Olympics: Japan’s superfan seems to finish Olympic circle in 2020

TOKYO (Reuters) – For most people, going to look at the Olympics is an as soon as-in-a-lifetime possibility; however, for ninety two-yr-vintage superfans, Naotoshi Yamada has to turn out to be a quadrennial ritual over the past five and a half many years. Yamada, recognized to his Japanese compatriots as “Olympic Ojisan,” or “Olympics Grandad,” first experienced the Summer Games. At the same time, Tokyo ultimate hosted the collection in 1964, and he has been there for each minute of each one when you consider that.

“Mexico, Munich, Montreal, Los Angeles, Moscow. Japan did not even participate in the Moscow Olympics, but I went to look at that Games,” Yamada advised Reuters in Tokyo. “Moscow, Seoul, Barcelona, Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London. I went to all Games from the hole to the last rite … There isn’t always such a person like me. I am the only one on this planet.” In his extraordinary gold pinnacle hat, pink jacket, and beaming smile, Yamada has become one of the maximum familiar and colorful figures at the Games, often accompanied by using television cameras and cheered by different enthusiasts. Now, he has one final desire — to stay long sufficient to witness the sporting spectacle when it returns to Japan subsequent 12 months.

“It will be the end result of all my years cheering the Olympics,” stated Yamada. Yamada changed into a relative stripling of 38 when he attended his first Olympics, now not just to witness the carrying spectacle however from an in advance preference to revel in the world that was inspired by way of a speech given at his university via Emperor Hirohito. “The Emperor stated he desired the young era to rebuild our country,” Yamada said. “I felt that I wanted to do something for my use of a. I suppose that it’s far one of the reasons why I started out to go to the Olympics.”

Yamada’s first Games out of doors Japan changed into Mexico City in 1968, in which he paired his traditional Haori Hakama kimono with a Mexican sombrero. 14 Olympics. “If you’ve got … Distinctive shades of crayons and someone asks which coloration the favorite one is? Black? Red? Blue? Green? … Each color has its personal man or woman,” said Yamada, a huge grin etched throughout his face. “So I can not tell which is my preferred one. Each of the Olympics was captivating.” Yamada loves the universal nature of the Olympic Games and has a tremendous collection of souvenirs he has gathered over time, some of them received via swaps with different enthusiasts. His haul of flags, stamps, pictures, and other objects are on show at a gallery in his native land of Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture. “The Olympics is simplest the international competition for all humankind,” said Yamada. “Athletes and travelers from more than 2 hundred international locations will accumulate at one region. Slideshow (4 Images) “For the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, such a lot of people want to come to Japan. “I assume that 2020 can be a splendid event.”

Randy Montgomery

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