Without the crowd’s roar, Tokyo Olympians search for spirit

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TOKYO (AP) — In arenas across Tokyo, athletes accustomed to feeding off the deafening roar of the crowd are searching for new ways to feel Olympic enthusiasm.

They’re rooting for each other as loudly as they can.

Some are trying to envision fans in their living rooms, leaning into their television screens.

They’re blasting playlists in the backstage training rooms.

The lucky few allowed to compete with headphones keep their phones tuned to songs with a beat to replace the thrill of applause.

But others were surprised to find the silence motivating.

For them, the emptiness numbs the nerves and lets them fully focus on their sport.

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