Jesse Smith, the 38-year-old U.S. men’s water polo captain, said he will be sitting out the opening ceremony in Tokyo on Friday due to restrictions on the number of people who can partake in the event, according to a report.
The Associated Press reported that the USOPC informed the team of 13 that only 12 credentialed athletes can participate in the ceremony. This is Smith’s fifth Olympics.
He told the AP that the team tried to figure out how to somehow make it work, but they eventually threw their hands up. He said he wants to focus now to be on the team getting ready for competition.
“So tonight I am sending my team out there to represent (the U.S.) proudly and soak up every moment. Let’s go boys!”