Swimmer Hali Flickinger nabs Olympic medal: What you need to know about our local athletes
- The opening ceremonies for the Tokyo Summer Games are Friday.
- Kennard-Dale High gradute John Stefanowicz is competing in Greco-Roman wrestling.
- Spring Grove High grad Hali Flickinger is competing in two different swimming events.
The reality of John Stefanowicz's Olympic experience has definitely been different from the dream.
The Kennard-Dale High School graduate is set to compete in the Tokyo Summer Games, but the men's 87-kilogram (192-pound) men's Greco-Roman wrestling representative for Team USA isn't even in Tokyo yet, despite the fact that the Games have already started and the official opening ceremonies are Friday night.
Stefanowicz, a Marine, is one of two York County athletes competing in Tokyo, joining swimmer Hali Flickinger, who is a Spring Grove Area High School graduate.
Stefanowicz and his fellow wrestlers are currently located in a small city about three hours from Tokyo. Multiple athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 since entering the Olympic Village, where the participants usually stay, and 91 cases have been reported thus far in accredited Olympic members this month.
As a result of COVID-19 concerns in a nation under a state of emergency because of surging cases, Stefanowicz and his USA Wrestling squad won't be staying in the usual spot athletes do during the Games, but Stefanowicz doesn't mind being away from the Olympic Village chaos until it's time to compete.
"So far, it's actually been really great, but I think that is us being able to be secluded from hyperactivity of action that is going on over in the Olympic Village right now," Stefanowicz said. "Out here we're secluded; it's as close to a bubble as you can possibly ask for.
"We're in a hotel right now, the amenities are great and top notch, everything that we need. We have the ability to go outside, the training environment is as best as what we could ever hope and ask for in the situation that we're in right now. The hotel is just us; there's no other guests. Food is being prepared to everyone's dietary needs.
"So, it's actually really great. Maybe a blessing, a silver lining, as a matter of fact, with us here instead of down in the Olympic Village."
Japan is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.
In Stefanowicz's weight class, the round of 16 and quarterfinals are set to start at 10 p.m. (EDT) Monday, Aug. 2, and last until 12:30 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, Aug. 3.
The semifinals start at 5 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, Aug. 3, and continue until 9 a.m.
The finals and bronze-medal matches begin at 5 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, Aug. 4, and continue until 9 a.m. The 87-kilogram bronze match is listed as the 10th event of the round. The 87-kilogram final is listed as the 12th event of the round.
Stefanowicz is ranked No. 4 in his weight class by United World Wrestling and is not projected by The Associated Press to receive a medal.
Flickinger projected to win two medals: While Stefanowicz has to wait another week to compete, Flickinger has a chance to leave Tokyo with a pair of medals within the first few days of the opening ceremonies.
Flickinger will compete in the women's 400-meter individual medley preliminary heats at 7:30 a.m. (EDT) Saturday, with the final set for 10:12 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. Flickinger, a former University of Georgia standout, is projected by the AP to earn a bronze medal in that event.
According to the AP, Flickinger is projected to claim gold in the 200-meter butterfly and will compete in the preliminary heats at 6:28 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday and the semifinals at 9:57 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday. The finals are slated for 10:28 p.m. (EDT) Wednesday. She finished seventh in the event at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Flickinger's friends, family and fans will hold watch parties at Spring Grove Area Middle School from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Brady to compete in tennis: Along with Stefanowicz and Flickinger, another athlete with local ties will compete in Tokyo.
Jennifer Brady, who grew up in the Harrisburg area, is entered in the women's singles tennis tournament as the top-ranked American and is projected to take home a bronze medal in the event by AP.
Brady's father, Pat, is a Delone Catholic High School graduate. Several of her cousins were also standout athletes for the Squires. Delone is located in McSherrystown, Adams County, and is a member of the York-Adams League.
Brady is ranked No. 15 in the Women's Tennis Association rankings. Her first-round matchup is with Italy's Camila Giorgi, who is ranked No. 58 by the WTA.
Tennis begins play at 10 p.m. (EDT) Friday, with stars Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic in action. Brady is not scheduled to play on Friday, and Saturday's schedule will be released Friday.
The women's singles final is set for Saturday, July 31.
Reach Rob Rose at email@example.com.