The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are happening in a little more than a week and although it will be without fans in the stands, the games will go on. BTY, it still is the 2020 Olympics as the pandemic forced the games to be delayed until July 2021.

This years games will certainly look different than what we normally see with no fans in the stands and according to an ESPN article, the three winners of each game will have to put their own medal around their neck.

A state of emergency has been imposed in Tokyo because of a surge in new COVID-19 cases, so the president of the International Olympic Committee announced that medals "will not be given around the neck," due to the coronavirus pandemic in Tokyo. Instead, president Thomas Bach says the medals for all 339 events will be presented on a tray to the three athletes on the podium.

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The good news, the games will go on and Central Texas will be well represented. FOX 44 News and KXAN-TV report that Austin will have about 25 athletes with ties to the city including Kevin Durant on the Team USA Basketball team.

Durant is a former Longhorn who played his college ball at the University of Texas. Some other notable athletes with ties to Austin include the WNBA’s Washington Mystics point guard  Ariel Atkins, who is also a UT Longhorn, Fred Kerley in the men’s 100m race, Chiaka Ogbogu for Team USA Volleyball, Gabby Thomas in the women’s 200m race and Ryder Ryan will play baseball for Team USA.  Ryan pitches for the Round Rock Express.

Closer to home we have three Olympic athletes with ties to Waco including Trayvon Bromell who starred in Track and Field at Baylor. Bromell will run the men’s 100m for Team USA.

Former Baylor pole vaulter, KC Lightfoot is part of Team USA's pole vault team and Waco's own Will London III is an alternate for Team USA in the 4x400m Mixed Relay Pool.

Cheering for Team USA in the Olympics is a given but I'll be cheering a little extra for these Central Texas athletes.

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Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

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