WASHINGTON client Beijing December 25 electrical
problem: there is no sport in a different kind of epic Olympic Games
Reporter Yue Chuan
January 24, 2020, Tokyo Bay, Japan.
In order to welcome the 6-month countdown to the Tokyo Olympics, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee held a grand lighting ceremony for the giant Olympic rings, a new landmark erected here.
The animation comes from the Xinhua News Agency video
The five rings are eye-catching and the fireworks are dazzling.
After 56 years of holding this sports event again, Japan’s expectations for the Tokyo Olympics are just like fireworks rushing into the sky, eager and unrestrained.
However, this full of enthusiasm was finally completely cooled by the severe epidemic.
"Countdown to 6 months" has become the other side that cannot be reached.
It is the "year of the Olympics," and Bach, as the chairman of the International Olympic Committee, will naturally appear in front of the camera with high frequency.
It's just different from the past concluding speeches around the Olympic Games from the opening to the closing. This year's interview has the same and clear theme.
Data map: Bach.
Photo by Du Yang issued by China News Agency
From the beginning of the year to the end of the year, everyone was looking for clues about the prospects of the Tokyo Olympics from Bach’s public remarks. This has long been a habit.
Although not a top superstar or meritorious coach, Bach is clearly one of the most watched sportsmen in the world this year.
Despite the turmoil, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee continued to refute rumors about the "Olympic suspension" until early March. The International Olympic Committee has repeatedly stated that the event will be held as originally planned, and Bach also issued an open letter encouraging athletes to prepare for the game.
After several twists and turns, the Olympic flame was collected in Greece and shipped to Japan, and the torch relay was put on the agenda.
However, during the highly anticipated welcome ceremony, the fire was blown out by the wind.
Very rare accidents seem to indicate that this "Olympic Year" is very unusual.
Data map: Bach.
Photo by Du Yang issued by China News Agency
Just a few days later, the insistence of the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee has not been able to overcome the escalating new crown epidemic on a global scale and the endless opposition.
On March 24, Beijing time, the two parties finally issued a joint statement announcing the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Finally, the event is scheduled to kick off on July 23, 2021.
Since the first Modern Olympic Games was held in 1896, the Summer Olympics have been cancelled three times due to war, but there has never been a precedent for postponing.
Since then, Bach's name has been spread all over the world time and time again with new changes related to the Tokyo Olympics.
From never rescheduling, to confirming the postponement, and now resolutely not rescheduling, his statement has also affected the world again and again.
On the evening of March 30, local time, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee held a press conference in Tokyo, announcing that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will open on July 23 and August 24, 2021, respectively.
The picture shows the Olympic countdown card on the streets of Tokyo restarting the clock.
More than a month ago, Bach clearly released several signals during his visit to Tokyo: The Tokyo Olympics is safety first; the Olympics will be held as scheduled; firmly believe that the audience can participate; encourage athletes to be vaccinated, but there are no hard and fast rules.
The Tokyo Olympics seems to be on the line.
From the beginning to the end, Bach didn't talk about canceling so much. He once said frankly that if the event fails, it will destroy the dreams of more than 10,000 athletes.
Those who are familiar with the Chinese women's volleyball team should not be unfamiliar with the name Shinnabe Risa.
At the 2012 London Olympics, the 22-year-old Risa Shinnabe helped the Japanese women's volleyball team beat the Chinese team and regained the Olympic podium after 28 years.
Data Map: New Pot Risa
Like Chinese sports, the best performance in Japan's "Three Big Balls" is also the women's volleyball team.
They have won 6 world championships including two Olympic Games and were named the best team of the 20th century by the FIVB.
Being able to represent such a collective to participate in the Olympic Games held in China is a lifetime memory worth engraving.
As a veteran who missed the Rio Olympics, Risa Shinnabe has even greater desire for Tokyo.
Last year, she played in the World Cup with the Japanese team as the main force.
Dreams are in sight, but all this came to an abrupt end after the postponement of the Olympics.
Years of battle and injuries, this description that applies to almost all famous players, also happened to Xin Guo Risa.
Risa Shinnabe, who has been plagued by finger injuries, originally planned to retire after the Tokyo Olympics, but in the end what belonged to her was a hasty end.
Data map: Tokyo National Stadium, the main stadium of the Olympic Games
I don't know how long Xinnabe Risa has weighed repeatedly, and how much unwillingness and helplessness have been contained in it, and finally he is cruel to herself.
For all the athletes who have been preparing for a long time, especially the veterans who have gritted their teeth, the postponement of the Olympics does not mean just another year of struggle.
When the hard-going goal is close at hand, I can only watch it go away again. It is bitter and hard to describe.
Years of dedication and pursuit have turned into a mirror image, and Risa Xinnabe, who shed tears at the retirement press conference, can only use "despair" to tell her feelings.
After being missed by Rio, the Tokyo Olympics has become a belief that has supported Shinnabe Risa from the trough for many years.
This was the last dream within reach of her career, but in the end it turned into a regret that is hard to make up for in a lifetime.
For many people like Risa Shinnabe, the Olympic dream is broken and it is difficult to realize it.
However, their tears may not cause many ripples.
Data map: Olympic elements on the streets of Tokyo
It is not just tens of thousands of athletes that are affected by the postponement of the Olympics.
This huge change, unprecedented in the history of the Olympic Games, has brought unprecedented problems and losses that are still increasing.
The cold astronomical numbers, like a heavy punch beating the already almost overwhelmed world sports system, are involved in more than tens of millions.
Athletes’ preparation plans were affected, the overall work of related organizations was completely disrupted, the financial situation of various sports organizations was greatly impacted, and sponsors were in a dilemma...
These are only direct effects.
As the highest palace in the world of sports, the Olympic Games is a veritable top of the pyramid.
Once the top collapses, the lower layer will be even more affected.
The negative effect of the postponement of the Olympic Games is actually the consumption of the entire sports field from top to bottom.
On a viewing platform in Tokyo, Japan, a tourist wearing a mask overlooks the main stadium of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The intractable international sports organizations line up to complain to the International Olympic Committee. While the IOC allocates funds to maintain its normal operation, it also shares the additional costs for the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee due to the postponement of the Olympics.
The adjustment of time and schedule of major events to make way for the Olympic Games will become an important part of world sports news in the second half of the year.
In order to protect the Olympics and related test competitions, the competitions that could not be re-coordinated were cancelled one by one, and the efforts of the athletes and staff were all in vain.
The four-year wait, which was supposed to be the "Olympic Year" where diligence and sweat came to fruition, was full of powerlessness and helplessness to survive with a broken arm.
On the premise of paying a huge price, the postponed Tokyo Olympics has become the highest priority of all decisions. Therefore, every move of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee has been put under the microscope.
On July 23, 2020, local time, Tokyo, Japan, the countdown to the first anniversary of the Tokyo Olympics, a number of buildings lit up the five-ring Olympic lights.
Looking through the website of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee and related Japanese media reports, it is not difficult to find that since the postponement of the Olympics, various budgets have changed and the epidemic prevention policies have been adjusted and adjusted; large and small meetings one after another, and various measures are taken. Item after item.
Only around the opening ceremony, the entire layout of budget changes, admission restrictions, content procedures, etc. have been rolled out.
Just a few days ago, Japanese media wrote that the budget for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games has been raised again, and it has now increased to about 1 billion yuan.
The budget revision means that part of the work has to be overhauled again.
When the International Olympic Committee and other international sports organizations focus on the Olympics wholeheartedly, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, as the master, has to bear other pressures.
In Japan, the voice that hopes that the authorities will focus on people's livelihood rather than the Olympics has always been there.
On October 21, local time, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee announced to the media in Tokyo on the 21st that spectators and others passed the demonstration test of baggage security inspection area operation when they entered the stadium.
The picture shows a lady walking past the 2020 Tokyo Olympics poster.
In such a tight rhythm, after months of deliberation, the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee finally announced the preliminary policy for epidemic prevention this month, covering audiences, athletes, volunteers and other related personnel of the conference.
Taking athletes as an example, epidemic prevention and control measures will cover all stages of their competition.
The preparatory work after the postponement of the Olympics has taken a crucial step.
However, this is only a preliminary policy and will be detailed in the future. Policies such as restrictions on the number of visitors will not be announced until next spring.
From the lines of the words, it can be felt that this is a huge project that is complicated and does not tolerate the slightest omission.
Behind the exhaustion, there is a group of people working day and night to make the Olympic Games, which have been postponed for one year, arrive as scheduled next summer.
The landmark Olympic rings, which disappeared for four months, returned to Tokyo Bay at the beginning of this month after safety inspections and repairs.
What this shows to the world is Japan's determination to host the Olympics next year as scheduled.
On December 1, local time, Tokyo, Japan, the Olympic Five Rings logo was being transported by boat. After four months of safety inspection and maintenance, it returned to Tokyo Bay.
It was the first time it was lit here, as if it were a lifetime away.
There have been too many stories in history books this year, some of which are even unheard of.
The global pandemic, the continuous meltdown of U.S. stocks, and the drop in oil prices... the postponement of the 100-year Olympics is one of them.
2020 composed of them makes the world in the impression unfamiliar.
But looking back at the end of the year, things that were once unimaginable have become accepted routines.
Data map: The Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee officially announced the names of the Olympic and Paralympic mascots as "Miraitowa" and "Someity" respectively.
There are still 7 months before the Tokyo Olympics kicks off.
The suspended test matches will be restarted in March next year, and the Olympic anti-epidemic policy is also being improved.
However, in the face of an uncertain global epidemic, how the Tokyo Olympics will be held is still not clear in a few words.
However, in a previous survey of about 80,000 Olympic volunteers, over 80% clearly expressed their willingness to participate in the postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
They are the same as the athletes all over the world who are stepping up their preparations, looking forward to next summer.
"The Olympic flame is the light at the end of this dark tunnel." These words of Bach have been quoted repeatedly this year.
He said that no matter how long the tunnel is, everyone will pass the end together.
Data map: Tokyo Olympic torch shape
We seem to be living in history, and history pushes us forward.
There are too many starting points, which are about to unfold from the moment under our feet.
The five-ring symbol re-lit in Tokyo Bay symbolizes a new beginning.