Tokyo 2020 Prep: News Updates and Watchlist 1

The weather might be cold outside for those of us in the northern hemisphere, but the preparation for the Olympic Games are heating up!

(Get it? Heat? Tokyo will be hot? All the news media is talking about it? Never mind.)

This week brought up a few Tokyo 2020 items for which we can get excited! First of all, the design for the Olympic and Paralympic tickets were unveiled. The pictogram for the specific event is at the front, and the background colors are based on the Japanese color scheme kasane no irome, which was used for fabrication of kimonos  in the eighth through twelfth centuries. 

I personally really like the color scheme, and appreciate that the pictograms are found on there. After all, pictograms didn’t exist at the Olympics until Tokyo 1964!

Yesterday, the large Olympic rings (famous for highlight reels) were floated to their resting spot in Odaiba, a man-made island in Tokyo. Next Friday Tokyo plans to do a fireworks show to celebrate the rings and also get everyone excited t…

Spotlight: 3x3 Basketball

In my "Spotlight" series during 2020, I will be taking a look at sports that I will be watching LIVE and IN PERSON when I travel to Tokyo for the Olympics!

I have to admit that a lot of this series is meant for my benefit! While I am well versed in the wide world of athletics (track and field), many other Olympic sports' rules and athletes are pretty unfamiliar. So as I research, I can take that information with me as I sit in the stands.

This week, we are taking look at 3x3 basketball.

Many of you might be confused as to exactly why 3x3 basketball is an Olympic sport. Keep in mind that there are approximately eight billion different swimming events in a single Olympics (give or take), so why not pbarovide another opportunity to enjoy some basketball?

This is the first year that it will be played at the Olympic Games, though it has made a presence in the Youth Olympic Games since 2010 and has grown in popularity all over the globe.

We'll be covering FIBA 5x5 basketb…

A History of Lighting the Cauldron: Part 1

When I rebranded this blog in March of 2018, I had a hard time coming up with a name. What name would simultaneously make people think of the Olympics, but also be something that hasn't been used before? 
It didn't take quite as long as I anticipated, but what helped me choose was thinking about some of my favorite Olympic moments. The best part of any Olympics is the lighting of the cauldron which signifies the beginning of the Games. So I went with that, and "Light the Cauldron" was born.

It's only natural, therefore, that I talk about memorable cauldron lightings of the past as we get closer to the Tokyo 2020 Games. Each month I'll highlight three summer Games and talk about the uniqueness of each torch and cauldron lighting.

Amsterdam 1928/ Los Angeles 1932: Baby steps

While people will point to 1936 as the start of the torch relay, the actual cauldron lighting began 92 years ago in Amsterdam. The cauldron lighting doesn't have a direct connection to …

The Year Where We Light the Cauldron!

Well well well! It's 2020!

I am very excited for this year. Way back in 2016 I started talking publicly about attending the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and that year is actually here. Unbelievable.

My preparations are nearing completion, and now I just have to make sure I don't get too indulgent and buy more tickets than I can afford! (A big swath of tickets dropped yesterday, but by the time I saw what was available there wasn't anything I was dying to get.)

Some news dropped last week that Japan Airlines was offering 50,000 free flights for domestic flights from Tokyo to other locations in Japan. I am very, very interested in this; though my vacation is a bit limited, I could stretch it if necessary! The offer begins in February. I'll keep everyone posted!

But this is all planning for stuff that's still seven months away. What am I going to do before then?

I'm going to start a new series of blog posts dedicated to the name of this blog: Light the Cauldron! Each mon…

Tokyo National Stadium Completed!

Within the last few weeks, the biggest news out of Tokyo has been the completion of the National Stadium. Yesterday, the stadium held its first ever public event: a type of dedication that featured athletes from all over the world (including Jamaica's Usain Bolt!) and gave ticket goers a chance to see everything in the stadium for themselves.

Even though the Olympics are still seven months away, the stadium was packed. So if viewers like you and me were to check out how things looked, we got a chance to see the stadium in its full glory.

Here, there's even a short video all about it:

I know fully well that trying to keep my stadium reveal "spoiler free" until August would be next to impossible, so I have no problem watching stuff like this. If anything, it gets me even more excited to be able to witness this venue in person!

While the stadium might be complete, there is still a lot of Tokyo that is under construction. With all the other Japanese content creators tha…

A Lesson in Fandom

It is pretty amazing how this story works.

It's as if I was living in an episode of Full House. In the end of this blog, feel free to cue the cheesy synth string music!

A few weeks ago I went back to my parents' home for the weekend. The big news was that Notre Dame's sellout streak of home football games was snapped with the Navy game. The streak started in 1973 and lasted for 273 games.

(With all this talk of Notre Dame lately, you'd think I'd turned into a fan of the Fighting Irish. I am not. It's just a proximity thing! Keep reading for your dose of Michigan Wolverine goodness.)

But since I was home and that was the news on the radio (which my dad still listens to), it was worth talking about with him!

We both agreed that with Notre Dame's subpar season and the uninteresting visiting teams, it was only natural that the games not sell out. When people have large flatscreen televisions and computer screens at home, why bother going to the stadium? In hom…

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K: The Second One

With a little more relaxed Thanksgiving schedule this year, I decided that I could once again participate in a Turkey Trot. Three years ago I went over to Niles with my brother because that was the one that was most widely publicized. After I'd registered, I found that Benton Harbor also had a Turkey Trot, which would have been a little closer to travel to!

So this time around, I registered for the Benton Harbor Turkey Trot, especially since I found out where the proceeds of the race would go. According to the website, "Proceeds benefit the Benton Harbor Police Athletic League (PAL), with a mission to promote community relations and cooperation between the youth of our communities, their families, the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, and other law enforcement agencies."

Sounds like a worthy cause to me!

The entire event is mainly put on by the SWMI RACERS group, which is the running group in our area. They actually offered early early packet pickup, which worke…