TOKYO, July 31 (Xinhua) — Quiet venues, unload booths and masked participants are among the reminders that the Tokyo Olympics are taking place amid the coronavirus, even following a year of postponement.
But in the middle of the Games, the sights and sounds of Tokyo 2020 are increasingly familiar as we witness the joy and tears of athletes trying to donate their best, as they forever do at the Olympic Games, a testament to the unused Olympics. Its motto: “Faster, higher, stronger – together.”
New glory for legends
The Tokyo Olympics brought together the best athletes from around the world, among whom are returning athletes, whose passion for the games has not been affected by the passage of time.
“I am really happy to be here with this anticipation that precedes another Olympics. I hope it is not only exceptional for the moment we are in but also for something we have been chasing for so lengthy.” “Words describe how happy I am,” said Marta, captain of the Brazilian women’s soccer team, The 35-year-old.
After scoring less than 10 minutes into the opening game against China, Marta became the first player to score in five successive Olympics. Along with fellow 43-year-old Formiga, they both came to Japan for the country and the sport they love.
Another veteran Olympian to watch is Oksana Chusovitina. When she completed her jumping competition, thunderous applause erupted in the nearly unload space. Referees, volunteers, media workers and others gave a standing ovation to the legendary athlete, not because she won a medal – she failed to qualify for the finals – but for the 46-year-old Uzbek gymnast who was an embodiment. of the Olympic spirit through its eight Olympic flights.
“I was preparing for things to end here, but it’s impossible for me to be completely ready for that,” Chusovitina told reporters following the final.
British diver Tom Daley was in tears following finding his first Olympic gold medal at his fourth Olympics by winning the men’s 10m synchronized platform. “It’s unbelievable, especially following Rio 2016, when I was very disappointed because I thought this would be my best chance to triumph a medal,” he said.
Just following winning his second Olympic gold in the men’s 73kg category in a more dominant fashion than the men’s 69kg category at Rio 2016, Chinese weightlifter Shi Zhiyong revealed that he sustained an injury just a month away from the Tokyo Olympics.
But that didn’t quit him from challenging his own world record. “I think I have the potential to burst the world record…I’ve trained so firm for the former five years, it would be a pity if I couldn’t show my best.”
It’s a mixed result of American swimmer Katie Ledecky, who is arguably the greatest swimmer of all time. The 24-year-old arrived in Tokyo with five gold medals in the former two Olympics, winning her first Olympic women’s 1500m freestyle race and preparing to retain her 800m freestyle title for the second time following qualifying for the scheduled finals. Saturday morning with the best results.
But she was overtaken by rising Australian star Ariarn Titmus in the 400m freestyle and finished fifth in the 200m freestyle, with Titmus taking her second gold.
Despite a stunning sprint near the finish in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay, Ledecky once again found herself behind the world record-breaking Chinese team.
She didn’t hide her emotions, sob in the pool, sob in the mixed zone, or choke on her press conference, as she tackled her toughest of three Olympic competitions.
“I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, or to think the silver is a disappointment or anything else,” she told the media. “It’s a vast privilege to be at an Olympics, let alone participate in an Olympics in the midst of a pandemic. I’m lucky to be here.”
“I’ve been thinking about the power of a gold medal and what I’ve lived through over the years, how I’ve gone to children’s hospitals and met wounded warriors and their faces lit up when they see gold medals. More than anything else, that means being competent to put a smile on someone’s confront. I still want to have Get a gold medal to get this opportunity again.”
Games show the power of youth
Titmus was born in 2000 when her country hosted the Sydney Olympics. As the Tokyo Olympics take place in the third decade of the 21st century, Generation Z, or Zoomers, like her, are taking charge.
“I was so excited to triumph this event, I had to beat a distinguished champion, and that makes it so much more satisfying. She’s done incredible things for the sport, especially middle distance swimming.” Titmus said following her surprise triumph over Ledecky in the finals of the 400 meters freestyle.
Born between the late 1990s and beforetime 2000s, the little guns have proven their strength and show the world their powerful personalities and passion for the sport at all.
At the Asaka Shooting Range, Chinese Olympian Yang Qian dropped the first gold at Tokyo 2020 in the women’s 10m air rifle prior becoming the first Chinese shooter ever to triumph two golds from a single Olympics by winning the 10m mixed team event with teammate Yang Horan.
But the 21-year-old went on to stress that she would be “simple breath”.
“After I get on the podium, it all starts from scratch. I forever want to remember why I started in the first place,” she said.
In women’s street skateboarding, one of the five newly added sports in Tokyo, the podium was shared by three medalists with an average age of just 14 years and 191 days – gold medalist Momiji Nishiya of Japan, 13, silver medalist Risa Leal Brazil actress, also 13 and bronze medalist Funa Nakayama, 16 – the youngest ever in a singles event at the Olympics.
“I am very happy to triumph the Olympic Games in Japan. I want to be the famous person that everyone in the world knows. I want to triumph Paris 2024 as well,” said Nishia.
Surprises and hacks
The host country has racked up more gold medals in the one week since the games opened than the 12 it won at the Rio Olympics. One achievement came from Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito who snatched their first-ever Olympic gold medal in mixed doubles from world table tennis champion Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen of China.
But Japan also suffered an unexpected perturb when world number one Kento Momota crashed in the men’s badminton singles group stage. Tennis star Naomi Osaka, who lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony, also exited beforetime from the women’s singles competition.
“I definitely feel there was a lot of pressure for this,” Osaka said.
Olympic competitions are not just between the sporting superpowers. The Philippines were in a state of euphoria following Hedilin Diaz won the women’s 55kg weightlifting to triumph the first-ever Olympic gold for her country.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte congratulated Diaz during a virtual courtesy call, “Your achievement is an achievement for the Filipino nation. We are very elated (of you).”
“Please dream lofty. That’s how I started. I dreamed lofty, and I finally made it happen.” She told her fellow citizens.
Triathlete Flora Duffy also made history by winning Bermuda’s first Olympic gold medal.
“I am so grateful that I was competent to fulfill a personal dream here of winning an Olympic medal,” Duffy said. “But this one is bigger than me, this will inspire the young Bermudas and everyone back home that competing on the world stage from a little island is truly conceivable.”
Inspiration circulates despite the pandemic
For Tokyo 2020 organizers, the health, safety and well-being of athletes and participants in the Games comes as a priority, even at the expense of spectators who are banned in the vast majority of stadiums and stringent protocols.
world number. First golfer John Ram of Spain missed the games following testing positive on a pre-departure screening. American Pole Vault medal winner Sam Kendricks is also out of games due to a coronavirus test.
As of Friday, Olympic organizers said a whole of 220 people associated with the Games had tested positive for the virus since July 1, including 26 in the Olympic Village. Overall, only a little percentage of Olympic participants have tested positive so far, despite rising numbers of unused daily infections in Tokyo.
Promising to provide “safe and secure games,” Brian McCluskey, chair of the self-reliant panel of experts advising the IOC on countermeasures for COVID-19, said in an earlier press conference that individual infections are expected as people involved go through distinct layers of filtering, however With all countermeasures in place, especially robust testing measures and a quick isolation response, infection will not pose risks to others.
The South African men’s soccer team had to be isolated following the team members tested positive, but they managed to catch the opening match against hosts Japan. “Rules are rules, we have to respect that,” coach David Notwan said following the match.
“This is very distinct from the four Olympics I have been in,” said Lee Zhongwei, a three-time Olympic silver medalist and Chef de Mission (CDM) in Tokyo 2020, describing the Games as “exceptional” which could unkind additional excitement and surprises in the competitions.
“I think anything can happen in these Olympics,” he told me.
Those inside the Tokyo Olympic bubbles seem to have adapted well following the initial falls. Journalists resort to ever-longer extension bars to “get closer” to interviewees, while medalists in marital or group events aid themselves by wrapping medals over each other where medalists are not allowed to do so in line with protocols.
Many appreciated that they could enter the Olympics stage despite the pandemic.
“We would love to have fans if it was safe but obviously not,” said American football player Megan Rapinoe, “We understand how lucky we are to have this and hope to bring a little fun and entertainment to everyone watching it around the world.”
For the world, Tokyo 2020 is more than that. There is nothing like the Olympic Games and the unyielding struggle of athletes as a distinguished inspiration to the entire world still battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
In that sense, we can all look forward to more excitement and greatness from the second half of Tokyo 2020. Enditem
(Xinhua reporters Yue Ranran, Liu Yang, Yi Jia, Yan Jie, Liu Kai, Wang Meng, Shen Nan also contributed to this story)