Team USA Fails to Medal at Opening of Summer Olympics for First Time in Decades

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The first day of the Tokyo Olympics is wrapping up, and despite several near-misses, Team USA did not medal for the first time since the 1972 Summer Games.

Sports Illustrated reported Saturday:

China’s Yang Qian was the first athlete to take home gold at 2020 Tokyo, snagging first place in the women’s 10m air rifle final. USA’s Mary Tucker was the favorite for the event, but the 20-year-old finished sixth. Weightlifter Jourdan Delacruz could not convert her three attempts at 108kg in the clean and jerk, ending her day at seventh in the women’s 49kg division. Team USA’s fencers did not make it past the table of 16, and archers Mackenzie Brown and world No. 1 Brady Ellison were upset in the first round in the mixed team.

“I’m still a little shocked,” Ellison reportedly said after the event.

First Lady Jill Biden looks on as the US swim team competes at the Tokyo Games. Jonathan Nackstrand/Getty Images

“I completely expected us to win a medal today. We got in that stadium, and I shot left. Mackenzie started getting it figured out there at the end. I shot left that entire match trying to aim off for the wind,” he explained, adding, “That finals venue kicked my ass. I just didn’t see it, and that cost us the match.”

Meanwhile, it appeared cyclist Brandon McNulty was going to be the first from the United States to win gold as he pulled away from the group during the men’s road race with 24 kilometers to go.
But he ended up finishing sixth while Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz took home the gold medal.

Team USA

Eddy Alvarez and Sue Bird lead Team USA into the stadium during the opening ceremonies. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

“There was a stretch from 1960, ’64, ’68 and ’72 Summer Games when the U.S. did not medal on the first day but had brought home at least one medal on the first day dating back to 1932. However, in the Winter Games, Team USA failed to medal day one of the 2018 Games,” the Illustrated article read.

Despite the losses, U.S. teams snagged some victories during qualifying rounds for other events, one being the U.S. women’s basketball team’s win against France in the 3 on 3 game’s Olympic debut, the Hill report concluded.


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