Saturday, July 24, 2021

My first and probably only post about the Tokyo Olympics

Olympic joy back in 2008 but not (as yet) in 2021
The Tokyo Olympics officially got going yesterday but I must admit to not having mustered much enthusiasm for it.  I know I'm not alone re this.  Among other things, I've yet to see a single social media post about it from any of my Japanese friends and the Tweeted reaction yesterday of Funassyi, who's usually such an enthusiastic as well as hyper pe(a)rson, speaks volumes re how denizens of the host country feel about this major sporting event.

Okay, I did read Tweets about it -- and did get some momentary thrill from seeing images of the Malaysian Olympic team and learning who were its flag bearers and chef de mission.  But finding out that Malaysia's Olympic contingent includes one of Najib Razak's sons -- and that he's Malaysia's Olympic Council's secretary general -- left a bad taste in my mouth.  And my mood soured further upon realizing that the Olympic organizers can't just let Hong Kong be Hong Kong (but, instead, lists it as Hong Kong, China) and also won't let Taiwan compete as Taiwan (but only as "Chinese Taipei")
These may seem to be trivial grievances in the grand scheme of things.  We are living in a time, after all, when the political persecution in Hong Kong is now being directed at sociologists as well as speech therapists, and when a political detainee (Tiffany Yuen, currently behind bars on security law charges) gets placed in solitary confinement for 10 days (during which she is denied the "privilege" of reading books and newspapers) for hugging her fellow inmates.  But it is further evidence that the Olympics are not politically neutral (duh!) and that politics truly can dampen moods. 

On a more positive note: yes, I must admit to lighting up at the sight of Naomi Osaka being given the honor of lighting the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony.  And yes, I think Japan made quite the impressive, inclusive, multi-ethnic statement by also having Rui Hachimura as one of its Olympic flag bearers.  (On an anthropological note: I always am happy to see when the cultural is emphasized -- rather than the biological -- with regards to social and political matters!)
Something else that has made me happy with regards to the Tokyo Olympics: more exposure for my favorite Pear Fairy -- with a slew of articles and videos (in English, Italian, German, Bahasa Indonesia and more!) in recent days that feature Funassyi.  In an alternative universe, the mascot dedicated to making people smile and happy would have been allowed to be one of the Olympic Torch bearers or part of the Opening Ceremony.  Honestly, what a more amusing and joyous Olympics and world that one would be...!


peppylady (Dora) said...

I just don't see my self saying much about Olympic games.
Coffee is on and stay safe

YTSL said...

Hi peppylady --

I think you may be in the majority with regards to this!