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With no spectators allowed in Tokyo, families of Hawaii Olympians cheering from afar

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:16 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:17 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the Tokyo Olympics begin, Team USA features a heavy contingent of athletes with Hawaii ties.

While fans aren’t allowed, Olympians from the islands have a vocal cheering section thousands of miles away.

Hawaii News Now spoke with the families of three Hawaii Olympians who all had plans to be in Japan, but will now view from afar.

“We all got vaccinated early, I wanna say in January or February for the hopes that we could be there and we were still holding on till the very last minute,” said Carol Moore, mother of four-time surfing world champion Carissa Moore.

[Get all the details on how to watch daily competition on HNN’s Tokyo Olympics page.]

“Even though we can’t be there, our spirit and our love and our mana is still with her and she’s doing her best to share it with us.”

Also there in spirit is the family of Team USA volleyball star and Kamehameha alum Micah Christenson.

What’s comforting is they have at least seen him on the Olympics stage when he helped Team USA claim bronze in the 2016 Rio games.

“We were able to go to the last one, so we have an experience of getting to the Olympics and being able to cheer him on, so we’re just really happy that he gets to play right now,” said Micah’s mother, Charlene.

Christenson’s father, Bob, added that their family is used to the international competition schedule as Micah plays professionally oversees.

“He plays in Italy and next year he’ll be in Russia, so we support him from across the world it doesn’t matter where he is,” Bob explained. “He knows he’s in our prayers and our thoughts and we’re watching every game we can see.”

There are two Hawaii natives competing in the first Olympics skateboarding competition: Mid-Pacific Institute grad Heimana Reynolds and Haleiwa’s Jordyn Barratt, who got her start at the Banzai Skate Park

Jordyn’s mother, Joanne, is crushed to be missing out.

“I’ve been around the world with her,” Barratt said. “She’s traveled to I don’t even know how many countries any more shes been to, but so many countries, we traveled to in the last few years for her competitions. So now to get to this world stage and I’m not allowed to go over there with her is definitely really hard.”

While nothing compares to the feeling of actually being there, Hawaii’s Olympians can rest assured they’ll have no shortage of fans back in the islands.

“I was so upset that I couldn’t be there, but everybody’s supporting her, which is amazing,” Moore said. “I mean, i don’t even know how to describe it. Our whole family is beyond words on how much we can’t wait for tomorrow when she does her first heat.”

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