The rooms of the hotel of the press begin to shine on the door the sign of “sanitized for the next guest“But it never comes. There will no longer be massive disembarkations of athletes, journalists, officials and referees in Narita and Haneda, the two gigantic airfields of the capital of the Rising Sun, nor long lines to register at the reception of Tokyo hotels.
We are already counting down to the end. More and more special envoys from half the world are leaving for their respective countries. Some because they came to cover only the first days; others because they accompanied national teams that already fell down; and in certain cases, because there are accreditations that are exclusive for a single sport (table tennis, badminton or judo), and such specialties have already finished their competitions and awarded their medals.
So Japan is slowly returning to its long-awaited normality from before. There will no longer be Olympic coaches and official cars cruising the streets of Tokyo, nor exclusive lanes for the Olympic family. Since Monday, sumo -almost sacred sport- will reign again in command of televisions, as we check on our arrival and before the opening ceremony.
By the way, I have read that the main Japanese channels formalized an agreement to take turns broadcasting the Games; each day, the exclusive day in just one of them. The very strange pact between televisions has been signed through a union between all of them, called Japan Consortium, but once in the hotel room and the TV is turned on, it is not clear to anyone how strange the cake has been shared of events and broadcasts.
What does work wonderfully is a website that many citizens have connected to their phones in the subway, the bus or in the middle of the street at any time of the day. His name is Gorin and he offers free all the signals of all the competitions live, direct and open. A luxury that all those Olympic fans who these days complain about the coverage they receive in Spain would like; or that public television has not sufficiently clarified that it does not have all the rights or the guarantee of being able to offer some events in the first broadcast, which has been left to Eurosport in many cases.
These are details that one knows when sharing experiences and experiences with colleagues from other countries, who coincide in the ostensible complaints (transportation, distance between venues, the inexistence of an Olympic ring as such) and establish comparisons in which Rio, Beijing or London beat Tokyo by a landslide. At the same time – let it be said too – there is the awareness that the degree of control of the virus that the Japanese government has shown, it would not have been possible for Brazil, which was the previous country to host a Summer Games.
The Olympic event is giving its last blows and fatigue begins to take its toll as the same routine is repeated day after day. But it is compensated by the agitation of the final days, the expectation of big events and the temporal proximity with the definitive crossovers in team sports. This is where I wanted to confirm that in Japan and around the world we are still known as our idols. And by La Liga. “I love Xavi and Iniesta … I love Barcelona … Pedro was terrific”, insists on writing me through the translator of his mobile a clueless taxi driver who got lost and took four hours to take us from Enoshima (the candle) to Saitama (Spain-Japan football). One more odyssey, product of the daily and constant disorganization that has been surviving these Games for the press of half the world.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.