Monday, August 15, 2022

Sneaking a Peek: Fans Find Creative Ways to Watch the Olympics

The soon-to-be Olympic champion was in what cyclists ridiculously call “the pain cave”, empty lungs that scorch and legs feel like dead weight. The climb he was on seems endless and the evil slope sends him straight into the air.

Hardly the time for Richard Carapaz to lovingly look at an almost naked man next to him on the road.

Besides … did the stoic rider from Ecuador crack a smile?

Indeed, he has. The same trick that zealous fans pull during the Tour de France in the Alps and the Pyrenees, where it can irritate Carapaz to no end, was actually welcomed by him in the Olympic road race. This is because the draconian measures taken by the organizers of the Tokyo Games to prevent the spread of COVID-19 also prevented fans from having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see most of the world’s best athletes perform on their own soil. .

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Or as it were roads.

“It gave us a feeling to somehow return to normalcy and see the fans there,” Carapaz later said. “I loved it.”

People are watching behind a security fence during the last day of the surfing competition during the 2020 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2021, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya, Japan.

Technically speaking, a ban on fans remains in force for almost every occasion. Police and volunteer security guards are almost constantly patrolling. But that did not stop many residents from seeing the action.

On the way to the opening ceremony, thousands stood along the street to encourage the buses, even though they had no idea who was driving inside. They held signs with the words “Welcome to Tokyo”, despite the public sentiment that strongly opposed the performance of the Games. As drones took off above the stadium, they were baiting and taking pictures, just as they would see their beloved Shohei Ono compete in their national pastime, Judo.

Sixty miles to the east, where surfing made its Olympic debut, fans found their way to Tsurigasaki Beach.

From the first day of the three-day tournament, dozens of people gathered around the plastic-orange fence, indicating the safety perimeter. Far away, locals could see the beach and athletes moving in the water, along with coaches, journalists and volunteers at work.

No one seems to mind the quays near the surf zone which greatly hampered the competition.

At the Ariake Urban Sports Park, a dazzling stadium setting that could seat 7,000 spectators for the Olympic skateboarding debut, eight-year-old Ayane Nakamura was doing oils on her “Peanuts” skateboard outside the venue.

She came with her mother, Rie, and camped outside at 7 a.m. hoping to see her hero, Yuto Horigome, and the rest of the men arrive for competition. When the security guards inevitably arrived to move Nakamura and her friend, 8-year-old Sora Yamagishi, the cheerful young man continued to slip away in the blue Nike skateboard cap.

“Some people scold me a few times,” Nakamura said, “so I have to hide when I see these people.”

Others also managed to find vantage points to watch skateboarding, and they were richly rewarded. Not only did Horigome win the men’s street event, Momiji Nishiya won gold and Funa Nakayama bronze in the women’s match.

“I like skateboarding and follow all Japanese top skaters,” said Tamura, who works for a staffing agency in Tokyo and managed to catch some kickflips and rails through binoculars.

Were fans shocked that they could not get into the venue? Maybe get closer to the athletes?

‘To be honest,’ Tamura said, ‘I could not get a ticket, so I’m not so shocked. But in these circumstances, the decision makes sense, even though it is sad. ”

Masked fans watch from a hill during the men’s cross-country cycling competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Izu, Japan. (AP Photo / Thibault Camus)

Shogo Miyamoto, a Kyoto freelancer, also thought the decision to ban spectators was correct. But that did not stop him from trying to breathe the Olympic atmosphere. He arrived in Tokyo on the second full day of the competition and tried to get a glimpse of some places, and then planned to drive down the coast to sail.

“I was not really interested in sports,” Miyamoto said. “But the Olympics are something you would not have twice in your own country. Maybe not even once. That’s why I wanted to come and explore the places.”

There are still plenty of opportunities for the intrepid fans.

With the right equipment and a bit of gumping, golf fans can take a look at Masters Champion Hideki through the trees along the East Course at Kasumigaseki Country Club. At Odaiba Marine Park, where a few souls brave the rain to witness the triathlon this week, long-distance swimmers will take part in the marathon.

Speaking of marathons, the track and field marathon takes place next week in Odori Park in Sapporo, about 700 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, where the temperature should be slightly cooler. This could see the acting Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei, or the American four-time Olympian Galen Rupp.

Technically speaking, fans are forbidden to follow the trail. But strength with the policing of 42.2 kilometers (42.2 kilometers) of road.

Those who do not want to be violated by the law can cycle last week, which will move to the velodrome in Izu for track cycling. Its location in Shizuoka Prefecture, such as the mountain bike track and the road race at Fuji International Speedway, falls outside the spectator ban, meaning more than 1,800 people can move inside.

Good for the fans. It is also good for the athletes who miss their support.

“I was pretty fed up at first. Without fans, it would have been completely different, ”said Laura Kenny, a four-time Olympic cycling champion. “Would their crowd have made noise? Could they have chosen the London crowd? It would not have felt as exciting as it could have been. I’m glad there are people coming in. ‘

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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