tokyo 2020 olympics

As Tokyo Games open, can Olympic flame burn away the funk?

42 Comments
By FOSTER KLUG

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42 Comments
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I'm on holiday in Maizuru and I can't even tell it's on, nobody is talking about it and you can't see anything

18 ( +20 / -2 )

I watched the opening ceremony from start to finish. The drones were cool buy the rest was tedious and dull. The constant dragging out of random people from Tohoku seemed a little false and unnecessary. Mr and Mrs Kipling were very disappointed.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Well, it surely can’t burn away Covid, despite what the IOCLDPJOC had wanted people to believe?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

NHK was reporting “Live” Fri night @7:30pm that “hundreds of police are staged in the area” to ‘protect the people’. - From what?

17 ( +20 / -3 )

As Tokyo Games open, can Olympic flame burn away the funk?

To answer the question; as long as Olympic-related news will share the latest news with daily updates on new infection/death-rates: no. Either the news try to be upbeat and start with an Olympic feel-go story and the mood gets shot down by a set of feel-down stories about the virus or the news start with the lates (bad) news on the virus and then tries to turn the page with a feel-go story on the Olympics. Either way, it won't fly.

For a night, at least, the glamor and message of hope of the opening ceremonies may distract many global viewers from the surrounding anguish and anger.

A little bit like when you hit rock bottom in your life and go out with a (set of) friend(s) to have a drink and "forget", but the next morning you still wake up in the same place...

The Olympics will not change the place we currently are in: a very dire place...The vaccination process, on the other hand...

15 ( +17 / -2 )

It's a miracle it's happened. Well done and all the best

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

The games are cursed........ there is a typhoon starting down around Iwo To. Near hit of Tokyo possibly on 26/27th. Cursed I say!

https://www.metoc.navy.mil/jtwc/products/wp1121.gif

9 ( +13 / -4 )

It is the news sources keeping the "funk" alive. We get our daily serving of it without fail. As long as the news keep discussing it as negative entity, the Olympic "funk" will remain.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Well, good news!

They Tokyo Olympic Committee announced plans to re-instate the disgraced sexist Mr. Mori as an "Honorary Supreme Advisor".

You just can't make this stuff up. Are these idiots intentionally trying to sabotage themselves???

Read about it here:

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14401598

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Saw Mori on TV last night at one of the events smoozing with the Olympic elites. The Olympics are a go and locked in, the vultures can now come out of the shadows and start feeding.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Mori was never gone, just faded back in the shadows, kept the strings in both hands and pushed a mouthpiece out on stage.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

These foreigners writing articles on Japanese feelings towards the games just have no idea….

How about interviewing people without jobs and no money - that should be the focus not a sports event!

15 ( +17 / -2 )

I’m making a prediction:

Bronze:

Sports

Silver:

Social Justice

Gold:

A tie.

Sadsack-ery & Mawkish tales are fighting hard,

stay tuned for result!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Speaking of the cauldron, @smartacus 7:43a, Agree. Rikako Ikee would have been a more poignant choice given her ongoing recovery but the pressure for upcoming swimming performance is probably overwhelming right now. 

You did get Your suggestion, at least 1 doctor & 1 nurse running the torch a few steps in the stadium:

Jul 21 7:07p: [Who do you think will light the Olympic cauldron?] “I'd like to see a group of health care workers who have been on the front line battling the coronavirus for the past 18 months,…”

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mr. Mori has likely learned from his mistakes and should be given another chance.

How can you not imagine the faces of the children as "Imagine" was sung and not want to give him a second chance?

The Olympics are all about bringing out the best in humanity, and that includes forgiveness.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

I am extremely happy to see the Olympics finally get underway. It’s been almost 8 years now since Tokyo was awarded the Games back in late 2013 and it’s good to see all the time, effort and money spent getting ready for the Games finally come to fruition.

I also find the level of disrespect shown to the athletes by the protesters outside the stadium quite shocking. Japan is considered by most people around the world to be perhaps the most respectful and courteous country in the world but after the pictures of protestors holding placards which say that the athletes participating in the Games are selfish for pursuing something that they have put years and years of hard work into, maybe people will begin to change their opinion of Japan.

Also, I’ve seen pictures of protestors holding placards, which call for the money set aside for the Olympics to be spent on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. What money exactly are they thinking of? The money for the Olympics has already been spent on building and renovating venues, designing the Olympic stadium twice, designing the Olympic logo twice, refunding tickets, reselling the tickets and then refunding them again etc. What money exactly are they expecting to be saved by cancelling the Games which have now already started?

Also, let’s consider the behaviour of Japanese residents themselves. In Tokyo, there is a State of Emergency in place and intensive prevention measures are in place in surrounding prefectures, yet shops, department stores, restaurants (before 8pm - Corona is apparently a nocturnal virus), cafes, trains, buses etc are still packed with people with limited social distancing in place, if at all. If people are really that worried about COVID, then perhaps they should consider making greater effort to avoid these places. Also, there have been pictures on TV of congested expressways and people boarding bullet trains to travel across the country. Where are they going? If COVID-19 is such a major concern, surely they should be locking down in their homes for the duration of this Holiday Weekend.

Furthermore, protestors gathering in large numbers outside the Olympic Stadium with absolutely no social-distancing pose a much greater risk to the health and safety of the Japanese public than the Olympians locked down in the Olympic Village do.

Now, let’s look at the numbers of new daily cases. Tokyo reported 1,359 new cases on Friday. A figure which is considered by Yuriko Koike (who despite telling people to “stay home” for the last 18 months was stood in the Olympic Stadium smiling and waving as the Japanese team entered the stadium) and many others in Government, the media and the Japanese population to be an alarmingly high figure. However compared with other countries and cities around the world (even in places where vaccination rates are higher than in Japan), this is an extremely low number. There would be dancing on the streets of London if only 1,359 new cases in 24 hours were reported there. There are also reports of 68 severe patients requiring hospital treatment in Tokyo, which is causing the healthcare system in our nation’s Capital to be close to collapse. If that is the case, the government clearly needs to overhaul the healthcare system. In Europe and the US, there were tens of thousands of patients requiring hospital treatment at the height of the pandemic, yet the healthcare systems in those places seemed to be able to cope, if only just.

Japan now seriously needs to get a grip, get people vaccinated, stop scaremongering and freaking out by slight increases in the number of new cases each day and just get on with life. This disease is never going to go away completely. It’s the new flu, so we just need to get used to it and get on with it.

-26 ( +1 / -27 )

The flame will not burn away the funk, a more efficient vaccination process will!!!

The games however will be a welcome distraction from all that is happening around you. Stay at home and watch the games on TV and all will be fine.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Holding the Tokyo Olympic Games during a pandemic and Tokyo SOE will remain controversial for many decades to come.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Simple do not watch it or support any advertisers who forced this on the Japanese people. This is a crime against the people of this nation so that the IOC can rake in billions.

The cynical Japanese pols and the IOC leeches are counting on people forgetting that many in Japan will become sick and some die from the Olympics over the next six weeks. Some athletes may die as well.

The whole thing is a gold metal moral disaster.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Holding the Tokyo Olympic Games during a pandemic and Tokyo SOE will remain controversial for many decades to come.

The Olympics is like a pebble dropped into a pool, the ripples will spread. People focus on the incoming athletes and support staff, but it is the sheer number of people this event puts in motion that will spread the virus. Just look at the Blue Impulse event and the number of people on the streets.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

 Japan's resentment centers on the belief that it was strong-armed into hosting — forced to pay billions and risk the health of a largely unvaccinated, deeply weary public — so the IOC can collect its billions in media revenue.

Belief? No. Its reality. That's exactly what happened.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

My family and I watched the opening ceremony - the first Olympic event of any sort I I have watched for a pretty long time. I thought it was unique. There was a sort of quiet, subtle, reflective charm to it that seemed fitting with the context and of the times the games of Tokyo finds itself irunning n. The drone illumination was staggeringly beautiful and ethereal. Ol' mate Mr Bach waffled waaay too long and threatened to send me to slumber, but overall, I though the organisers did a quite beautiful job of it.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I watched the first 5-10 minutes. Most of it was just videos. Stopped watching after that. I might watch a 5-minute highlight, but other than that, not bothered. That ending with Osaka sounded disappointing. Would have been nice to have seen someone who was actually devoted to Japan rather than to its money.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What money exactly are they thinking of? The money for the Olympics has already been spent on building and renovating venues, designing the Olympic stadium twice, designing the Olympic logo twice, refunding tickets, reselling the tickets and then refunding them again etc. 

Yeah, gee I can’t imagine why everyone is so upset with blowing billions of taxpayer money on the Olympics. Clearly they have put it to such good use…

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@rainyday

You’ve misunderstood!

I’m not saying that billions hasn’t been spent on these Games and I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be annoyed by that.

What I am saying is that cancelling the Games is not in any way going to magically free up the money that has already been spent in order to allow the Government to deal with this pandemic.

If the money was still in the bank, then sure cancelling the games and using that money to fight the pandemic would be the sensible option, but it’s too late now. The money has already gone into the pockets of architects, construction companies, plagiarising logo designers and so on.

Plus, as stated in the contract Japan made with the IOC, any cancellation of the games would require Japan to pay even more millions to the IOC in damages thus leaving even less money to help fight the pandemic.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

No there is nothing that can burn away the stench of this unnecessary and unwanted event.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Didn't watch, but the irony of "Imagine" is mind-boggling:

"No Heaven, No Hell" ("and no religion, too")? - no agreement here among the participants or spectators for sure!

No countries? At a (nationalistic) international sporting event!

And to top it all off - "No possessions" sung by rich, property-holding entertainers!

Nice try, but all we can do is keep on dreaming, I suppose. I believe John's heart was in the right place, but the futility of lyrics that cannot even be sung with conviction and are even canceled since offensive to the sensibilities of millions, all set to a gently sad, melodious tune always leaves me with a strange aftertaste of wistful frustration.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The "Olympic Flame" is practically the cause of the "Funk".

So, "No".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

We were eatching the opening ceremony from Iceland.

Congratulations! The Japanese people should be proud.

Makes me want to visit Japan.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I thought the years of planning and the outrageous cost was actually worth it, seeing so much archive footage again was great. And the theme of expressing Suga sans personality through interpretive dance was a very novel way to bring it home how vital it is to celebrate all people. Saw some great fashions in the uniform choice, and was surprised at the amount of countries I’d never heard of. Some I suspect sent half their population. The emperor made a good (swift) speech. The other speeches were just too long and repetitive. Overall 100 million dollars well spent. We should do this every year.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Philip AultToday  08:07 am JST, do you even live in Japan?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just another stupidity, blowing CO2 into the air without sense or any use and also it’s contradicting their one theory and any efforts against climate change.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They Tokyo Olympic Committee announced plans to re-instate the disgraced sexist Mr. Mori as an "Honorary Supreme Advisor. u just can't make this stuff up. Are these idiots intentionally trying to sabotage themselves...

Yeah read that cringeworthy news yesterday....think they just dont give a damn now that the Games started and the all the corrupt ¥¥¥ are locked in....btw, that title - Honorary Supreme Advisor, cant think of anywhere apart from NK and China that would use it, well done JOC, well done.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The pandemic games is correct, finally an article that literally called them that.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Japanese government should explore the possibility of suing the IOC right into the ground. If rational minds had been in charge, this parody of the Olympics would have not been and Japan would have been given the 2024 date as a consolation and recognition of their investment and the unfairness of insisting on continuing into the disaster which, for very many fine athletes, this Olympics has already become. We can pretend that the current situation is fair and equitable while knowing at the same time that it's not. In fact, what we are doing here is the same thing we are doing with climate change, admitting there is a disaster while plunging on with the same stupid behavior. Anyone ready for a new 'dominant species' on Earth? The current one doesn't seem quite up to the necessities of the job...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

rainyday

You’ve misunderstood! 

I’m not saying that billions hasn’t been spent on these Games and I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be annoyed by that. 

What I am saying is that cancelling the Games is not in any way going to magically free up the money that has already been spent in order to allow the Government to deal with this pandemic.

If the money was still in the bank, then sure cancelling the games and using that money to fight the pandemic would be the sensible option, but it’s too late now. The money has already gone into the pockets of architects, construction companies, plagiarising logo designers and so on. 

Plus, as stated in the contract Japan made with the IOC, any cancellation of the games would require Japan to pay even more millions to the IOC in damages thus leaving even less money to help fight the pandemic.

Yup, the money is already gone, I get that. And cancelling after the games have started isn’t really an option anymore, I get that too. But the overall point of your comment was to register your disapproval of people protesting the Olympics. Given the extraordinary waste of their money that this event is, not to mention the public health issues at stake, I’d say they are totally justified to be out their shouting their heads off in anger. If I lived in Tokyo I’d be tempted to join them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I caught some highlights this morning, I honest couldn't believe the excruciating hammy rendition of the John Lennon classic Imagine.

Lennon must be spinning in his grave.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I find this article negative and rather misleading. Despite adversity the games have started smoothly and the world looked on in awe at the opening ceremony. Most people are looking forward to watching and cheering on their favourites.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Despite adversity the games have started smoothly 

Absolutely!

https://japantoday.com/category/tokyo-2020-olympics/Beach-volleyball-match-canceled-after-Czech-player-tests-positive-for-COVID

https://japantoday.com/category/tokyo-2020-olympics/algerian-judoka-refuses-potential-olympic-bout-with-israeli

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No. The Corona virus figures are still going up.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ u_s__reamerToday

the irony of "Imagine" is mind-boggling:

"No Heaven, No Hell" ("and no religion, too")? - no agreement here among the participants or spectators for sure!

No countries? At a (nationalistic) international sporting event!

And to top it all off - "No possessions" sung by rich, property-holding entertainers!

I know! I was thinking exactly the same thing myself - especially the “no countries” line!

Except for the Refugee Olympic Team, it’s all about ‘nation.’

And now we see the typical national medal tally prominently on the main page…

Sigh…

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the world looked on in awe at the opening ceremony

I think the rest of the world thinks differently…

Let me cite one of your home country’s newspapers, *The T**elegraph. *

Their article’s title sums things up:

Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony was bizarre and beautiful - but also desperately sad

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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