CEBU

Limpag: The Olympics

THE sports world has stopped, downed by a virus no one saw coming.

There’s no NBA.

No Premier League.

No Champions League.

No Philippine Basketball Association.

No Formula One.

Tennis is taking a six-week break. Golf is playing its current tournaments sans a crowd and I expect, the powers that be will postpone the succeeding events, too.

It’s that bad.

That’s why we need the Tokyo Olympics.

They say it’s foolish for Tokyo to insist on the Olympics going on as scheduled with a world changed by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), but I think 2020 needs Tokyo 2020. Whether it will be in August 2020 or August 2021 or August 2022.

I remember the first time I saw the Olympics. That time the archer hit the cauldron with a flaming arrow to signal the start of the games. It was two weeks of sports bliss. Of being with family in front of the TV, watching games whose rules you barely knew. Cheering for the countrymen whom you just knew.

The world needs that.

It may be the farthest thing in the minds of the majority as survival is. But hope is eternal, right?

I hope, no, I know, one day we’ll overcome this latest test. Wuhan, where it all started, is starting to have some semblance of a recovery.

Though, despite how Digong (President Rodrigo Duterte) keeps touting his love for China, I don’t trust the official releases from China and there are doubts about the authenticity of the city’s recovery. But the fact that the city closed the last of its four make-shift hospitals is good news, right? That comes six weeks after the lockdown?

Which means for us, and the other countries that are coming to terms with this virus, will have six intense weeks that will test everyone’s resolve and humanity. And sense of love, not only for oneself, but for their neighbor, stranger and country.

That’s why I’m still hopeful for a Tokyo Olympics in August, whether it’s 2020 or 2021.

Aside from bringing together the world’s best athletes, it could also be a celebration for the whole world, for overcoming its greatest threat. I’d like Tokyo 2020 to be the story of human survival.

The canceled qualifiers may mean we won’t have a representative but who cares, right? If, in these trying times we laud and share stories of random acts of kindness, not minding their nationalities, surely we can find our own athletes in the Games.

I want the Tokyo Olympic Games to go on.

Because to get there, each and every country in the world will have to be at their best to overcome this Covid-19 beast.


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