M. Schlegel Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

M. Schlegel Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

As the public address system in the Tokyo Olympic Stadium burbled strangely and a group of male and female athletes in Lycra collapsed together in a tight corner, 23-year-old German runner Marvin Schlegel leaped onto a concrete walkway above the running track and began to roar into the empty space at 8:14 p.m.

M. Schlegel Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Schlegel kept Roaring, his wild-man Triumph howl, Fists Clinched and neck Muscles Flaring.

Only ten minutes prior, he had completed the final leg of the 4×400 relay for the German men’s and women’s teams. After a nail-biting semifinal round, his mixed-gender quartet (two women and two men) advanced to Saturday’s Olympic final.

He continued on yelling and pumping his hands in a pomp rock manner, and it felt fantastic and enjoyable and encouraging because this was life. Blonde, terrifying, and endorphin-crazed.

Life goes on as usual within the massively illuminated bowl that holds 68,000 vacant seats on the first day of the Tokyo 2020 sports schedule, a monument to sport in the midst of epidemic.

To call the previous Olympic competitions anything more than an adequate appetiser would be unfair. On the other hand, you would be right.

Shooting, swimming around, and homo-equine ballet are all doomed Euro-aristo activities that make the summer Olympics a significantly less impressive event without them. In contrast, track and field is essential to its very existence.

The Fact that they are Applicable to any Culture is what Makes them so Fascinating.

The core of that old sporting ideal is found in athletics, making it the best part of the Olympics. Not having a ship or a horse is not necessary. You need nothing more complicated than a ball to toss or a hurdle to jump. You only need your two feet and some determination.

Everyone has a place on this stage. One such team was the ecstatically joyful German relay squad from Friday night, which included a 23-year-old whose lifelong dream, as documented in a now-deleted Instagram post, was to take part in these Games.

The people of Tokyo will be relieved to witness the second half of their Olympics, but they will also be saddened by the fact that they were not invited to this huge worldwide beano and were instead left with the cost for the works.

It’s no surprise that the Olympic Stadium is the single largest expense for any Olympic Games. The 1964 Olympic centre immediately north of the Tokyo bay area is undergoing a $1.4bn (£1bn) renovation.

At the start of the day’s Events, it was still eerily vast and Deserted.

At least the farthest tiers of the beige and brown seats have a speckled texture, providing the impression of vitality.

Otherwise, it is the most bleak of the numerous vacant public spaces in the globe right now, a site built to host the greatest spectacle on Earth (start time: now) that is nothing more than a huge, artificial void.

As stated on his Wikipedia page, famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma restored the stadium with the intention of reinterpreting traditional Japanese architecture for the modern era. Similarly, Kuma is responsible for the construction of the Dundee V&A, so the city’s historic customs are in safe hands.

According to the Tokyo 2020 promotional material, the stadium is meant to be “linked to its environs,” an integral component of the dense, green metropolis.

On the seventh day of the Olympics, though, the venue felt more like a temporary community, with athletes, officials, and volunteers scurrying around in all that borrowed space in an attempt to put on a show for the world.

Unheard, the stadium announcer droned on as the women’s triple jump and shot put heats began, adding to the odd, anxiety-inducing incidental music: a rumbling of bass, a quick drum break, occasionally broken up by a cry as the shot was released.

It’s easy to lose sight of the toll this takes on the athletes, how strange it must seem to be facing so much nothingness while battling for what may be their entire lives’ worth of dreams.

Maybe not, though. Perhaps this is now the norm. Almost a year and a half had passed. If anything, I hope not. These materials are essential. Avoid becoming accustomed to it.

Even though it was built for the Olympics, this stadium will eventually be put to good use as Japan’s national stadium once mass coexistence is allowed again.

But its existence here raises issues about the future necessity of such massive initiatives and highlights the often wasteful cost of Big Sport.

All that time Spent planning for just two weeks of Television drama.

The cement deals need to be put on hold for the time being. Let’s pause for a second.

In the last moments of the day’s competition, it was nearly impossible to hear a sound. Sometimes you just need to be with other people. However, the collective climax, the surge of emotion as the crowd cheers on a human achievement to its ultimate potential, will be missing from these Games.

Super Saturday was the culmination of London 2012, and Mo Farah’s gold in the 10,000 metres was the final event of the first day of competition in Tokyo.

Selemon Barega of Ethiopia sprinted down the home stretch to win gold, narrowly edging off Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo of his own country in a nail-biting finish.

As soon as Barega crossed the finish line, he began a victory lap, but then quickly realised it was for naught and headed for the nearest stand of officials and coaches.


The Ugandans proudly displayed their flag for the cameras while their teammates bobbed their heads in ecstatic celebration. Did you get an Olympic vibe? In a way.

When I was in Tokyo, I felt like I was shouting into the blank because the moment was there but the people weren’t.


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