21 years ago, I had the opportunity to compete in the Olympics in Sydney. Now it’s time for the Tokyo Olympics. Although the conditions are completely different this time, we still have so much to look forward to!
My Olympic journey started as early as 1984. I was only eight years old when I sat at home on our burgundy leather sofa in front of the TV and watched the mighty inauguration of the Olympics in Los Angeles. It was the “flying man” who came flying into the arena that made the flame ignite inside me in that the Olympics was something really special. Seeing Carl Lewis win four golds did not make matters worse. Early on, I decided that one day I would compete in an Olympic game.
Sixteen years later, I stood on the runway in front of the long jump pit at the Sydney Olympics. There were 100,000 spectators in the stands and behind me 16 years of hard training to get me there. Unfortunately, I failed to make it to the final, which was my goal, but in retrospect, the Sydney Olympics were extremely powerful. Eight years later, I was an expert commentator for TV at the Beijing Olympics and next week I will go to Tokyo to comment on the Olympics there for Discovery, which has the broadcasting rights.
Peter competing at the Sydney Olympics 2000
Peter with legend Tommie Smith in Beijing 2008
The Tokyo Olympics will be held without an audience due to the pandemic restrictions. I do not think it will significantly affect the level of performance for athletics. Everyone who competes has focused and trained for the Olympics for several years and knows that you have to perform at the top to win.
World statistics also gossip that we will see high-class competitions. World records will be broken, but personally I am most looking forward to the duels. For example, Karsten Warholm against Rai Benjamin in the 400m hurdles. There, a world record will most likely be required to win. Or 200 meters for ladies where the shooting star Gabby Thomas, who ran the second best time ever this year with 21.61, is challenged by the legendary Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce from Jamaica. Add that Dina Asher-Smith from the UK is also in the race and it was she who won the World Champs in Doha 2019. She is also in good shape!
Tokyo has done everything for us to experience the world’s most powerful competition again. Do not miss to be inspired in front of the TV during the summer weeks ahead.
– Peter Häggström Lindecrantz, CEO and founder of YMR Track Club