It’s been a rocky street to the 2021 Tokyo Games, which, after being delayed a yr by the pandemic, will now happen (starting Friday) with none spectators. Uncertainty and controversy, and a rising variety of Covid-19 circumstances in the metropolis, have more and more overshadowed the run-up to the Summer Olympics, and early occasions like the ceremonial torch relay have felt subdued.
But regardless of the circumstances, the Games will (virtually definitely) go on, and that’s to be celebrated. Whether you’re a devoted Olympics fan or an informal viewer, these six podcasts will get you in the temper for the video games.
This compelling new investigative podcast sequence tells the little-known true story of considered one of the greatest errors in Olympic historical past. Women’s gymnastics bought off to a tough begin at the 2000 video games in Sydney, Australia, marred by controversies over substance use and falsified ages — after which, throughout a contest vault occasion, issues actually bought bizarre. One by one, with the entire phrase watching, elite gymnasts stored falling off the vault, in ways in which have been embarrassing at greatest and harmful at worst. By the time any individual found out what was happening (no spoilers right here), the injury was achieved. In this five-episode sequence, via interviews with athletes who have been there, Ari Saperstein delves into the weird again story of what occurred.
Starter episode: “Episode 1”
‘Sasha Sessions: A Team U.S.A. Podcast’
The first podcast from Team U.S.A. debuted lower than a yr in the past, in November of 2020, and it’s certain to whet your urge for food for the long-awaited Games. Hosted by Sasha Cohen, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist in determine skating, the present options weekly conversations with visitors who’re primarily fellow Olympians, together with a number of Tokyo-bound athletes like the gymnast Yul Moldauer, the Paralympic basketball participant Matt Scott and the softball participant Haylie McCleney. Because the present started throughout the pandemic, lots of the interviews contact on topics like psychological well being and staying motivated in a time of uncertainty, that are simply as related to non-athletes. The present simply wrapped up its first season at the begin of July, however plans to return in the future.
Starter episode: “Tokyo Bound”
‘Off The Podium’
Many of the hottest Olympics-related podcasts are hosted by elite athletes who can converse instantly to the aggressive expertise. “Off The Podium” is emphatically not that. Instead, it’s proudly hosted by three males — Ben Waterworth, Colin Hilding and Jarrod Loobeek — who “dream of Olympic glory and have as much athletic prowess as a piece of cheese.” While they could lack Olympic-level talent, they do possess palpable ardour and data a few vary of sports activities. The present has been working since earlier than the Rio Games in 2016 and has returned intermittently to talk about occasions together with the 2018 Winter Olympics. Based on its protection from previous years, you may count on day by day episodes recapping the newest information and highlights all through the 2021 Games.
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Starter episode: “The Best of ‘Off the Podium’ Part 2”
‘Beyond the Games’
When a metropolis wins its bid to host the Olympics, the implications go manner past the single summer time (or winter) when the ceremonies occurred. Using the metropolis of Sydney as its check case, this six-episode present explores what occurs as soon as the final medal has been awarded and the crowds have dispersed. Twenty years after the Sydney Olympics, the journalist Mark Beretta interviews the organizers and officers who have been accountable for fulfilling the pledge to make it “the greenest Games ever,” and the way that call impressed city transformation and environmental progress all through Australia.
Starter episode: “How the Green Games Influenced a National and International Environmental Movement”
Summer Olympics Essentials
Olympics Guide: It’s been an uncommon lead-up to this yr’s Olympics. Here’s what you want to learn about the Games.Athletes: These are the rivals you’ll be listening to rather a lot about. Pick just a few to cheer for!Sports: New sports activities this yr embrace karate, browsing, skateboarding and sport climbing. Here’s how each Olympic sport works.Schedule: Mark your calendars for your favourite occasions to watch.
‘Pursuit of Gold With Laura Wilkinson’
Although it’s hosted by Laura Wilkinson, a gold medalist diver, this present isn’t strictly about the Olympics. Wilkinson’s interviews with fellow athletes are targeted extra on the coaching strategies and psychological instruments which have geared up them for success all through their careers. Interviewees from a variety of disciplines share candid ideas about the psychological well being pitfalls of elite sports activities, overcoming concern in pursuit of targets and the way to keep the course in the face of uncertainty. Even if you happen to’re simply beginning a working routine or attempting to get your self again to the fitness center, there are many insights to study from the mind-set of Olympic athletes.
Starter episode: “17 Scars That Paved the Way to Tokyo With Taekwondo Olympian Victoria Stambaugh”
‘Anything but Footy’
For a non-American perspective on the Olympics and Paralympics, give this relaxed, affable British present a shot. Throughout the yr, “Anything but Footy” provides an summary of nearly each Olympic sport performed in England (besides, as the title suggests, soccer), and makes a degree of together with sports activities that don’t at all times get the highlight. The hosts, John Cushing and Michael Weadock, show their wide-ranging data all through the information and evaluation segments. There are additionally a few long-running mini-series inside the podcast: “Great British Bosses,” that includes interviews with sports activities leaders in Britain, and “Back on Track,” which explores how Tokyo-bound athletes bought themselves re-motivated after the coronavirus delay.
Starter episode: “Time for Tokyo 2020 with Jason Kenny”