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Sports headlines with Marty Simpkins

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With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation and affecting local sports, there’s not a whole lot to cover out there. High school sports are shut down until May 18.

As a local sports editor, this means I’m getting creative with story ideas since there are no games to cover. So instead, I’m going to give you all my personal opinion on some of the biggest sports-related news going on right now in our world.

I think the biggest news that happened over the week was the announcement that the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will be moved to July 23, 2021. What was supposed to be this year’s biggest sporting event will have to take place a year later.

I was really looking forward to seeing some of the best athletes in the world compete against one another for that elusive gold medal. I was also hoping that this COVID-19 pandemic would fade away by late May, maybe even early June.

It looks like the Summer Olympics don’t want to take any chances and decided to postpone the enormous spectacle to next year.

Here’s some good news regarding the coronavirus: Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player who tested positive for COVID-19, has fully recovered from his sickness, along with his teammates. They have all been cleared by Utah’s department of health.

Not only that, but a couple of unnamed Los Angeles Lakers players have also been cleared of COVID-19 as of Tuesday.

This is a sign of good things to come. Yes, the coronavirus is a deadly disease that has infected hundreds of thousands of people. However, it’s not the end of the world.

As you can see, people can recover from this disease and get back to normal. Out of the more than 820,000 cases across more than 200 countries, at least 150,000 have recovered, according to the World Health Organization. I’m expecting more people to recover if we continue following directions handed down from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As long as we encourage healthy living and make smart decisions, we’ll get through this together.

For my last bit of sports news, I’ll quickly hit on the NFL free agent market. Former L.A. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers signed with the Indianapolis Colts. The 38-year-old will look to help a Colts team rebound since the unexpected retirement of former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck. We’ll see if the former N.C. State legend can reach his first Super Bowl with a new team.

Another quarterback change is Marcus Mariota going to play backup to Derek Carr for the Las Vegas Raiders. After Ryan Tannehill put in a solid performance as the starting quarterback at Tennessee, Mariota was the odd man out.

Now we will wait and see where some other free agents will sign as we get closer to the start of the NFL Draft. We’re still waiting on Jadeveon Clowney, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Jason Peters, Clay Matthews and other big name players to see where they will land in 2020.

Do you have any big sports news stories you would like to share? Email me with your thoughts.

Marty Simpkins is the sports editor of The Wake Weekly. He can be reached at 919-424-1779 or