Olympics: A Games majestic but muted, friendly but lonely

Sport has an intimacy and the pandemic has stripped it away, writes Rohit Brijnath.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

TOKYO - The route to friendship is often via a tall glass filled with a cold beverage. And so it was on a dark night in Hiroshima in 1994 when five Japanese strangers decided to adopt us. We, three journalists covering the Asian Games, ask where we can get Asahi and they escort us to a bar, order that beer, organise a fine meal, stay for two hours and frown when we reach for our wallets.

We can't speak a word of Japanese. They don't know a sentence of English. But hand signals about athletics and semaphoring about tennis suffice. Sport is an international glue.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.