Photo: Gregory Shamus / Getty
TOKYO, JAPAN, July 21, 2021 ~ Friday, the Opening Ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics will take place in Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium following a delay due to the pandemic. While Olympians are usually competing in a stadium packed with fans, officials announced that there will be no fans allowed to spectate due to rising cases of COVID-19 in Japan.
Due to restrictions, only select officials — less than 1,000 in total— will be allowed to attend the opening ceremony. Even Japan’s Emperor Naruhito will be attending without any other members of the imperial family. Despite not being allowed in the stadium, fans are still able to support the competing Olympians by watching the Tokyo Games on TV.
Those in Michigan watching the Olympics should keep their eyes out for fellow Michiganders, as more than two dozen athletes with roots in Michigan have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
Here are a just few of the outstanding Michigan athletes who will be competing:
Jerami Grant ~ Men’s Basketball ~ Detroit Pistons Small / Power Forward
During his first year with the Pistons for the 2020-21 season, Grant placed second for the Most Improved Player award. The first-time Olympian committed to Team USA in replacement of James Harden, who withdrew due to injury.
Devin Booker ~ Men’s Basketball ~ Grand Rapids Native
The 24-year old from Grand Rapids will be en route to Tokyo just days after playing for the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. Some opponents from earlier this week, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks, will become teammates as they join Team USA as first-time Olympians.
Draymond Green ~ Men’s Basketball ~ Saginaw Native / Former Michigan State Spartan
After supporting Team USA’s undefeated gold medal run in Rio, Green returns for a second go at the gold. The 31-year old led the MSU Spartans to two Final Four appearances and a Big Ten title. He also earned three NBA championship titles and was the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Hannah Roberts ~ BMX Freestyle ~ Buchanan High School Graduate
The 19-year old was the first American to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics. In 2012, at 10-years old, she suffered a fall while practicing and fractured her T4 vertebrae. Back on the bike, she is on her way to become the youngest female Olympic cycling medalist ever.
Sam Mikulak ~ Men’s Gymnastics ~ Former University of Michigan Wolverine
Following appearances in the 2012 and 2016 games, the 28-year old will be attending his third Olympics in Tokyo. In 2015, Mikulak was named USA Gymnastics Athlete of the Year, and will be aiming for his first Olympic medal.
Allison Schmitt ~ Women’s Swimming ~ Canton Native
The 31-year old, eight-time Olympic medalist is making her fourth Olympic appearance in Tokyo, and will be competing in the 200m and 4x200m freestyle events. She currently holds the American record in the 200m freestyle.