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Astronauts Showed Us What the Olympics Would Be Like in Space

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A view of the Olympic rings flag during the Men’s Javelin Throw Qualification on day twelve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on August 04, 2021

A view of the Olympic rings flag during the Men’s Javelin Throw Qualification on day twelve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on August 04, 2021
Photo: Matthias Hangs (Getty Images)

Recently, we finally got to see an Olympics that everyone can get behind. At these Games, there was no pandemic, no blistering heat, and no threat of a tropical storm. There were, unfortunately, few spectators. This isn’t a reference to the cursed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but rather the makeshift, unofficial “Space Olympics” held at the International Space Station.

Astronauts created their own version of Olympic events in space on Friday, debuting the “lack-of-floor routine,” “no-handball,” “synchronized space swimming,” and “weightless sharpshooting.” The videos were shared on Twitter by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet. While the international crew—very fitting for the Space Olympics—didn’t have the impressive gear and facilities in Tokyo, they managed to keep my eyes glued to the screen.

The four competitions also evoked just what you would expect from the Olympics: sportsmanship, excellence, passion, teamwork, concentration, and skill.

If you need an example, this is what Pesquet had to say about synchronized space swimming.

“Synchronised space swimming – an opportunity to show teamwork and crew cohesion,” he tweeted.

Overall though, the astronauts seemed to be having a blast at the Space Olympics and made me smile when I watched them. The Space Olympics also turned me into a synchronized space swimming super fan. Look at those moves!

You can check out each Space Olympics event in the videos below.

Lack-of-Floor Routine

No-Handball

Synchronized Space Swimming

Weightless Sharpshooting

As far as the Tokyo Olympics being held on Earth go, they’re ending on Sunday. Currently, the U.S. is in the lead for the most medals with 108 in total. China, on the other hand, is the leader for the most gold medals with 38. Japan, the Russian Olympic Committee, and Great Britain are next in line at the moment, ranking in the top five for both gold medals and total medals.

The closing ceremony will begin at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday. It will feature the handover of the Olympic flag from Tokyo to Paris, which will host the Summer Games in 2024, a time we can only hope isn’t plagued by covid-19 and extreme weather. The weather thing might be difficult because of the climate crisis affecting our planet, but fingers crossed that our fight against covid-19 evolves favorably in that time.



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