Olympic glory

It’s likely that Tokyo 2020 will go down in history as one of the most remarkable ever seen.

As the Toyko 2020 Closing Ceremony wrapped up on Sunday night, it marked the end of one of the most unusual – if not controversial – Games in modern history.
In the lead-up to Tokyo 2020, Olympic organisers and athletes alike grappled with lockdowns, Covid-19 outbreaks and the constant uncertainty of whether it would be cancelled altogether.
As athletes from around the world proudly marched into Japan’s National Stadium on July 23, they did so in front of empty stands.
For Japan – which won the right to host the Olympics more than six years before the first ever Covid-19 case was detected – the event was staged with no hope of the usual financial return generated by tourism.
But despite the barrage of doubt and opposition the Games faced in the lead up, it’s likely that Tokyo 2020 will go down in history as one of the most remarkable ever seen.
For the thousands of athletes who spent the last four years or more of their lives working towards this one goal, the decision to continue with the Games was life-changing.
But the Olympics are not just about the athletes. They’re about hundreds of nations across the world putting aside their differences in a single, unified event.
And, as the Tokyo Games proved, that Olympic spirit survives.
It was found in the moment the world rejoiced when an 18-year-old from Tunisia beat swimming favorites from the US and Australia to bring home his country’s fifth ever Olympic gold medal.
It was found in the embrace and elation of the Qatari and Italian athletes who agreed to share the high jump gold medal after tying for first place in the final.
And it was found when an American and a Botswanan runner crossed the finish line with arms around each other after tripping over each other in the 800m semi-final.
It was moments like those which lifted the spirits of millions of people around the world.
There’s no doubt the 2020 Olympics came at a great cost to the Japanese people.
But that sacrifice also gifted millions of people around the world the chance to escape the chaos of the pandemic, put aside their differences in nationality, ethnicity and religion and remember that we are in fact, one.