At midday on Friday 23rd July 2021, one year later than planned, glass of fizz in hand, we took our seats in our luxurious cinema room to watch the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
I’ve always followed the games. I enjoy the pomp of the opening ceremony, the way in which each country attempts to outshine the previous host. It’s incredible to think that it was 9 years ago that these prestigious games came to London; it feels like yesterday.
Since the start of the modern Olympic Games in 1896 the games have been cancelled just 3 times; on each occasion this was due to war. The first time was in 1916 when the games were due to be hosted by Germany in Berlin, the second time in 1940 when the games were due to be held in Tokyo and then once more in 1944 when the games were to be held in London. London went on to host the games in 1948. Tokyo did not host the games until 1964.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were of course cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic; thankfully they were able to go ahead this year albeit without spectators.
There has been quite a buzz around the games this year; the fact that they were able to go ahead gave us a feeling that some semblance of normality might be returning.
We got together and made flags to decorate our cinema room and we took part in quizzes to test both our world and sporting knowledge. We had the chance to sample food from other cultures and learned so much about the athletes, but the best part was watching the games.
The screen in the cinema room is enormous and was perfect to watch the action. The athletes are so talented and clearly so focussed. They are inspiring to watch.
Of course, whilst all the athletes deserve much praise for their commitment you can’t help but be in awe of the Paralympic athletes. We are at a time in our lives when our mobility is not what it once was; some of us know first-hand the constricts of disabilities and to see these athletes compete at this level, overcoming obstacles that would cause many to give up is quite humbling.
We have loved being able to embrace the Olympic Games and to learn all about their history. Roll on 2024!