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Japanese people try to communicate with athletes on outskirts of Olympic Village

Japanese onlookers cheer athletes at the entrance of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village. (ANJ / Pierre Boutier)
Japanese onlookers cheer athletes at the entrance of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village. (ANJ / Pierre Boutier)
Athletes seen travelling by bus receive warm welcome from Japanese onlookers at the 2020 Olympic Village. (ANJ / Pierre Boutier)
Athletes seen travelling by bus receive warm welcome from Japanese onlookers at the 2020 Olympic Village. (ANJ / Pierre Boutier)
Japanese onlookers cheer athletes at the entrance of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village. (ANJ / Pierre Boutier)
Japanese onlookers cheer athletes at the entrance of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village. (ANJ / Pierre Boutier)
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02 Aug 2021 10:08:16 GMT9
02 Aug 2021 10:08:16 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: Trying to spot athletes has become a kind of hobby for the Japanese who do not have access to Olympic competition. In front of the Olympic Village, dozens of curious Japanese people stop to look for athletes entering the Olympic Village.

Buses enter and exit this cluster of buildings with tinted or sometimes lighted windows in which athletes – sometimes unmasked – can be seen returning from competitions or training.

Each entrance to the village is guarded by soldiers who monitor vehicle traffic while private security guards assist and regulate the movement of pedestrians. On the outskirts of the village, police officers ensure security.  On the canal that runs alongside the village, Japanese Coast Guard boats and members of the Self-Defense Force patrol.

The IOC and the JOC have planned a system of hermetic bubbles which, according to them, prevent the formation of epidemic clusters. The rules to be observed are notified in a playbook which the athletes must observe under penalty of exclusion and penalties. The rules are apparently very strict; after their competition is over, the athletes have 48 hours to leave the village and return to their country of origin. Contact with the public remains practically impossible.

Near the entrances, when the buses arrive at slow speed, Japanese people wave encouragement to the figures they see or take pictures with their smartphones.

Some Japanese try to communicate with athletes by showing them encouraging and welcoming messages on signs written in English and Japanese.

A woman living in the nearby neighborhood who came with her friend told Arab News Japan that she came every night to encourage athletes she watches. Every victory of these athletes gave her strength and energy, she said, adding that she was grateful to them.

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