Diario di Tokyo: so much for the ‘good news Games’

It was a rough week for Britain’s Tom Bosworth, who came 25th in the 20km race-walk. He called it his “worst performance in a British vest”. He also became a target on Japanese social media after complaining about being fed “cold slop” in the Sapporo athletes’ village, which felt like “a prison”. This didn’t go down well with locals who have had to cancel plans because rising Covid cases mean the local government is advising against travel in and out of the city. Comments on Twitter included: “We’re not going to be lectured by a Brit about shit food.”

Covid cases continue to rise in the rest of Giappone. Di giovedì, daily cases reached a new record high nationwide, topping 14,000. More than a third of them were in Tokyo, where recorded daily cases have more than doubled since the Games started. Yet there doesn’t seem to be much appetite to discuss it inside the International Olympic Committee, whose take seems to be that these should be the “good news Games”. Di giovedì, a cluster of 29 cases in the Olympic village forced the entire Greek artistic swimming team out of the competition.

A lot of that good news has come out of the skatepark, where the world was enchanted by Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, 12, who won silver, and Britain’s Sky Brown, 13, who won bronze. But Danish skateboarding legend Rune Glifberg, 46, poured cold water on the excitement: “Part of the reason you are seeing 12-year-olds winning medals is because women’s skateboarding is just getting started … With all respect to the girls who competed, a lot of them will be lucky if they qualify again.”

It’s uncertain whether Japanese hopefuls will be able to train at Ariake Urban Sports Park. It was slated for demolition, but organisers have begun to backtrack after pressure from competitors. “If they ever break it down, we will all come back here and cause shit,” said South Africa’s Dallas Oberholzer. “It would be a disgrace to skateboarding, so please, tell them that what they need to do is build a golden dome over the top of it and turn it into a shrine, because this place is a part of history now.”




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