The Tokyo Olympics kicked off on Wednesday with the softball and women’s football teams opening in the first rounds.
The softball team opened their Olympics run on Wednesday facing the home side, Japan, where they suffered an 8-1 loss.
They found their feet on their second run against Italy on Thursday where they won 1-0.
Debutante Tarni Stepto has been sporting her red, black and yellow scrunchie on the pitch as well as specially painted boots from her cousin.
Check out these cleats that Tarni Stepto is wearing today for the Aussie Spirit. An outstanding tribute to her Indigenous heritage. This design was created by her cousin.#TokyoTogether #believeinthespirit @AUSOlympicTeam pic.twitter.com/mJqYzzNEIw
— Softball Australia (@SoftballOz) July 21, 2021
The Australian softball team is heading into their third round of the Olympics on Saturday where they will take on Canada.
Each of six teams in the softball competition will play each other once, with the top two teams playing off for gold and the third and fourth teams playing for bronze.
On Wednesday night the Matildas had their first match against neighbours New Zealand, where the Aussies managed a 2-1 victory.
The match sparked a controversial debate online when the Matildas chose to pose with the Aboriginal flag. When questioned about the decision, skipper Sam Kerr said they wanted to do something that represented the whole team.
— Dan Gocher (@justdanfornow) July 22, 2021
“We’re very proud of it,” said Kerr.
“We spoke a lot about it as a team. We wanted to do something that was important to us and show unity within our group.
“We didn’t want to do something that goes along with the grain, we wanted to do something that was relevant for our country.”
The Australian team also kicked off the match by standing and linking arms as a protest against racism, with New Zealand taking a knee.
One of the Matildas’ goal scorers of the night Tameka Yallop said players wanted to “stand together” against racism.
“We are obviously in support of no racism, we definitely wanted to take a stand and show our support of that, and we also wanted to represent not just Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams within our team, but the broader Indigenous Australians, and give our own Australian flare to shed light on that aspect of it as well,” she said in a post-match press conference.
“We just wanted to stand together for the Australian culture and the Indigenous side of us.”
Australia will face Sweden on Saturday night, who are coming off an impressive 3-0 win over world champions the United States.
The official Olympic Games opening ceremony will take place Friday night at 9pm AEST and is expected to go for three hours.
By Teisha Cloos