September 25, 2021

Ponytails and smiles: Pervasive language keeps sexism in Olympic sport at play

22 min read

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Chinese diver Cao Yuan competes in the 10-meter platform event on August 7.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A member of Team Japan competes in artistic swimming on August 6.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Cuban boxer Julio César La Cruz poses with his gold medal after winning the heavyweight final on August 6.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Alina Harnasko, a rhythmic gymnast from Belarus, competes in the individual all-around on August 6.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The United States’ Paul Chelimo dives over the finish line to win a bronze medal in the 5,000 meters on August 6. He finished just ahead of Kenya’s Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Team Italy competes in artistic swimming on August 6.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Jaime Lozano, the head coach of Mexico’s Olympic football team, is thrown in the air by his players following the team’s 3-1 victory over Japan in the bronze-medal match on August 6.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The United States’ Breanna Stewart plays against Serbia in a basketball semifinal on August 6. The Americans won 79-59.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto, left, celebrates after defeating South Korea’s Jang Woo-jin to win a bronze medal in table tennis on August 6.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The Czech Republic’s Adam Ondra, left, celebrates after he defeated France’s Mickael Mawem in the sport climbing speed finals on August 5.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The United States’ Joe Ryan pitches to South Korea’s Park Hae-min during a semifinal baseball game on August 5. The Americans won 7-2 to clinch a spot in the final against Japan.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The United States’ Zach LaVine scores against Australia during a basketball semifinal on August 5. The Americans won 97-78 and will play France in the gold-medal game.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Decathletes rest on the track following the 1,500 meters on August 5.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Great Britain’s Lois Toulson dives off the 10-meter platform on August 5.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Cuba’s Cristian Nápoles competes in the triple jump final on August 5.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Turkey’s Eray Samdan, left, takes on Azerbaijan’s Firdovsi Farzaliyev as karate made its Olympic debut on August 5. Samdan won 7-1 and went on to earn a silver medal.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Great Britain’s Jason Kenny competes in track cycling on Wednesday, August 4.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Ukraine’s Marta Fiedina competes in artistic swimming’s duet final on August 4. She and Anastasiya Savchuk won the bronze. The gold was won by Russians Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Spanish decathlete Jorge Ureña competes in the high jump on August 4.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Singaporean swimmer Li-Shan Chantal Liew grabs a drink while competing in the 10-kilometer open-water event on August 4.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Sweden’s Armand “Mondo” Duplantis competes in the pole vault final on August 3. He would go on to win the gold.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Spain’s Alberto Ginés López competes in sport climbing on August 3. He would go on to win gold.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

US gymnast Simone Biles is congratulated by coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi as it became evident that Biles would earn a medal on August 3. Biles now has seven Olympic medals, tying her with Shannon Miller for the most by an American gymnast.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

German sailors Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel jump into the water as they celebrate winning bronze in the 49er category on August 3.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Athletes compete in a 400-meter heat on August 3.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s Sena Irie, right, celebrates after defeating the Philippines’s Nesthy Petecio to win the women’s featherweight final on August 3.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

South Africa’s Kyle Blignaut competes in the shot put on August 3.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

This photo, taken underwater, shows Greece’s Evangelia Papazoglou and Evangelia Platanioti competing in artistic swimming on August 2. Artistic swimming used to be called synchronized swimming at the Olympics.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Runners compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on August 2.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Kyrgyzstan’s Akzhol Makhmudov, top, competes against Tunisia’s Lamjed Maafi in Greco-Roman wrestling on August 2. Makhmudov went on to win a silver medal.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Cyclists from New Zealand competes in a team pursuit heat while China’s Zhong Tianshi, left, takes a break on August 2.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

India’s Neha Goyal embraces Navneet Kaur after a 1-0 win over Australia in a field hockey quarterfinal on August 2.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn leads the field on her way to a gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles on August 2. It was Puerto Rico’s second-ever gold medal and its first in track.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Chile’s Humberto Mansilla competes in hammer throw qualifications on August 2.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Brazilian gymnast Rebeca Andrade poses with her medals on August 2. During these Games, she won gold in the vault and silver in the individual all-around.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Polish table-tennis player Natalia Partyka, who was born without a right hand and forearm, eyes the ball during a doubles match on August 2. In the foreground is South Korea’s Choi Hyo-joo. Partyka has competed in both the Olympics and the Paralympics.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The United States’ Isaiah Jewett, left, and Botswana’s Nijel Amos help each other to their feet after falling during an 800-meter semifinal on August 1. They embraced and went on to finish the race together.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Field hockey players from Spain warm up before their match against Belgium on August 1.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

China’s Fan Yilin competes in the uneven bars final on August 1.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Dutch sailor Kiran Badloe jumps into the water to celebrate after winning gold in the men’s RS:X category on August 1.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

French boxer Mourad Aliev refused to leave the ring after he was disqualified in his bout against Frazer Clarke on August 1. His protest lasted about an hour. He was disqualified for what the referee determined was an intentional headbutt.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Georgia’s Iakobi Kajaia, left, takes on Russian Sergei Semenov in a Greco-Roman wrestling quarterfinal on August 1. Kajaia went on to win a silver medal.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Divers warm up ahead of the women’s 3-meter springboard finals on August 1.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Members of the Dominican Republic’s volleyball team line up before a match against Kenya on July 31.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Jamaica dominated the 100 meters, winning all three medals. Behind Thompson-Herah were Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson. Fraser-Pryce won this event in 2008 and 2012.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic serves to the Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova during the gold-medal tennis match on July 31. Bencic won 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

US diver Hailey Hernandez competes in the 3-meter springboard on July 31.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s Shoichiro Mukai, left, and Germany’s Eduard Trippel compete in team judo on July 31.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Russian fencers celebrate after winning gold in the team sabre event on July 31.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Sweden’s Armand “Mondo” Duplantis competes in the pole vault on July 31. He holds the world record in the event.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Dutch field hockey players run from sprinklers after pre-match warmups on July 31.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Kenya’s Mercy Moim spikes the ball during a volleyball match against the Dominican Republic on July 31.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Spanish tennis player Pablo Carreño Busta celebrates after he defeated Serbia’s Novak Djokovic to win bronze on July 31.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The United States’ Keni Harrison races a 100-meter hurdles heat on July 31.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Team Israel celebrates winning the bronze in the judo mixed-team event on July 31. France won the gold and Japan won the silver.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Great Britain’s Jessica Learmonth competes in the mixed relay triathlon on July 31. Great Britain won gold in the event, which was the first of its kind in Olympics history.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

US players celebrate after they defeated the Netherlands in a penalty shootout July 30 to advance to the semifinals in women’s football.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Swimmers compete in the 1,500-meter freestyle on July 30.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A robot shoots a free throw during halftime of a women’s basketball game between Belgium and Puerto Rico on July 30.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Dominican baseball players Gustavo Nunez, left, and Julio Rodriguez collide as Rodriguez catches a ball during their 1-0 win over Mexico on July 30.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Australian diver Esther Qin competes in the 3-meter springboard event on July 30.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Lea Yanitsas, a goalkeeper for Australia’s water polo team, tries to block a shot during a match against Spain on July 30.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Russian rugby player Anna Baranchuk reaches for the ball during a match against New Zealand on July 30.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Morocco’s Mohamed Tindouft falls while competing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on July 30.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The Czech Republic’s Jiri Prskavec reacts after winning gold in the kayak final on July 30.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Indonesian badminton players Apriyani Rahayu and Greysia Polii react after winning their quarterfinal match on July 29.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

British field hockey players prepare to defend a penalty corner during a match against the Netherlands on July 29.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

American gymnast Suni Lee takes a selfie with silver medalist Rebeca Andrade, center, and bronze medalist Angelina Melnikova after winning the individual all-around on July 29. Andrade is the first Brazilian to ever medal in women’s gymnastics. Melnikova is Russian.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Tunisia’s Mohamed Hammed picks an arrow during archery competition on July 29.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

US beach volleyball player Sarah Sponcil stretches out for a ball during a match on July 29.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Canadian fencer Eleanor Harvey, left, competes against France’s Ysaora Thibus in a foil team quarterfinal on July 29.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Italy’s Cristina Chirichella serves the ball during a match against Argentina on July 29.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Brazil’s Bruna de Paula is defended by Spain’s Lara González Ortega during a preliminary round handball match on July 29.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japanese golfer Rikuya Hoshino tees off to start his first round on July 29. The Olympic golf is taking place at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe, Japan.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

From left, the United States’ Bobby Finke, Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock dive in the water at the start of the 800-meter freestyle final on July 29. Finke won gold after a late rally.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

China’s Sun Yingsha waits for a serve from Japan’s Mima Ito during a table-tennis semifinal on July 29. Sun won to advance to the final.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

BMX racers compete in the women’s quarterfinals on July 29.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Spain’s Cristina Ouviña, center, is defended by a group of Serbian players during a preliminary round basketball game on July 29.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japanese badminton player Arisa Higashino, top, hits a shot toward China’s Huang Dongping in a mixed-doubles semifinal on July 29.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Ledecky led the field for most of the 1,500-meter freestyle, and she finished the race more than four seconds ahead of silver medalist Erica Sullivan, a fellow American.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Poland’s Lukasz Przybytek and Pawel Kolodzinski compete in the 49er sailing competition on July 28.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Serbia’s Dusan Domovic Bulut, left, competes for the ball with Belgium’s Rafael Bogaerts, center, and Thibaut Vervoort during a 3-on-3 basketball game on July 28. Serbia won the game for a bronze medal.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

American divers Michael Hixon, left, and Andrew Capobianco compete in the synchronized 3-meter springboard event on July 28. They won silver. China’s Wang Zongyuan and Xie Siyi won gold.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Swiss cyclist Marlen Reusser competes in the time trial event on July 28.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Fiji players celebrate after winning gold in rugby sevens on July 28.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Kazakhstan’s Bekzad Nurdauletov gets hit by Russian boxer Imam Khataev during their light-heavyweight match on July 28. Khataev won 4-1.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s baseball players celebrate a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Dominican Republic on July 28. It was the first baseball game of these Olympics.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s Megumi Murakami competes in a beach volleyball match on July 28.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A crowd watches equestrian action on July 28.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Egyptian fencer Ziad Elsissy celebrates a team sabre win on July 28.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A man sits among rows of empty seats as he watches table tennis at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

An underwater view shows the United States’ Delaney Schnell, left, and Jessica Parratto after a dive in the the synchronized 10-meter platform event on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Turkish archer Yasemin Anagoz competes on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

French slalom canoeist Marie-Zélia Lafont competes in the K-1 semifinal on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

German table-tennis player Timo Boll serves during a match on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Taiwanese weightlifter Kuo Hsing-chun reacts after winning gold in the 59-kilogram category on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A man in Yokohama, Japan, walks past the Olympic rings lit up at dusk on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

American Regan Smith swims the final of the women’s 100-meter backstroke on July 27. She won the bronze.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

American Haleigh Washington, left, spikes the ball during a volleyball match against China on July 27. The United States won in straight sets, 29-27, 25-22, 25-21.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Norway’s Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen compete in the 49erFX sailing competition on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Estonian fencer Katrina Lehis, left, squares off against Italy’s Mara Navarria in the team epée semifinals on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Brazil’s Ana Paula Rodrigues Belo attempts to shoot during a handball match against Hungary on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

From left, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszú, the United States’ Alex Walsh and China’s Yu Yiting take part in a semifinal race for the 200-meter individual medley on July 27. Walsh won the race.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

France’s Endy Miyem is defended by Japan’s Himawari Akaho during a basketball game on July 27. Japan defeated France 74-70.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Members of the media are pictured in the foreground as Indonesia’s Marcus Fernaldi Gideon, bottom left, and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo play a badminton match against Taiwan’s Lee Yang, top left, and Wang Chi-lin on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

South Korean fencer Kang Young-mi, right, is congratulated by her teammates after they defeated the United States in the epée quarterfinals on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

US water polo player Johnny Hooper takes a shot during the team’s 20-3 win over South Africa on July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The sun sets in Tokyo on July 26 as Belgium plays the Netherlands in a men’s 3-on-3 basketball game. The event is making its Olympic debut this year.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Volunteers sit in mostly empty stands during archery competition on July 26.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The Czech Republic’s Lukas Rohan competes in a canoeing semifinal on July 26.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Fencers Sofia Pozdniakova and Sofya Velikaya, both representing the Russian Olympic Committee, compete against each other in the individual sabre final on July 26. Pozdniakova, a two-time world champion and daughter of Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdniakov, defeated Velikaya 15-11.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Spain’s Adrian Gavira Collado waits for a serve during a beach volleyball match on July 26.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Iran’s Meisam Salehi spikes the ball during a volleyball match against Venezuela on July 26.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

British divers Tom Daley, left, and Matty Lee compete in the synchronized 10-meter platform event on July 26. They won the gold.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt lies on the ground wrapped in finish-line tape after he won the triathlon on July 26. On the right, silver medalist Alex Yee of Great Britain hugs bronze medalist Hayden Wilde of New Zealand.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Norway’s Richard Andre Ordemann is kicked in the face by Jordan’s Saleh Elsharabaty during a taekwondo bout on July 26. Elsharabaty won 5-4.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The US softball team celebrates its 2-1 win over Japan on July 26. The two teams will meet again in the gold-medal game July 27.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Eldric Sella Rodriguez, a middleweight boxer with the Refugee Olympic Team, lies on the ground after being knocked down by the Dominican Republic’s Euri Cedeno Martinez on July 26. The fight was stopped in the first round, and Cedeno Martinez was declared the winner.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s Hifumi Abe celebrates after winning gold in judo on Sunday, July 25.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Chinese weightlifter Chen Lijun celebrates on July 25. He won gold in his 67-kilogram weight class after lifting 187 kilograms — an Olympic record — in the clean-and-jerk. His total lift of 332 kilograms edged Colombia’s Luis Javier Mosquera Lozano by one kilogram.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

US equestrian Adrienne Lyle rides Salvino in the dressage competition on July 25.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Staff members prepare for judo competition at the Budokan arena in Tokyo.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Spanish judoka Alberto Gaitero Martin is bandaged during his bout against Ukraine’s Georgii Zantaraia on July 25.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

China’s Zhang Changning spikes the ball in a preliminary-round volleyball match against Turkey on July 25.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Mexico’s Dallas Escobedo warms up before a softball game against Italy on July 25. Softball is back at the Olympics for the first time since 2008.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

American gymnast Simone Biles performs on the vault during the qualification round on July 25. The team all-around final is Tuesday, and the Americans will look to defend the gold they won at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Brazilian surfer Italo Ferreira rides a wave during an early heat on July 25. This is the first year that surfing is in the Olympics.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s Naomi Osaka hits a forehand during her first-round match against China’s Zheng Saisai on July 25. Osaka won 6-1, 6-4.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Marina Nekrasova, a gymnast from Azerbaijan, competes on the uneven bars during the qualification round on July 25.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Italy’s Alessandro Velotto moves the ball during a water polo match against South Africa on July 25.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Hungarian fencer Flora Pasztor, left, competes against Algeria’s Meriem Mebarki on July 25.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

German beach-volleyball players Julia Sude and Karla Borger play Switzerland’s Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Joana Heidrich in an empty Shiokaze Park on Saturday, July 24.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Hend Zaza, the youngest Olympian this summer, competes in table tennis on July 24. The 12-year-old Syrian was knocked out in the preliminary round, losing 4-0 to Austrian Jia Liu.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Fans wait at the finish of the men’s cycling road race on July 24. The Fuji International Speedway, in Oyama, Japan, is one of the five Olympic venues open to fans this year.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Nigerian gymnast Uche Eke competes on the horizontal bar on July 24.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Chinese fencer Sun Yiwen celebrates with her coach Hugues Obry after winning gold in the épée on July 24.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

China’s Yang Qian, the first gold-medal winner of these Olympics, celebrates on July 24. She finished first in the 10-meter air rifle.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Badminton players compete amid rows of empty seats on July 24.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A staff member picks up the mouthguard of Great Britain’s Peter McGrail during a boxing match on July 24.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic cauldron at the end of the opening ceremony on Friday, July 23.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Fireworks go off after Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

An overhead view of Osaka lighting the cauldron. The cauldron was designed in the shape of a cherry blossom.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic flag is raised near the end of the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, makes a speech during the opening ceremony. At left is Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japanese jazz composer Hiromi Uehara plays the piano during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic flag is carried toward the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito delivers a speech and formally opens the Olympic Games.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Members of the Refugee Olympic Team march during the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Tongan flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua made headlines for going shirtless at the 2016 and 2018 opening ceremonies, and he was at it again in Tokyo. He will be competing in taekwondo.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Athletes from the United States march during the customary parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

During one portion of the opening ceremony, there were 1,800 drones flying over the stadium to form a globe in the night sky. As the glowing drones soared over the stadium, performers sang “Imagine” by John Lennon.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Athletes from various nations sit during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Athletes from Team Norway take part in the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic teams from every country watch performers on stage.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

US athletes hold an American flag during the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Russian athletes pose for a photo during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A police officer is seen in the mostly empty stadium on July 23. Organizers said that for the opening ceremony, only 950 VIPs would be present in a stadium that can seat nearly 70,000 people.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

French athletes march during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A member of Egypt’s delegation enters the stadium during the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

British flag-bearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi lead out the team during the opening ceremony’s parade of nations. Sbihi, a rower, made history as Great Britain’s first Muslim flag-bearer.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Greece’s athletes march into the stadium to kick off the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Dancers take part in the start of the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

People perform during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The Japanese flag is carried during the opening ceremony. After the Japanese National Anthem was sung, a moment of silence was called to remember the global victims of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A performer acts during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The start of the ceremony reflected the isolated training that many athletes had to do during the pandemic.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Jill Biden, the first lady of the United States, takes part in a moment of silence during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A lone performer is seen during the start of the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Fireworks explode over the stadium as the opening ceremony got underway.

Source link