The 2020 Summer Olympics might be one of the few major summer events we have yet to eulogize amid this pandemic. While the possibility of us getting to actually witness the Tokyo games in July seems, as with a lot of things these dates, pretty bleak, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is soldiering forward with its regularly scheduled pageantry. This includes the passing on of the Olympic flame, which arrived to Japan on Friday from Greece, per The Associated Press. Three-time Olympic gold medalists, Judo champion, Tadahiro Nomura and wrestler Saori Yoshida lit the cauldron together at a crowd-less ceremony.
The IOC released a statement stating that it remains committed to the July 24 commencement date, and that there’s “no need for any drastic decisions at this stage.” Tokyo Olympics organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said, “We will work closely with the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, we will ensure a safe and secure games.” It’s difficult to predict exactly how that’s supposed to happen with the cancellation of qualifying events and the current pause on most international travel.
But hey, the flame has arrived! It’s thriving! It’s handling its business! Maybe we should just cling to this symbolic bit of hope as tightly as we would to the last tiny bottle of hand sanitizer. Burn, baby, burn.