Japan’s “Super Fan” prepares for Games without foreign fans-Sports News, Firstpost


Ishikawa, who is president of an IT company, has attended every Summer Olympics since then, becoming famous as an unofficial “international Olympic cheerleader”. She enjoys joining fans everywhere to cheer on their athletes.

Olympic fan Kyoko Ishikawa has attended every Summer Olympics since Barcelona in 1992. Image: AP

Tokyo: Kyoko Ishikawa was a Japanese backpacking student in Barcelona in 1992 when she said a “miracle happened”. She managed to buy a ticket for the opening ceremony of the historic Olympic Games in Spain.

She said she only had “pocket money” with her – maybe $ 50 – when local men offered her a ticket for that price. The real price could have been 10 times higher, she is not sure.

“You came from Japan, so have fun,” she recalls, saying.

“I immediately took this ticket and ran straight into the stadium. When I walked into the hall and looked around I was shocked as if I had been hit by the lightning.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Ishikawa, who is president of an IT company, has attended every Summer Olympics since then, becoming famous as an unofficial “international Olympic cheerleader”. She enjoys joining fans everywhere to cheer on their athletes.

His style of cheering at Olympic venues is well known to the Japanese. She wears the traditional Japanese costume for festivals and a headband that says “Victory” written in Japanese. She is holding folding fans bearing the Japanese flag.

But Tokyo will be very different. There will be no overseas fans to entertain. Local organizers have banned tourists due to the COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic. Local residents should be allowed in the sites, but in limited numbers.

Naotoshi Yamada, known in Japan as “Uncle Olympics”, passed away in 2019. He had attended every Summer Olympics since 1964, easily identifiable as the enthusiastic face of Japan.

Ishikawa said she first met Yamada during a baseball game in Barcelona and has been his “assistant” ever since. Now she is alone and in very unusual circumstances. But his mission will be the same: to cheer on athletes around the world on behalf of the fans who couldn’t attend.

She said she saw the Olympics as a way “for children and young people to discover the importance of diversity and identity”. She said it was her first impression when she first walked into Barcelona’s Olympic stadium and saw the “energy created by the melting pot” of many different people.

“The opportunity to have this experience will be lost this time,” she said. “I feel very disappointed. “

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