TOKYO 2020 is back on. Officially.
It's official, or at least as official as we might expect, barring some other unforeseen global catastrophe...., the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are definitely on. Come what may.
"The postponed Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead next year "with or without Covid", the vice-president of the International Olympic Committee says.
John Coates confirmed to news agency AFP that the Olympics would start on 23 July next year, calling them the "Games that conquered Covid".
They were originally scheduled to start in July 2020, but were postponed due to Covid-19 fears.
The IOC had earlier said they would not delay the Games beyond 2021."
When the Tokyo Games are held next year, it will be the first time the world will experience a global activity of any type since the outbreak of COVID19. It will truly be historic. And the significance of this happening in Japan cannot be missed. It's a major statement of forward looking optimism and goodwill that Japan will be meeting the challenge of hosting the games at all in these unprecendented times.
Now, in one respect, the mere fact that the games are going ahead at all is more important than the "how", and in what "spirit" they are going to host the games. Because, remember, the games were won on a bid that Japan will host the games in the spirit of "Omotenashi", that quintessential Japanese spirit of service and hospitality that all visitors to Japan feel almost as soon as arriving in the country. Lucky visitors to the games will experience, many for the first time, exceptionally high levels of politeness, attentiveness, attention to detail, courtesy and friendliness.
The classic Japanese "other-centered" approach to guest hospitality and social interactions will be showcased. All those behaviours that we are seeing emerging thankfully, here in the west, in response to Covid19. The unselfish respect for your personal space, the unquestioning face-mask wearing, a common feature of every winter in Japan anyhow and the confidence giving cleanliness you notice everywhere and particularly on public transport .
I, for obvious reasons, hope these games are a success and are remembered for all the right reasons and visitors to Japan, as well as those who will only get to watch on television, will remember them as the "Omotenashi Games", and a point in time we put the COVID19 pandemic behind us.