A third-year student of the Faculty of Foreign Studies’ Department of Italian Studies, Mitsuki Uomura, ran a leg in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch relay, which was held inside Osaka’s Expo ’70 Commemorative Park on Wednesday, April 14th.
The call for applications to be torchbearers was organized by NTT, a Japanese telecommunications company. The odds of being selected was as low as about one in two hundred. Uomura was one of them, and reflects on the experience as follows.
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Although the torch relay was originally supposed to take place down the streets of Osaka, it was instead conducted in a place where there were almost no spectators. I was worried that the event might end up being a sad one, but instead, I felt a sense of unity.
The people there—security officials, staff and family members of torchbearers—were mostly strangers to each other, but we all cheered together every time we noticed a torchbearer coming our way. It felt like we were no longer strangers, but were connected. I experienced firsthand how powerful and symbolic the Olympics is, and my hopes toward the Games grew stronger.
I hope that the flame I passed on will safely arrive in Tokyo and that the Games will be held to the extent possible, especially since it’s hard to feel that connection between people nowadays. I wish that other people can also enjoy that sense of unity I felt.
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Running in the Olympics torch relay seems to have become a valuable experience to Uomura. We hope that this experience would benefit your future endeavors.