From July 23 to August 8, 2021, the world experienced one of the most exciting events known, the Olympics. And this time, it was held in Tokyo. How fortunate!
Why do I say "fortunate"? Simple! Because this is my town. But not only was it my town; being a tour guide and hired photographer, I had the rare opportunity to witness the games live! And boy, was it thrilling!
I was hired by the Belgian Television RTBF as a tour guide to drive them around the game and within the city. Belgians; of course, they don't speak Japanese, so I helped them with translation.
But even most importantly, I helped them with the best locations to shoot! And now I have a ton of photographs and videos of the Tokyo Olympics. Now, what could be more fortunate? (Winks!)
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was without a live audience, so me and my wife was accredited to go anywhere within the stadium as a tour guide.
But how did I stumble upon this rare opportunity to be a in and have tons of first-hand photos and videos of the Tokyo Olympics?
It all started in 2013, the year I came to Japan!
In 2013, Tokyo won its bid to host the next Olympics. "Wow," I said. "Here is an opportunity to make a goal for my company by showing the visitors around."
So I started a tour guide company in Japan with the Olympics as my primary goal, but never did I imagine being inside the stadium.
In 2019, I helped Belgian TV RTBF create subjects for their news about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and they asked me if I'd like to help them during the game. I was blown away! This was my moment!
Well, as you know, 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic, and I prayed earnestly for the new date.
2021 finally came, and it was announced to begin July 23. My deal with the Television was still on. And I worked with them from July 13 to August 9.
Between July 13 and the opening ceremony on July 23, I helped two journalists to create small capsule videos for their news and sports TV show. Although I didn't shoot, I drove them around, made appointments, and translated. You can watch some of the news videos HERE.
It gave me the opportunity to see many exciting places in the stadium, like the Fuji Speed Way (an old formula 1 race used for bicycling), the Olympic Village, and many other awe-inspiring places. Check out my (iPhone) photographs and videos bellow.
I also had the rare opportunity to see the main stadium before the opening ceremony. Beat that!
No, it gets even better!
I also helped them climb up to the great Mount Fuji in less than 4h!
I bet you'd love the capsule they created there!
As always, the Japanese people made the event such a fantastic one. From the decorations down to how each competition was organized, the Tokyo Olympics was perfection itself. The stadium's decor was a beauty, so photogenic you'd want to get a wallpaper of it and place it in your home.
As usual, when it comes to interior decoration and furnishing, Japan never disappoints.
When the game started, every day ran as fast as it was fun-filled. Although my job was basically to drive around and take some photos, I was able to enjoy the games like the first basketball, horse racing, gymnastics, karate, and lots more.
Okay, let me tell you a secret. I was once a skateboarder. Haha.. I skateboarded for a little over 12 years. So guess what these guys did? They put me on a skateboard right there in the Ariake Urban sports park! Believe me when I say it was a thriller!
Finally, the whole going around was some tough work but an enthralling experience that will stay glued in my mind for years to come.