Team USA preaches optimism after shaky Olympic start


(NewsNation Now) — The headlines aren’t all kind to Team USA after the Olympics’ first weekend. The basketball team, full of professional stars – including future hall of famers – lost its first game. A skateboarding phenom finished 7th. Sunday night the gymnastics team placed second in qualifying.

Still, those who’ve been there and done that are preaching patience.

“You know, they’re just fine,” gold medalist Jordyn Wieber said. “I think that first day jitters, I’ve been there. And it’s the Olympics and you can’t get that out of your head when you step into that arena.”

Wieber is now the head gymnastics coach at the University of Arkansas.

Part of the collective unease revolves around phenom Simone Biles stumbling twice. Wieber’s not concerned.

“She’s an amazing gymnast,” Weiber said. “they’re just getting some of those initial jitters out. And I have no doubt they’re going to come in looking a lot more confident and comfortable in finals.”

Finals begin first thing Tuesday morning.

There are plenty of gold medals coming back to America. The shooting team is hitting the target and landed medals in 3 of 6 events.

“The atmosphere over here for the shooting team is amazing,” Team USA’s Kayle Browning said ahead of her first event Wednesday. “It’s crazy. It was so awesome to watch. Will [Shaner], who is a rifle shooter to set a new record and get goals he kind of kicked it off for us and then skeet coming in, our women got gold and then our men got gold as well. So we’re on a gold streak.”

Team USA also made history when Ana Zolotic won the first taekwondo gold medal ever by an American woman.

The swimming team, anchored by historic Olympian Katie Ledecky, has taken six medals after their first day for the first time in history.

“They’re just getting fired up, you have to remember, it’s a very long competition,” four-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Kaitlin Sandeno Hodgan said on NewsNation Prime. “As people like to say it’s a marathon, not a sprint, be patient.”

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