“Let the Earthly games begin”
With the Tokyo Olympics in full swing, everyone’s in the competitive athletic spirit, whether you’re on the planet or stationed a million miles away in space. The astronauts on board the International Space Station did just that and arranged an anti-gravity Olympics for themselves!
The “Space Olympics” took place one week prior to the official start of the Tokyo Olympics on land. “Today the Olympics start in Tokyo, but we held the very first space Olympics last week,” European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet wrote as the caption of a photo album uploaded on Facebook which showed the Olympic spirit of the astronauts 400km away from home. The astronauts competed in unique space games designed especially for this event such as synchronized floating, lack of floor routine, very long jumps, and no-hand ball. The competition was held among members of the SpaceX crew; the Dragon team and Russia’s crew; the Soyuz team. The astronauts representing different countries such as Russia, the USA, France, and Japan made sure to watch the video stream of the opening ceremony and even conveyed their best wishes for all the athletes in a hilarious floating video.
Another sweet gesture by the astronauts was the colorful display of all the countries’ flags on the roof of the orbital station which expressed the motto of the Olympics “United by emotion” in a new light. “We had all flags of the world (yes, every single country) hung up on the ceiling of the lab which gave an inspiring (and colorful) backdrop to our athletic prowess (or lack of),” Pesquet wrote in an Instagram caption. The Olympics is all about coming together and connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and this is exactly what the astronauts conveyed through their little space event! This might as well be the first of many more Space Olympics to come in the future!