Sporting Life: Tokyo 2020 - testy, terrific, toned and tearful

Sandra Jaime Sanchez celebrating after winning gold in the women's kata final bout in Tokyo on Aug 5, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Mijain Lopez of Cuba celebrating his fourth wrestling gold in the 130kg class. After five years of waiting, athletes cut loose when the Games began.
Mijain Lopez of Cuba celebrating his fourth wrestling gold in the 130kg class. After five years of waiting, athletes cut loose when the Games began. PHOTO: REUTERS
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TOKYO - In the stadiums there were no crowds and yet you could hear the crackle. Eleven thousand athletes, toned and energetic, in one place had turned Tokyo into one vast power plant. And to be inside the Olympics was to feel plugged into it. It was a rush and a buzz, it was bruising and breathless. Gymnasts flew, so did sweat and Novak Djokovic's racket in disgust.

Sportswriters chewed on free Meiji chocolates and hammered out the first drafts of history. But perhaps, like Wimbledon once, the Olympics deserve an official poet. The 14-year-old diver Quan Hongchan deserved to be captured in verse and on the uneven bars Belgium's gold medallist Nina Derwael warranted an art critic. "I think I am still dreaming," she said.

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