(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Jenny Rowland Talks No Crowds at Olympics; The Gator Olympian

While things appear to be returning to normal in the United States, an announcement from July 8 made it clear the global pandemic is far from over. Due to a state of emergency in Japan, fans have been barred from the stands in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

For those coming over from the States, it will have the feeling of going back in time. Crowds began returning to sporting events nearly year ago on this side of the Pacific.

Florida Gators Gymnastics coach Jenny Rowland joined the Sport Scene to talk the Olympics. Rowland said the gymnasts love the crowd, and it will be a “very different” experience for them.

That being said, Rowland said this is not the first time these athletes have competed in a no-crowd environment. Last season, much of last season’s competition had to be behind closed doors.

The Gator Gymnast Heading to the Olympics

Before joining the Gators in the fall, incoming freshman Leanne Wong will travel to the world stage. She’s going as an a alternate athlete. But no one can take away from her that she is a member of Team USA and an Olympic athlete.

Rowland said she and the Gators look forward to supporting Wong from afar and to have her with the team, as well, in the fall.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to start on July 23. The gymnastics events begin the next day on the 24th and will be held at Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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