It’s finally here, the Olympics, the Covid 19-delayed Olympics, the 2020 Summer Olympics being held in 2021. The Games of the XXXII Olympiad. This edition also marks the 125th Anniversary of the Modern Olympics, or as the French would call it, Jeux Olympiques. Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Pierre de Coubertin.
Tokyo hosts the Games for the second time(1st in 1964), joining the cities of Los Angeles(1982, 1984) and Paris( 1900,1924) as having hosted the Games twice.
Only London has hosted the summer Olympics 3 times(1908, 1948, 2012).
Paris gets its 3rd chance in 2024.
As with most Summer Olympics, Tokyo 2020 has already begun a few days before the Opening Ceremony takes place on Friday 23rd July, 2021.
The phrase “Ladies First” appears very much in force there.
The ladies kicked off the Games as Great Britain beat Chile 2-0 in football.
The IOC has added 5 sports and 32 new events in total to the Tokyo Games, apparently, in a bid to attract a wider audience, especially, the youth.
Unsurprisingly, Karate which originated from Okinawa in Japan is one of them.
The others are Skateboarding, Sport Climbing, Surfing and Baseball.
One track event that is making its Olympic debut is the Mixed 4×4metres relay.
It was introduced at the 2017 IAAF World Relays in Bahamas and was later held at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Qatar, eventually debuting at Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Very fascinating. I recommend you watch it when it’s time.
Ghana has presented a total of 14 competitors,
12 males and 2 females, competing in 5 sports namely: Athletics, Boxing, Judo, Swimming and Weightlifting.
EVENT DATE ATHLETE
BOX(FEATHERWGT) 24TH JULY SAMUEL TAKYI
BOX(LIGHT HEAVY) 25TH JULY SHAKUL SAMED
BOX(FLYWEIGHT) 26TH JULY SULEMANU TETTEH
JUDO MEN’S 90KG 28TH JULY KWADJO ANANI
SWIM MEN’S 100M BUTT 29TH JULY ABEKU JACKSON
SWIM 50M FREESTYLE(WOM) 30TH JULY UNILEZ TAKYI
TRIPLE JUMP(WOM) 30TH JULY NADIA EKE
100M HEATS(MEN) 31ST JULY BEN AZAMATI
W/LIFTING MEN’S 96KG 31ST JULY CHRISTIAN AMOAH
200M HEATS(MEN) 3RD AUG JOSEPH AMOAH
4x100M HEATS 5TH AUG MEN’S 4x100M TEAM
In 1936 in Berlin, to the chagrin of Hitler and Mussolini, The Games gave the World, Jesse Owens.
Rome in 1960 gave us Cassius Clay(Ali)
Tokyo 1964 gave us Joe Frazier
LA 1984 gave us Carl Lewis and Holyfield.
Seoul in 1988 gave us Lennox Lewis and Ben Johnson, the man the world later rejected, the ostracised man the world wouldn’t touch with a barge-pole following revelations of his drug scandal.
Barcelona ’92 gave us De La Hoya, Linford Christie, Ghana’s Black Meteors , Frankie Fredericks and Gail Devers.
At Atlanta ’96, we had Donovan Bailey, Michael Johnson, Mayweather Jr and Wladimir Klitschko.
Sydney 2000 gave us Maurice Greene and Kath Freeman.
Athens gave us Michael Phelps in 2004
In 2008 in Beijing, we had Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser and Veronica Campbell.
Bolt has since 2008 been the star attraction at all the Games but following his retirement in 2017, the Games will have to do without Bolt for the 1st time since 2004.
Who has Tokyo 2020 got to give?
Would it be the Face of the Games, the Home Girl ,Naomi Osaka who has had a rather strained relationship with Japan?
Could it be Simone Biles(USA), Joshua Cheptegei(Uganda), Noah Lyles(USA)?
Could it even from Ghana, like Joe Amoah winning the 200m? Azamati winning the 100m?
How about the Men’s 4×1 team upsetting the big boys of Jamaica, Britain, USA , T&T etc ?
At this point, you have probably started suspecting me of having watched the movie Cool Runnings far too many times for too long for me to think rationally but strange things do happen in sports, especially, in the 4×100 relays.
Women were not allowed to compete at the 1896 Games because Pierre de Coubertin felt it was “impractical,
uninteresting, unaesthetic and incorrect” for women to be competing.
Tug-of-War was once an Olympic sport from 1900 to 1920.
1. Thomas Burke(USA) won the 1896 Men’s 100m final with a time of 12seconds. That time wouldn’t even. qualify him to run the women’s race in Tokyo today. Qualifying time is 11.15sec. He also won 400m, the only athlete to have won that unique double of 100 and 400m
2. The Men’s 400m race has been contested at all the Games since 1896 but women’s 400m was only introduced at Tokyo 1964.
3.Clement Ike Quartey, won Ghana’s first ever Olympic medal in Rome in 1960. He won Silver in boxing at light
welterweight. He is an older brother of former World champion, Ike ”Bazooka” Quartey.
4. Zambia is the only country to have entered an Olympic Games as one country and left as another.
It started the 1964 Games as NORTHERN RHODESIA but declared independence from Britain on the day of the closing ceremony on 24th Oct, with the team holding a placard bearing the new name ZAMBIA. Remember Kenneth Kaunda(RIP)?
5. Since November 2017, athletes who have competed at any Olympic Games can add the post nominal letters OLY to their name as recognition of participation.
One would have to register with the World Olympians Association first to get it approved. Imagine Clement Ike Quartey OLY. Eddie Blay OLY.
Anyway, time to take leave of you but I wish all participants the best of luck.
Just give us a very fair and clean competition like a true Olympian.
Author: AKWASI AFRIYIE (ROSKY), UK