Having been postponed as the result of a global pandemic and even now, conflicting reports coming from Tokyo about whether spectators will be allowed, one thing we can say with relative certainty is that the Olympic Games will be televised. Will you be gathering with your Amintro friends to watch the “2020” Olympic Games in 2021?

For me the Olympics has always been about watching the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, spectacles that usually highlight much of the traditions of the host country while also including a nod to the country which will serve as the next host of the games. There is all that pomp and circumstance and then when the representative athletes, chosen to take the oath on behalf of all athletes, ascend to the stage I often tear up a little. I’m a “sensitive” sort and can’t help but think of how all those athletes must feel being there at that moment in time and how their families and friends must feel watching them, know this is the culmination of all their years of hard work and sacrifice.

The Olympics I think are also a time for us to reflect on all that we have in common as nations and as people around the world. Like Amintro, founded on the guiding principle of fostering friendships, the Olympics result in friendships (and friendly rivalries!) between people from diverse backgrounds and cultures and who speak different languages but who all have one thing in common – the drive to succeed and excel. It’s a time when we put down our rivalries, our geo-political concerns and even forget briefly about important world issues like climate change and global pandemics. In short, they are kind of an opportunity to “be happy” and couldn’t we all use a little bit of happiness these days?

A big debate in our family has always centred around which Olympics are more fun to watch, the summer games or winter games? If you’ve had similar debates amongst your friends what are the pros and cons of each? An “eternal Libra” (represented by balancing scales on the zodiac chart) I see great things in both style of games although I do admit to a slight preference for the winter games. That said, watching an athlete pole vault is amazing and how anyone can run for any distance longer than about a block and a half without gasping for breath continues to astound me. I’m also impressed that an athlete can be good enough to compete in one event representing their country, never mind an athlete who competes in ten different events such as seen in the Decathlon two-day event!

The games are scheduled to take place between July 23rd and August 8th 2021, although they will still be referred to as the 2020 Games. At time of writing there appears to be very little chance they will be cancelled again and the Torch is making it’s way, sure and steady, toward the stadium where it will be lit as part of the Opening Ceremonies. No international fans will be allowed to attend however and currently, with Tokyo having just declared a state of emergency, it looks like the original estimates of no more than 10,000 local Japanese citizens allowed to attend may have to be shelved, whether wearing face masks or not. However, since most of us will be watching on TV regardless and likely didn’t have travel plans to Tokyo, the Olympics can still be a truly special summer event this year. While there is no doubt these games will look different from those of the past, they are still the Olympic Games – the penultimate opportunity for athletes from around the world to showcase their abilities to a worldwide audience. Will you be watching?