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U.S. womens national team star Megan Rapinoe has said she is optimistic the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will be able to go forward this summer.
The Olympics were scheduled for last summer in Japan but were forced to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As vaccination campaigns get up and running worldwide – some slower than others – thereis still some doubt as to whether the Olympics will take place this summer, but the 35-year-old believes the competition will indeed happen.
"Im really looking forward to it. Im actually really optimistic that we can pull it off and make it really safe," Rapinoe said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
"The vaccine rollout is finally up and running here in the United States and hopefully as we get closer to the Olympics, more people will be vaccinated and athletes and coaches and travelling parties for international athletes and Olympic athletes will all be able to be vaccinated and be able to do this safely.
"So thats the goal, it will be a really cool world event if we can actually do it, pull everyone together for the first time. Im optimistic and it looks like its going forward."
The Olympics are currently scheduled to move forward, with the opening ceremony to take place on July 23 at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
On Saturday, following a meeting with various stakeholders, it was confirmed that spectators fromabroad will not be permitted to attend the Olympics.
"Based on the present situation of the pandemic, it is highly unlikely that entry into Japan will be guaranteed this summer for people from overseas,"the Olympic organizing committee said ina statement.
"In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"This conclusion will further contribute to ensure safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese public."
Currently, athletes will not be required to be vaccinated to enter Japan, but they will be tested for Covid-19 before and frequently during their time in the country.
Heading into the 2016 Olympics in Riode Janeiro, the USWNT had won four of the five gold medals in Olympic womens football history – taking silver in the only tournament they didnt win.
But in Rio, the USWNT were shocked by Sweden in the quarter-final, failing to medal for the first time.
Vlatko Andonovskis side, unbeaten since January 2019, are now looking to get back where they feel they belong this summer.