Olympic and Paralympic Year
Finally, the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Paralympics is held in Beijing. Although I have complicated feeling considering the rare situation that “both summer and winter Olympics and Paralympics are held within the same year”, I am excited about the opening of the festival at the end of this season.
At the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics held last summer, I brought out the decorative globe in front of the TV with my children, and turned it around when the athletes entered the stadium, which made me think about each country. I was surprised at how big the world was and how narrow my knowledge was, but the smiles of the players through the masks made me feel energetic.
At this summer and winter Olympics and Paralympics, I was fascinated by the sports that were newly added to the competitions, in which the younger generation played an active role. Above all, I was very interested in surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding because of the medal rush. I have never experienced any of these sports, but looking at the history of each sport, it seems that the history of surfing is the oldest. There was a time when skateboarding was called “roller surfing” and snowboarding was called “snow surfing.”
(Reference: Nippon Surfing Association, Sasakawa Sports Foundation, Japan Skateboarding Association, SK8Boarders, and Japan Snowboarding Association Homepages)
Looking at the history of surfing, we see the name of Duke Kahanamoku many times as the father of modern surfing. I was only aware that it was a statue standing on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, but when I looked it up this time, I found out that Duke Kahanamoku was also an Olympian. Surprisingly, he had made three Olympic appearances, won three gold medals and two silver medals. Moreover, there was a freestyle swimming race. As a freestyle swimming method, he raised his face from the surface of the water and stroke with both arms, like paddling for surfing.
It has been 109 years since his first Olympic appearance. How is he feeling seeing that in this era, surfing became an additional Olympic event?
Now, while hoping that the day that I can travel the world as before will come as soon as possible, I will clean up the globe for the opening ceremony of the Winter Paralympics.