Olympic Torch Relay Ending after Being Shut Out of Many Public Roads

Sports Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, July 20 (Jiji Press)--The Olympic flame is about to reach its final destination without a festive mood, after many local governments barred the holy fire from being carried by runners on their public roads to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The torch relay will formally end with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony that will take place at Japan National Stadium on Friday night.

After the flame was lit in a ceremony in Greece in spring last year, the torch relay kicked off in Fukushima Prefecture in March this year, after the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were postponed for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Momentum for the torch relay was lost before its start, dampened partly by gaffes by Yoshiro Mori, former president of the Tokyo Games organizing committee.

Mori said that popular entertainers who serve as torchbearers should run in rice fields as part of countermeasures for the coronavirus to prevent crowds.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press Tokyo 2020