ロンドン五輪 数多くの感動を味わいたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 29, 2012)
Nation craves moving drama at London Olympics
ロンドン五輪 数多くの感動を味わいたい(7月28日付・読売社説)

The London Olympics have opened. What kind of drama will the athletes, who have come from all over the world, show us? We hope we will enjoy the quadrennial sporting festival.

A total of 204 countries and territories will take part in this Summer Olympics. This is the first time female athletes have been included in every Olympic team, and also the first Games in which women will compete in all events.

London has become the first city to host the Olympics three times--first in 1908 and again in 1948.

The British government has been cautious about security this time. The Olympic Village is surrounded by an electrified fence about five meters high, and surface-to-air missiles have been deployed in London's downtown areas.

We hope the British government will implement the best possible security measures until the Games end on Aug. 12.


Limited budget

Europe is now in the middle of a financial crisis, and Britain is no exception, being forced to stage a "frugal Olympics" amid austerity measures.

The cost of holding the Games, reportedly about 1.13 trillion yen, is said to be only a quarter of what China spent for the previous Beijing Olympics, which were apparently aimed at raising the latter's national prestige.

Britain used concrete made from industrial waste to build the main Olympic stadium, and plans to transform the Olympic Village into a private housing complex after the Games.

The London Olympics feature cost-saving, care for the environment and effective use of facilities.

As for Japan, this year marks the 100th anniversary of its Olympic debut at the Stockholm Games in 1912.

A total of 293 Japanese athletes are competing at the current London Games, and the Japanese team has set a target of finishing fifth or higher in the gold medal standings.

Japan won nine gold medals in the Beijing Olympics, finishing eighth. To secure the fifth spot, more than 15 golds will probably be needed.


Test of Japan govt measures

In recent years, the Japanese government has selected events in which the nation has a higher probability of winning medals and allocated more subsidies to them. The London Olympics could serve as a test of such steps to boost the nation's competitiveness.

If Japanese Olympians produce good results in the opening events such as swimming, judo and gymnastics, that could lift the spirits of the whole team.

Kosuke Kitajima is notable as he will aim for his third consecutive Olympic golds in the men's 100- and 200-meter breaststroke. We hope he will swim his way into Olympic history.

People in Japan are already excited about the Olympics after the men's and women's Japanese soccer teams won their opening games. The vigorous performances of the Japanese athletes encourage us as we root for them.

The more impressive the athletes' performances, the more people will be interested in the Olympics. Such public interest is certain to become a tailwind for promoting the campaign to bring the 2020 Games to Tokyo.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 28, 2012)
(2012年7月28日05時15分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2012-07-30 07:28 | 英字新聞

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