Despite delays and the uncertainty of whether it would happen at all, the time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has arrived. And the show must go on!
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to all gatherings, causing the Olympics to be postponed to 2021. Now, as fears around coronavirus ease and things get back to normal for the most part, the best athletes from around the world are stepping up to the starting line. They are pushing their limits once again, in a time-honoured tradition that captures the resilience of the human spirit.
And it all begins with this year's Olympic torch. Developed for the 121-day torch relay across Tokyo, it was designed with the concept, ‘hope lights our way,’ according to the official Olympics website. The torch is completely seamless, produced from a single sheet of aluminium, and is shaped in a cherry blossom motif – a flower close to the hearts of people in Japan. Approximately 30 per cent of the torch is made from recycled aluminium, which was originally used in the construction of prefabricated housing units in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
From the Olympic torch to the Olympians themselves, hope fuels their path, too, as there are many stars who are on the verge of making history this year.
American gymnast Simone Biles is already the world’s greatest gymnast with four gold medals and one bronze in Rio in 2016, and a staggering 25 world medals in total. In Tokyo, she aims to become the first woman to win consecutive all-around titles since Vera Caslavska in 1968.
French judo practitioner (judoka) Teddy Riner is a 10-time world champion, and he hopes to claim his third Olympic heavyweight judo gold medal in Tokyo – a feat no one has achieved before.
American swimmer Katie Ledecky expects to compete in six events, including the Olympic Games’ first-ever 1,500m swim. At just 24, the world record holder already has six Olympic medals, so this year’s Games could be her crowning glory.
Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge was the first man to run a marathon in under two hours in 2019. This year, he defends his title, and if he succeeds, he will be the third person in history to win the Olympic marathon twice.
Hope is the key at Tokyo 2020. Play our Weekend Crossword and let us know if you enjoyed it at firstname.lastname@example.org.