Tyler Downs/TikTok Tyler Downs
Much of Team USA has touched down in Tokyo for the Summer Games, and thanks to social media’s newest hit app athletes are giving Olympics fans a behind-the-scenes look at what’s really going on in Japan.
The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Games was held on Friday, one year after the original start date of the Olympics, which were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Unique restrictions are in place to ensure no further spread of COVID-19 during the Games, and athletes are providing an inside look at what the changed rules mean for them via video-sharing platform TikTok.
Here are a few of the Team USA stars you can follow on TikTok, and when they’ll be competing.
Tyler Downs, @TylerDownss
Downs, 18, is a first-time Olympian competing in diving. The Missouri native will participate in the men’s 3m springboard starting on Aug. 2.
Erik Shoji, @thelibero
Volleyball player Shoji, 31, competed in Rio and went home with a bronze medal. Shoji, who has been a member of the U.S. men’s national team since 2013, is playing with Team USA’s men’s volleyball team starting Saturday.
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Kendall Chase, @kennychase25
Chase, 26, is on the women’s coxless four rowing team and a former PAC-12 athlete of the year. Rowing began on July 24, and the team will compete next in a repecharge round, which has been rescheduled due to inclement weather.
Yul Moldauer, @yulmoldauer
The 24-year-old gymnast, who attended the University of Oklahoma, is a first-time Olympian. He begins the men’s competition on July 24.
Ilona Maher, @ilonamaher
Maher, who plays for America’s women’s U.S. rugby sevens team, will begin competition on July 29. The Vermont native, 24, is a first-time Olympian, who followed in her father’s footsteps to begin playing rugby.
Kelsey Robinson, @kelseymarierobinson
The action at the Games begins for Robinson on July 25, when the U.S. women’s volleyball team takes on Argentina in their first pool B game. Robinson, 29, won bronze with the Rio Olympics women’s volleyball team.
Heimana Reynolds, @heimana_reynolds
Skateboarder Reynolds is another Olympic first-timer, as skateboarding has never been included in the Games until now. Reynolds, 22, competes in men’s park, which begins in August.
Tara Davis, @_taradavis
Track and field athlete Davis, 22, is a first-time Olympian and made Team USA alongside her boyfriend, Paralympian Hunter Woodhall. She’ll compete in the long jump starting Aug. 1.
Cody Melphy, @codymelphy
Another rugby sevens player, Melphy of Denver, Colorado, has only been playing rugby for 18 years. The 28-year-old will take on Kenya with his team on July 26 for their first match.
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Drew Kibler, @drewkibler
Swimmer Kibler, 21, hails from Indiana and is a part of Team USA swimming’s 4x200m men’s freestyle relay. He attended high school with his fellow teammate Jake Mitchell, who swims the 400m free.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.