Tales from Tokyo Part 1
by Liz Podominick, USA Boxing High Performance Manager
Ohayōgozaimasu (Good Morning) from Miyazaki!
As I am sure you have all seen from our boxers and USA Boxing social media already, we made it safely to Miyazaki. I will be posting semi-regular updates about the team throughout the Games to keep our members posted on some of the behind-the-scenes scoop!
It was wonderful to see so many of the boxers’ family and friends on the virtual sendoff call last Sunday. I may or may not have seen some tears in the boxers’ eyes when you all started popping up on the Zoom screen. Thank you to all the family, friends, USA Boxing Board of Directors and USA Boxing national office staff that were part of this event!
Hard to believe our journey to Tokyo started on June 30th with a wonderful send off at the Hotel Elegante, and we made it to Miyazaki in the afternoon of July 2nd. The United Group check-in area had their desk covered with USA decorations and we got a special escort through security to skip the long line! A lot of people approached us along the way to take photos and wish the team good luck.
We hopped on our flight to San Francisco and then boarded the plane for the long flight to Tokyo. As you can guess, the plane was pretty empty and most of us could stretch across a whole row of seats to get some sleep. Once we landed in Tokyo, we had the ‘fun’ process of getting through customs. Between waiting to deboard the plane, sitting in a long line of chairs to take our COVID-19 tests (we started in the 130s and eventually made it to the front), relaxing in the lounge while we waited for our tests results, and making our way through about 10 other stations/check points, it took us a little over 5.5 hours to get on the bus to take us to our hotel for the night. Thankfully, the hotel was close to the airport and the team enjoyed a nice socially distanced dinner. I was very proud how they handled the long journey. We were the first US team to arrive in Tokyo and we did not have any hiccups with government check points. Everyone carried their binders around like they were back in school and ready for the test!
The next morning after breakfast, we had about an hour bus ride to get to the Haneda airport where we would hop on a 2-hour flight to Miyazaki. Due to government rules, we had to be escorted though the airport and sit away from the Japanese public on the plane. We arrived at the Grand Sheraton Ocean Resort around 4 p.m. local time and got to see the training areas where the team will complete their final preparations for the Games.
Saturday was Billy’s birthday and Sunday we ‘celebrated’ the 4th of July the best we could.
Overall, the team is doing great and looking forward to some sparring later this week with Ireland, Germany and Australia!
A few updates and reminders for everyone to help keep track of the team leading into the Games and during the Games!
Continue to follow USA Boxing’s social media accounts for a look inside the training camp! Members can also follow along on the USA Boxing Tokyo 2020 website here. This website will include news, results, livestream information and more throughout the Games!
Tokyo 2020 has launched an app, which can serve as a fan’s personal guide and companion to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Not only does it gather all essential Games information in one place - including event results, competition schedule, medals table, introductions to sports and venues, and more news and updates - it can also be customized to each fan’s preferences by selecting favorite sports and teams in order to receive personalized reminders and notifications.
Until the next recap, I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and getting ready to cheer on our boxers and the rest of Team USA in what is to be an Olympic Games for the history books!
USA Boxing High Performance Manager Liz Podominick is serving as the Assistant Team Leader during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the final training camp in Miyazaki. Throughout the team’s time in Tokyo, Liz will be publishing updates for our members to get a more behind-the-scenes look of USA Boxing’s final preparation of the Olympic Games and during their time in Japan. Continue to check usaboxing.org for these updates.