The 2020 Olympics start on Wednesday with three softball and 6 soccer video games –
The Tokyo Olympics start in earnest on Wednesday, two days before the opening ceremony on Friday, and some early athletes may enjoy more freedom to express themselves.
Three softball and six women’s soccer games are planned for Wednesday.
A softball date between hosts Japan and Australia starts the games at 9 a.m. (0000 GMT) in Fukushima.
This is the city that was badly hit by the nuclear meltdown of the nuclear power plant caused by the tsunami in 2011.
Also in action is the US women’s soccer team, which wants to take revenge on Sweden as the world champion, to whom they lost in the quarter-finals in 2016.
Americans were at the forefront of the fight against racial injustice when they went on their knees to national anthems ahead of the Games, but they have given up since February.
The gesture and others are now possible for the first time at the Olympics.
This is because a revision of Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter will allow athletes to express themselves prior to their competitions, on social media and in interviews.
“In expressing their views, athletes are expected to respect applicable laws, Olympic values and their fellow athletes,” the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said earlier this month.
Protests at ceremonies, including award ceremonies and in the Olympic Village, are prohibited, criminals threaten with sanctions up to and including exclusion from the games.
For example, a protest with a raised fist on the podium, such as the one at the 200-meter award ceremony in 1968 for the Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos, is outlawed.
“I hope the athletes will respect each other,” IOC Athletes Commission Chair Kirsty Coventry told reporters on Tuesday.