“Fight! »: Japanese cheerleaders support athletes at Games opening

TOKYO, July 22 (Reuters) – Japanese cheerleaders danced and waved pom poms outside a Tokyo station on Thursday to show their support for Olympic athletes on the eve of the start of the pandemic-delayed Summer Games.

“Let us support them with all our strength! Head cheerleader Kumi Asazuma shouted at passers-by outside Shimbashi Station as the four-person team clapped and kicked in the legs to the beat of Tony Basil’s 1980s classic “Hey Mickey”.

Team members held up signs saying “To all athletes,” “Fight! And “Tokyo 2020” with an image of the Olympic rings, as they performed under a scorching sun with temperatures already exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) before 9 am. a m

The All Japan Cheer Organization group regularly performs outside train stations in the Tokyo area to boost the morale of morning commuters, but Asazuma has said he wants to give a special performance on the eve of the opening ceremony. Games.

“The Olympics and Paralympics are really every four years, this time they’ve been delayed for a year and a lot has happened, but they open tomorrow and we wanted to lend our support,” Asazuma told Reuters after the representation.

“There might not be spectators in theaters, but we want to send the message that ‘everyone in the world is supporting you’,” she said.

Spectators are excluded from most events and Tokyo is in a state of emergency as cases of COVID-19 increase in the capital.

Foot traffic at the station was low on Thursday as it was a public holiday, but a handful of people pulled over and braved the heat to watch the cheerleaders.

“I see them trying hard in this environment, so watching them also makes me want to do my best,” said Takanori Okada, 45, who is self-employed.

Some competitions have already started on Wednesday, notably softball and soccer. The Tokyo Olympics run until August 8, and the Paralympics are scheduled from August 24 to September 5.

Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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