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  • 執筆者の写真Hiroshige FUJII

Tokyo 2020 Olympic in Coronavirus disease pandemic


B4 Ayaka Sakakibara

Tokyo 2020 Olympic was held between 23rd July and 8th August 2021, which was postponed for a year due to the spread of Coronavirus all over the world. Although the Olympic games caused excitement in Japan and other countries, as you know, it has been controversial whether we should hold or should have held it for a year, and the discussion will continue. In this essay, I will share the games that left a strong impression on me and my opinion about holding Olympic in the pandemic.

During the Tokyo Olympics, I mainly watched track and field events, and the men’s final race of 4x100m stuck with me the most.

I did track and field from the higher grades of elementary school to high school. Even after retiring, I like watching track and field, reminding me of the feeling and efforts at that time. The performance of athletes, like their dynamic and extraordinary running, I admire, impressed me. Through my track and field life, I enjoyed 100m, long jump, 4x100m relay, and 4x400m relay (the picture is my last race four years ago in 4x400m relay). Especially, relays we pass one baton holding spirits of all of the friends with relay members and run toward finish line are notable for most sprinters who always run individually. Sprinters who limit the number of races by doctors or coaches almost always choose to run with relay members rather than in their events. I also chose a 4x100m relay when my right leg hurt.

In the Olympic games, Japan’s relay members of 4x100m failed to pass the baton from the first runner to the second runner in the final race. They were placed a high expectation because 3 of the members have the best time under 10 seconds. I also think they are undoubtfully the fastest relay team ever. Unfortunately, the first runner could not pass the baton before the baton got out of the takeover zone, where runners must hand over batons within. It was hard for me to watch the interview after the race because I thought that the feeling of the Japanese team must have been far worse than that of mine when I made the same mistake in the last relay of junior high school. However, I learned after the Olympics. They were taught that they chose the offensive battle to win in the Olympics in their home country. They also said they would make use of the experience next time. It is excellent news. Some articles say that is a regrettable mistake, but I think it is a necessary experience to be stronger. I want them to go to the next step without regretting the race.

A Chinese runner demonstrated that Asians could compete with other countries even in individual sprint events on the world stage in this Olympics. Therefore, the Japanese can also run faster than they do now, and I believe that the Japanese team does it next time.

It was better not to hold the Olympics concerning the risk of spreading and exacerbating the pandemic. Despite the plan of the COVID-19 bubble, we saw the cases of Olympic officials from both Japan and other countries. The route of infection has not open, but some were infected before they arrived in Japan. I heard that some players broke the rules not to be infected and went out. In addition, some experts made a comment that holding an Olympic cause some Japanese to be slack. Many people gathered around the national stadium to watch the fireworks of the opening and closing ceremony. It is pointed out that decreasing news related to Coronavirus due to the Olympic games also declines the sense of danger.

The other is that it was a good experiment toward coming coexisting with Coronavirus. In discovering new variants which are more transmissible one after another, it seems to be challenging to get back our everyday life, at least in a few years. We have to look for a way to continue sports and cultural activities even in the long last pandemic to prevent them from stagnating. It is also said that undiscovered viruses will come from melted permafrost due to global warming in the future. That indicates that another virus will cause a pandemic. It is also proof that unknown viruses exist on the earth that some researchers said Coronavirus came to us due to deforestation. To survive in such an environment, I think it is better to challenge to perform our lives rather than avoid any risks.

Anyway, I enjoyed Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will enjoy the Paralympic. History will teach us whether our actions were correct or not.


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