diving and got the OK to stay for a set of swimming heats later in the evening.
Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

But I think my favorite experience was watching the diving practice in between sessions as divers of different heights and disciplines, including synchronized divers, got in their workouts. It’s another part you never see on TV.

  • Along the way back into Tatsumi International Swimming Center, I crossed socially distanced paths with Canadian synchronized diver Jennifer Abel still clutching her silver medal and flowers from the medal ceremony as she labored to find the doping officials, presumably for post competition testing.
  • A few meters away from the divers, the swimmers are also getting in their practice. Amazing how they manage to steer clear of one another while practicing.
Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Go deeper: 7 Olympics stories to know for today

Go deeper

American Jennifer Valente wins final women's cycling gold of Tokyo Games

Team USA's Jennifer Valente with a U.S. flag after winning the women's track cycling omnium points race during the Tokyo Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome in Izu, Japan, on Sunday. It was cycling's final gold medal available. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Team USA's Jennifer Valente won the Olympic gold medal in the women's cycling omnium event on Sunday.

The big picture: Japan's Yumi Kajihara won silver and the Netherlands' Kirsten Wild took bronze. It was Valente's second Tokyo Games medal, after winning bronze Tuesday in the team pursuit.

Go deeper: Full Axios Olympics coverage

Aug 9, 2021 - Podcasts

Scientists' strongest stance yet on climate

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report on climate change this morning. It shows that warming is happening more quickly than we realized, and calls the connection between human activity and global warming "unequivocal." It's the strongest stance by global scientists on climate we've seen yet.

  • Plus, the pandemic has changed our relationship with trash.
  • And, Ina Fried’s big takeaways from covering the Olympic games.

Guests: Axios' Andrew Freedman, Hope King, and Ina Fried.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Dan Bobkoff, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Sabeena Singhani, and Michael Hanf. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.