The delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics are now underway. The Opening Ceremony of the games of the 32nd Olympiad will take place on Friday, 23 July, but the first events have already taken place. The women’s football and softball competitions started today, Wednesday, and that gives us a chance to look back at Brentford’s links with the Olympic Games.
The games were due to take place in July and August 2020, following a four-year cycle that has stood in place since 1948 and sticking to a schedule that began when the modern Olympics were founded in 1896. The Covid-19 pandemic prevented the event taking place last year. It will now run until Sunday 8 August, providing the perfect accompaniment to the pre-season programme.
Great Britain do not have a men’s team at the games but do have a women’s team in Tokyo and they won 2-0 against Chile this morning. There could have been Brentford representation in the men’s tournament and some of our young stars were named in provisional squads for the event, but none were selected for the trip. Nine Premier League players will be involved, and they are detailed here.
There was Brentford representation at the last games, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016. Lasse Vibe captained the Denmark side in the men’s football event. They reached the last eight before losing to Nigeria, who won the bronze medal.
Lasse played in all four of Denmark’s games. They beat South Africa, drew with Iraq and lost to Brazil, finishing second in the group. Brazil went on to win the gold medal while Denmark exited at the Quarter Final stage.
He is one of two contracted Brentford players to appear in the Olympic Games. Bill Slater was in the Great Britain team that went to the 1952 games in Helsinki, Finland. Bill only spent a few months as a Brentford player but that included his time at the Olympics. Britain lost to Luxembourg in their first game and were knocked out. Bill scored but it wasn’t enough for Great Britain.