It’s been a rocky street to the 2021 Tokyo Video games, which, after being delayed a yr by the pandemic, will now happen (starting Friday) with none spectators. Uncertainty and controversy, and a rising variety of Covid-19 circumstances within the metropolis, have more and more overshadowed the run-up to the Summer season Olympics, and early occasions just like the ceremonial torch relay have felt subdued.
However regardless of the circumstances, the Video games will (virtually actually) go on, and that’s to be celebrated. Whether or not you’re a devoted Olympics fan or an informal viewer, these six podcasts will get you within the temper for the video games.
This compelling new investigative podcast sequence tells the little-known true story of one of many largest errors in Olympic historical past. Girls’s gymnastics obtained off to a tough begin on the 2000 video games in Sydney, Australia, marred by controversies over substance use and falsified ages — after which, throughout a contest vault occasion, issues actually obtained bizarre. One after the other, with the entire phrase watching, elite gymnasts saved falling off the vault, in ways in which had been embarrassing at finest and harmful at worst. By the point anyone found out what was occurring (no spoilers right here), the harm was completed. On this five-episode sequence, by means of interviews with athletes who had been there, Ari Saperstein delves into the weird again story of what occurred.
Starter episode: “Episode 1”
The primary podcast from Crew U.S.A. debuted lower than a yr in the past, in November of 2020, and it’s positive to whet your urge for food for the long-awaited Video games. Hosted by Sasha Cohen, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist in determine skating, the present options weekly conversations with visitors who’re primarily fellow Olympians, together with a number of Tokyo-bound athletes just like the gymnast Yul Moldauer, the Paralympic basketball participant Matt Scott and the softball participant Haylie McCleney. As a result of the present started throughout the pandemic, lots of the interviews contact on topics like psychological well being and staying motivated in a time of uncertainty, that are simply as related to non-athletes. The present simply wrapped up its first season at first of July, however plans to return sooner or later.
Starter episode: “Tokyo Sure”
Lots of the hottest Olympics-related podcasts are hosted by elite athletes who can converse on to the aggressive expertise. “Off The Podium” is emphatically not that. As an alternative, it’s proudly hosted by three males — Ben Waterworth, Colin Hilding and Jarrod Loobeek — who “dream of Olympic glory and have as a lot athletic prowess as a bit of cheese.” Whereas they might lack Olympic-level ability, they do possess palpable ardour and data a few vary of sports activities. The present has been operating since earlier than the Rio Video games in 2016 and has returned intermittently to debate occasions together with the 2018 Winter Olympics. Based mostly on its protection from previous years, you may count on each day episodes recapping the most recent information and highlights all through the 2021 Video games.
Starter episode: “The Better of ‘Off the Podium’ Half 2”
When a metropolis wins its bid to host the Olympics, the implications go approach past the only summer time (or winter) when the ceremonies happened. Utilizing the town of Sydney as its check case, this six-episode present explores what occurs as soon as the final medal has been awarded and the crowds have dispersed. Twenty years after the Sydney Olympics, the journalist Mark Beretta interviews the organizers and officers who had been chargeable for fulfilling the pledge to make it “the greenest Video games ever,” and the way that call impressed city transformation and environmental progress all through Australia.
Starter episode: “How the Inexperienced Video games Influenced a Nationwide and Worldwide Environmental Motion”
Though it’s hosted by Laura Wilkinson, a gold medalist diver, this present isn’t strictly in regards to the Olympics. Wilkinson’s interviews with fellow athletes are centered extra on the coaching strategies and psychological instruments which have geared up them for fulfillment all through their careers. Interviewees from a variety of disciplines share candid ideas in regards to the psychological well being pitfalls of elite sports activities, overcoming concern in pursuit of objectives and the right way to keep the course within the face of uncertainty. Even if you happen to’re simply beginning a operating routine or attempting to get your self again to the gymnasium, there are many insights to study from the mind-set of Olympic athletes.
Starter episode: “17 Scars That Paved the Option to Tokyo With Taekwondo Olympian Victoria Stambaugh”
For a non-American perspective on the Olympics and Paralympics, give this relaxed, affable British present a shot. All year long, “Something however Footy” gives an summary of nearly each Olympic sport performed in England (besides, because the title suggests, soccer), and makes a degree of together with sports activities that don’t at all times get the highlight. The hosts, John Cushing and Michael Weadock, show their wide-ranging data all through the information and evaluation segments. There are additionally a few long-running mini-series inside the podcast: “Nice British Bosses,” that includes interviews with sports activities leaders in Britain, and “Again on Monitor,” which explores how Tokyo-bound athletes obtained themselves re-motivated after the coronavirus delay.