Tokyo Games may be a contest of who coped best with pandemic gloom

The act of arriving at the Olympics to compete has become in itself a major triumph

Japan’s Naomi Osaka lights the Olympics Flame during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Japan. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Japan’s Naomi Osaka lights the Olympics Flame during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Japan. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

In May of last year the newspaper USA Today ran a story headlined “Fact Check: Opening ceremony of London 2012 didn’t predict pandemic.”

It was a year for the fanciful and fantasists dangerously dovetailed with a reality nobody in living memory had ever experienced. In the last 18 months the pandemic has held a schizophrenic grip on an addled and divided population and yet this year Ireland has sent the largest team to an Olympics than at any time in its history.

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