Synchronized floating among events in ‘very first Space Olympics’ from International Space Station

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station got into the Olympic spirit with their own “Space Olympics” to herald the start of the long-awaited Summer Games in Tokyo.

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet announced the start of the “very first Space Olympics” in a tweet last week. The cosmic games, waged between members of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Russia’s Soyuz crew ship, included space-friendly events such as synchronized floating, long jumps and no-hand ball, Pesquet said on Instagram.

“For crew cohesion, we put together a friendly competition between the #Soyuz team and the #CrewDragon team,” Pesquet said on Twitter.

The astronauts, who represent counties including Russia, the U.S., France and Japan, also watched a video feed of the opening ceremony and cheered on their respective countries while wearing patriotic gear, according to photos Pesquet posted on flickr and a video shared on the official Olympics Instagram page.

“Here on the ISS, 400 kilometers away from Earth, we are very much looking forward to watching the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Pesquet said in the video. “So good luck to all the athletes and all the best from space. We’ll be watching.”

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In a series of photos, the astronauts posed under an array of national flags hung up on the ceiling of the lab.

“We had all flags of the world (yes, every single country) hung up on the ceiling of the lab which gave an inspiring (and colourful) backdrop to our athletic prowess (or lack of),” Pesquet said in an Instagram caption. “Let the Earthly games begin.”

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Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

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