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Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 | A hug, two scares and several records

It is normal, understandable and logical to cry in such extreme situations. And even more so when dreams you have fought for so long fade. But seeing him live during an interview is heartbreaking sometimes.

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A few days ago an athlete (who I have not mentioned before), was visibly moved during the interview I was doing. When I finished, the only thing I could do was say: “I won’t hug you because the protocols don’t allow it.” His response was immediate: “How can I not?” And, after asking the security person who was watching to turn around, he came to give me a heartfelt and emotional hug.

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It is difficult to define with a graphic example what it means to cover the Olympic Games for a journalist. It reminds me of the paradise of Scrat, the famous Pleistocene squirrel from Ige Age, who upon reaching heaven finds an incredible Eden full of succulent and appetizing acorns. He wants to embrace and embrace them all, but when he fails to do so, he begins to get frustrated.

Tokyo is not heaven, we are not going to fool ourselves. Here the laws of physics continue to prevail, which prevents us (although sometimes it does not seem like it) from having the gift of bilocation. The distances are enormous and, as we are not allowed to use public transport, we have to adapt to the bus system implemented for the organization. And no, there is no direct transport between archery and judo or between water polo and basketball. Everything converges in the IBC (international Broadcasting Center), to which we must return each time we finish our work performance in a headquarters. For this reason, decision-making is key, since getting on a bus to a headquarters can have many consequences for the development of your day.

Antonio Arenas, Eurosport envoy at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Image source: Eurosport

That said, I am still waiting for my gold medal for having obtained the Olympic record in hockey-tennis distance. I humbly believe that I deserve it. I could also be eligible for a medal in distance swimming – boxing, but since I do not have reliable data on the times of other teammates, I will not claim it.

I don’t know what the remaining days will bring us, but once the Olympic Games are over, there are already two images that he will surely keep for a long time. The most chilling was watching our fighter Gazi Jalidov faint live, who fell collapsed after receiving a very hard impact in the fight that could have guaranteed him an Olympic medal. Our shock was great when the press officials also told us that Gazi was not in a position to make statements to the media. Fortunately, in the afternoon they confirmed to us that he had recovered and that his health was progressing favorably. But the shock was not taken away by anyone.

Boxing | Gazi Jalidov, out of the medals after receiving a tremendous KO

And it is that, although sometimes we are not aware, athletes leave more than their skin during the competition. I have been traveling to tennis tournaments for a few years now (yes, I am getting older) and I think one of the most impressive images I have seen live has been produced here in Tokyo. If the extremely high temperatures had already caused some ball boy fainting in the first days (I had to fan one of them myself), what happened in the quarterfinals between Paula Badosa and Marketa Vondrousova was extremely cruel. You have all seen the images and you may now remember them only as a shock from the past, but I assure you that, at that moment, seeing how Paula passed me in a wheelchair with a towel on her head without being able or gesturing , it was shocking.

The dramatic images of Badosa leaving the Games after a heat stroke

Well, I leave you because I have to get off a bus and I think it is to go count a medal for Spain. But I promise to come back here soon. Meanwhile, we continue to see each other every day on TV. At Eurosport, of course.

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