The Day 6 lineup at the Tokyo Olympics featured many familiar faces, from BMX Racing pro Alise Willoughby (San Diego/Chula Vista) and golf superstar Xander Schauffele (San Diego) to Team USA water polo stars Jesse Smith (Coronado) and Alex Bowen (Santee). Women's gymnastics also took the stage, as well as rugby -- which has some ties to San Diego, too. Here are the results of our 5 events to watch at the Tokyo Olympics.
1) Gymnastics: Suni Lee Dominates in All-Around Final After Simone Biles Exit
Simone Biles only completed one vault before exiting Tuesday's team gymnastics final, where the team earned silver. USA Gymnastics later announced that Biles will miss the individual all-around final to focus on her mental health.
But, American gymnast Sunisa Lee stepped up and shone in a clutch performance Thursday.
The competition took place Thursday, July 29, at 3:50 a.m. PT.
Keep reading for the results:
At the start of the Olympic gymnastics competition in Tokyo, it would have been foolish to bet on anyone else but Simone Biles to take home gold in the women's all-around.
But when Biles withdrew from the team finals and all-around competition to focus on her mental health, Suni Lee stepped into the spotlight.
Lee delivered a dominant floor routine, and nailed her uneven bars routine before winning gold in the women's all-around.
For the fifth straight Olympic Games, an American woman is crowned queen of the all-around.
Lee's family erupted when Andrade's floor score was announced, locking Lee in gold medal position. Here's their heartwarming reaction.
Her gold medal continues the legacy of American dominance in women's gymnastics and cements her place in the sport's history.
Silver medalist Rebeca Andrade also made history, winning the first medal of any color for Brazil in women's gymnastics.
2) BMX Racing: San Diego's Alise Willoughby to Compete
BMX Racing standout Alise Willoughby trains in Chula Vista and is a 2015 graduate of the University of San Diego. Now, she takes the big stage at the Tokyo Olympics.
Willoughby took on the BMX Racing quarterfinals Wednesday, placing first in all three heats. After all, they don't call her "Alise the Beast" in her sport for nothing.
She'll ride again at the BMX Racing semis and finals on Thursday, July 29, at 6 p.m. PT (San Diego time). By then, it'll be July 30 in Tokyo.
You can watch the BMX Racing Final live here or with the link below:
Willoughby is top-ranked in BMX racing, winning gold at the 2019 BMX World Championships. She also won gold at the BMX World Championships in 2017, silver in 2014 and bronze in 2016 and 2010.
She’s been to the Olympics three times – 2012; 2016; 2020 – and she knows exactly what it takes to compete at the highest level. Willoughby won silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Now, she wants that Olympic gold.
Her chance of reaching the podium looks solid.
Willoughby said her husband – Australian BMX star-turned-coach Sam Willoughby, plus their village of support – is what will get her there.
“I’m racing for something bigger than just me. And I’ve excelled and have been able to accept challenges better when I know I’ve got that tight-knit team around me and coming into Tokyo – it’s an environment for success,” Willoughby said.
Before heading to Tokyo, Alise and Sam Willoughby joined NBC 7’s Steven Luke on our Olympic Dreams: San Diego to Tokyo podcast.
The couple talked about their shared love of their extreme sport and their inspirational journey overcoming personal tragedy.
The couple is BMX royalty. Together, they are a true team.
After a training accident left Sam Willoughby paralyzed, the couple has forged a new relationship, with Sam as Alise’s coach. On our podcast, they talk about Sam Willoughby’s accident, recovery, and life after paralysis.
Listen to them open up about their lives on our Olympic Dreams: San Diego to Tokyo podcast below:
Also competing in BMX Racing is Connor Fields, who has trained part-time at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. After a solid ride at the quarterfinals Wednesday, Fields also qualified for the next round.
Learn all about Fields' career in BMX (and prior Olympics experience) here.
3) Women's Rugby Team USA Opens Pool Play With Win
Much of Team USA's men's and women's rugby teams spend time training for one of the most physical contact sports of the Olympics at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Center -- which means they also live in the San Diego area.
While Team USA's men's rugby team has been eliminated, women's rugby is just getting started.
If you're not too familiar with rugby, here are some reasons to watch the fast-paced and captivating sport.
And, to get ready for the game, listen to NBC 7's Olympic Dreams podcast featuring the women of Team USA rugby, who could wind up being the darlings of the Tokyo Olympics, but will be anything but on the competition field.
Women's rugby semi-finals will be played Friday, July 30. The women’s tournament concludes with the bronze medal and gold medal matches at 12:30 a.m. PT and 3 a.m. PT, respectively, on Saturday, July 31.
4) Golf Begins at the Tokyo Olympics With San Diego's Xander Schauffele
Before golf returned to the Rio Olympics in 2016, it had been 112 years since the sport had been featured in the Olympics.
This year, four golfers are representing Team USA, including San Diego's own professional Xander Schauffele, as the men's golf tournament gets underway at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan, on the afternoon of July 28.
Schauffele turned in a 3-under 68 after his first round and sits 5 strokes behind the leader Sepp Straka of Austria. His Team USA teammates include Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Patrick Reed.
Play was suspended due to weather at around 10 p.m. local time. At that point, Justin Thomas was through Round 1 at even par, Reed was 3 under through 13 holes and Morikawa was 1 under through 13 holes.
Schauffele teed off alongside Mexico's Abraham Ancer and South Africa's Christiaan Bezuidenhout, and will do so again for Round 2. He'll tee off at 6:14 p.m. local time.
Watch live here or in the link below:
Schauffele is truly a local; he grew up in San Diego, attended Scripps Ranch High School, and went on to San Diego State University. From there, he climbed the ranks to the PGA Tour and quickly established himself as one of the game's bright young stars.
A win at the 2017 Tour Championship made him the first rookie ever to achieve that feat -- and helped his case for PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
Rounds will continue each day until the final round on Saturday. Medals go to the top-three individual stroke play scoreres.
Women's golf, which has three golfers representing Team USA, will begin on Aug. 3.
5) US Men's Water Polo Team Takes On Italy
Team USA was looking to build off a 2-0 start in Group A preliminary play match against Italy at 10:10 PT Wednesday, July 28 (which will be July 29 in Tokyo).
Update: Alex Obert's goal with 5:22 left in the match gave the previously unbeaten U.S. men's water polo a two-goal lead, but Italy came roaring back with a three-goal gusher to pull out a 12-11 victory in Pool A action at the Tokyo Olympics. Italy remained unbeaten at 2-1-0.
You can catch highlights of the match here or with this link below:
The U.S. beat Japan 15-13 in the opener and dominated South Africa by a score of 20-3 in the second game.
Ben Hallock leads the team with seven goals through two contests.
Alex Bowen -- a Santee native -- and Alex Wolf have also put forward standout performances. Bowen scored a game-high five goals against Japan, while Wolf put on a goalie clinic against South Africa.
Team USA is led by Jesse Smith, a Coronado resident and five-time Olympian. In a true show of leadership, Smith gave up his spot at the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony last week so that younger players on his team could experience the moment. You can read more about that here.
BONUS: Scripps Ranch Resident Competes in Trampoline
Scripps Ranch resident Nicole Ahsinger will compete in the women's trampoline event in Tokyo on July 29 at 6 p.m. PT (which is July 30 in Tokyo time).
Watch the Trampoline women's event qualification and final here or with the link below:
Read all about how Ahsinger got her start in her sport here.