The other face of Tokyo 2020: very hot, little party, a disappeared weightlifter and a kidnapped athlete

Tokyo 2020. In 2021. We began badly with the mess of numbers. The presentation either did not encourage much: the curtain opened a year later than expected an

The other face of Tokyo 2020: very hot, little party, a disappeared weightlifter and a kidnapped athlete

Tokyo 2020. In 2021. We began badly with the mess of numbers. The presentation either did not encourage much: the curtain opened a year later than expected and without a public. They were the games of the protests of the Citizens of the Host Country. Those who were going to open a new post pandemic era. But the only thing they opened was a can full of fears a great outbreak that forced him to cancel everything.

Japan had a huge challenge: to carry out the game of the pandemic. And she has achieved it. Of course there have been chaotic moments, with many improvisations and corrections on the fly. But we must recognize that the three bubbles around which everything worked (that of the athletes, journalists and volunteers of the organization) have worked.

The Japanese will always be nailed to the spinner of not knowing how his games were celebrated in a world without Covid. "The infrastructure and operation they had was incredible, they would have been the best in history," he said a group of journalists ago Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (COI).

Surely Bach is right. But we are not here to talk about things that have never happened. In these review lines we must tell that Bach himself had to deal with a trip to Hiroshima with screaming and insults from a group of protesters who asked for the cancellation of the games.

There have been protests since the Olympic torch began in March to travel Japan. Even a lady named Kayoko Takahashi tried to turn off the flame with a water gun. The night of the opening ceremony, a cabin marabunta concentrated on the outskirts of the Olympic Stadium. There were moments that his screams were heard more than the music of the stadium.

In the middle of a fourth state of emergency and a fifth wave of contagions that beat new records every day, the Japanese, who were not for a lot of party, turned their backs on their games. Although it is also true that, according to the competitions and Japan was winning medals, more people were hooked and the protests lost strength to be something marginal.

Tokyo 2020, in addition to the sanitary lock, will be remembered for being the hottest games in history. They ask for the Spanish tennis player Paula Badado, who had to retire in a wheelchair by a heat stroke.

More than 34 degrees for a few days and a humidity of almost 70% caused some scare as the badoa. The tennis players were the ones who complained most. In the memorandum, you should be the phrase that released Russian Daniil Medvedev to the referee during a match: "If I die, will you be responsible?" Medvedev did not die of heat, but he lost the game.

Outside the sporting sphere, these atypical games have also left grape moments such as the disappearance for four days of Julius Ssekitoleko, the Ugandan weight lifter who left his delegation hung and hid in the north, in the city Yokkaichi. Before the flight of him, he left a note explaining that he wanted to work in Japan. He was not very successful because he finished deported.

Other expelled from the country were two Georgian athletes who left the Olympic Village to do a little tourism through the center of Tokyo, jumping on the rigid restrictions of the organization. With what they did not count Lasha Shavdatuashvili and Vazha Margvelashvili, both Olympic medalists, is that some citizens recognized them and will be chivated to the police that two athletes had escaped the bubble.

Less funny was what happened with the Belarusian Krystsin Tsimanouskaya. The claws of an authoritarian government tried to operate with impunity in Olympic Games. It would not be the first time it happens. But Japan if something is not suspicious, it is one of the healthiest democrats on the planet. The sprinter Tsimanouskaya criticized the coaches of her and the regime of Aleksandr Lukashenko tried a forced deportation. She described it as a "kidnapping".

Luckily, his Japanese story had a happy ending: the police interceded when the athlete was already at the airport. Tsimanouskaya asked asylum and the Polish government granted it. She already exiled in Poland, she said that even the delegation's doctor suggested that she commit suicide.

The strangest Olympic Games ever celebrated have come to an end. Now, before Paris 2024, it has to take the witness to Beijing with its winter games in February 2022. It will be the third consecutive Olympic appointment in Asia. China pretends, if the new buds give you a respite, that in your games there is public in the stands. He wants to do what Tokyo did not achieve: celebrate the first great party of the post pandemic era.

Updated Date: 08 August 2021, 12:32

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