Tuesday's sports stories

Jul 20, 2021 - Sports

Norwegian women's beach handball team fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms

Norway's team lines up during 2018 Women's Beach Handball World Cup final against Greece on July 29, 2018. Photo: Ilnar Tukhbatov/Epsilon/Getty Images

Norway's women's beach handball team was fined by the European Handball Federation on Monday after wearing shorts instead of the required bikini bottoms during a match, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The International Handball Federation requires women to wear bikini bottoms that are no longer than four inches on the sides, per the Times. Men can wear shorts as long as four inches above their knees as long as they are "not too baggy."

Jul 20, 2021 - Sports

Olympics set to open in sweltering heat

Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Tokyo Games are set to open amid high temperatures and humidity and a chance of typhoons, forcing organizers to deploy cooling stations around venues, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: While some outdoor events were moved to the cooler northern city of Sapporo, organizers are worried about heat-related illnesses occurring among athletes and staff who haven't become acclimated to Tokyo's muggy summers.

Jul 20, 2021 - Sports

Tom Brady jokes at White House: 40% of people "still don't think we won"

Tom Brady accepts the trophy at the 2021 Super Bowl. Photo: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

President Joe Biden hosted a celebration at the White House Tuesday morning with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this year's Super Bowl champions.

Driving the news: Tampa quarterback Tom Brady joked at the podium that while many people didn't believe the team could win, 40% "still don't think we won," prompting an "I understand" from Biden that drew chuckles from the crowd.

Jul 20, 2021 - Sports

Deaf-blind Paralympian quits Team USA after being told she can't bring assistant

Becca Meyers competes in the 200m Individual Medley finals during day 3 of the 2021 U.S. Paralympic Swimming Trials. Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Becca Meyers, a six-time Paralympic medalist who is blind and deaf, withdrew from Team USA this weekend after being told that she could not bring her mother and personal care assistant (PCA) to Tokyo to help her navigate the Games, per the Washington Post.

Driving the news: Meyers, who would have had a chance to medal in four events at the Tokyo Paralympics, per Yahoo!, said the decision to leave the team was "difficult," but she needed "to say something to effect change, because this can’t go on any longer."

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated Jul 20, 2021 - Sports

Axios at the Olympics: What it's like traveling to Tokyo

Tokyo skyline and the white-rimmed Olympic Stadium, the main venue. Photo: Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images

A dispatch from the plane on the way from San Francisco to Tokyo.

Of course, there was a fresh hurdle at the airport. Overnight, the Tokyo Olympics organizers sent what was supposed to be a reassuring note. But I missed that part. It was another new form to fill out — a web questionnaire that generated a QR code.

When I went to check in at United, Japanese authorities wanted a written pledge that I hadn't filled out. So I went from the check-in line to an airport vendor charging $5 for computer rental, plus $1 per page. I printed out the necessary page, did the Web questionnaire and printed out the resulting QR code.

Jul 20, 2021 - Sports

Olympians are getting their voices back

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Colin Kaepernick isn't in the Olympics, but the lasting image of an athlete kneeling on the sidelines in silent protest is likely to find its way to Tokyo all the same.

Why it matters: Such a demonstration would have previously been banned at the Games, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has relaxed its rules governing protests in the wake of 2020's global racial reckoning.

Jul 19, 2021 - Sports

First look: New Olympics ad thanks sponsors

Photo: Screenshot from new Team USA ad

A new Olympics ad features athletes shouting out corporate sponsors and thanking them for the big money that allows them to compete.

The big picture: The ad is funded by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. It starts airing Tuesday, ahead of Friday's opening ceremony.

Jul 19, 2021 - Sports

Luke Prokop becomes first player on NHL contract to come out as gay

Photo: Derek Leung via Getty Images

Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop made history as the first active NHL player to come out as gay on Monday.

What he's saying: "It has been quite the journey to get to this point in my life, but I could not be happier with my decision to come out," the 19-year-old Prokop wrote on Instagram.

Jul 19, 2021 - Sports

Poll: Gymnastics is Americans' most highly anticipated Olympic sport

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Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Gymnastics is the most highly anticipated Olympic event among U.S. adults, according to a new Morning Consult survey.

By the numbers: 62% of respondents said they were somewhat or very interested in watching gymnastics, which is headlined by Team USA's biggest star, Simone Biles.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jul 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

LeBron James' storytelling future with SpringHill Company

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage via Getty Images

LeBron James' media venture, SpringHill Company, is exploring a possible sale in the $750 million range, per The Information (subscription) — and Nike is among the potential suitors.

Between the lines: SpringHill has 120 employees and three businesses: Springhill Entertainment (production company), Uninterrupted (athlete empowerment brand) and The Robot Co. (marketing agency).

Asian American Olympians face racism at home

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

Asian American Olympians representing the United States are competing for gold in Tokyo as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are targets of violence and bigotry back home.

Why it matters: Advocates say the anti-Asian hate is taking a mental health toll on Asian Americans, and Asian American athletes are entering the games under the added pressure of competing in Asia before a worldwide audience.