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Hannah Roberts competes in the Cycling BMX Women's Freestyle Final during the 2019 Pan-American Games in Lima on August 11, 2019. Photo: Ernesto Benavides/AFP via Getty Images

Hannah Roberts is making her Olympic debut in Tokyo, where she is looking to become the first woman to earn gold in the new BMX Freestyle category.

The big picture: The 19-year-old is the top-ranked rider in the world, with three of four world championships to her name. She is the favorite heading into this week's event.

  • Roberts began BMX at the age of nine, but nearly ended her career at 10 years old after fracturing her T4 vertebra from falling from a six-foot ramp, For The Win reports.
  • In the decade since she began riding, she has earned three world cup titles, won three world championships and earned a Pan American Games gold medal, per For The Win.
When to watch:
  • BMX freestyle seeding runs - July 30 at 9:10 p.m. ET
  • BMX freestyle finals - July 31 at 9:10 p.m. ET
What she's saying:
  • "To be the first announced and announced so early it was like all my hard work paid off and I was honored so it was cool," Roberts, who was first to qualify for the Olympic BMX freestyle event, told NBC News earlier this month.
  • "It’s sad, it’s hard that they can’t be there," Roberts said about her family not being able to travel to Tokyo with her.
  • "I’m hoping this isn’t my only Olympics. I told my parents, 'I’m going to work twice as hard so the next time there’s an Olympics you guys can be there.' It just gives me more motivation to continue," Roberts said.

Go deeper: Full Axios Olympics coverage

Go deeper

Aug 9, 2021 - Sports

Chinese authorities plan stricter approach to COVID-19 for Beijing Games

The emblem of Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games is installed at Shijingshan district on Aug. 1. Photo: Vcg/Vcg via Getty Images

Chinese authorities are planning COVID-19 mitigation measures for next year's Beijing Winter Games that are "expected to go far beyond those taken" in Tokyo, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The Tokyo Olympics ended Sunday with over 400 infections reported. While spectators were banned from the Games and other strict protocols were in place, "enforcement was haphazard, and news outlets found many violations," the Times notes.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.