This morning, Naomi Osaka from Japan, lit the Olympic cauldron and thus gave the official start of the Tokyo 2020 Games. The 23-year-old tennis player was given the honor of carrying the Olympic torch and lighting the fire for this year’s Games. By doing so, she became the first tennis player to have ever done so in the history of the sport.
COVID-19 Marks the Olympic Games
As most of you already know, the Olympic Games were supposed to happen in 2020, however, the pandemic that shook the world postponed the event for 2021. However, even a year later, the virus is having an effect on the Games. Due to the rise of cases in Japan over the last few months, the Tokyo Games will be the first ones in history to not have a live audience for any sport. Furthermore, many people in Japan have been protesting the Olympic Games for weeks, with signs like “Lives over the Games”, causing a huge debate about whether to have the event at all. The opening ceremony was also held in the shadows of the ongoing protests.
Last week, the IOC president Thomas Bach claimed that these Summer Games will be “the most restrictive sporting event in history”, ensuring that the risk for the Japanese people and the athletes will be kept at a minimum. In the Olympic village, athletes and other people that help with the organization of the event are tested on the daily basis and the ones who receive a positive test have to quarantine.
As of Sunday, 55 people connected to the Olympic Games have tested positive and Reuters is tracking all of them here.
The Embodiment Of The Human Spirit
However, my appeal to everyone is to not let the pandemic ruin what is considered to be the greatest sporting event. Let’s focus on what the Olympics are all about – human spirit, peace, and love of the sport.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will be able to see some of the biggest names in sport compete for the greatest achievement of them all – the Olympic Gold.
As excitmenting times await all of us who love sports, let’s wish all the athletes good luck and enjoy one of the greatest events in the world.
May the best ones win.