Less than a year has passed since the Tokyo Olympics will begin. On 23rd of last month, Rikako Ikehe, a competitive swimmer who had been suffering from leukemia, delivered a message to the world from the National Stadium. The message was very meaningful because it was appropriate for the host country of the Olympics and because it was delivered by one of the most influential athletes in the world.
Miss Ikeje was in the midst of a painful illness and had a crisis in her athletic career, but even in the midst of this, she was able to see the doctors and nurses who were working so hard to take care of him, and she felt a real sense of gratitude and respect for them.
Through such experiences, as she said in her message, I think she has become more and more convinced that competition does not consist of athletes alone, but also requires the cooperation of many people who do not appear on the surface.
Of course, as an athlete, she also expressed his desire to compete, saying that he wanted to see the flame of hope shine here in a year’s time to give everyone courage, and not just a postponement of a year, but a “plus one”.
In Japan, the coronavirus is said to be in its second wave, and there is no sign of it abating, and many people are still struggling to recover from the damage caused by the recent heavy rains.
Miss Ikeje, although she feels hesitant to talk about sports in such a social climate, stresses the necessity of sports as a “force of hope” to help people get back on their feet.
I hope that in one year’s time, Japanese society will have the future-oriented mindset that you have, and that the Tokyo Olympics will be a success and will be presented to the world.