Olympic Daily News: 20 June 2020
IOC and International Federations mark World Refugee Day
June 20, in case you didn't know, is World Refugee Day.
The IOC's Olympic Refuge Foundation is providing an extra U.S. $500,000 in funding for projects helping vulnerable communities given the additional challenges posed this year by the coronavirus pandemic.
Pur Biel, a member of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team and an ORF Board member, said: “Sport is a tool of sharing, for better health.”
Elsewhere, World Taekwondo president Chongwon Choue took part in a special video call with young athletes in Jordan's Azraq Refugee Camp.
"Our young refugee athletes are an inspiration to all of us. Even in these most difficult of circumstances they have continued to train and stay positive and it is my hope that they will be able to reach an Olympic Games one day," he said.
The International Table Tennis Federation also has a presence in Azraq and other camps in Jordan, providing clinics teaching the sport.
"We will continue to support projects with refugees. We believe every action counts, not just today but every day," the ITTF said.
Surfing celebrates International Surfing Day
Today also happens to be International Surfing Day, normally marked on the third Saturday every June.
It's an unofficial celebration of all things surfing and the ocean.
Stephanie Gilmore: What empowers me to be me
Stephanie Gilmore: What empowers me to be meSeven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore is very comfortable in her own skin. What you see is what you get. The Australian admires other female superstars like Rihanna or Serena Williams who retain their authenticity despite being in the limelight all the time. "And that empowers me to do the same thing," she tells us.
Katie Ledecky aims for five golds in Tokyo
American swim star Katie Ledecky will aim for gold in four individual races and one relay event at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games.
Speaking to Japanese media, Ledecky said she would be "definitely aiming for gold in the 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m individual freestyle events, as well as the 800m free relay", according to Swimswam.
The 23-year-old said she was still training in a makeshift set-up alongside Simone Manuel, using a pool in a friend's house.
"If I had a meet next week, I’d be ready. I don’t think I can swim at my best, but I can at least race," she added.
How American swimming hero Katie Ledecky stays focused on Tokyo 2020
How American swimming hero Katie Ledecky stays focused on Tokyo 2020The five-time Olympic gold medallist first got her start in Maryland in the shadow of Michael Phelps. Now, after dominating the field in Rio, she looks to cement her status as the most dominant female swimmer in the world in Tokyo.
Athletics competitions resume in Oceania
Nauru has held its annual three-week-long national athletics championships, becoming the only country in the world to hold a national meet during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Pacific island nation of 12,000 was unaffected by Covid-19.
In Palau, another island country in the Pacific, the annual half marathon also went ahead. Some 75 women and 33 men competed over the half-marathon, 10 km, and 5 km distances.
"Events can take place in the islands but with travelling between islands non-existent at the moment, that is our biggest problem," said Tom O’Shaughnessy, the competitions manager for Oceania's continental athletics association OAA.
O'Shaughnessy told World Athletics: "We’ll be hoping to put our 2020-21 calendar together and we hope there’ll be a lot of uptake from people around the world wanting to come to Australia and New Zealand, especially with the World Cross Country Championships in Australia and trying to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics."
Yesterday, we asked how many Olympic Games did Spanish water polo legend Manel Estiarte compete in? Was it 3, 5, 8, or 6?
If you said six, you were correct!
Today's teaser relates to the debut of Olympic surfing at Tokyo 2020. In which ocean will the surfers compete at the Tokyo Games:
Gilmore can't wait to return to Tokyo for Olympic debut
Gilmore can't wait to return to Tokyo for Olympic debutSeven-time world champion Steph Gilmore has booked her place at Tokyo 2020 along with fellow Australian Sally Fitzgibbons. Gilmore loved her first trip to Tokyo when she competed in the ISA World Surfing Games. And no athlete will be better prepared when the sport makes its Olympic debut next July.
This day in sporting history
On this day in 2013, LeBron James led the Miami Heat to their second straight NBA Championship, winning the Finals-deciding Game Seven against the San Antonio Spurs.
For "King James", a two-time Olympic champion, it was also his second NBA title. He would go on to win another in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Re-live his best Olympic dunks below.