La Presse in Tokyo | Arigatō gozaimasu

(Tokyo) Without them, no games.




Who is this ?

100,000 Japanese volunteers were recruited to perform many small tasks that make life easier for athletes, coaches, officials and journalists.

They tell us which shuttle to take. Let’s ride the bus. We got off the bus. They greet us. Show us the way to the stadium. influences us. We walked down the road to the stadium. We do reverence again.

Outside of competition venues, they distribute PCR tests. They collect PCR tests. Watching the doors. fences. Sometimes nothing at all. They also handle car traffic (which is very rare) with lightsaber-like sticks. I also saw someone holding a sign all day that read “Don’t drop anyone here”. Although the street is closed.

Then, in the stadiums, there are more volunteers. They greet us. Take our temperature. Make sure to wash your hands. First volunteer to verify our accreditation. A second volunteer re-verifies our accreditation. A third volunteer gives us a paper dragon she just made.

One of his colleagues leads us to the press fair. Another disinfects chairs and plexiglass. The youngest of the group is responsible for the television screen. After the competition, in the mixed zone, a battalion of volunteers walks with the café of the amusement park to collect the tapes of journalists, which they put under the noses of the athletes, two meters apart.

Photo by Bernard Brault, the press

A volunteer sweeps the floor during a volleyball match.

Do they all speak English? No.

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French ? less.

But they are doing everything, everything, everything they can to help us. Even if it means asking a colleague. Who will ask another colleague. Who, on the other hand, speaks English, or has a phone with a translation app.

All in a good mood. Every time. Even when it’s been eight hours since they were grilling themselves – with a procedural mask – in the sun strong enough to melt lollipop in 30 seconds.

After a year and a half of a pandemic marked by bickering, heartbreak, division and distrust, exposure to too much kindness, mutual help, altruism, listening and benevolence, much soul makes.

Arigatoō gozaimasu.

Thank you very much.

There is no miracle in the pool

After our players the day before, it was our players’ turn, Tuesday, to face the Americans in a playoff. We warned you earlier this week: It won’t be easy for Canadian women. But we didn’t expect it to be this difficult.

A minute later the score was 0-1.

Two minutes later, 0-2.

Three minutes later, 0-3.

Four minutes later, 0-5.

Photo by Bernard Brault, the press

The Canadian water polo team could not win the match against the Americans.

Then coach David Paradillo asked for a time-out. Gather his players at the edge of the pool and talk to them through a swimming cap. Very very strong. You must have heard of it as far as Montreal.

what did he tell you? We asked Axel Kriver.

Starting from scratch. To wake up. […] It was better then. On the other hand, it is very difficult to start from scratch when you are behind five goals. ”

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The same question for Joel Bakhazi.

“It’s just [énuméré] All that should not be allowed in. Center goals, motivations, all that. there is nothing. We stop it there. All the goals we didn’t want to give, we got them [accordés] From the beginning. ”

Finally, a version Fitness Trainer Himself.

The troops had to be awakened. It was too little and too late. Perhaps it should have been done earlier in the game. We were on our heels from the start. We are better than that. We weren’t ready to start the game this way.

David Paradelo

After this electric shock, he was replaced (slightly). The Canadians even pushed out the Americans in the third period. However, the deficit was insurmountable. Final score: US 16, Canada 5.

The loss puts an end to Canada’s medal hopes, who will now play two ranking matches. It’s a shame for these dedicated athletes, who wanted a better conclusion to their Olympic experience, as well as their 92-day world tour. But all is not lost for all that.

Over the past month, women’s water polo has enjoyed its best showing in Canada since the Athens Games in 2004. Members of the national team hope to inspire thousands of young girls across the country, to become future polo players.

“The fact that we’re here is huge,” Joel Bekhazi thinks. All the fans at home watching all of our matches at 2am, even them, are happy to watch our sport on TV. It’s a beautiful sport. It includes [les règles de] Many other sports – football, handball and lacrosse. Nice to see! ”

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