Wednesday, August 4

The start of the Games from the screens

  • The Tokyo Olympic Games finally begin this Friday after a year of waiting and a suspense about its celebration until the end due to the persistent pandemic. Without an audience, everything will be different.

The 1964 Tokyo Games They were called the Science Fiction Games for all the technological innovations that astonished the world. For the first time use of computers, for example. Or by satellite projection of live images to the whole world. The 2021 edition, which should have been held in 2020, opens today with an air of futuristic fiction, more of dystopia than happy amazement.

The Olympic Games, an appointment of noble purposes such as the harmony of peoples and the celebration of universality through sport, have begun to be disputed with silence in the stands, with rigorous controls to ward off disease and social distancing due to hygiene obligation. An event like this was not thought of 125 years ago to end up being afraid of an enthusiastic hug or a few aerosols arising from a cry of encouragement.

They are games that seem to be represented by economic imposition, to mitigate losses and respect contracts. The local opposition has been loud as ever. There are no Games that do not get rid of the dynamics of happiness due to the nomination, outrage at the spiral of expenses, fear of not arriving on time and, later, with the cauldron lit, overflowing passion. On Similar It remains to be seen if this last element that buries all of the above is fulfilled.

Cauldron outside

But in Tokyo everything is different. Games have never been postponed and the protests are surely unparalleled. The pandemic remains ubiquitous and the opening ceremony (today, at 1:00 p.m.) will culminate with a parade of athletes who will greet the cameras and not the stands. The future was not expected to be like this. Because it is different, the cauldron will not light its fire in the stadium but outside, in a port area.

The argument of the opening choreography is kept secret, as is always the case, and it remains to be seen how many allusions to the present, to contemporary abnormality, will be introduced between the fireworks and the flying pigeons; How many messages of hope, empathy and overcoming adversity will fit into a ceremony that, due to what has transpired, will underline the value of sport in building unmatched emotions. It seems possible to count on a tribute to health workers around the world. According to Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, the Tokyo Games should represent “the light at the end of the tunnel.” Someone had to show some optimism.

Abundant resignations

The ceremony will not feature from the front row one of its artistic directors, a comedian and Japanese theater director who, just before D-day, had to resign from office for a 1998 sketch (yes, 23 years ago) in The one who joked about the Holocaust.

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It is not the only case in which the Japanese organizers have spun very fine. A musical composer resigned on Monday over a history of bullying in his distant school days. The former chairman of the organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, was forced to throw in the towel after saying that the meetings were dragging on because of the women. And a creative director got a joke against a popular actress who was supposed to appear at the opening party, a genre, by the way, that often leaves its mark. The opening ceremony begins to tip the fortunes of the organization.

If the Covid cases do not explode, Tokyo should not be different from its predecessors and the achievements of the Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic OR single Villaseñor they should occupy the information space that is now still destined to the unpleasant exceptionality that surrounds the Olympic event. Without spectators, or flags, the emotions will not be the same. But they will emerge. They will be more than ever the Games of the screens. n

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