The 2020 Summer Olympic Games were held in Istanbul, Turkey. The opening ceremony was most notably attended by Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Kirsten Gillibrand, PM Ed Milliband and King Charles of the UK, and Egyptian PM Menes Ibrahim. The opening ceremony focused on Turkey's history, and made gestures towards the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and the Ottoman/Turkish levels of culture. The ceremony was applauded for displaying Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Sunni Islam as equals in historical importance. Overall, the theme of unity and equality resonated well with viewers. Three men and one woman from Iraqi Kurdistan entered the stadium as an unaffiliated athletes to protest Iraq's violation of human rights against the Kurdish minority. The country of Turkey had the largest delegation of athletes in the country's history show up to the games.
The US was beat by China for most medals won in the games by a small margin of 5 medals. By far the winniest American was swimmer from Colorado, Missy Franklin. She won 6 medals in a variety of swimming contests, 6 of them being gold. She has stated that she is staying on board for certain for the Paris 2024 games, putting her in a a position to possibly beat Michael Phelps. Another notable victory was from the US archery team, who barely beat out the Russian team for the gold. The member of the US team that scored the most goals, Allie Blazek, has stated that she is happy that she could help the US team get the victory it had wanted. The US also had a decent showing at the track and field events, garnering 2nd place behind Kenya and ahead of Ethiopia in the distance contests.
Overall, the games were a huge boost for Turkey, and it will likely make a renewed boost for EU membership now that Europe has seen how well it can host an international event such as the Olympics. Of course, the US is looking forward to the 2026 Winter Olympic Games, which will be hosted by Denver, the first city to host the games in the US since 2002. Governor Joseph Garcia is working very hard to build up the city to host the games.
Huntsman has had one of the most successful non Democrat/Republican campaigns since Perot in 1992, but that has gone against him in some states. In order to prevent a vote split between him and the Republicans, many state legislatures controlled by the GOP have blocked the Huntsman/Sandoval ticket from having ballot access. Solid GOP states in the plains and Rockies have been noticeably more receptive to him than GOP states in the south, while Democratic states largely have had no issue with putting him on the ballot. The one big fight so far is the state of Texas, were the state GOP claims he couldn't win, he would just split the vote and hand the state to the Democrats. Huntsman took this opportunity to say that this is exactly the partisan bickering that would not happen were he in the White House.
The first debate between the presidential candidates was held tonight. Post debate polling shows the debate was a tie between Huntsman and Gillibrand, with Rubio in third. The debate tonight was focused mostly on domestic policy and the economy. Even though foreign policy is Huntsman's usual area that he holds office in, Huntsman was able to make decent arguments for healthcare reform coming from the bottom up that Gillibrand and Rubio were not able to make a solid argument against. Gillibrand shined during the gun control question. After Rubio stated "Guns don't kill people, people kill people!" Gillibrand responded with "Well, don't you think a gun helps? Standing there and saying bang isn't going to do much, is it?" Her remark elicited some cheering from the audience, which was agains the debate rules and quickly quelled. Rubio criticized Huntsman as being wishy-washy with his anti gun control stance but pro-gay adoption rights stance, which backfired after the number comments about other GOP candidates calling Rubio that same thing a number of times during primary season.