Back home in the islands, Christenson reflects on Tokyo Olympics experience

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 5:16 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Tokyo Olympics have officially come to an end with the United States victorious in the medal count with 113 medals. Some 39 of them were gold.

Throughout the games, Hawaii’s Olympians offered plenty of highlights including Micah Christenson, who was one of three local players on the USA men’s volleyball team.

While the U.S. missed out on the medal round, he’s thankful for the opportunity to participate in the games considering how close they were to not happening at all.

“We were thinking, especially me and Kawika and Erik (Shoji), all the Hawaii guys, we were like, man, our families are all gonna come here, it’s gonna be gorgeous,” Christenson said. “Such a convenient area for so many families to come and be able to watch the games with fans, so it was obviously, an unfortunate situation in that regard, but we got a chance to play.”

It was more business than pleasure as they only went back and forth between the arena, workout facility, and Olympic Village. No sightseeing was allowed.

And yet, even with no fans, Team USA’s Hawaii contingent could feel the support from early morning watch parties thousands of miles away.

“To make the people that you love and the culture you love and the state that you love proud of you is a pretty inexplainable thing,” Christenson said. “I can’t think everybody that supported enough through all of that because it’s felt. It’s heard and it’s felt and it’s very much appreciated.”

The US entered the games with plans to leave with gold, but couldn’t get past tough qualifying competition and failed to reach the knockout stage for the first time in two decades.

The Kamehameha alum sees that as the springboard for a championship run to the next Olympiad.

“It’s igniting a fire,” Christenson explained. “It’s a big motivator for us and what’s a huge positive is we only have to wait three more years to be able to get the opportunity. Obviously, we didn’t qualify. Obviously, we need to do a lot of work before that happens, but that next goal is already Paris 2024.”

Christenson is back home for about a month and then will head to Russia to resume his overseas professional career.

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