OPINION

Tokyo 2020 Olympic action offers great armchair spectator viewing in Covid restrictions

Bronte Campbell, Meg Harris, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell celebrated their gold medal win in the 4x100 Freestyle Relay Women Final Swimming at Nuoto Tokyo2020 Olympic Games. Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto/Sipa USA
Bronte Campbell, Meg Harris, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell celebrated their gold medal win in the 4x100 Freestyle Relay Women Final Swimming at Nuoto Tokyo2020 Olympic Games. Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto/Sipa USA

I love watching the Olympics. In fact, I seem to develop an appreciation of many more sports during the Olympics.

For me there is a sense of admiration for the dedication and determination of those who have trained so hard for so many years to become one of the best in their chosen sport. And of course there is a sense of pride in those athletes stepping up to represent Australia.

My love of the Olympics grew from watching Shane Gould and her five-medal-haul (including three golds) at the 1972 Olympics.

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This memorable experience of Olympic viewing made me especially keen to watch all swimming events, but the desire to watch the Aussie medal tally rise soon had me viewing many other sports. I have never lost that spectator enthusiasm

In 2021 the Tokyo Olympics may be a little different - they are a year late, and without the cheering crowd due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. I feel for the competitors and the Japanese who have worked tirelessly for many years to prepare for this event - it is clearly not all that they would have wanted.

But despite these hurdles the Tokyo Olympics still has the potential to be memorable for the right reasons.

The competitors have trained long and hard to bring their best to the event and that is already beginning to show. My Aussie pride can't help but point out that the Australian women's 4 x100 metre relay team has already secured a gold medal and a world record. Not to mention other medals already won in the pool.

Meanwhile, a strong win for the Kookaburras in the hockey, early success for three Aussie surfers in the newest addition to Olympic sports, a first-up win for the Boomers against Nigeria in the Men's basketball and a points victory for an Australian lightweight boxer, are sure to draw eyes to the games regardless of your sporting preference.

These are just some of the results so far and are hopefully indicative of the competitive action we can expect to enjoy. For me it is all the encouragement I need to tune in as an armchair spectator.

And in a time in life when the world is reeling from the Covid challenges it is uplifting to see how the Olympic athletes - more than 60 from Australia - rise above the obstacles to be the best that they can be.

They may not hear us from the sidelines but we can still cheer from our armchair. We can still show our Aussie pride. We can still encourage that pride in our children. Who knows, maybe one day our children will reflect on when they first developed an appreciation of the Olympics - just like I did when I watched Shane Gould's winning form when I was six years old.

Go the Aussies.

This story Are you an armchair Olympian, too? first appeared on Southern Highland News.