Admittedly, you are scaring us a little, dear IOC. Not that there can be no more losers at the next Olympic Games in Paris and that you'll only talk about first winner, second winner, third winner... just like in a pedagogically balanced kindergarten. But let's not let that worry cloud our praise for the good news. Citius, Altius, Fortius - Faster, Higher, Stronger has been the motto of the Olympic Games since Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the IOC, the International Olympic Committee. Now a "Communiter" has been added - "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together" is the new motto. IOC President Thomas Bach sees this as a "focus on solidarity", a "milestone" even. No wonder Bach is laying it on so thick, since the idea came from him...We give him credit. But please, dear IOC, there can still be competition in the midst of all this togetherness.
When a robot runs naked as a speedster through the Olympic stadium during the javelin throw, we are convinced that we are finally witnessing the adaptation of the machine to the human. Will it come to that? Well, at least in Tokyo, the robots are supposed to create a bit of the atmosphere that's been eliminated by the ban on audiences due to the Corona pandemic. Miraitova and Someity were already set to be mascots for the games before the audience ban hit. The two were supposed to be the first time at the Olympics to make sure there wasn't a pitiful human stumbling around the tartan track in a mascot costume that was way too warm. "The most innovative Games" ever should be made possible by Miraitova and Someity. Now they're stepping it up a notch, with the T-HR3, robots with heads, arms and legs designed to mirror the movements of outside spectators via remote-controlled camera. And the T-TR1s will transport audience questions into the stadium. We are nevertheless sad that the robots now outrank us and that we cannot sit in the stadium. Because we were so looking forward to HSR - who was supposed to deliver drinks and popcorn right to the seat. What' service - and no tip more necessary, yeah...
Dear Hollywood, don't you dare miss out on a film version of this story: Owen Wright has made one of the all-time great comebacks in sports history. A man who was close to death and whose career as a surfer should have been over. But a fighter who got back on his board again and again and is now allowed to represent his home country Australia at the first Olympic surfing competition in Tokyo. What a story. But in detail: in 2015, a huge wave grabbed Wright. The wave landed on the top surfer's head and shook him so badly that he suffered severe brain trauma. On top of that, he had many minor concussions before. His senses seemed to be knocked out. He could hardly walk, the 31-year-old recalls. But he kept trying to get to the surfboard, he says. His surf-crazy family - sister Tyler was a world champion herself, brother Mikey also surfs at the top of the world - took his board away to protect him and let him rehabilitate in peace. When he first got back on the surfboard, Wright couldn't stand on it. But just 15 months after his last competition, he was back in full force, even winning a contest. And now it's going to be Tokyo. "Olympics was a big goal of mine," his light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully it won't be a gold medal now - that would make our hoped-for Hollywood movie way too cheesy in advance.
There's still room for improvement, Great Britain, but let's not complain. A man - of all men - namely the chef de mission, Mark England, announced that Tokyo 2021 will be the year of the female Olympics. For the first time in its 125-year history, Britain is sending more women than men to the Olympics. 201 women will compete, compared to 175 men. He's proud of that, says England, who also has several candidates for historic Olympic moments on the team. Cyclist Laura Kenny, taekwondo fighter Jade Jones, rower Helen Glover and equestrian Charlotte Dujardin are all aiming to become the first British woman to win gold at three Olympics.
Not quite green, but still the greenest - the organizers in Tokyo would like to host the greenest Olympic Games yet. The electricity comes from renewable energies, the sports venues are all equipped with economical LED lights. Even the winners' podiums are made of recycled plastic that was previously harvested from the oceans. And the metal of the winners' medals has been extracted from 6.2 million old mobile phones. We'll let that stand as good news for now. Secretly, though, we're disappointed that compared to London 2012, the expected CO2 emissions will only be reduced from 3.3 million tons to 2.93 million tons. And that these Olympics are supposed to be greener than the ones 100 years ago - we kind of doubt that too. But still - efforts have been made and hopefully will continue to be made.
A contentious issue has now turned into the "cap of good hope" after all: The world swimming federation FINA withdrew its ban on swimming caps, which are particularly good for black swimmers to wear because of their special fit. The so-called soul caps will be allowed to be worn at the Tokyo competitions. FINA now understood the importance of diversity, the federation said. However, it was not entirely voluntary. Among other things, an online petition with over 43,000 signatures helped to explain this understanding.
Finally, we look into the crystal ball and proudly present a premiere in 2026: Because that's when competitive mountaineering, or skimo for short, will be an Olympic event for the first time at the Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. The IOC decision was made unanimously shortly before the start of the Games in Tokyo. The President of the German Alpine Club, Josef Klenner, was deeply moved and delighted. "The inclusion in the Olympic program is a great step in the development of this fascinating sport." A core mountain sport discipline will thus become Olympic. So far, so good - but now we hope that the Alpine Club prepares its athletes well. Because up to now, German skimo athletes have been in the bottom of the World Cup list. And unfortunately, even polishing our crystal ball has not yet revealed a German skimo medal in 2026, but we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed and wish a lot of training diligence!