News : Olympics in Japan: torch relay starts – and then the stream fails
The Olympic torch relay for the Tokyo Summer Games began on Thursday (local time) in Fukushima, one year late. Because of the corona pandemic, no viewers were allowed to attend the ceremony, instead it was broadcast live. Or: that was the plan of the organizers. In live operation, however, the stream failed shortly after the start.
After all, there were plenty of warm words in advance. “This little flame has never lost hope and has been waiting for this day like a cherry blossom bud that is about to bloom,” said the Japanese boss of the games, Seiko Hashimoto.
The rose gold, cherry blossom-shaped Olympic torch was lit in the J-Village sports complex in Fukushima, which was used as an operations center after the triple disaster in 2011. Ten years after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, the start of the torch relay in Fukushima should also remind the world of the progress made in rebuilding the region.
Corona makes the torch relay even more complicated
She hopes the Olympic flame will serve as “a ray of light at the end of darkness,” said Hashimoto. Members of the Japanese women’s national soccer team lit the torch on the Olympic flame, which has been in Japan since last year.
During the torch relay, spectators are only allowed to take part in protective measures and in the vicinity of their place of residence. The 10,000 porters as well as the organizers must also comply with infection control measures.
The 9,600-kilometer run through all 47 Japanese prefectures is expected to end at the opening ceremony in July at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium. Because of the pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics had been postponed for a year. They should now take place from July 23rd to August 8th. Because of the health crisis, the games will take place without foreign viewers.