Matt Barnes’ Olympics 2020 blog: Games are coming to an end but U.S. still has medals to win

Japan 2020

TOKYO (WCMH) —The Olympics may be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean we aren’t set for a furious finish when it comes to medals. Team USA is bearing down on 100 medals and will eclipse that mark surely tomorrow.

Let’s look at some of the highlights.

A gold for women’s beach volleyball. A bronze for Allyson Felix, giving her 10 medals in her career and making her the most decorated female track athlete in the world and tying her with Carl Lewis for most decorated track athlete in the United States. A silver for the women’s 4×100 relay. A gold for wrestler Gable Stevenson, who won at the buzzer. And there were other great standout performances.

It’s pretty amazing to see the countless athletes, of every nation, perform at the highest level despite all of the circumstances that have been against them for so long. Whether it be COVID, the heat, the lack of fans or family support in Tokyo, or something else, it’s remarkable to see these athletes push themselves so they can reach their goal. And even when they come short, it’s great to see the 100% effort. You don’t always get that in pro sports but you always do in the Olympics.

Today we did our last weekday morning live shots and it started the feeling that this adventure is coming to an end. And the word adventure seems like the correct word because this has been more than just these 24 days in Tokyo. This has been nearly a year and a half of preparation for these Games. No, not training in a gym or weight room, but gathering video and interviews and researching. It’s been a full-time job on top of a full-time job. But you know the saying that when you do what you love, you feel like you’re not working? That’s how it felt.

It’s an honor to be here and an honor to cover the athletes I’ve been able to cover. I did interviews and took pictures with the four Ohio athletes that won medals recently. David Taylor, a wrestler from St. Paris who won gold. Katie Nageotte, a pole vaulter from Cleveland who won gold. Duke Ragan, a boxer from Cincinnati who won silver. And Oshae Jones, a boxer from Toledo, who won bronze. All four gave me honest, thoughtful, insightful and inspiring interviews today about how hard they have worked, how much that medal means to them, and how critical the support from family, friends, coaches and teammates has played in their journey.

The Olympics are in the end, about the athletes. About their will and determination. About their dedication and drive. About their commitment and sacrifice. It’s something I already knew before coming to Tokyo, but now have an even deeper respect for now. We’re not done yet though. Still more medals to be won and I’m ready to watch.



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