The Tokyo Summer Olympics will formally begin today, Friday, 23 July 2021, as South Africa will join more than 11 000 athletes from across the globe at the prestigious opening event at the Olympic Stadium.
On Thursday, Sascoc announced women’s hockey goalkeeper, Phumelela Mbande, as flagbearer alongside swimmer, Chad le Clos, when Tokyo welcomes the world to the competition at 13:00 SA time.
Mbande took to Twitter to share her excitement as she leads Team SA: “What an honour to be named alongside Chad le Clos as the Team SA flag bearer for the Olympics opening ceremony tomorrow! (Friday)
“What an incredible feeling!! The greatest honour and the most special privilege. I hope to make you all proud to be South African.”
What an incredible feeling!!
The greatest honour and the most special privilege. I hope to make you all proud to be South African 🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦💚💛💚💛💚💛 pic.twitter.com/Nc0roBHwJk
— Phumelela 🙌Mbande (@phumz_24) July 22, 2021
The Olympic Village has been a hive of activity leading up to the start of the event as Team SA athletes have not only been working hard to compete but have also taken time out to enjoy every moment of the experience.
Swimmer Rebecca Meder shared her excitement of having the opportunity to train in the Olympic pool, “Yesterday I got to jump into LANE 4 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic pool.
“Walking into such a magnificent arena made me a bit emotional!! Here I was…swimming in a pool I had always dreamed to be a part of.
“And…it is even better than I had dreamed it would be.”
“I think it’s safe to say my legs are like streaky bacon…super excited to be competing soon after a great podium training.”
On Saturday, all eyes will be on #GAL2020 recipient, Michaela Whitebooi, as she will commence her Olympic journey against 2016 Olympic champion and 2018 World Champs bronze medallist, Paula Pareto of Argentina, in the first round of the 48kg judo category at 04h00am.
Photo 1 Caption: Swimmer Rebecca Meder enjoying the Olympic pool during a training session. Photo: Rebecca Meder (Instagram)
Photo 2 Caption: Olympic debutant, Naveen Daries, exploring the Olympic Village ahead of the competition. Photo: Naveen Daries (Instagram)
Photo 3 Caption: The South African women’s hockey team pictured at the Olympic Village ahead of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, 23 July 2021. Photo: SA Women’s Hockey (Instagram)