Olympians from across the world participated in the opening ceremony of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics early Friday morning, including those from Team USA. Not among them, however, were the U.S. men’s and women’s gymnastics teams.
That is because the American gymnasts held their own private opening ceremony.
🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸Love it! Sam Mikulak gets flagbearer honors as the Women’s and Men’s gymnastics teams from the USA hold their own private Opening Ceremony, since they won’t be able to be in the Stadium tonight. #tokyo2020 #gymnastics #olympics— Inside Gymnastics (@InsideGym) July 23, 2021
🎥 Lisa Spini pic.twitter.com/Auruiq67Tc
It isn’t unusual for gymnasts to not take part in the opening ceremony. Gymnasts regularly don’t attend the celebration because they compete so early in the Games and the long and intensive proceedings aren’t conducive to them being at their physical peaks.
The men are slated to compete in their qualification round Friday night, while the women — including former Utah gymnast MyKayla Skinner and future Utah gymnast Grace McCallum — will start qualification competition late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.
With the ever-present threat of COVID-19, both the men’s and women’s teams are staying in a hotel away from the athlete’s village in an attempt to limit potential exposure.
The complete competition schedule for gymnastics can be found at NBCOlympics.com.