Messages Issued from National Stadium One Yr before Tokyo Games

Sports

Tokyo, July 23 (Jiji Press)--The organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics held an event at the new National Stadium in the Japanese capital to issue messages to the world on Thursday, exactly one year before the start of the games.

At the event, held without spectators to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, prominent Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee, aiming for the 2024 Olympics in Paris after recovering from leukemia, said, "One year from today, I hope a flare of hope will shine here in this place."

The National Stadium in Shinjuku Ward is slated to be used as the main venue for the Olympics and Paralympics, including for the opening and closing ceremonies. The games have been postponed by one year to summer next year due to the COVID-19 crisis, with the Olympics now set to open on July 23, 2021.

Standing at the center of the ground of the stadium and holding a lantern that preserves the Olympic flame lit from the original flame in Greece in March, Ikee read out her address of about four minutes.

"I believe seeing your major goal disappear all of the sudden forced you to suffer from a sense of loss that is beyond words," she said, thinking of the athletes.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press