Let's Do This All Over Again
As C-3PO so eloquently stated in Return of the Jedi...
As of the time of this posting, we are on the date where the Closing Ceremonies for Tokyo 2020 should have happened. I'm supposed to be finishing up a tour of Japan this week.
Instead, I'm here at home, trying to avoid people as best as I can, and wearing masks and socially distancing myself when I can't.
Oddly enough, the past two weeks have been pretty okay! I haven't suddenly gone into a depression spiral because this was supposed to be the time when I was going to be in attendance of the greatest sporting events in history (or at least the past two years). I think what really helped was that everyone was dealing with this - not just me. I wasn't the only one left out. There was no FOMO because I wasn't missing out on anything!
Reading articles of athletes who have adjusted their training and watching videos of Tokyo's new plans have helped out a lot. It's clear that the world is in this together, and everyone in the world needs to rely on each other to get out of this.
For me, this time of the year means I start planning again. Last week I secured two stays for the majority of my travel in Tokyo. There was one big requirement: those reservations required a free cancellation policy. A few of the hotels I was scheduled for in 2020 were wonderful about providing refunds (especially the Share Hotels Lyuro - which I will mention by name, because they contacted me directly way back in April and offered me a full refund with no stipulations - and that was where I had planned on spending ten days, so that was a good chunk of change), but others were more difficult, especially the two AirBNB rentals I'd gotten in Hiroshima.
This free cancellation policy I instituted cut down my choices, but actually allowed me to book two hotels I didn't have before, in locations closer to the Olympic events! My second hotel is a long walk from the Olympic stadium, which is great if I want to avoid crowded transportation as people are leaving the venue. (I know if I am in Tokyo for the Olympics social distancing shouldn't really need to be a requirement, but sometimes it's nice to be able to walk from one place to another after a big event instead of trying to all exit a venue at the same time.)
It was announced early on that Olympic tickets that had already been purchased would be able to carry over from 2020 to 2021. Anyone who needed a refund would get it if they requested it in time. Plus, all the event schedules carried over, so I didn't need to worry about scheduling conflicts.
Many people needed to return tickets, so they started to pop up again on the CoSport website. But I still followed my earlier guidelines while snagging two more tickets for rugby and table tennis! Both of these sports are ones that were on my initial list of things I really wanted to see, but never worked in my schedule with ticket availability. But I finally got a table tennis ticket, and I can't wait to watch that in person.
There have been some undercurrents if the Olympics will just be cancelled for good if things don't improve, or they will carry on without spectators. I can understand that conversation, but hate when social media accounts decide to make it clickbait. I deleted one Patreon pledge as well as a podcast because they decided to make big titles like "WILL THE OLYMPICS BE CANCELLED?" and I don't appreciate that kind of fishing for clicks.
All I can do is plan and hope for the best. I can do my part to help stop the spread and hope that a vaccine will be approved within the next six months. And if not, I get my money back and start planning for Paris or Milan-Cortina!
By the way, is anyone else watching video from 2019 and earlier and getting a little uncomfortable as to how close people are sitting or standing by each other? At the time those were filmed it didn't matter! I look forward to those days again.
This is the Light the Cauldron blog! Starting in 2021 I will post regularly every week about the sports of the Olympics and my plans to attend the 2021 Tokyo Games. Follow me on Twitter as @CauldronLight and on Instagram as @lightthecauldron!