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Countdown to Tokyo: USA teams hitting practice times ahead of Olympics

(KYMA, KECY/ NBC News) - In today's Countdown to Tokyo, we take a look at some U.S. teams preparing for the Olympics with just 11 days left before the opening ceremonies.

One of those teams is the U.S. men's volleyball team preparing for the Tokyo games in California. The team has gathered in Anaheim for a training camp before the games begin.

Despite the fact that their friends and family won't be able to be there, they are focused on coming together an having a successful run in Tokyo with the goal to win a gold medal, as always.

"Our goal is another medal, gold. Gold is the goal always," said Erik Shoji. "That's why we play. That's why we prepare. That's why we work so hard and that's the goal for everyone."

Meanwhile, the U.S.A. women's volleyball team also working hard in Anaheim ahead of their trip to Tokyo. Coach Karch Kiraly says their goal is to be the best team and the floor, as they chase their first ever gold medal.

Lastly, the U.S.A. men's water polo team members have all gathered for a training camp in Newport Beach, California.

And just like the other teams, it will be a tough challenge without family and friends in attendance, but as the players talked about recently, they are adapting to the situation to use it to their advantage. Even team member Johnny Hooper who spent much of his childhood in Japan visiting his grandmother.

"In anything in life I feel like you have to learn to be flexible and adjust to certain circumstances," said Hooper. "I guess it's another distraction that I now don't have to worry about is fans. Now I can focus more solely on the competition and the opponent across."

The Tokyo games begin on July 23rd.

Article Topic Follows: Olympics 2020

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Cole Johnson

Cole Johnson is News 11’s Sports Director.

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