Thursday, September 16

40 degrees, but no fever

The jumper, Italian Gianmarco Tamberi.

The jumper, Italian Gianmarco Tamberi.

And the thermometer read 40º. It was sung, any day it could happen. And it happened in the middle of the weekend, when the weight throwers disputed their final and the four hundredths of half the world fought for their classification in the first series. “What happened to Husillos? How bad he has been and how far he has been from his best marks!”they wondered and / or murmured on Twitter, thousands of miles away and possibly from the comfort of the sofa (or bed).

I do not know if it will be worth or hold as an excuse, but the heat at the time of its debut (10:53 am) was absolutely inhuman. A cruelty that can hide or disguise the television broadcast, but the thermometer does not deceive. 40 scored on Sunday, a few degrees above what any doctor considers inadvisable to train, much less to compete for a Olympic final or for a gold medal in about Games.

For that time in the morning that someone decided to set the series of 400, the women’s final of the weight or the hammer throw, the heat was extreme and the humidity, unbearable. Also for journalists, to whom the organization this time left a bottle of water in each desk or booth. And it was almost boiling at the moment we found her in the commentator positions, labeled upon payment with the name of the radio or television medium that had hired them (BBC, RTVE, Discovery, Eurosport, etc.).

Bad conditions for a 100-meter final, exclaims an English opinionated. They are terrible parameters even to go from the press box to the toilets of the Olympic, while in the stadium bars they offer noodles, cookies, peanuts and almonds at exorbitant prices. Outside, a crowd melts in the heat as they queue for a mile to be photographed with the Olympic rings; and another line lengthens at twelve noon to access an official store without covid measures, and in which the Japanese rampage to get a t-shirt, a pin or a box of sushi with the logo of these Games that they will only enjoy for the television.

Curious but true, Japan has maintained the same device of volunteers and controllers that was initially planned when there was an anticipation of the public. So you meet two people from the organization on your way to the stands just to greet you, another two to indicate that you are in the right coach, another four to control saliva, eight more to check your backpacks and, finally , another that tells you that the press box is on the second floor, that reminds you that you had to reserve previously in the application for athletic sessions and that, incidentally, tells you that the Olympic museum is closed (closed in full Games? ? asks a reporter from Nigeria).

They are the contradictions of a Games against nature. Neither the temperature is optimal to compete nor is there an audience that encourages the athletes, who receive only the applause of their coaches. Sometimes not even those of their colleagues, who are forced to return to their countries of origin as soon as their competitions are over.

The only thing that works without modification or shocks in the agenda is the huge bubble of North American television: a giant set, with air conditioning and all kinds of luxuries and comforts. Its employees even have their own buses and live isolated from other mortals. It is their bosses who have decided the swimming times; and of course, also those who have chosen when the 110 hurdles will be, which will be run in the morning in Tokyo. Probably 40 degrees.

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