One year has passed since the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
I had a truly amazing experience at the Japan Olympic Museum, which opened in 2019, right in front of the Japan National Stadium!

“The museum is divided into three areas: the welcome area here on the first floor, the exhibition area on the second floor, and the outdoor monument area.” explained Mr. Shimoyu, the curator. And with that, the tour begins.
As soon as you enter the first floor, there is a special exhibition to celebrate the first anniversary of the Tokyo 2020 Games, including an Olympic torch plate and other exhibits on the themes of peace, diversity, and harmony, which had not been widely known due to COVID-19 measures.

In the exhibition area on the second floor, visitors can watch the beginning of the Olympic Games on a screen that looks like the surface of a pond, and then deepen their understanding by viewing a number of valuable exhibits, including torches from the torch relays of past Olympic Games.
“The disc-shaped artwork is designed with the flags of the countries that participated in each year’s games. You can see at a glance that the number of participating countries and regions has increased in recent years,” said Mr. Shimoyu.
It is thanks to peace that the number of countries and regions participating has increased, and the convention provides an opportunity to understand the diversity of each country.

In the Japan and Olympics corner, behind a glass wall engraved with the names of all the Olympians who have participated until now, you can learn all about the Olympics held in Japan (since I don’t know about the Nagano Olympics well…). The torch relay that went around the 47 prefectures of Japan is also on display.
The large map of Japan showing the path of the torch relay as it traveled around the 47 prefectures of the country made me feel the passionate expectations of everyone in Japan once again.

At the Olympic Games, an experience corner for both adults and children, I tried shooting for myself!
While I could not hit the target at all with the slight tremor of my hand, the Olympians hit the center of the target with all their bullets… I became interested in shooting because of their inhumane physical abilities.
Jumping against a wall and then comparing my shadow to the Olympian’s jump was also interesting!
I was a basketball player as a student and had a little confidence in my jumps… but mine being half the height of LeBron James’ jump, and a lot lower than Hanyu Yuzuru’s in his skates, I was overwhelmed by the amazingness of competing for medals at such a high level.

Olympism Story is a zone where visitors learn about Olympians’ interviews and episodes through videos.
I was especially moved by the video of Czechoslovakian athlete Bela Chaslavska, and tears would not stop running down my face.
I forgot that I was there for an interview and couldn’t take my eyes off the athletes’ episodes that came up one after another…
“We had a hard time collecting the episodes of each player, and making the truth behind them and the player’s feelings easy to understand in the videos. Seeing how people were moved by the episodes really made all the hard work worth it.” Mr. Shimoyu’s comment brought tears to my eyes again.

The history of the Olympics, the cities that have evolved as a result of the Olympics, and the high level of performance by athletes were all exhibits that I would look at for hours at a time, but it also made me realize again that the Olympics are a symbol of peace, and that it’s an amazing thing that the Olympics can be held. It was a wonderful facility that made me acknowledge the meaning of the Olympics once again.

Japan Olympic Museum, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo
Coverage and text:
Niina Paintsil(Ghana/Japan)

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