POSTED: April 18th 2009

Keeping the flame alive . . .

Tokyo's Olympic flame, flickering in the floodlights / lake images
Tokyo's Olympic flame, flickering in the floodlights / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

TOKYO: Tokyo’s 2016 bid team has been wasting no opportunity in this week of all weeks in putting its message across both to the visiting IOC delegation and to local sports fans.

The Olympic cauldron was lit during the evaluation commission’s all-encompassing site visits on Friday and flamed to life again on Saturday night before the J.League clash between FC Tokyo and JEF United.

Olympic swimmer Daichi Suzuki, a backstroke gold medallist at the 1988 Seoul Games, undertook the ceremony organised to generate local awareness and support for the Tokyo campaign.

The pre-match entertainment also included FC Tokyo fans singing You’ll never walk alone, more famous now as Liverpool’s anthem rather than as a showstopper from Rogers and Hammerstein's Carousel.

Anfield memorial

TV pictures had carried the anthem around the world only this past week when Gerry Marsden, who had a pop charts hit with song in the early 1960s, sang it at the conclusion of the Anfield service in memory of the 96 victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

FC Tokyo fans ‘leased’ the song a long time back and the words (in English) are displayed – as they were on Saturday night - on the stadium’s giant screen.

It was almost as if one set of fans were sending a message of solidarity to fans half a world away.

Sport can do that.

Right: Daichi Suzuki prepares for the torch-lighting ceremony at the National Stadium / Tokyo2016

Keywords · Tokyo 2016 · Olympic Games · FC Tokyo · evaluation commission

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