TOKYO — The torch relay for the adjourned Tokyo Olympics began its 121 -day journey across Japan on Thursday and is headed toward the opening ceremony in Tokyo on July 23.
The relay began in northeastern Fukushima prefecture, the area that was devastated by the 2011 shake, tsunami and the meltdown of three nuclear reactor. About 18,000 were killed in the tragedy,
The first smuggler with the kindle was Azusa Iwashimizu, a key player in the Japan team that won the Women’s World Cup in 2011.
Decked out in a white-hot line suit, she carried the kindle out of the J-Village indoor soccer training center and was surrounded by 14 other members of the team and coach Norio Sasaki at the rear. They are also among decked out in white road dress.
The ceremony was closed to the public because of the fear of spreading COVID-1 9 but was streamed live.
“The torch of Tokyo 2020 will become a bright light for are waiting for Japanese citizens and citizens around the world and a brightnes at the end of the tunnel, ” said Seiko Hashimoto, the chairman of the regional organizing committee and a former Olympian herself.
Homare Sawa, the biggest star on the 2011 unit, missed the opening ceremony. She is being treated for a condition affecting her inner ear and had to withdraw from the event.
Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee hope the communicate will turn public opinion in Japan in favor of the Olympics. Sensibilities is presented in polls in Japan so far are overwhelmingly negative with about 80% showing another lag or cancellation.
The relay and the Olympics both budge fear that the events could spread the virus. There is also opposition to the soaring cost of staging the Olympics , now put officially at $15.4 billion. Various inspections recommend it’s twice that much and a University of Oxford study says these are the most expensive Olympics on record.
Fans were told to social-distance along the roadside as the light extends, and they are to refrain from loud encourage. Organizers have said they will stop or reroute the communicate if crowding becomes a problem during the course of its four-month parade.
The relay is a big assessment for the upcoming Olympics with suspicion among the general public that the contest could spread the virus to rural and more isolated parts of the country. Vaccinations has not been able to been reeled out hitherto in Japan to the general public. About 9,000 deaths in the country have been attributed to COVID-1 9.
About 10,000 runners are expected to take part, with the relay touching Japan’s 47 prefectures.
After the postponement a year ago, there was early talk of eliminating the relay to save money. However, that feeling was quickly plunged with the communicate heavily sponsored by Coca-Cola and Toyota.
The relay is a preface to the difficulties the Olympics and Paralympics will present with 15,400 jocks opening Japan, along with thousands of other officials, guess, VIPs, media, and broadcasters.
Athletes will be kept in a “bubble” like atmosphere in Tokyo and will be limited to the Competitor Village on Tokyo Bay, the competition venues and training courses areas. Most others are likely to be outside the bubble and will be kept at a distance from the athletes.
Organizers announced a few weeks ago that love from abroad will be banned from attending the Olympics and Paralympics. Most volunteers from abroad have also been ruled out.
Organizers are to announce the venue capacities in April. Ticket revenue for the Olympics was to be $ 800 million but will be severely reduced by the lack of followers. Japanese authority entities will have to make up the shortfall.
Read more: time.com