It may be a year late, but how good is it to have the Olympics back again?
Well I'll be honest, I'm having mixed feelings about it all. On the one hand as a sports lover, I can't wait to see the green and gold in action, to see athletes like Orange's own Eddie Bone seeking that gold medal for the Hockeyroos.
But on the other hand, there are going to be zero fans in attendance, a dead atmosphere and many an athlete put at risk of COVID...remember that old chestnut?
In fact it has already begun.
The biosecurity bubble to control COVID-19 infections at the athletes village for the Tokyo Olympics is already "broken" and poses a risk of spreading infections to the general populace, a prominent public health expert said on Tuesday.
Games officials on Sunday reported the first coronavirus case among competitors in the athletes village in Tokyo where 11,000 competitors are expected to stay.
Since July 2, Tokyo 2020 organisers have reported 58 positive cases among athletes, officials and journalists.
"It's obvious that the bubble system is kind of broken," said Kenji Shibuya, the former director of the Institute for Population Health at King's College London.
"My biggest concern is, of course, there will be a cluster of infections in the village or some of the accommodation and interaction with local people."
Insufficient testing at the border and the impossibility of controlling people's movements mean that the Games could exacerbate the spread of the infectious Delta variant of the virus, he added.
And therein lies my problem. How do I grapple with my excitement for an event that only comes around every four (or five) years, with the real life issues that this will no doubt have on the people of Tokyo and the athletes from all around the world.
As an athlete (I'd like to think so at least), I know that if I had trained my whole life for this moment, I wouldn't be quick to turn down the opportunity.
So I may be a bad person, but I'm going to put away that inner thought process that is telling me these games shouldn't be going ahead and instead take part in the excitement of the games.
In saying that, here are some of the sports that I am most looking forward to watching.
The women's competition begins on July 24 with medals decided on August 6. The Hockeyroos' first match is against Spain on July 25.
Before I moved to Orange, hockey was never my favourite sport, but something I would watch if given the chance.
But that was before I jumped on the city bandwagon and decided to throw all my eggs in the Eddie Bone basket.
The Orange woman didn't have much luck the last time around in 2016, so will be looking do bag a medal in Tokyo.
Here is what her road to gold looks like.
Pool A: Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, India, South Africa
Pool B: Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, China, Japan
The top four teams in each pool proceed to the quarterfinals. The winners of the quarterfinals progress to the semifinals, with the winners to meet in the gold medal match. The losers of the semifinals will play for the bronze medal.
As you would expect at the highest level, it is a tough group to come out of, even if Australia is the second ranked team in the world.
Argentina (third), New Zealand (sixth) and Spain (seventh) will be anything but pushover, with China (10) and Japan (14) hoping to cause an upset.
Of course I'll be tipping the Aussies to come away with the gold, but it will be a gruelling task.
THE BOOMERS AND OPALS
Orange allegiances aside, there is no team or individual I am rooting for more than the Australian basketball teams.
In exhibition matches prior to the games tipping off, the men they have already beaten Nigeria and the heavily favoured USA side, while the women also knocked off America. This has done the exact opposite than temper my expectations. I am all in on gold or bust.
In Tokyo, the Opals are aiming to add to their rich Olympic legacy, with three Olympic silver and two bronze medals from Atlanta 1996 to London 2012. The team, ranked number two in the world, has been drawn in Pool C, with pool matches against Belgium, Puerto Rico and China tipping off on July 27 in Saitama Super Arena.
While the Boomers will launch their Tokyo campaign for their first Olympic medal against Nigeria on July 25.
Australia's flagbearer for Tokyo 2020, Patty Mills is entering his fourth consecutive Olympic campaign and will be a pivotal piece for the men's team. I could think of no person more deserving of being named the flagbearer and his infectious leadership and passion will no doubt play just as big a role for his side as his sharpshooting will.
Tokyo 2020 will be 24-year-old Matisse Thybulle's first time ever wearing Australian colours. The Philadelphia 76er brings to the Boomers a new wave of athleticism and length that will open a new dimension of play for Australia both in transition and in the halfcourt defence.
We also don't talk about Ben Simmons.
The dates to watch out for for the Boomers are July 25, 28 and 31 when they take on Nigeria, Italy and Germany.
Should they progress, the quarterfinal would be on August 3, the semifinal on August 5 and the gold and bronze medal games on August 7.
For the Opals the dates are July 27 against Belgium, July 30 against China and August 2 against Puerto Rico.
Then the quarters are on August 4, the semis on August 6 and the medal games on August 8.
These are just a few of the sports I'll be tuning in to watch. It will be a lot different to years gone by and there will no doubt be many a headline about things not done on the court, but I for one will sit back and enjoy it while it's here.
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