This is the moment that Olympic athletes have dreamed about, the one they have trained for relentlessly and rehearsed in their minds repeatedly since they were children. Finally, they are stepping onto the mats and courts and playing fields that together represent the biggest stage in international sports. And when they do, they’re hearing … crickets.

Or rather, the drone of Japanese cicadas. And doors opening and closing, and trucks rumbling by on nearby streets, and even the idle murmuring of stadium workers.

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