There is much to look forward to if and when the Games do begin on July 23, 2021, but it makes us long for what we missed this summer even more.
She is unbeaten in the all-around since 2013. Her dominance is unparalleled.
Biles had always maintained she would retire after this summer’s Games and, in April, the 23-year-old was not fully committing to taking part in the delayed Games. She is, however, now back in the gym. A Biles-less Olympics would not quite be the same.
Who will be the next Phelps?
Mark Spitz’s tally of seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics was an achievement few thought would ever be surpassed.
That was until Michael Phelps splashed onto the scene.
Phelps managed six golds medals and two bronze at Athens in 2004. Spitz could rest easy for a little longer. But four years later, in Beijing, Phelps won a magnificent eight gold medals.
Over the next two Olympic Games, in London and Rio, Phelps took his Olympic career total to 23 golds, three silvers and two bronze medals.
Phelps is now retired, and while it seems unthinkable that anyone will ever top his Olympic medal tally, who will fill his shoes as the figurehead of swimming?
At the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, Dressel won six gold medals and two silvers, breaking Phelps’ 10-year world record in the final of the 100-meter butterfly by 0.32 seconds.
Dressel may not race in the same range of events as Phelps, but he could well be Phelps’ successor as American swimming’s next great.
New and returning sports
With every edition of the Olympic Games, new sports are welcomed to the fray.
For Tokyo, five sports have been added to the schedule. Karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding will be making their Olympic debuts, while baseball and softball return after a 12-year absence.
But the inclusion of all of these sports is huge to their respective international status.
“There’ll be some people tuning in … they would have never considered it; they would have never probably seen the beach or picked up a board and to be able to have that opportunity as a sport to showcase that is fantastic,” she said.
Fitzgibbons added that surfing’s addition was a sign of the Games modernizing and showing a willingness to “move with the times.”
Can Bolt be replaced?
Usain Bolt has been, arguably, the face of the Olympics since his showstopping performances in Beijing. So, the big question is: Can anyone replace the record-breaking showman?
The two foremost sprinters in the world at the moment are Americans Christian Coleman and Noah Lyles. Coleman is the reigning 100-meter world champion and Lyles the 200m world champion.
He may well break Bolt’s 19.19 second record in Tokyo though.
Mo’s quest for a three-peat
If the Briton can win a third 10,000m Olympic gold in Tokyo, he will enhance his standing as a great of long-distance running.