The Olympics are coming! The Olympics are coming! I don’t know about your feelings about the Olympics, but I personally LOVE the Olympics. I love sports in all forms. I love team sports. I love individual sports. I love summer sports. I love winter sports. I love ice hockey and boxing and basketball and karate. It is all great. If sports are on TV I want to watch it. Some people do not like sports so much, and that is okay, but for me, sports are great. And the Olympics are wonderful.
I want to share with you some information about the Olympics. The Olympics has a long history and there are many interesting facts about the games. Here are a few.
1. The Olympics come form the country of Greece and we believe that the first original games were about 3,000 years ago.
2. The games were first held only in Olympia in Greece until the modern age. The first modern Olympic Games were in Athens, Greece in 1896. At that time there were only 280 athletes and 13 countries in that Olympics.
3. From 1994, the Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics changed. Now we have Olympics every two years. So, in a couple years we will have the Winter Olympics. You will probably hear my speech about the Winter Olympics too! Great!
4. They Olympic flag has five rings. The rings are for the five continents of Asia, Africa, Europe with Australia, and North and South America.
5. In 1924 the Olympics finally had women. In this year 44 countries participated and over 3,000 athletes were in the games. This is also the year that the Winter Olympics started too.
6. In 2004, the Olympics were held again in Athens, Greece and now there were 201 countries in the games and 11,000 athletes participating.
7. The Olympics tries out new sporting events, and sometimes cancels some sports too. The sports that have been canceled are cricket, polo, lacrosse, baseball, softball, and motor sports.
8. But the five NEW sports for these coming Olympics are baseball and softball (again), karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing.
When we are watching the news these days sometimes we see protesters and some people who are very unhappy about the Olympics. I want to understand their feelings. I can understand that maybe they think that it is not safe enough now because of the corona pandemic. That is reasonable. I hope that the organizers will do everything they can to make things safe. Some people think that it is a big waste of money. They think we should use money for other things. I can understand that feeling too. There are so many people who do not have water or food. We must help them.
But there are also some very important reasons why we need to have Olympic Games. We need these games because they are international. This is one of the very few events our world has where most countries can meet, and see each other, and have a chance to share and learn about other countries and cultures. This is a time when we don’t look at our own country, but we can look at other countries too. This is the year when the world will look at Japan, and think about Japan, and watch Japan. It’s a great chance for Japan to show the world the kindness and guts and big heart that it has. There are so many troubles, but Japan is tough and cool and open-hearted to host the Olympics at this very hard time. It’s amazing. It’s wonderful.
The Olympics are so great. I love it. But I have a big problem too. I am from Canada so I want to cheer for the Canadian athletes to win. And I live here in Japan so I want to cheer for all the Japanese athletes too.
But what am I going to do if there is a match between Japan and Canada? Who should I cheer for? What should I do?
I need to think about that problem some more.
Anyway, the Olympics are coming and the world will be watching. I hope that you will watch the games too and see the heart and guts of these incredible people who train for the Olympics. It is a great time to learn some new things about sports and about the people who are champion athletes.