Home Sport The other side of Tokyo 2020: Very hot, little party, a missing...

The other side of Tokyo 2020: Very hot, little party, a missing weightlifter and a kidnapped athlete

The other side of Tokyo 2020: Very hot, little party, a missing weightlifter and a kidnapped athlete

The Japanese are at all times caught with the thorn of not figuring out how their Video games would have been held in a world with out Covid. “They would have been the best in history,” mentioned Thomas Bach, president of the Worldwide Olympic Committee.

Volunteers of the Olympic Video games on the entrance of the Aquatic Middle.LC

Tokyo 2020. In 2021. We began badly with the numbers factor. The presentation was not very encouraging both: the curtain opened a 12 months later than deliberate and with out an viewers. It was the Video games of the protests of the residents of the host nation. Those that had been going to open a brand new post-pandemic period. However the one factor they opened was a can filled with fears of a giant outbreak that will pressure them to cancel the whole lot.

Japan had an enormous problem: getting the Pandemic Video games by means of. And he has succeeded. After all there have been chaotic moments, with many improvisations and corrections on the fly. Nevertheless it have to be acknowledged that the three bubbles round which the whole lot labored (that of the athletes, journalists and volunteers of the group), have labored.

The Japanese are at all times caught with the thorn of not figuring out how their Video games would have been held in a world with out Covid. “The infrastructure and the operation they had was incredible. They would have been the best in history,” he informed a bunch of journalists a couple of days in the past. Thomas Bach, President of the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC).

Absolutely Bach is correct. However we aren’t right here to speak about issues which have by no means occurred. In these traces of evaluate, it have to be mentioned that Bach himself needed to deal on a visit to Hiroshima with shouts and insults from a bunch of protesters who requested him to cancel the Video games.

Badosa, retired in a wheelchair

There have been protests because the Olympic torch started touring by means of Japan in March. Even a woman referred to as Kayoko takahashi I attempted to extinguish the flame with a squirt gun. On the night time of the opening ceremony, an indignant mob gathered exterior the Olympic Stadium. There have been instances when their screams had been heard louder than the stadium music.

Within the midst of a fourth state of emergency and a fifth wave of infections that breaks new information daily, the Japanese, who weren’t in for a lot of a celebration, turned their backs on their Video games. Though it is usually true that, because the competitions progressed and Japan was profitable medals, extra folks had been hooked and the protests misplaced pressure till they had been considerably marginal.

Paula Badosa, retired in a wheelchair.REUTERS

Tokyo 2020, along with the sanitary lock, will probably be remembered for being the most popular Video games in historical past. Ask the Spanish tennis participant Paula Badosa, who needed to retire in a wheelchair attributable to heatstroke.

Greater than 34 levels for a couple of days and a humidity of just about 70% prompted a scare just like the one in Badosa. The tennis gamers had been those who complained probably the most. Within the memo, there must be the phrase that the Russian Daniil Medvedev to the referee throughout a match: “If I die, will you be responsible?” Medvedev didn’t die of warmth, however misplaced the match.

Caught whereas sightseeing

Exterior the sports activities area, these atypical Video games have additionally left weird moments just like the disappearance for 4 days of Julius Ssekitoleko, the Ugandan weightlifter who left his delegation hanging and hid up north in Yokkaichi metropolis. Earlier than his escape, he left a word explaining that he needed to work in Japan. It was not very profitable as a result of I used to be deported.

Different expelled from the nation had been two Georgian athletes who left the Olympic Village to do some sightseeing within the heart of Tokyo, bypassing the inflexible restrictions of the group. What they didn’t depend on Lasha Shavdatuashvili and Vazha Margvelashvili, each Olympic medalists, is that some residents acknowledged them and informed the police that two athletes escaped from the bubble.

Tsimanouskaya, escorted by the Japanese police.REUTERS

Much less humorous was what occurred with the Belarusian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya. The claws of an authoritarian authorities tried to function with impunity on the Olympic Video games. It is not going to be the primary time it occurs. But when Japan isn’t suspicious of one thing, it’s of being one of many healthiest democrats on the planet. Sprinter Tsimanouskaya criticized her coaches and the Aleksndr Lukashenko tried forcible deportation. She described it as a “kidnapping”.

The 2022 Winter Video games

Fortuitously, her Japanese story had a contented ending: the police interceded when the athlete was already on the airport. Tsimanouskaya utilized for asylum and the Polish authorities granted it. Already exiled in Poland, she mentioned that even the physician in her delegation urged that she commit suicide.

The strangest Olympic Video games ever held have come to an finish. Now, earlier than Paris 2024, it’s Beijing’s flip to take the baton with its Winter Video games in February 2022. It is going to be the third consecutive Olympic occasion in Asia. China intends, if the brand new outbreaks give it a break, that at its Video games there will probably be an viewers within the stands. It desires to do what Tokyo could not: have fun the primary large celebration of the post-pandemic period.