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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 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.