TOKYO For most people, going to watch the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Still, for ninety two-12 months-antique superfans Naotoshi Yamada, it has grown to be a quadrennial ritual over the past 5 and a half many years. Yamada acknowledged to his Japanese compatriots as “Olympic Ojisan,” or “Olympics Grandad,” first skilled the Summer Games while Tokyo remaining hosted the gathering in 1964, and he has been there for each minute of everyone seeing that. “Mexico, Munich, Montreal, Los Angeles, Moscow. Japan did no longer even take part in the Moscow Olympics. However, I went to look at that Games,” Yamada instructed Reuters in Tokyo.
“Moscow, Seoul, Barcelona, Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London. I went to all Games from the opening to the last ceremony … There is not much someone like me. I am the most effective one on the earth.” In his special gold top hat, pink jacket, and beaming smile, Yamada has grown to be one of the most familiar and colorful figures at the Games, regularly observed using television cameras and cheered using other enthusiasts. Now, he has one very last desire — to live lengthy sufficient to witness the carrying spectacle while it returns to Japan next 12 months. “It will be the culmination of all my years cheering the Olympics,” stated Yamada.
Yamada became a relative stripling of 38 while he attended his first Olympics, not merely to witness the wearing spectacle but from an in advance, preference to experience the arena that became stimulated with the aid of a speech given at his college by using Emperor Hirohito. “The emperor stated he wanted the young technology to rebuild our united states,” Yamada stated. “I felt that I wanted to do something for my use. I assume that it’s miles one of the motives why I started to go to the Olympics.” Yamada’s first Games outdoor Japan changed into
Mexico City 1968, in which he paired his classic Haori Hakama kimono with a Mexican sombrero. Yamada said it became impossible for him to select a fave from the 14 Olympics. “If you have … Exclusive hues of crayons and a person ask which shade is the favorite one? Black? Red? Blue? Green? … Every shade has its individual,” said Yamada, a huge grin etched across his face. “So I can’t tell that is my favored one. Each of the Olympics was charming.” Yamada loves the common nature of the Olympic Games and has a full-size collection of souvenirs he
has gathered over the years, some of them received through swaps with other fanatics. His haul of flags, stamps, snapshots, and other objects are on show at a gallery in his homeland of Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture. “The Olympics is simplest the international competition for all humankind,” stated Yamada. “Athletes and vacationers from more than 200 nations will gather in one area. For the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, so many human beings need to return to Japan. I think that 2020 can be a great occasion.”